Saturday, 20 January 2007

More on Translations

There has been a lot of blogging on translations (and the inaccuracy of ICEL) lately. This is something else I've noticed when reading The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori.

It seems as though every other sentence is from Scripture. (NOT a criticism, I hasten to add!) What is really weird is that I sort of recognise the scriptural quotes from praying the Divine Office, especially the ones from the Psalms... but the meanings are subtly different. And it's somewhat disconcerting to find that the version used by St. Alphonsus fits in perfectly with what he's trying to say, whereas, if I inserted the modern "translation," the meaning wouldn't fit as well.

For example, St. Alphonsus renders Proverbs 10:23 as "A fool worketh mischief as it were for sport" whereas the New Jerusalem Bible has "A fool takes pleasure in doing wrong" and the Good News Bible has "It is foolish to enjoy doing wrong." There isn't much in it, but there is a nuance there. And in Sermon XX (The Evil Effects of Bad Habits) there is an even clearer example:

"At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, they have slumbered." Even earthquakes, thunders and sudden deaths do not terrify an habitual sinner. Instead of waking him to a sense of his miserable state, they rather bring on that deadly sleep in which he slumbers and is lost.

The New Jerusalem Bible has the quote from Psalm 76 as "At your reproof, God of Jacob, chariot and horse stand stunned." The Good News Bible has "When you threatened them, O God of Jacob, the horses and their riders fell dead." Slumbered, stunned and dead are hardly synonyms...

Now, I'm no expert, but the clear sense in which St. Alphonsus is quoting the Scriptures indicates that there is something very wrong with the translations we have now... even though they may be technically more accurate translations from the original Hebrew and Greek texts, they are obviously not giving the sense of the Bible passages as used in the Church for centuries. The Scriptures are not supposed to be read outside the living Tradition of the Church - we seem to have forgotten this!

Selectively PC

Has anyone else noted that the calls for inclusive language always seem to be in favour of changing from the masculine to neuter?

I never hear protests about the Church being referred to as "she"! I've also been reading The Sermons of St. Alphonsus Liguori - if the PC brigade got their paws on it, they'd have a field day, because of all the male-oriented language... but I bet the references to the soul as "she" would be left intact!!

Actually, I like the way the soul is addressed as feminine - it emphasises Christ's role as bridegroom.

Makes You Think...

I read this courtesy of the Pastor in Valle.

On June 3rd 2006, Pakistan, an Islamic country, banned the film The Da Vinci Code because it contained blasphemous content about [the prophet] Jesus.

As the Pastor so eloquently put it... I have no further comment.

Warm and Fuzzy?

In an attempt to try and qualify for the League of Warm and Fuzzy Traditionalists, I thought I'd post a few "cute" pictures... I was reminded of them by a post I spotted over at Paul Cat's site (Alive and Young)

Pachelbel's Canon

I found this a while ago, and then forgot about it (I'm easily distracted...)

However, while nosing around to see who has been looking at my blog, I found it again, courtesy of Sooner Scotty (A Catholic Sooner!) I think some of my more musical readers will enjoy it!

Friday, 19 January 2007

Side-Splittingly Funny

Oh Lord, I think I'm going to wet myself... I saw this on Fr. Gonzales' blog, and had to steal it in its entirety...

Mine eyes have seen the glory of liturgical reform,
It is to the modern era that we now must all conform,
It is with inclusive liturgy the Church we will transform.
Paul the Sixth is marching on!

Glory, glory to the Council,
Glory, glory to the Council,
Glory, glory to the Council,
Paul the Sixth is marching on!

We have stripped out every altar and we’ve taken down the rail,
For now all elaborate ritual we must try to curtail,
And then ‘noble simplicity’ will finally prevail.
Paul the Sixth is marching on!

All errors of the Old Church, with our changes, we have solved,
For now at the new communion we are all to be involved,
And by general absolution, we will have our sins absolved.
Paul the Sixth is marching on!

Now some illiberals claim that we are emptying the pews,
But the only ones to leave us are the ones we want to lose,
We will fill all empty places with Mohammedans and Jews,
Paul the Sixth is marching on!

We have entered into dialogue with every kind of sect,
Since for all of their beliefs we have the greatest of respect,
It’s this inter-faith discussion that the new Mass should reflect.
Paul the Sixth is marching on!

