Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Be watchful! Be alert!": A new translation, a new season keep us devoted and alert in the present and full of hope for a future of faith and love

"Be watchful! Be alert!"

We must all be very watchful, both the congregation of their misalettes or pew cards and the priest his Missal, so that we can launch this new English translation in a serene and prayerful manner.

But if we should make a mistake we certainly do not draw attention to it or ourselves by reacting but, rather, continue with devotion to participate in the flow of the liturgy, being present to what is taking place. In this way we will grow with practice and patience to internalize the beauty of the liturgy which comes to us through this new English translation so that our spiritual lives of Faith may always benefit.

It is very appropriate that we begin this new "page" as it were in the liturgical life of our beloved Church at the same time that the Church launches a new year in the life of faith with Advent. Both work together to help us become more vigilant, more watchful in Faith for the Lord and his "coming", which is what the word Advent means.

"When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior's first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. By celebrating the precursor's birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: 'He must increase, but I must decrease.' " (CCC 524)

It is authentic Faith which rouses us to be alert through prayer in love for the Lord.

"Pray constantly . . . always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father." St. Paul adds, "Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance making supplication for all the saints." For "we have not been commanded to work, to keep watch and to fast constantly, but it has been laid down that we are to pray without ceasing." This tireless fervor can come only from love. Against our dullness and laziness, the battle of prayer is that of humble, trusting, and persevering love. This love opens our hearts to three enlightening and life-giving facts of faith about prayer. (CCC CCC 2742)

The gift of a beautiful new translation for the prayers of holy Mass enables us to better keep our loving watch in a Faith both energetic and profound. Because these new prayers are more faithful both to the Scriptural foundations of holy Mass as well as to the entire liturgical tradition handed down in the Holy Spirit from Christ through the Apostles we can confidently entrust ourselves to a wholehearted acceptance of the gift.

"This tireless fervor can come only from love."

At times we grow weary and give in to a worldly fatigue which results from relying upon our own resources, without reference to God and failing to see our everyday potential for receiving and living God's life-giving and merciful love. This Advent we open our minds and hearts with renewed devotion through the gift of the new translation of Mass to this possibility for us and for every human person. It is prayer which opens us to God and gives us a living and loving communion with him:

Prayer which is always possible. (CCC 2743)

Prayer which is a vital necessity. (CCC 2744)

Prayer which is inseparable from our Christian life. (CCC 2745)

Let us turn always anew to the beautiful prayer of holy Mass with hearts alert in Faith evident through a tireless readiness for God and His love. When we accept the Lord with love as He comes to us anew each time through the Church, in the Word and Sacrament of the liturgy of holy Mass and in a life marked by the rhythms of prayer, we are able then to return ourselves to God in life and love.


No comments: