Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
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Letters to the Editor
(From the February 16, 2012 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.
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I know there have been some mixed feelings on the new missal translation, but I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you about the reasons why I love these new translations.
During every minute of every day, no matter what day it is, some priest somewhere is offering up the unbloody sacrifice of our Lord and God in atonement for our sins.
These Masses are not all being said in the English language, but, thanks to the new translation, these Masses are now all using the same words.
Before this new translation, the English speaking Catholics where replying, “and also with you,” while Catholics around the world replied, in their own language, “and with your spirit.” These translations are finally removing the wording barrier that separated our Masses from those of our fellow, Catholic brothers and sisters.
Now, if you go to a Mass being celebrated in another language, you will find them using exactly the same words there as we use in our Masses now!
But there’s another reason I find this new translation to be quite beautiful.
In our everyday lives, most of us address God as “God.” When we ask him for something we usually say something along the lines of, “God, please, etc.” This is a form of speech we might also use when speaking to a close friend, sibling, or parent. Respectful, but casual.
In Mass, however, we get to see God in a manor more sacred and majestic than we could ever imagine! He isn’t just “God”, and we don’t just say, “Thanks,” to him; rather, he is the “God of hosts,” “God in the highest,” the “Lord God”, “Lamb of God,” “Only Begotten ... Son of the Father,” the “Most high Jesus Christ”! And, “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory,” and we ask that you “have mercy on us” for we have sinned through our fault, our fault, our most grievous fault! And we ask the blessed Mary ever-virgin, all the angels and saints, and all of our brothers and sisters in Faith to pray for us, because, in our sin, we are not able to pray for ourselves as well as we need to.
Living in a tech savvy, fast pace world of “amazings” and “awesome,” we sometime don’t see the very awesome greatness of our God. Many of today’s culture have lost the concept of reverence and true amazement that the first disciples of our Lord would have undoubtedly shown. But with these beautiful changes in our liturgy, we now find ourselves gazing in awe as we see our Lord lifted high in the priest’s hands, just as he was once lifted high on the cross at Calvary, and we repeat in reverence and wonder one of the greatest biblical passages of all time, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”
Lucia M.M.S. Wilson, Walla Walla, Wash.
This is in response to Letters to the Editor that complain about the changes in the missal.
Let’s start with “consubstantial.” Most complaints I hear about this word are people say the laity will not understand its meaning. Well that’s probably true, but that’s the point. The word consubstantial has a pivotal meaning and can greaten one’s understanding of God the Father and God the Son. The fact that many people do not know its meaning is the reason it needs to be used. It was a wise and needed change.
Next, is the change from “we believe” to “I believe.” I for one cannot speak for my neighbor, therefore saying “we believe” never made much sense to me considering that many in the pews do not truly believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; this is shown by their disagreement with many of its teachings. Using “I” places a certain amount of accountability on the people reciting it, which is another much-needed concept.
Perhaps the most profound change is the repair to the Eucharistic prayer from “all” to “many.” This does not contradict the faith, as was said in another article. The word “many” is the word used by Christ himself. Mathew 26:28: “for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many for the forgiveness of sins.” How can the words of Christ contradict the Church that he founded? Many people are confused with the words “redemption” and “salvation,” thinking they mean the same thing. They do not. Christ’s death on the cross redeemed the world (all). But only those who accept his sacrifice will be saved (many). Not “all” receive the Body and Blood of Christ every Sunday, do they? John 6:53: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.” It was this teaching (the Eucharist) that many of Christ’s own followers left him (John 6:66).
As for the “nonsensical” phrase stated in another article “that you should enter under my roof,” read Mathew 8:8: “The centurion said in reply, ‘Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant shall be healed.’” This Scripture was used in the original missal.