Chrism Mass Thank-You Card.

Ok, let's see who answers this one. I'm starting to give some thought to the picture I want to use for the front of the Thank-You card we distribute to priests at the Chrism Mass at St. George's Cathedral, Southwark. The pictures show the last two years' illustrations:

I'm toying with the idea of using this one. Any other suggestions/comments?

Ever Feel You've Been Cheated?

I saw this over at Fr. Ray's blog (St. Mary Magdalen, Brighton) and realised that, when I had my car blessed, I may have been subjected to a version of "liturgy-lite" !

I think I'll have to go and ask for an upgrade...!

A Positive Press...

Just for once, a press report which I actually find encouraging for us traddy types...

(naturally, it's not British!)
H/T to Fr Gonzales (Overheard in the Sacristy)

Reform Kit

I have previously discussed producing and marketing a DIY Liturgy Kit - complete with candles, tie-dye throw, pebbles, box of tissues and CD of pan-pipe music (whale song version also available.)

It would appear that Et Invisibilium over at Sub Voce feels we need a standby in case the Reform of the Reform should come out any time soon... He presents the Reform Kit - a handy emergency pack which can be kept in every parish sacristy...

Cure for Deadly Disease Found

There is a deadly disease which has apparently been around for about 35 years or so: Litabutinitus. It's been spreading unchecked for far too long, but recently the number of cases has soared.

Luckily, there is now a cure: Lit-Rite. It is available in pill, liquid or aerosol form. Reading through the dosage instructions, I suspect that the liquid form, administered via a holy water stoup, will prove to be the most effective treatment in the UK...

You can read the full diagnostic criteria, indications for drug use, dosage instructions, contraindications and side effects HERE.

H/T to the Curt Jester.

Bits and Blogs

Oh wow! I commented on the fact that several blogs hosted by Wordpress had the really snazzy ability to "see" another webpage by hovering the cursor over the link.

The Dúnadan has obviously been exploring, because he discovered how to do it too... and he was kind enough to put up the information for the rest of us (and gave me a mention in the process!)

The code can be found on the website (and they tell you where it goes as well, so you don't need to be afraid of the big bad html beastie that lurks behind every template!!)

I promise you, it's easy as pie... try hovering over some of my links, just to prove it!

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Sex Education in Schools

Checking out the Catholic Action UK's site today, I see that SPUC are running a campaign:

Every parent with children at school... needs to find out, urgently, what is happening in the name of 'sex education', 'PHSE', 'SRE' etc. . Teachers usually don't want you to know but don't be fobbed off: you must see the materials they are using, and you may not be able to believe your eyes. You have a right to know, and a duty to protect your children.

They have an Open Letter to Concerned Parents, which starts:

Are your children safe at school?

We are asking this question because we are concerned about what is happening in classrooms during lessons on sex and relationships in both secondary and primary schools. We are concerned that abortifacient contraception and abortions are being aggressively promoted to teenagers in some secondary schools.

Read more HERE. And yes, in case you are wondering, I am the teacher named in the third section - it happened at a previous school I taught in. And now, according to Fr Ray Blake (St. Mary Magdalen's, Brighton) Edinburgh seems to be running a Contraception Service for children.

I Want One of Those!

When I spotted this over at Cally's Kitchen, I was sure it had to be a wind-up. He is, after all, the man who gave us a talking chair and a philosophical cow. But I just couldn't resist exploring a little further...

Sure enough, you can actually buy Innocent III action figures... I quite liked the sales pitch:

Introduce this Pope Innocent III Action Figure to your other figures and watch the spiritual sparks fly! Armed with his formidable power of excommunication and an intimidating scroll inscribed with Latin text, this 6" tall, hard plastic model of the 176th Pope will soon have all your other action figures lining up for confession. Read the back of the illustrated blistercard and you'll find that Pope Innocent III was a good guy in all respects. He was a patron of the arts, cared about orphans, built a hospital and reunified the Papal States! Comes with removable fancy Pope hat.

First time I've heard the Papal tiara described as a fancy Pope hat!

They also make Jesus as a deluxe model - he comes complete with loaves and fishes and a water jar for changing water into wine (though this feature is apparently not guaranteed!)

