‘Latinese’ when plain English will do

Note: U.S. Catholic bishops gave final approval Tuesday to an English translation of the Roman Missal that has been in … Continued

Note: U.S. Catholic bishops gave final approval Tuesday to an English translation of the Roman Missal that has been in development for years. After the Vatican gives its final authorization, the new translation will be adopted by parishes nationwide, possibly next year.

Sometime soon, Catholic America will be asked to “unlearn” our cherished prayers at Mass. As a result of a command to retranslate the Roman Missal, we are on schedule to be reprogrammed when praying at Mass. I am usually in favor of change in order to further the work of the Church, but in this case I wonder why we are trading in English for Latinese.

The word “Latinese” is my invention; but as a professor of many years, I know Latinese when I see it. It is a made-up language that is technically English, but which sounds like Latin. Some students think that big words make you into an intellectual so they avoid plain English. I am not the only professor to prefer plain English, however, and I wish that the Vatican bureaucrats pushing Latinese would agree.

I am not against Latin-derived words; they are irrevocable parts of the English language. I only oppose using Latinese when it gets in the way of clarity. For example, we have grown used to professing our faith saying that Jesus “was born of the Virgin Mary:” We will now speak in Latinese and say he was “made incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” Get used to other Latinese words like “consubstantial,” “‘ignominy,” “ineffable,” “gibbet” and “unvanquished.”

I took four years of Latin at St. Joe’s Prep in Philadelphia, and earned 90′s every semester. I got to the point of sight-reading the Aeneid and still have no difficulty with the original Latin of St. Thomas’ Summa, but that’s not the experience of most people in the pews.

Try this:

Latin, having been used during the centuries when, from apostolic origins, continuing in the traditions of the Roman Church and the experiences of holy men and women of Christendom whenever the identification of theological preciseness being constantly required in the articulation of the faith, while being fostered and preserved through the use of gender and temporality designates, is preferred.

The sentence above is Latinese. At 59 words, it is shorter than one sentence in the new missal for the Preface of the Feast of Christ the King that has 88 words spread out over 13 lines. And this Latinese is better than other places where sentences roll on without verbs! I suggest interested readers consult the comments of Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, who also said at the Catholic University in Washington:

The Latin text is not inspired. It is a human text, reflecting a certain mindset, theology and worldview. … Because of literal translation in the new missal, complicated Latin wording has become complicated English wording.”

The reasons given in favor of the retranslation are laudable: a single English text for all English speakers in the world, from Pakistan to Peoria and conformity with a central Latin version. I suppose a case can be made for such issues, but I am less receptive to the notion voiced by some Vatican bureaucrats that speaking to God in prayer in plain everyday language lacks “transcendence.” It is a non sequitur (real Latin!) that unintelligibility makes you holy.

Moreover, when the new translation was “tested,” the reactions were mostly negative. In the end, most churchgoers will go along with the changes because we love the Church, even if we don’t always understand its administrative decision. But what about the younger generations of Catholics who have never attended a Latin Mass in their lives? They will never have nostalgic feelings about the transcendence of Latin. And this new Latinese is at a distinct disadvantage against Facebook and MP3 downloads. Aren’t we making worship more remote? I am against taking pastoral concern for liturgical celebrations away from Catholic America and giving it to unseen Vatican bureaucrats. The prayer of the Church belong to all of us!

In the end, I wouldn’t be surprised to see bishops start giving special permission for Mass in the rite we have now. After all, the Church allows the original Latin Mass for old-timers and an Anglican ritual for Anglican converts: shouldn’t Catholic America get equal treatment? Happily, I have an escape until that happens because Bishop Trautman says the Spanish translation is better than the English one. Sí, Padrecito.

About

Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo Anthony M. Stevens-Arroyo is Professor Emeritus of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College and Distinguished Scholar of the City University of New York.
  • ccnl1

    Lets try some truth in place of language manipulations:To wit: (for those eyes that have not seen)Jesus was an illiterate Jewish peasant/carpenter/simple preacher man who suffered from hallucinations and who has been characterized anywhere from the Messiah from Nazareth to a mythical character from mythical Nazareth to a mamzer from Nazareth (Professor Bruce Chilton, in his book Rabbi Jesus). Analyses of Jesus’ life by many contemporary NT scholars (e.g. Professors Crossan, Borg and Fredriksen, On Faith panelists) via the NT and related documents have concluded that only about 30% of Jesus’ sayings and ways noted in the NT were authentic. The rest being embellishments (e.g. miracles)/hallucinations made/had by the NT authors to impress various Christian, Jewish and Pagan sects. The 30% of the NT that is “authentic Jesus” like everything in life was borrowed/plagiarized and/or improved from those who came before. In Jesus’ case, it was the ways and sayings of the Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, OT, John the Baptizer and possibly the ways and sayings of traveling Greek Cynics. Current crises:Pedophiliac priests, atonement theology and original sin!!!!Luther, Calvin, Joe Smith, Henry VIII, Wesley, Roger Williams, the Great “Babs” et al, founders of Christian-based religions or combination religions also suffered from the belief in/hallucinations of “pretty wingie thingie” visits and “prophecies” for profits analogous to the myths of Catholicism (resurrections, apparitions, ascensions and immaculate conceptions).Current crises: Adulterous preachers, “propheteering/ profiteering” evangelicals and atonement theology, all male hierarchies and strange banking and funding.

  • tojby_2000

    Christianism began as a Roman mystery cult and has had, from its inception, an internal drive to return to its roots. By further separating the believers from their deity via language, the Church works toward a basic goal: The enhancement of the priest as intermediary.

  • Jumpy66

    As I read the comments here, I find it interesting that so many nonbelievers feel compelled to share their vapid views, especially when those views have virtually nothing to do with the topic at hand: the language of the mass. To those I would suggest trying to find out what is missing in your life that you feel the need to “convert” those with faith into your meandering, wayward and empty philosophies.

  • wolfeken

    Yes, professor, we are all stupid. Catholics are just too dumb to hear a proper translation of the Latin. The words should be re-written to speak to us.Also, it is obvious you are clueless on the traditional Latin Mass movement. “Old timers” are often in their 20s and 30s at nearly every traditional Latin Mass I’ve been to.