The repairs in the missal are a blessing. They bring us closer to Christ, his Church, and sacred Scripture. I will pray for any Catholic who places ecumenism with Protestantism in higher importance than the proclamation of authentic truth and teaching. I hope all faithful Catholics become more vocal and stand proud for the true teachings of the Church. Rebuke those who preach dissent and heresy. Draw out the sword of truth you received at your baptism and wield it without fear. Pray for those who stand against you that they may receive the grace needed to see the truth given to us by Christ through his Church.
Richard Breedlove, Spokane
Reading the Letters to the Editor in the Jan. 19 issue of the Inland Register was like “taking the spiritual life pulse” of the laity, clergy and Religious in the Catholic Church of the Diocese of Spokane. Happily, I perceived signs of life; unfortunately, the pulse was thread and weak.
There is an unhealthy focus on the concern for self-satisfaction (my will be done) rather than on health-enhancing, life-giving practices that glorify God in our Faith worship (thy will be done). God alone shall we adore.
The prominent stress on “me” in the protestations against the holy wording restorations in the liturgical prayers of the Mass makes it obvious, once more, than what appeals to self-absorbed community should dominate, whether good or evil, or merely trite. Which only means that when community becomes more important than God, the reason for whom we congregate, or functions at all, the lie begins to surface and the truth can no longer be hid. We are revealed by what we say and do.
Our Lord shall be noting an alarming increase in the illness of his flocks, leading to their spiritual demise, and a like increase in the numbers of the goat herds. Matthew 12:30, 33, 36, 47 make me cautious in desiring to fulfill any will but God’s.
God’s spiritual enlightenment is desired for all daily, as usual.
Constance Brenner, Republic, Wash.
Shawn Vestal’s column in Saturday’s (Jan. 21) Spokesman-Review (Spokane’s daily newspaper) is not “news” but merely his opinion (a very misguided one at best) and belongs, if anywhere, on the editorial page. He is glorifying the governor for encouraging passage of Washington’s proposal of legalizing same-sex marriage, going against the teachings of her Catholic faith.
Homosexual sex is wrong and no amount of legalizing it will ever make it right. God-loving people know this and will continue to oppose it with their dying breaths, the same way they oppose the murder of innocents through abortion.
It saddens me more than I can express when I see how low the morals of this once-great country have sunk. Is it any wonder we are in such a mess? I must humbly beg God to please, bless America. We are becoming so lost.
Elaine V. Bartlett, Spokane
“And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
“And he went about among the villages teaching.” (Mark 6:6)
Back in 2008, the Catholic communities of California rose to defend marriage by passing Proposition 8. They went into parishes, towns, and cities and promoted the good of marriage as taught by Christ.
I was involved in that effort and worked closely with the parish priest who worked tirelessly on the matter. The California Catholic communities organized early under the leadership of Bishop Cordileone and thanks to financial assistance from the Knights of Columbus, NOM, the Catholic community, and private donors, the Yes on 8 campaign prevailed.
But it was a very difficult battle.
Here in the State of Washington, it is unclear how the Catholic community will respond should a law pass which redefines marriage. At the very least, the Washington Catholic communities should begin very soon to forming committees which will begin the arduous task of gathering signatures to place on the ballot the marriage initiative that may likely be necessary to protect marriage.
The Washington legislature may likely be cowardly and avoid placing the issue on the ballot, thereby forcing the faith communities to place it on the ballot by gathering signatures.
Each of us is called to work for Christ in the temporal order. Many of us do works of mercy but the works of justice are just as important.
Encourage your community to become involved to teach about the good of marriage and to protect marriage between one man and one women in our laws.
Jim C. Grisafi, Spokane
It’s that time again. Candidates and their supporters are gearing up for another election and I continue to be confused. If we are truly convinced that Jesus’ primary message was one of justice where he preached love, forgiveness, peace, kindness, hope, and grace, then how do we as Christians endorse or even contribute to the malicious actions of our politicians who are supposed to be our representatives? We likely are in the midst of one of the most expensive and mean-spirited political campaigns in the history of our country. I thought we were in the worst economic times in our history. How can we say we are unable to afford health care and education when millions of dollars are spent on campaigns while at the same time, people are homeless and starving and cannot afford to take care of basic health needs?
