Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Letters to the Editor
(From the December 15, 2011 edition of the Inland Register)
The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Remember to be charitable.
Send letters to:
Fax: (509) 358-7302
In response to the insert in today’s (Nov. 20, 2011 parish) bulletin of WSCC’s statement on “Seeking the Common Good” – Let’s keep the social obligations simple by keeping to the words of Our Lord: “love our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.” Remember, also, our Lord said, “the poor you will always have with you.” If we Catholics strive to live the Faith to the fullest, hopefully our example will soften the hearts and minds of all. Our giving according to our means and our moral conscience should quell the needs of most. But, please hear me – short of Divine Intervention, the political greedy at the top will continue to strive to be the givers. So, stop reaching for government help. It only smothers the faithful’s good works as the government strives to promote socialism, progressivism, communism and everything but Catholicism! Now is the time for the bishops to admonish their priests to preach loud and clear our moral obligations, moral values, Cardinal virtues, Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, Commandments and any other words that help us live the Faith and impart God’s message and allowing politics to keep to the outside of the Faith. The people are the Church. The hierarchy must be the beacon that shows the way to living the Faith by preaching the words of our Lord, living by example and staying out of politics. Politics only keeps the poor poorer. Let the people of the Church do right by our neighbors.
Mary Rochon, Spokane
Regarding the recent changes in the Mass, it can seem like changing a few words is not that important. Sometimes, that is true. However, I’d like to comment as briefly as I can about one instance where a slight change is very important. Do you recall hanging up a mobile in your classroom? If you bumped on part – even slightly – the whole structure was affected. Well, I like to think it is that way in some of the small liturgical changes.
Let’s consider our response, “And also with you,” which is now, “And with your spirit.” By bumping out you and inserting your spirit, it seems to have the same effect as giving a slight bump to a mobile. As our bishop explained very well, going from “you” to “your spirit” reverberates throughout the entire liturgy.
By saying “you,” we were referring to the priest we see standing at the altar and could have easily forgotten the priest we do not see – Jesus himself. The presence and activity of our Eternal High Priest can now be better recognized and acknowledged with “your spirit.” Words are important. They enable us to more easily recognize reality. Words are vehicles which have the power to move us beyond signs and symbols. Obviously, we need to have some understanding of the meaning of words, but when we do understand and are then moved, we have achieved active participation. If we dwell only in the vehicle and not allow it to transport us beyond, we have empty ritual.
That leads us to the whole question of dispositions, about which we have not heard enough. They can spell the difference between active participation and empty ritual. Do we desire reverence, attention and devotion? Then we ought to pray for those favors. Our Sunday clothes themselves can dispose us for worship, by announcing to us, “This is a special event.” Clothes can be distracting, but modesty helps them to achieve their purpose.
To continue on a more personal level, as I grasp the handle of the church door, I think, “This door differs from other doors; it leads me into the house of God.” Talking to someone as I enter might be distracting. Upon entering, as I dip my hand into the holy water, I think, “This reminds me that I am a member of the Body of Christ; I’ve come here to do something with Him.” I make the sign of the cross attentively. I then look for my pew, quietly, because others might be praying. I see the red lamp and think, “God is present.” In his presence, I genuflect (or bow) while praying, “We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.”
Such preparations dispose us, readying us for worship. After giving in this way, we are disposed for receiving the saving effects of the Mass.
Walter F. Stichart, Colville, Wash.
I could not agree more with Bernadine Van Thiel’s letter (“Letters to the Editor: ‘Divorced from all reality’”) from the last edition of the Inland Register! Are the Mass changes really what the Church hierarchy should be spending their energy on? Really? It shows to me how out of touch the hierarchy is if they think these changes are necessary and will actually enhance the Eucharistic experience of those of us “in the pews,” many of whom think it is a waste of money, time and energy. I attended Mass this weekend and couldn’t believe the antiquated, convoluted language, particularly of the Eucharistic prayer. The language of these “new” changes sounded to me like what the Church used 40 years ago and it wasn’t particularly meaningful back then. “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter my roof” – how is that more meaningful than “Lord I am not worthy to receive you”?!
All I can say is that sometimes I really wonder about our Church.....
Annette Barfield, Spokane
After he broke the bread and blessed the cup he looked around and said:
“Judas, you obviously don’t deserve Communion.
“Peter, hothead betrayer, you’re full of Satan.
“James and John, overly ambitious, no Communion for you.
“Levi, tax man and collaborator, you’re unworthy.
“Thomas, you doubter, you don’t deserve any, either.”
And when it was all over, he said, “Please tell Mary the Mother of God to come get the dirty dishes.”
Fred Warmly, Spokane
© The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. All Rights Reserved