  • withouthavingseen

    Hello Prof. Stevens-Arroyo,Your points about Latinese (I like your new word, by the way) are mostly well made. Big words mask ignorance at least as often as they manifest intelligence. I think it funny that you included “gibbet” in your list of Latinese words that the faithful will have to learn. It’s funny because gibbet is so clearly not latinate, but germanic. In fact, my dictionary says it is probably Frankish, so we get it by way of French, which is how we get most of our latinate words.I do object to the dumbing down of things, though, because it is condescending to the average person. The solution to the deterioration of education is NOT to deteriorate everything else; that only enables the illness.The question with the Mass is whether we in the US are praying with the rest of the Church. Now, I do not have a strong preference for “incarnate of the Virgin Mary.” In my own opinion, “born” probably works fine, except that they do not mean the same thing, and the distinction may be important.But the Latin text of the Paul VI Mass does in fact say things like, “for the praise and glory of his name, for our good, and the good of his holy church.” Yet the English used in the US translates “totiusque Ecclesiae suae sanctae” as “and of all his church,” when the Latin clearly says “and of all his holy church.”Why is “holy” left out? I will not speculate on whether there were theological motivations. It is enough to say that at many points we haven’t got a translation at all, yet, but a paraphrasing.The Spanish Mass is a better translation because it is a translation. Spanish is more closely cognate to Latin, so it is easier for a man on the street to verify a translation of it. One with the intellect of Bishop Trautman should have been able to render an adequate translation on the first go-around.I’ve been to the Tridentine Mass like five times. I have no great love of it, and no nostalgia.But I do want to pray the Mass with the rest of the Church, and not have our own special version.Ryan Haber

  • ccnl1

    Hmmm, the language of the RCC Mass???If the myths of the Mass were deleted, there would be very little text left and therefore no proper language to worry about. Some examples:”Communion is not Jesus’ physical body and blood since if there is something like an everlasting soul, said soul exists as a spirit therefore has no physical form.From the class notes at a large Catholic university’s graduate theology course: “Transubstantiation is still a Catholic doctrine, but it never meant a Transubstantiation is a way of[Note: both Episcopalians and Lutherans believe in the real presence ofThen there is all that mumbo jumbo in the Apostles’ creed where the only certifiable and common sense statement is:”suffered under Pontius Pilate,continued below:

  • Mary_Cunningham

    CCNLYou should really read some Pascal. All of Crossan’s (and your} objections were dealt with some 350 years ago by this Frenchman.Try the

  • Mary_Cunningham

    PS Also, Professor, we need the traditional language to access the great sung Masses, surely one of the wonders of Catholicism and a gift of the Church to a sad and wearied world.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    All of Islam’s services are in traditional Arabic and Muslims seem to have no trouble accessing the meaning of their faith. Similarly Judaism with Hebrew. Why shouldn’t Catholics access their religion through the language of the ancients?The readings and homily are in the vernacular, and have been, well, in England since the Douay translation in, 1650 (I think). We are only talking about the liturgy, a much smaller component of the Mass, although admittedly the most sacred.

  • usapdx

    AND WHY DO YOU THINK CATHOLIC BIBLE WAS IN LATIN FOR SO LONG? P.S. NEXT TIME YOUR IN BORDERS, GO TO THE BIBLE SECTION AND JUST LOOK THROUGH SOME BIBLES TO SEE WHICH ARE MORE UNDERSTANDING VRS RCC BIBLE. AT THE CONSECRATION AT MASS, WHY IS IT SAID ” SO SINS may BE FORGIVEN INSTEAD OF will BE FORGIVEN? ARE THE MEMBERS BEING TAKEN FOR A RIDE AGAIN?

  • elizdelphi

    I’m stunned by Mr Stevens-Arroyo’s grumbling against a strawman concept of what he claims is the supposedly awkward and gibberish-like new translation of the Mass. I cannot see where he is coming from, I like the new translation and this article offers NO examples of awkward renderings from Latin, from the actual translation of the Mass. The “latinese” passage he presents is obviously a slavishly word for word translation of something, which is not part of the Mass. This is simply not at all representative of what the new English text of the Mass will be lke. The current English translation of the Mass often does not accurately reflect the meanings of the official Latin text. That’s the problem and the reason for a new translation. The new text is attentive to getting the meaning of the Latin into the English language Mass. That’s all, it’s not some crazy gobbledygook and it’s not hugely different. It will take a little adjusting and some people will grumble immaturely like Mr. Stevens-Arroyo, and some people will protest even worse than him, as if the old translation was something wonderful and precious and this is a terrible and incomprehensible blow. But you know what, nobody is going to schism over it because it just is not that big a deal.Let us adapt graciously to this “distressing” situation of having to pray in slightly different words.

  • C-O-D

    Can we please stop giving this idiot [ASA] a pulpit? I find it amazing that a person claiming to be “Catholic” can be opposed to the faith on so many diverse issues. Please find another affiliation, ‘professor.’

  • bjameswi

    As a former Catholic who grew up in the 60′s and 70′s, I completely agree with the author’s premise that this change will alienate many of the younger generation. It won’t make many of the older ones happy either who will correctly see this move as being not about reaching out to the faithful, but about “correcting” doctrinal drift. In short, this new translation really does nothing for native English-speakers, other than force them to surrender years of ritualistic habit in exchange for words that will be less meaningful *to them*. Rarified language means little if the subtleties of meaning are lost, and they will be.No, this is clearly part of the continuing effort by the Vatican since the death of JP2 to overturn and eliminate Vatican II. And they will be successful, folks, have no illusions on that. They will be successful because Catholics everywhere will simply obey. It’s one of the marks of your institution, really, not of your faith. The latter was founded by Yeshua ben Yosuf, who was definitely *not* a conformist. The former was created by men, and any reasonable view of that institution will conclude that it has more often been for the profit of a few, rather than the benefit of the many.I’ve said for years that, in America at least, where we have a celebrated history of seeking freedom, and of accepting the risks that come with it, that American Catholics should probably consider declaring independence from Rome. There’s no reason to think of yourselves as less Catholic; if you’re following the faith, then you’ve put yourselves into the hands of God, rather than a Pope.Just my 2 cents, there.

  • stpetric

    I don’t get people like Bishop Trautman and Mr. Stevens-Arroyo, and their assault on attempts to make a better translation of the liturgy. The present version is extraordinarily banal English and — what’s worse — a poor reflection of the Latin original!We pew-sitters are not stupid: We’ll catch on just fine to words like “incarnate” and “consubstantial”. And in the long run, we’ll be better off with them than we are with the pabulum we’re fed now.

