Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Words from Fr Ed (From November 6th, 2011 Bulletin)

…the wise (virgins) brought flasks of oil with their lamps.

Flasks of oil were critical for these virgins to make it into the wedding, a symbol of the heavenly banquet. St. Augustine speaks of charity as the oil that endures forever.  We can compare the lamps to the light of faith, but ‘faith alone’ is insufficient for salvation.  As St. James says, “…faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) We must act on the faith that we profess.  We must take the love of God, poured into our hearts through the Eucharist, and invest in real works of charity during the week.  This is what these prudent virgins have done. They planned ahead for the banquet.  We too must plan ahead by being alert today to the opportunity to love.

New Roman Missal
On the First Sunday of Advent, November 27th, we will be using the new translation of the Roman Missal. This is the third edition since the mandate of Vatican II (1962 – 1965) to renew the liturgy.  As we explained last week, the core beliefs and substance of the Mass will not change. The new translation, however, has changed some of the language in order to be more faithful to the universal Latin translation.  Typically, these changes are much closer to the Scriptures connected to the Mass. They also are closer to the Spanish, Italian, and French translations that have always been closer to the Latin. This should help foster a greater sense of unity in the Church.

There is a Latin phrase, lex orandi, lex credendi, which translate to “How we pray is how we believe”.  This means that the structure, which includes the language, of our prayer is formative.  How we pray affects the formation of our faith.  St. Paul put this truth as “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”  When we worship, we are immersed in the Words of God as we attempt to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth.  The truth of lex orandi, lex credendi is sometimes expanded to include lex vivendi, "how we live".  How we pray affects how we believe; how we believe affects how we live. Therefore, completing the equation, how we pray affects how we live. The new translation is meant to bring our lives into a greater conformity with the Word of God.

As our New Testament reading said this past week, “And for this reason we too give thanks to God unceasingly, that, in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received not a human word but, as it truly is, the word of God, which is now at work in you who believe.” (1 Thess 2)  I’m grateful for all the ways that God is powerfully at work here at St. Stephens.  Receiving this new translation will increase the life of grace within us.  I hope to take quality time during the Mass itself in order to more deeply explain why we do certain things during the Mass and why the changes make good sense.  Please join me in praying for a successful implementation of the New Roman Missal.

Here is a parishioner’s experience of the movie “Courageous”, which I recommend especially to men, but here is a woman’s perspective.  This is a brief summary of Beth’s comments.  If possible, I’ll include the full review next week:

"I received a powerful call last weekend. A “wake up” call that is. The movie is called “Courageous”.  This is a MUST SEE movie. To  all wise and spirit filled women, young and old alike…take heart.
Evangelization of our faith must begin in our own homes. “Courageous” is God’s sweet invitation to examine… sharpen…  and embrace what we each call family, with Jesus Christ as the glorious centerpiece of it all. 

Gift yourself and your family.  Make time to experience “Courageous”.  Take a hanky (or two!), and if this movie does not move your  heart and mind… the buttered popcorn is on me.” ~ Beth Motola

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