Have you asked God what he wants? 

Divine Providence – God loved each of us into existence – His love governs every instant and action of our lives – a constant all-encompassing care towards our ultimate end – our perfection see CCC 302 and 321 

“He holds in His hands the depths of the earth.” The invitatory psalm of the Liturgy of the Hours (He holds in His hands the depths of my life) – all my worries, troubles, nagging concerns, my challenges, my struggles, my phobias….nothing is beyond His tender, infallible protection.  He shepherds the minutest details of our daily lives. 

Therefore, Divine Providence literally “fore-sees” every circumstance and concern of our existence.  Saint Claude de la Columbriere says that “it is one of the most firmly established and most consoling of the truths that have been revealed to us that (apart from sin) nothing happens to us in life unless God wills it so.”  God is so very good that His will is always the best for us.  It can’t be any other…Divine Providence is God’s inscrutable strategy to bring about our happiness.  The great spiritual master Jesuit Jean-Pierre de Caussade wrote in what some consider the greatest spiritual masterpiece of all-time, Abandonment to Divine Providence, “everything has a supernatural quality; something divine about it that can lead us onward to holiness.  Everything is part of that completeness which is Jesus Christ.” 

If we come to believe this, the only logical response is to surrender ourselves to it.  St. Catherine of Siena came to believe this when God the Father speaks through her prayer; “whatever I do to provide for the body is done for the good of the soul, to make you grow in the light of faith, to make you trust in me and give up trusting in yourself, and to make you see and know that I am who I am and that I can and will and know how to assist you in your need and save you.” 

De Caussade continues; “You are seeking for secret ways of belonging to God, but there is only one: making use of whatever he offers you.  Everything leads you to this union with Him.  For those who have surrendered themselves completely to God, all they are and do has power.” 

De Caussade speaks famously of “the sacrament of the present moment:” “What God arranges for us to experience at each moment is the best and holiest thing that could happen to us…Every moment we live through is like an ambassador who declares the will of God, an our hearts always utter their acceptance.  We can find all that is necessary in the present moment…at every moment God’s will produces what is needful for the task at hand, and the simple soul, instructed by faith, finds everything as it should be and wants neither more nor less than what it has.” 

The Father instructs us through St. Catherine, “Fall in love with my providence!”  

Let us do so with confidence and certainty expressed in the prayer of St. Teresa of Avila:  “Lord, you know all things, can do all things, and you love me.”

Preparing for the Roman Missal, Third Edition: The Newly Translated Prefaces - September 2011

The Eucharistic prayer -biblically inspired and transmitted orally - in the 4th century the Roman Canon emerged which we use today.

Five parts that surround the consecration;

  1. Dialogue, "The Lord be with you... And with your spirit... Lift up your hearts... We lift them up to the Lord... Let us give thanks to the Lord our God... It is right to give Him thanks and praise... "
  2. Preface
  3. Holy, Holy, Holy or Sanctus
  4. Doxology, "Through Him, and with Him, and in Him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever."
  5. The Amen

Prefaces - initial part of the Eucharistic prayer (Eucharist means thanksgiving) - Because of where this prayer is situated after the "lifting up of our hearts to the Lord" and prior to the direct address to the "trice-holy God" in the Holy, Holy, Holy....the preface is supposed to excite the devotion of the people who have called to lift up their hearts (St. Thomas Aquinas).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church provides a description of the prefaces' typical contents. "...the Church gives thanks to the Father, through Christ, in the Holy Spirit, for all the works: creation, redemption, and sanctification. The whole community thus joins in the unending praise that the Church in heaven, the angels and all the saints, sing to the thrice-holy God."

Introductory dialogue of the preface is given by the priest "It is right to give you thanks and praise." - this is traced to the 3rd century - Saint Cyprian of Carthage - "Dignum et iustum est," which means literally in Latin "It is just and right."

An example of a new preface - the Preface I of Advent:

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, Holy Father, almighty and eternal God, through Christ our Lord.
  • More faithful to the original Latin
  • Retains its poetic quality
  • It will retain a certain pattern: the celebrant, in the name of the people present and indeed of all the Church, proclaims that thanksgiving is due to God the Father through Christ.

The motive of all of this is to render praise and thanksgiving to God on this particular day - thus the preface can vary according to the liturgical season or feast that is celebrated to recall something pertinent about God's wonderful deeds (why we give thanks and praise).

The concluding part invokes continuous praise rendered by angels and saints to God in heaven and invites the earthly community to join in this praise, thus providing the transition to the Sanctus. This is a fitting prelude to the great acclamation of the thrice-holy God:

And so, with Angles and Archangels,
with Thrones and Dominions,
and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven,
we sing the hymn of your glory
as without end we acclaim:

At the end of the preface we all join in the Sanctus (the Holy, Holy, Holy) there will be a slight change in the first line of this acclamation; instead of "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might" we will be saying "Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of your glory, Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest."

  • This is a significant moment in the Mass since the entire Eucharistic prayer is the center of the celebration
  • This is no ordinary acclamation - based on Isaiah (6:3) where the prophet sees a vision of God sitting on a lofty throne in the presence of the angels

"In the year of King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"

  • So we join with the angels in this song - we now are boldly and directly addressing God - we thus are singing a universal hymn of praise - all creation sings its theme song.

The status and importance of the Sanctus is seen in the new word "Hosts" - in Latin and Hebrew this word means "Sabaoth" and it refers to God's command of the army of angels - therefore we proclaim more purely God's power and might - hosts means angelic hosts - the invisible powers that work at God's command - this simple change emphasizes the sublime power of God who has all forces of nature under His control - remember shortly after this prayer we are asking the Holy Spirit to exercise that power in changing the bread and wine into the Body an Blood of Christ.