  • bjameswi

    @STPETRIC:It’s not a question of whether or not you’re stupid. It’s a question of the words themselves, the subtleties of their meaning, and the benefit to average church-goer. Because like it or not, if you don’t aim for the middle of the crowd, you’re going to lose more then you keep.The average Catholic is not going to understand or appreciate the differences in the phrase “born of” as opposed to “incarnate of”. Yes, I agree, there are differences, and the meaning of the latter is probably more in keeping with the original texts (I say “probably” because I don’t read the languages in which the original texts are written… which is undoubtedly true of most Catholics). But those differences are going to be meaningless, given that most people would interpret “born of” to mean that “God became human and arrived in this world by being born”. They won’t interpret “incarnate of” at all, because that language formation isn’t used in any version of English they’re likely to speak or read. They will have to be *told* what it means… Which, in my opinion, is exactly the point. The Church is trying to return to an era where the majority of worshipers will have to rely on clergy to tell them what all these words (that they are required to parrot during services) actually mean. And that means the Church can start to avoid all that pesky independent thought that comes along with independent analysis and interpretation.

  • FrPius

    Mr. Stevens-Arroyo,I understand your position, and sympathize for your emotional attachment to the current translation of the Mass. Nonetheless, I think you fail to see the problems of your perspective. Your approach makes the personal experience of the words more important than what the words actually mean. I hope that by using one of your own examples, I can show you why this is so problematic.In your text you lament the fact change from “born” to “made incarnate”. It would be helpful to look at this whole passage in context. The current translation reads: “by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man”Let’s start first with the theological problem. Was it the power of the Holy Spirit that caused his _birth_? No. One could mistakenly conclude from this text that the body of Jesus was not united to his divinity until his birth. Rather, it is at the moment of his creation in the womb that–by the power of the Holy Spirit–the created body of Jesus is united to his divinity. In addition, in English the word ‘incarnation’ in its historical usage has conveyed the full understanding of the relation between the Word and the flesh of Jesus in a way being ‘born’ does not.Second, let’s look at other Christian denominations. In 1978, an international body prepared an ecumenical translation of the Creed. What language did they use? “he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary”. What about other Christian Churches? The Anglican Book of Common Worship? Incarnate. The Lutheran books of worship? incarnate. The Orthodox Church in America? Incarnate. The Coptic Orthodox Church? Incarnate. The vast majority of Christian denominations have translated the Creed using the customary theological word, incarnate.There are real theological problems with the current Catholic Mass text in English. Holding on to them simply because we are used to them is no answer. We must be honest with ourselves that the 19773 translation was terribly flawed, and that they must be changed. And they must be done attentive to the fact that words have a meaning and a history. We must begin to restore the theological language and vocabulary of the Church. Like it or not, that language–even in English–has its roots in Latin.

  • CCNL

    Mary C,Maybe you can give us a rebuttal to Professor Crossan et al’s conclusions about Catholicism and the simple, preacher man aka Jesus using Pensees. Might want to read the following first.”Pascal’s most influential theological work, referred to posthumously as the Pensées (“Thoughts”), was not completed before his death. It was to have been a sustained and coherent examination and defense of the Christian faith, with the original title Apologie de la religion Chrétienne (“Defense of the Christian Religion”). What was found upon sifting through his personal items after his death were numerous scraps of paper with isolated thoughts, grouped in a tentative, but telling, order. The first version of the detached notes appeared in print as a book in 1670 titled Pensées de M. Pascal sur la religion, et sur quelques autres sujets (“Thoughts of M. Pascal on religion, and on some other subjects”) and soon thereafter became a classic. One of the Apologie’s main strategies was to use the contradictory philosophies of skepticism and stoicism, personalized by Montaigne on one hand, and Epictetus on the other, in order to bring the unbeliever to such despair and confusion that he would embrace God. This strategy was deemed quite hazardous by Pierre Nicole, Antoine Arnauld and other friends and scholars of Port-Royal, who were concerned that these fragmentary “thoughts” might lead to skepticism rather than to piety. Henceforth, they concealed the skeptical pieces and modified some of the rest, lest King or Church should take offense[23] for at that time the persecution of Port-Royal had ceased, and the editors were not interested in a renewal of controversy. Not until the nineteenth century were the Pensées published in their full and authentic text.”

  • FrPius

    So the single primary rule guiding translation should be to choose the word with the least number of syllables? Please explain why this is the best hermeneutic to guide liturgical translation.

  • norriehoyt

    Actually of course:MADE INCARNATE = 4 syllablesAll the more to the point.

  • Grabski

    I took four years of Latin at St. Joe’s Prep in Philadelphia, and earned 90′s every semester……..Then you know that ‘credo’ (I believe) does not mean “I believe’; pro multis (for many) does not mean ‘for all’, and et cum spirit tutuo (and with your spirit) doees not mean and also with you. I know a few languages (including Portuguese) and the translations are true to the Latin. The English translations are not true to the Latin. We have the right, and the Bishops have the fiduciary responsibility, to be able to proclaim what the Church teaches, not what moved the translators in the unfortunate 1970s.BTW: does anyone really “cherish” the current translation?

  • Grabski

    Whoops! Credo (I believe) does not mean ‘we believe”….

  • missingwisc

    Re: FrPius And yes, I have a feeling that many priests, especially in rural areas won’t even bother with the “Latinese.” In rural Wisconsin, my parent’s priest even does a mass confession during the Easter/Christmas season. There aren’t enough priests in the area to hold individual confessions, so he covers the 7 deadly sins, everyone prays (or sleeps) in the darkened church, and then leave. That’s my idea of confession!

  • norriehoyt

    FRPIUS,I don’t know anything about hermeneutics but I do know that “Brevity is the soul of wit (i.e., intelligence)”.Fewer syllables = greater and easier comprehension and more retentiveness in the mind.Aren’t these desirable qualities for a mass or other religious text or ceremony?Please consider:[from BREVITY – KEEP IT SHORT !!!Brevity concerns two things:Sentence length and word length.Research done by the UK Industrial Psychologists (IIP). They prepared 3 sentences of varyingResults: -Sentence Length Understanding at one reading27 4%More words do not usually mean more understanding, usually the opposite.Estimate of the number of words in the following:-Ten Commandments – the basis of Christian moral code (130)US constitution – the basis for the moral, legal and social way of lifeEEC Directive on Aubergines – practically unknown (+17,000)EEC Regulations on Caramel and Chocolate – (>29,000)CLARITY – KEEP IT SIMPLE !!!*******************************************And don’t turn your central religious ritual into a recipe for caramel/chocolate syrup.