Throughout all of this, candidates from all of the parties invest millions of dollars on demeaning ads that are designed to show that they are more righteous than their opponent. There’s something wrong with this picture. How can one be so righteous while at the same time be so willing to sling mud at another person? Somewhere the message has been missed from Ephesians that says, “Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need to, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.” Whoa! I don’t hear any adherence to those words in the campaign ads.
Many of us profess to live by Christian values, but if so, do we not believe these words that Peter said in Acts? “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.” I’m feeling pretty fortunate about this because I’m pretty sure I don’t fit into some of the categories that my political representatives feel are most worthy.
Would we not gain far more as individuals and as communities if we took some of this knowledge from Scripture and applied it to our own daily lives? I know I could cer- tainly benefit. Breaking the habits we have formed for so long is hard work and may not be possible to accomplish in a lifetime, but we are not asked to be perfect. That won’t happen. However, we know of many who have taken the spirit of love that Jesus taught and have made amazing contributions in places where they felt they could make a positive difference. What we are asked is to take that same spirit of love and do the same.
Charles E. Wheaton, Granger, Wash.
Are you a Catholic public school teacher or do you know any who have been surveyed by the Washington Education Association (WEA) to determine their view on “gay marriage”? Me, neither! Despite this, the teachers union testified in support of the “gay marriage” bill saying it spoke on behalf of 88,000 teachers!
So what’s a Catholic public school teacher to do? Teachers have the right to opt out of the union and receive a rebate for nonrepresentation activity (like politics) or become religious objectors and send their dues to a charity. They can join Northwest Professional Educators (NWPE), a nonunion, nonpartisan professional association for its liability insurance, legal services, and various resources designed to foster teacher professionalism, giving them the security and peace of mind that they are protected and represented in case a crisis or concern arises.
Teachers don’t have to put up with WEA’s abuse. With NWPE’s nonbargaining support and referrals for negotiations assistance, teachers can establish effective local only associations that will help advance the respect and reward that teachers deserve. Once establishing a local only association, not one teacher group has ever returned to the NEA. Teachers can follow the lead of their colleagues in Sprague and St. John who have already declared independence from the WEA by establishing effective local only associations.
I encourage Catholic public school teachers to be “politically engaged” by resigning from the WEA in order to stop funding the WEA’s political agenda that is tearing at the very heart of the human family. You have options. Pray and then exercise them so that you nourish the soul of our education system and our state with your public service and public witness.
Cindy Omlin, Spokane
(Omlin is Executive Director of Northwest Professional Educators.)
Which is better? “Lord, I am not worthy to receive....” or “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter....” Lorraine of Omak correctly observed that the first one is more “personal” (Letters, IR 1/19/12). However, if we blew trumpets at Communion time – and the event certainly merits that – would it not be better to announce his entry rather than my receiving? The Latin is pregnant with more meaning than the former English translation.
Regarding money spent on the liturgy rather than on the poor, Our Lord himself had something to say about that very question (Mk 14:7). Christ’s presence in the poor does not, in some strange way, supersede his presence in the liturgy! As co-workers with the bishops, we ought to budget money for both the liturgy and the poor.
In the same issue, Paul McDonnell has taken issue with some of the new changes. He wants the Blood of Christ to be shed for “all” instead of the “many.” In fact, Paul said the change “contradicts our faith.” Whoops! He might have to take that up with our Lord, since Our Lord himself said “many” (Mt 26:28, Mk 14:24).
Paul also does not like the “I” replacing the “we” in the Creed. He will have to take that up with the Councils of Nicea and Constantinople. For centuries, the priest had been intoning “Credo....” (“I believe”) – so the Church is simply trying to get back in step with tradition. What’s wrong with that?
Walter F. Stichart, Colville, Wash.
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