Preparing for the Roman Missal Third Edition - August 2011

Sensing the Sacred - James Monti (author)

The Liturgy is not about us, but about God - Pope Benedict XVI

"about God" is what we call sacred - it testifies to things of heaven - this is distinct from what is temporal or earthly

Hence - the sacred calls for a distinct form of human experience, a different way of speaking, of conducting ourselves - because what is sacred is addressed to God.

Monti states that our culture has eviscerated (removed) the distinction of Christ as man and as God...the changes in the missal then are directed to deepen the sense of the sacred. Christ continually calls us to the sacred. Immediately after washing the feet of the apostles during the Last Supper, Christ told them, recorded in John 13:13, "you call me 'teacher' and 'master,' and rightly so, for indeed I am." - in Exodus 3:14 we read..."So Moses decided, "I must go over to look at this remarkable sight, and see why the bush is not burned." When the Lord saw him coming over to look at it more closely, god called out to him from the bush, "Moses! Moses!" He answered, "Here I am."

In paragraph 211 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church we are reminded that..."The divine name, "I Am" or "He Is", expresses God's faithfulness: despite the faithlessness of men's sin and the punishment it deserves, he keeps "steadfast love for thousands"... And in paragraph 207 we are reminded that "God, who reveals his name as "I AM", reveals himself as the God who is always there, present to his people in order to save them. "By giving his life to free us from sin, Jesus reveals that he himself bears the divine name: "When you have lifted up the Son of man, then you will realize that 'I AM'."

Words like "soul" and "adore" are restored - also restored are pieces of the old missal that were totally left out of the 1970 second edition - in the Confiteor of the Penitential rite where we say "I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault...the Third Edition will restore the sacred lines..."through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault..."

Eliminated will be a memorial acclamation which never previously existed (until 1970) - Monti tells us that it was just invented - "Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again..." - this will be dropped due to the inconsistent nature of the phrase. After the miracle of transubstantiation we fittingly welcome Christ with salutations, not declarations (like "Christ has died..."). The salutations order the event to the sacred - they are addressed to Christ...."dying you destroyed our death," or when we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus," or "Lord by your cross and resurrection you have set us free. You are the Savior of the world."

We must remember in the new missal will be a recovery of sacred language with unfamiliar theological terms all in an effort to ennoble human life, to bestows nobility upon our lowly existence, so that we can raise our eyes to the celestial Jerusalem that awaits us. If we need a sense of sacred in our daily lives how much more do we need it in the sanctuaries of our churches, where heaven is wedded to earth in the holy liturgy.

Preparing for the Roman Missal Third Edition - July 25, 2011

From Father Roch Kereszky - professor at the University of Dallas, author

The revised edition seeks to recover the full original meaning of the words of the early Christian liturgy - these words are rich in poetry, theology, and biblical illusions. (Father Colon added that due to the international nature of the universal liturgy where many countries use Latin as their vernacular specific words are being changed to offer a universal liturgy more true to their original meaning within our sacred worship).

Two changes will be presented today to help us make the transition more fruitful

  • After the priest's greeting "The Lord be with you" the faithful will respond "And with your spirit" instead of "And also with you".
    • "The Lord be with you" is a powerful biblical greeting in both the Old and New Testaments especially when from a messenger from God such as when an angel or an apostle meets someone to whom he was sent
      • These are the words with which the angel greets Mary in Luke 1:28 - he states that the Lord God is with Mary in a uniquely intimate way in that the Lord may be more powerfully present in her when she will conceive the child Jesus in her womb.
      • When the priest greets us with these same precious words the hope is that all the faithful may become more like Mary so that Christ may be shaped and formed in them as well (Gal 4:19).
    • The word spirit does not mean the soul as opposed to the body. The word spirit refers to pneuma - a key term in the Greek New Testament. Its meaning ranges from...
      • The person of the Holy Spirit
      • His manifold gifts within us
      • The highest part of our souls
        • Our spirit is like our "radio antenna" the very top of our selves, through which the Holy Spirit enters us so that our Spirit-filled spirit my in turn transform our souls and bodies (1 Thes 5:23)
        • We are saying that the Lord is present to his spirit - the greeting then is an acknowledgement of the Lord Jesus' presence in the congregation and the minister and a wish that his presence may fill us with his Spirit and transform us unto his image and likeness.
  • At the consecration of the chalice in the phrase "this is the cup of my blood...which will be shed for you and for all," the last word will be changed from "all" to "many". This is accord with the Latin term multis. Saying that he died for many is a more faithful translation of what Jesus actually said. When quoting Jesus at the Last Supper, the closest witnesses we have to Jesus' own words, all clearly choose phrases that mean "for many" and not "for all".
    • It seems that Jesus chose to say "for many" at the Last Supper to show that he fulfills the role of the Suffering Servant as foretold by Isaiah who would take away the sins of "many," and will justify "the many" by his vicarious suffering and death (53:11,12). The many means here an indefinitely large multitude consisting of both Israel and many other nations (52:13,15)
    • It seems to remind us that the Eucharist is a covenant meal one that must be embraced by both parties; the offerer and the recipient (the innumerable throng of those who accept in faith the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of their sins).
      • Entry into the New and Eternal Covenant is truly open to all, but the benefits of the Covenant belong to those who freely accepted it. "Shed for many" respects the secret counsel of God and leaves the exact number of the elect to God's mercy.
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