  • dforaste

    Since substantial portions of the Latin Mass are questionable translations of Greek originals, if the Church wanted to get the theology straight, it would do better to make a fresh translation into English from the sources like the Nicene Creed. As Lucretius said of his native tongue, Latin ain’t made for philosophizing. As for canards such as ‘et cum spiritu tuo’ meaning ‘and with your spirit’ not the now used ‘and also with you,’ modern translation theory requires one to render one language’s meaning into another’s. If a literal translation obscures actual meaning, it is perforce a bad translation. For example, the Vulgate synoptic gospels all translate the Greek Υπαγε ὀπίσω μου, Σατανᾶ as Vade post me Satana. ‘To get behind’ someone in American English means ‘to become a supporter of,’ not what the Greek means. Nor is the Latin good Latin. It is actually incomprehensible. Most modern translations would render this clause as ‘get away from me, Satan,’ which is what the Greek means. Similarly, ‘et cum spiritu tuo’ means ‘and with the authentic you.’ There’s no attempt to produce a Manichean dichotomy of body and soul/spirit. It seems the revision of the translation of the Mass leaves a lot to be desired in terms of theological and linguistic precision. As a Catholic who remembers the dark days of inattention to the pre-Vatican II Mass of my childhood, it was by God’s grace I became a Classics professor and no thanks to that Latin experience.

  • ThomasBaum

    Grabski You wrote, “et cum spirit tutuo (and with your spirit) doees not mean and also with you.”I imagine that you are referring to the response given after: “The Lord be with you” being “And also with you”.Didn’t Jesus say, “I will be with you until the end of the age.”He didn’t say “with your spirit” but “with you”.Maybe instead of being in sync with the “Latin”, we should attempt to be in sync with what Jesus said.You also wrote, “BTW: does anyone really “cherish” the current translation?”If people would actually let the “simplicity” of the words sink into their hearts and “ponder” them, they might see the “beauty” of what the words say rather than the pretty of the flow of the words.Back to your example, “And also with you”, Jesus does not want to be with just our “spirit” but with the “whole person”.”Take My yoke upon you”, “Come follow Me”, Jesus did not ask us to “do it alone” but with Him as “One” just as the “yoked” did it as one.Isn’t it sad that we can get so caught up in “Church things” that we sometimes seem to lose sight of the FACT that Jesus said, “Come follow Me”, He did NOT say ‘follow My Church’ or ‘follow those that say they are following Me’, did He?”When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith?”Sound familiar?By the way, Jesus spoke in the vernacular and I would imagine that it was not the vernacular of the ruling class but of the everyday working class.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • dforaste

    I read the changes. Most of them are just stupid. But along with consubstantial, the bastard child of Scholasticism, one particularly grating one is from the consecration of the wine that quotes 1 Corinthians 11. For where the Greek says τὸ ποτήριον that the Vulgate adequately translates as calix, i.e., a kind of cup, the new English translation now mistranslates as “chalice.” One suspects an attempt to justify expensive liturgical vessels with this translation, a medieval semantic shift in the word that comes straight from liturgical practice. Once one starts using a gold chalice in the mass, calix takes on a new meaning of a decorated stemmed goblet made of precious metal. Both ποτήριον and calix mean ‘cup’ not chalice. The -ιον is a diminutive. A really misleading translation. I cannot believe that the collective Latin of the episcopacy is that bad. There’s a little bit of cheating going on here. The Lewis and Short Latin Dictionary entry for calix is below.călix , ĭcis, m. root cal-, cover; cf. caligo; Germ. Kelch.

  • Grabski

    Thomas BaumI guess you’re making my point for me. We are discussing translation, and the examples that you give have nothing to do with translation.We have the right to have the prayers faithfully translated. And the authorities have the fiduciary responsibility to prepare it for us. And we must clear out much dust that blew in when we opened the windows to the world.Credo has a plain meaning: We believe. Et cum spirit tu tuo means ‘and with your spirit’. Pro Multis means ‘for many’. Why is the Left so intent on not giving the people in the pews what is clear to anyone with first year Latin? What is the real agenda?

  • agapn9

    I agree that the answer isn’t redoing the mass back into latin based nouns or Greek based – because it takes an expert to explain the context.But it is important for the laity to pray for more holy experts – ie, people of the cloth that love God and wish to find a greater happiness in service and building the kingdom of God.

  • ThomasBaum

    Grabski You wrote, “Why is the Left so intent on not giving the people in the pews what is clear to anyone with first year Latin?”Is the Mass about Latin or about God?You speak of the “Left”, others speak of the “Right” whereas if one looks at Jesus one would not see a “Left or a Right” but the most “Radical” human being that ever set foot on this planet.Jesus will not fit into your “right” box, the reason I say this is your bringing up the “Left” comment, or other people’s “left box or any other “box” that people attempt to put Him in.You then wrote, “And I have yet to hear anyone say they ‘cherish’ the current translation (hehehee)”Not only do I cherish my Catholic Faith, I also cherish the simplicity and directness of the Mass.Jesus wasn’t fancy, Jesus was/is God-Incarnate.I do prefer when the Priest speaks about God at Mass rather than me as in I know that I am a sinner, I do not need to be reminded about it, I want to hear what God has done not what I have done, and I am thankful that Jesus died ‘not for everybody except me’ but “for everybody including me”.On the cross, when Jesus said, “It is finished” that translates as “PAID IN FULL”.Of course, Jesus also said that there was “work to be done” but He has let us know that the “debt” is “PAID IN FULL”, I believe Him, do you? do others?As it is written, “I will send the simple to confound the wise”, something to think about.Jesus died for “others”, Jesus said, “Come follow Me”, it should be obvious what Jesus is asking of us, don’t you think?Christianity is not about picking up a “get out of hell” card, it is about following Jesus and each and every one of us has a different “cross” to carry, Jesus did not call us to be “clones”.Have you ever heard during the Mass, “Have Mercy on us ALL”?As it is written, “I desire Mercy, not sacrifice”.We should NEVER let the “pretty” of words get in the way of the “beauty” of what the words are trying to speak to our hearts and minds.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Grabski

    Thomas Paul Moses BaumOne knows that one has carried an argument when the opponent is unable to take simple points head on.Lex orandi, lex credendi goes back centuries. This discussion is about translations and the right of people in the pews to have proper translations.I appreciate your sentiments, but have no idea what it has to do w/ the fiduciary responsibilites of the authorities to us on this quiet important issue.Personally, I find the 1973 translation banal, and a relic of an unfortunate age. Note that I am a Child of VII (born 1958)Peace.

  • ThomasBaum

    agapn9You wrote, “But it is important for the laity to pray for more holy experts – ie, people of the cloth that love God and wish to find a greater happiness in service and building the kingdom of God.”If you remember, Jesus did not pick “holy experts” to be His original Apostles, did He?The laity AND the clergy should pray for the “Will of God”, seems as if there are already enough “holy experts” out there.You speak of “people of the cloth”, what about the “people of the uncloth”?Is there such a thing?We are ALL called to “service” and we are called to “follow Jesus” not follow “people of the cloth”.”People of the cloth” should “feed us” like Jesus said and not just “part of the meal” and hopefully help point us toward God but not get in the way and so should the “people of the uncloth”.As I have said before, Jesus did not call us to be a “bunch of clones”, we all have different “paths” to walk with Jesus, if we take Jesus up on His invitation to “Come follow Me”.God has a Plan and has had a Plan since before Creation, it is referred to as the “mysterious Plan of God, and God’s Plan Will Come to Fruition.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    Grabski You wrote, “One knows that one has carried an argument when the opponent is unable to take simple points head on.”I am not in an argument and I am not an opponent if that is what you are implying what I am trying to say so simply and directly is that we get so caught up in “dogma”, “liturgy”, the “correct” translation of the Latin which happens to be a translation of what came before it, that we sometimes squeeze God right out of it, sad isn’t it?You also wrote, “Personally, I find the 1973 translation banal, and a relic of an unfortunate age. Note that I am a Child of VII (born 1958)”banal “trite, commonplace,” 1840, from Fr. banal, adj. form of ban “decree, legal control” (see ban (v.)). Originally designating things like ovens or mills that belonged to feudal serfs, or else compulsory military service; in either case generalized through “open to everyone” to “commonplace, ordinary,” to “trite, petty.”Says here that “banal” means “open to everyone”, sounds as if you consider the 1973 translation “banal” then it is indeed “catholic”, thanks for pointing that out.May I ask why you consider the translation a “relic of an unfortunate age”?I was born in 1950 and I was an altar boy growing up and I knew what sounds to make when the priest made sounds but, for the most part, I had no idea what these sounds, Latin words, meant.Thank God, that the readings, the Epistle and the Gospel, were in English and also the Sermon.I cherish my Catholic Faith and amazingly but true the Catholic Faith has not been snuffed out by the Catholic Religion.Have you ever met Dad?I was taught in second grade that God Is Love and until God the Father, Dad, came into my heart on 28 Jan 2000, I had no idea that the statement, God Is Love, is quite literal, Love is not an attribute of God but is God’s Very Being.Jesus, God-Incarnate, spoke to us in everyday, some would say banal, language, He spoke in a way that was “open to everyone”, even the “holier than thou’s”, if they were willing to get off their “self-righteousness” and listen.Even some of the “learned” of Jesus’s day were able to learn, one can not “hear” unless one “listens”.You probably know this but it has only been relatively recently that I learned this: The “root” of the word “obedience” comes from: “to listen”, rather interesting.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • FrPius

    missingwisc wrote:>And yes, I have a feeling that many priests, especially in rural areas won’t even bother with the “Latinese.” In rural Wisconsin, my parent’s priest even does a mass confession during the Easter/Christmas season. There aren’t enough priests in the area to hold individual confessions, so he covers the 7 deadly sins, everyone prays (or sleeps) in the darkened church, and then leave. That’s my idea of confession!And this it seems to me is the heart of the problem. Some people want Christ without a cross. They want their religion like they get their entertainment — served up in small, action-packed doses. As if God were the First Entertainer, whose end is to keep me interested. And this seems to be behind much of the arguments I hear against this new translation: that people do not want to be challenged in their faith.Well, love is a challenging thing. And faith requires the active consent of the mind. Christ did not give us a faith we can simply slide through to heaven, but one that is meant to fill up the very core of our lives. And while God may be in Himself ultimately simple, our minds can only receive Him with a certain degree of complexity. We understand only by the hard work of thought and reflection. Anything less is to treat us as children. Worse, it is to treat grace as if it were some magic formula that is cast on us so we can enter those equally magical pearly gates. It is to say that God is not worth our effort.

  • FrPius

    Dear norriehoyt,But we’re talking about translation, not original composition. We’re not coming up with a new Rite in English, we’re attempting to convey the Latin original. And these have a great deal of meaning packed in them, and sometimes with a great many words. Your approach obscures the meaning in an attempt to lessen the number of words. Also, you assume the purpose of Mass is maximum comprehension at each sitting. The Mass is a prayer that we enter into through the whole of our lives. It’s not a book we get through at one sitting. It’s not meant to be ingested in an hour and perfectly understood. It is meant to be prayed over for a lifetime, just as our coming to holiness happens not in a day but in the lifetime God has given to us.I must say, many of the people opposed to this new translation have an almost Rationalistic world-view, which they impose on the Mysteries of Christ.

  • CCNL

    In case this was missed with all the gibberish from the sad and sick “vote-in-Sarah-Pal-in” aka “imposter monster”From: “The true meaning of Jesus: a matter of faith, not of historyScholarship questioning the Gospels’ events amplify deeper meaning. By Craig Eisendrath”Another challenge comes from the Biblical scholar Geza Vermes, who points out that phrases about Jesus would have had vastly different meanings in Aramaic or Hebrew, the language he used, than in Greek or Latin, the language of the New Testament. (See his The Changing Faces of Jesus, Viking, 2001, Vermes points out, for example, “In Hebrew or Aramaic ‘son of God’ is always employed figuratively as a metaphor for a child of God, where in Greek addressed to Gentile Christians, grown up in a religious culture [the Hellenistic world] filled with gods, sons of gods, and demigods, the New Testament expressions tended to be understood literally as ‘Son of God,’ spelled as it were with a capital letter: that is to say, as someone of the same nature as God.”Vermes points out that “virgin” in Isaiah meant a young woman, not technically a virgin, and that “Lord” carried the idea of “master” or “sir” when addressed to a human being, rather than indicating a deity.”

  • ThomasBaum

    FrPiusYou wrote, “And while God may be in Himself ultimately simple, our minds can only receive Him with a certain degree of complexity.”Sometimes, our “mind” can be one of the biggest obstacles, because it is simple, it is thru our “heart” that we “perceive” and then we use our “mind” and for that matter our whole being.satan can deceive us into thinking that it is something “complex” to “figure out”.You then wrote, “We understand only by the hard work of thought and reflection.”Yes, we should “ponder and reflect” but we deceive ourself and I am sure that satan wishes to nudge us along, if we think that “understanding it all” or “knowing it all” should take precedence over following alongside Jesus in the way we feel He wants us to walk with Him.None of us will “know it all” this side of death but God will guide us into knowing what we need to know to do what God wants us to do.You then wrote, “Anything less is to treat us as children.”Actually, we are children, Children of God, not of our fellow human beings, except for our earthly parents that God gave us, and it is our “choice” whether to be “childish” or “child-like”, there is a BIG difference.Additionally, we are “brothers and sisters” of God since God became One of us. Since Jesus became a human being that means that Jesus is the Brother of ALL OF HUMANITY.Sometimes, “pondering” on the simplicity of it can be much more mind-boggling than trying to “figure it all out”. You then wrote, “Worse, it is to treat grace as if it were some magic formula that is cast on us so we can enter those equally magical pearly gates.”Also, there is more, much more, than knowing God’s Name, this can be a start, it should not be the end point, so to speak.You also wrote, “It is to say that God is not worth our effort.”Jesus, God-Incarnate, gave His effort and He invited us to “Come follow Me” and “take up your cross”, as I have said, Jesus did not call us to be “clones”, we all have different “crosses” or “jobs” to do.When Jesus said, “Take My yoke upon you…”, He was telling us that we are to walk with Him as One and additionally it will be the Holy Spirit to guide us.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • CCNL

    Thomas, self-professed “Seer/Talker to god” and “Moses of the NT” Baum, you noted:”Additionally, we are “brothers and sisters” of God since God became One of us. Since Jesus became a human being that means that Jesus is the Brother of ALL OF HUMANITY.”And your proof that your god became one of us is?????????

  • Grabski

    ThomasI don’t know how you got from ‘unoriginal’ to catholic. However, perhaps the synonym for ‘banal’, ‘insipid’ is better: 1)lacking in taste or 2) lacking qualities which stimulate, interest or challenge. Think of the many, many VII hymns. Or a folk mass. Or worse, a polka or clown mass. Or liturgical dancers. Cringe-worthy one and all, and the unfortunate detrius of the 1970s. Fortunately, our leaders are doing their job and righting the listing barque.The tasteless language of the current translation is bad enough. The fact that there is an agenda behind it makes it worse. The prayers used in English speaking churches are different than those in Polish, Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish, Mexican…well, you get the idea. Shouldn’t we be united in prayer, indeed, a catholic church?

  • dmuench

    Mary Cunningham says, “Why shouldn’t Catholics access their religion through the language of the ancients?” Sounds like she’s promoting Greek, not Latin. Bishop Trautman complained of one part of the translation that runs on with an almost interminable sentence. I ahve no problem with minor changes such as “And with your spirit”, or “incarnate of the Virgin Mary” (as they say in England), although “born of the Virgin Mary” is MUCH clearer and unambiguous. The anglicism closest to “incarnatus” is “enfleshed” and I can’t imagine anyone wanting that! If it gets too ridiculous, maybe we can all hope to someday be part of the Anglican Rite and celebrate Mass in Rite Two – plain and simple. Good grief, do we REALLY wnat to go back to “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” (through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault)? It’s loony. When the time comes for the Confession in the Mass, I’ll use our perfectly fine intelligible form that we have now – or use the Anglican wording.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    DM:Anyway, there is some Greek in the Mass and has been for most of our history. And now the

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Agnus Dei, of course, Latin.

  • roscym1

    The Apostolic beginnings were in Greek not Latin.

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Indeed, the early faith spread rapidly amongst the Jews in the cities of the diaspora, and these were Hellenized Jews. Others, who were not Jewish, but admired Judaism for its morals and law, also adopted the new faith. With the destruction of the temple in AD 70, it must have seemed clear that Christianity was the new Israel, located not in the looted and destroyed Jerusalem, but in Rome itself. When the faith was adopted throughout the Roman Empire, its base was moved to a new city, Constantinople.That said, this Greek-speaking, Byzantine Christianity Catholics here are the descendants of the western branch of Christianity, based in Rome, and speaking Latin.

  • FrPius

    Mr. Baum,Does the devil only tempt towards complexity? Is it possible that the devil might also tempt us into believing that our complacency is really our attempt to “keep it simple”?The devil tempts us to error. He tempts us to choose other than God and to love what is less than God. When the Scriptures speak of our “heart”, they mean man’s will, not his emotional life. Of course we can choose–i.e., we can love–only the good that we know. Our fight against the devil is enhanced by more knowledge not less. At the same time, your point must also be heeded. We must not allow our knowledge to lull us into pride –as if we can fully comprehend God.What you propose, however, sounds to me like an emotionalistic fideism. As you note, to be a child of God is not to be childish. It means, as children, we recognize our dependence on God, not that we deny the reason God gave us.I would also raise a question on some of your theology. No where does Scripture call man a brother of God. We may be brothers with Christ, but we are always children of God. Let’s not allow our recognition of God’s great gift of salvation lead us to a prideful misunderstanding of our relationship with him.

  • colinnicholas

    Mary_CunninghamYou sure know your religious history. You remind me of Anne Widdicombe, the Catholic convert and ex-politician.Ms Widdicombe and an Archbishop from Nigeria recently debated Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens on BBC World.The subject was “The Catholic church is a force for good in the world”You can watch it at Before an audience of 2000 we have here a passionate debate in which the audience voted before and after the debate. And who do you think won by something like 1500 votes?Check the link to find out.Regards.

  • ccnl1

    Once again, Thomas, self-professed “Seer/Talker to god” and “Moses of the NT” Baum, you noted:”Additionally, we are “brothers and sisters” of God since God became One of us. Since Jesus became a human being that means that Jesus is the Brother of ALL OF HUMANITY.”And your proof that your god became one of us is?????????Maybe Mary Cunningham can assist you with said proof??

  • Mary_Cunningham

    Oh please Yo Yo,The infallible “full-of-love” Fry (I didn’t say that, he did) and the functioning alcoholic Hitchins (I didn’t say that, his wife did) won handily amidst a crowd of crowing atheists.And now that I’ve answered your question, could you answer mine. What do you think an atheist like yourself can contribute to a discussion on the new Catholic liturgy? I mean, what special knowledge or insight do you bring, outside of your bog-standard bias?

  • ThomasBaum

    CCNLYou wrote, “And your proof that your god became one of us is?????????”I’ve already told you that I am not going to prove to anybody that God became One of us, that is God’s “job”, so to speak.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • colinnicholas

    Mary Cunningham;I would add that it helps that the UK government has now made evolution a compulsory subject in primary schools.More knowledge. Less superstition. Better world.

  • ThomasBaum

    Grabski You wrote, “Cringe-worthy one and all, and the unfortunate detrius of the 1970s.”Actually, I pretty much did not go to Mass during the 70′s, 80′s or 90′s, so I can not comment on any of the so-called “detrius”.You then wrote, “The tasteless language of the current translation is bad enough.”I don’t go to Mass for “taste”, I go to hear about God and to receive God in the Eucharist.You then wrote, “The fact that there is an agenda behind it makes it worse.”I have no idea what this “agenda” might be but I speak modern American English maybe it isn’t high-class but just everyday class and I happen to think that since God reached out to us, God wishes to communicate with us, without us putting on “airs”.Look at the “original” Apostles, they were not the upper-crust of society, were they?You then wrote, “The prayers used in English speaking churches are different than those in Polish, Brazilian, Portuguese, Spanish, Mexican…well, you get the idea.”I am not a linguist but one thing that I have heard is that the English language has an astronomical amount of words compared to some other languages, this could have something to do with it.You then wrote, “Shouldn’t we be united in prayer, indeed, a catholic church?”I think that we should be trying to do the “Will of God” in our life rather than attempting to be in “lock-step” with others, don’t you?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    Mary_Cunningham You wrote, “We are probably not as good as you, or at least, we have not been chosen like you.”Being “chosen” by God is not based on one’s “goodness” but on who God chooses. The same with the Jews being the Chosen People, the Jews are the Chosen People for the simple reason that God Chose and Formed them.You then wrote, “Hearing the Latin, or Latinate words, links all Catholics with eachother past and present.”First off, we are suppose to be “linked” with God, that should be what “links” us together not a bunch of sounds.I am not a “linguist” and I would venture that quite a few others aren’t either and Latin or “Latinate” words are nothing but sounds to some.I happen to think that the “meaning”, the “beauty”, behind the words, and the simpler the better, is what is important rather than what the sounds, “pretty” to some, could ever be.By the way, Jesus spoke in “everyday” language, Jesus spoke in a way that if people listened they might understand, if nothing else they would understand the words and then maybe later, the words just might sink in.You then wrote, “It connects us to the great medieval liturgies, to beautiful Catholic art of the past, to the great Catholic masses– still sung, still alive—of the present.”It is about “medieval liturgies”, “beautiful Catholic art of the past”, “the great Catholic masses” or is it about the SALVATION OF HUMANITY?Some people’s “priorities” seem to be misplaced, don’t you think?Thank God that God’s “priority is not misplaced.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    FrPius You wrote, “Does the devil only tempt towards complexity? Is it possible that the devil might also tempt us into believing that our complacency is really our attempt to “keep it simple”?”I really don’t care what satan does but he definitely is no dummy, I have met him and he is not nice even tho he can attempt to come over as “mister nice guy”.Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom”, as I have said there is a world of difference between “child-like” and “childish”.You then wrote, “When the Scriptures speak of our “heart”, they mean man’s will, not his emotional life.”This is your opinion, when I said that God came into my “heart”, I was speaking of my innermost being and when I say that “God is a searcher of hearts and minds…”, I am saying that God can “see” us better than we can “see” ourself.You then wrote, “Our fight against the devil is enhanced by more knowledge not less.”Actually, I think that we should take Jesus seriously when He said, “Take My yoke upon you…”, and “our fight” will be just that “Jesus and …”, as I said “Take My yoke upon you…”, to walk as One.You also wrote, “I would also raise a question on some of your theology. No where does Scripture call man a brother of God.”You were speaking of “reason” a bit ago, use it.If we are all children of God than that means that we are all brothers and sisters, does it not?If we are all children of fellow humans than this speaks of the brotherhood of man, (mankind).Jesus referred to Himself as “Son of God”, “Son of Man”, I am a child of God therefore a son of God, I am a child of my parents therefore a son of man.Since Jesus is The Son of God and I am a son of God, this means that in the incarnation Jesus, God-Incarnate, became my Brother and everyone else’s Brother, does it not?You wrote, “We may be brothers with Christ, but we are always children of God.”Is Jesus God-Incarnate or isn’t He?You then wrote, “Let’s not allow our recognition of God’s great gift of salvation lead us to a prideful misunderstanding of our relationship with him.”We should not let our sense of “false pride” get in the way of what God has done in the Incarnation, should we?Do we or do we not refer to the Trinity as: Father, Son and Holy Spirit?If God is Our Father and the Second Person of the Trinity is referred to as God’s Son and we are God’s children then the Incarnation “expanded” our relationship with God, did it not?By the way, the Second Person of the Trinity was not the Son of God or the Son of Man before Mary said YES, before that, the Second Person was God, after that, the Second Person was also a member of God’s Creation.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ccnl1

    Hmmm, Thomas, self-professed “Seer/Talker to god” and “Moses of the NT” Baum communicates with his god at their weekly seance but somehow he nor god can show us proof that the simple, preacher man aka Jesus was the son of said god? What happened to the birth certificate??? How did Mary and Joseph register said son of god with the Romans?One wonders also if it is a “trinity” seance??

  • ThomasBaum

    Grabski You wrote, “Credo means I believe, not we believe.”Then you wrote, “I’m not sure why you think praying in unison globally to the Lord is a problem?”Seems to be a contradiction here, don’t you think?Credo may mean “I believe” as you say but is there not some very “basic” things that “we” believe.You also wrote, “Multis means many, not all.”On the cross, Jesus said, “It is finished” which translates as “PAID IN FULL”, sounds rather “allish” to me.You wrote, “We (English speakers) are singing off-key in this earthly choir.”Aren’t we suppose to be singing “on-key” with the Heavenly Choir? It is what comes from the heart, not what comes from uniformity.You then wrote, “Now, which modern English do you speak? College educated English? North-Eastern PA English? Western PA English? Irish, Scots, Nigerian, Indian, Australian, Alaskan English? Do you use slang when you speak? There is no one modern English as far as I know.”You bring up a very good point of why there should NOT be ONE English translation for the English speaking world which is what they are trying to do, aren’t they?Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ThomasBaum

    ccnl1 You wrote, “Hmmm, Thomas, self-professed “Seer/Talker to god” and “Moses of the NT” Baum communicates with his god at their weekly seance but somehow he nor god can show us proof that the simple, preacher man aka Jesus was the son of said god?”As I have already said, I will not “show us proof” but God Will in due time, God’s Time.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • ccnl1

    So Thomas, self-professed “Seer/Talker to god” and “Moses of the NT” Baum why don’t you ask god/trinity at your next meeting about which day, week, month, year, he/she/it will break out/time of the birth certificate of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus? Not nice to keep secrets from the founder of Baumianity!!!Hmmm, according to legend though, the father of Jesus is actually the holy spirit so make sure you are asking the right person. But then who is god the father, the father of??

  • ThomasBaum

    ccnl1You wrote, “Hmmm, according to legend though, the father of Jesus is actually the holy spirit so make sure you are asking the right person.”I see that you have heard, “By the Power of the Holy Spirit…”You probably have also heard that Jesus said, “I and the Father are One” and since God is a Trinity and One, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are One and the Father and the Holy Spirit are One.I have met the Trinity, I may not be able to “understand” how God can be a Trinity and yet be One but I “know” it is.Even tho I refer to the First Person and the Second Person and the Third Person of the Trinity, only the Second Person of the Trinity became a “Person”, as in a Human Being.I also refer to the Trinity as: Father, Brother and Knitting Buddy, why do you think that I refer to the Holy Spirit as Knitting Buddy? You also wrote, “But then who is god the father, the father of??”God the Father is the Father of us all and one could say the Father of all of Creation.To speak about God, one must use human language, either that or say nothing at all.Not only is God spoken of as Father in the bible but God is also spoken of as a Mother Hen looking after Her chicks, so even tho we have to use “human” language when speaking of God, we do not have to be constrained by that language in “pondering” about God, that is our choice.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Grabski

    ThomasI appreciate your trying to support the idea that accurate translation means nothing, but this fails the test of being intelligible:”You wrote, “Credo means I believe, not we believe.”Um, no. I can not even see the contradiction you’re talking about.You wrote: Credo may mean “I believe” as you say but is there not some very “basic” things that “we” believe.I suppose, but when we pray in unison globally we individually profess something, and there is no reason to change it to ‘we’ that I can see. What’s the reason? It makes sense in teh original Latin as well as English; why, then, is it changed?…You also wrote, “Multis means many, not all.”Except that Jesus demanded from us: easier for needle to go through a gate than a camel; go and sin no more; separate families.There is nothing in the Bible that implies ‘allish’ as in everyone will be saved. Everyone could be saved, but our free will means that, sadly, some won’t. And it’s their free choiceIt’s amazing that a Hollywood film “Bruce Almighty” understands this important concept more than you do.

  • ccnl1

    Thomas, self-professed “Seer/Talker to god” and “Moses of the NT”, we are still waiting for the birth certificate which is the final say as to the real mother and father of the simple preacher man aka Jesus. Until then, your words are simply lost in the winds of “wishy-wash”.

  • jimwalters1

    I finally got a chance to look at the new missal on the USCCB website, and I have to say that I don’t see it as an improvement. The style is more stilted, like something from a college freshman who confuses obscurity with depth. I’d estimate that at least 90% of the typical congregation won’t know all the new words used. I have trouble picking out specific examples from the text, but I also get the feeling that the text was subtly altered to play up the authority of the clergy. The laity are to be quiet and do as they are told. Consistent with that is the complete lack of a “Contact Us” link on the Roman Missal webpages. I can only conclude they don’t want to hear what we think.

  • ThomasBaum

    Grabski You wrote, “There is nothing in the Bible that implies ‘allish’ as in everyone will be saved. Everyone could be saved, but our free will means that, sadly, some won’t. And it’s their free choice”Have you ever heard, “It is God’s Will that All be saved”?Have you ever heard, “With God All things are possible”?Have you ever thought that God came up with a Plan because God knew that giving us “free will” would mean that God could not keep us “out of hell”, which if someone finds themself in hell, they will eventually realize that they built it themself and have no one to blame but themself, but that God could “save” us, as in: “The captives shall be released and the dead shall rise”.If one goes straight to “the good place”, so to speak, they are neither “captive” nor “dead”.You also wrote, “It’s amazing that a Hollywood film “Bruce Almighty” understands this important concept more than you do.”I have not seen the Hollywood film “Bruce Almighty” but I have met God Almighty.See you and the rest of humanity in the Kingdom, the new heavens and the new earth.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

  • Grabski

    Thomas I appreciate your optimism. As a Catholic, my knowledge of bible phrases is on the weaker side :) I wrote: the bible doesn’t imply when I should’ve writted “Jesus says in Luke ‘many are invited but few are chosen’” Meaning, that we must respond to the call. Apparently, JC is warning us that not all will do so.

  • ThomasBaum

    GrabskiYou wrote, “I appreciate your optimism. As a Catholic, my knowledge of bible phrases is on the weaker side :)”I thank you but I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist, I am a realist. The world is a mess and we are not going to “bring about” the Kingdom, God Will in God’s Time, Jesus asked us to “Proclaim the Good News”, not the ‘good enough news’.When Jesus spoke of “The Kingdom is upon you”, He was speaking of an “inner” thing, so to speak, that we are to let flow outward but one day, the Kingdom will be all emcompassing and this will be at the dawning of the seventh day, the new heavens and the new earth, but the night of the sixth day will precede it.As far as “knowledge of bible phrases”, there are many that “know” the bible cover to cover but seem to “know” nothing else about God except for His Name.There are also those that know nothing or next to nothing about the bible and don’t believe in any kind of god much less God and yet God is shining thru them.As I have said, God looks at the person, not the “label”. You also wrote, “I wrote: the bible doesn’t imply when I should’ve writted “Jesus says in Luke ‘many are invited but few are chosen’” Meaning, that we must respond to the call. Apparently, JC is warning us that not all will do so.”Jesus said, “Many are called, few are chosen”, being “called” and being “chosen” are two different things.Jesus flat out said that not “all” will do so, the parable about the seed sown in various places; thorns, rocky ground, good ground, point-blank points this out.A lot of “Christians” believe that Jesus died for them and when Jesus extended the invitation to “Come follow Me”, He is “telling” us that we have been given the “opportunity” to die for others, to be an active participant in God’s Plan, not just a passive receiver.Actually, we are “called” to be active participants even tho there seem to be many that say, Jesus did it all, whereas Jesus told us, “There is work to be done”, of course, He also told us that He would be with us and that He would send the Holy Spirit to “guide” us. This may or may not include, shall we say, the unnice treatment and death such as Jesus, Himself, received but He let us know that it might.God’s Plan will come to Fruition.Take care, be ready.Sincerely, Thomas Paul Moses Baum.

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How to Debate Christians: Five Ways to Behave and Ten Questions to Answer

Advice for atheists taking on Christian critics.

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Heaven Hits the Big Screen

How “Heaven is for Real” went from being an unsellable idea to a bestselling book and the inspiration for a Hollywood movie.

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This God’s For You: Jesus and the Good News of Beer

How Jesus partied with a purpose.

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Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.

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Dear Evangelicals, Please Reconsider Your Fight Against Gay Rights

A journalist and longtime observer of American religious culture offers some advice to his evangelical friends.