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

My Sides Ache...

Looks like Carolina has recovered from her attack of foot-in-mouth disease. First, she silenced a troublesome youngster by telling him how his namesake died a painful martyrs death. As a teacher, I recognise the value of tactics like this... and the kids love gory details (I'm always asked to repeat details about crucifixion or being hanged, drawn and quartered!)

And for a follow-up, she has a pop at modern hymns. Definitely a woman after my own heart. And the cartoon is by Tracy...

I Shouldn't Laugh, But...

It's not fair. Carolina has had a very bad morning. But it made me laugh... is such a relief to realise that I'm not the only person to suffer from terminal foot-in-mouth disease.

Getting All Ex-Sited

Checking out Sitemeter again has demonstrated that Fr. Dwight Longenecker's plug for my blog has caused the hit count to go up fairly smartly.

I have also spotted another blog which has linked back to me: such good judgement deserves a plug in return! So hallo to Terry C at God's Pencil (the blog title is a reference to a quote from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta)

A "Cute" Attack

Sorry about the awful pun in the title... well, no, actually, I'm not sorry, or I'd have changed it... but there's a limited number of times I can head a post with "photos" or "more photos..."

Anyhow, I have received some more snaps of my gorgeous nephew, who is looking particularly cute at the moment. I thought I'd take the time to share...

Off Exploring

No, sorry, you don't get a break from my banal blonde blatherings... I'm not going anywhere! It's more a case of where I've been already (on the blogosphere, natch!

I walked into the Muniment Room (and I must ask Ttony what on earth a muniment is... and why he has two "t"s in his name)

There was a rather moving post about Christmas traditions. I remember when my little sister first declared to the family that she didn't believe in Father Christmas any more... after she had unwrapped all her presents, of course. And yes, this is the same sister that has just presented me with my new nephew!!

Rather Indigestible Fare

Frying Tonight?

I laughed like a hyena when I spotted this one...

H/T to Tracy, The Catholic Knitwit.

A Question of Bilocation...

The Ironic Catholic has a heartfelt question: why can't mothers bilocate? She feels that this particular talent is wasted on celibate saints...

...I can see that she has a point. Read more HERE.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

"Traddy" Google !

Heh heh! Look's like Google feels the same way I do about lousy modern hymns...

Pot-Luck Confession

The subject of Confession seems to have hit the Blogosphere with a vengeance in the last day or so. Curt Jester kicked it off (I think... though figuring out exactly where something starts up is difficult, especially if it's a topic which comes up regularly!) Carolina Canonball was upset about getting off lightly with her penances, and then followed it up with a post on Confession-Lite.

Fr. Tim put up a very good (and informative) post about the need for individual Confession. We would expect nothing less from a Professor of Sacramental Theology!! However, although this ought to leave nothing more to say on the subject, I think another laywoman's view of the Sacrament has something to offer...

I was chatting to Fr. Tim on the subject earlier, and I made a remark about it being different when a priest goes to Confession. He disagreed, and said that there were all sorts of priests who had to go to Confession, just as there were all sorts of lay people. I don't think I made my point very well - what I meant to say was that I think that when a penitent announces that he's a priest, the confessor will think more carefully about what he says, and how he says it. I cannot believe that another priest would dare to tell Fr. Tim to confess only one sin, for example... though maybe I'm wrong!

It is very difficult, as an ordinary lay woman, to find a good Confessor. I know it's not just me being fussy: whenever the subject comes up among friends, the first question asked is, "Who do you go to?" closely followed by, "Is he any good?"

Now, we're not stupid. We know that the Sacrament is valid if the priest says the words of absolution (I'm not talking about major abuses like General Absolution, you understand) and so it doesn't "matter" what sort of penance you get and whether the priest is into the Classical Rite or is more in favour of Novus Ordo. But sometimes the experience of going to Confession can be so ghastly that you wonder if it really is worth all the hassle. And if someone is lucky enough to find a good Confessor, they will often move heaven and earth to make sure that they see this priest.

For example, I have been stopped in mid-confession and told that I only needed to focus on one or two sins. I've been in the situation where I needed to ask the priest what my penance was, since none seemed to be forthcoming. I have been asked, in a tone dripping with disapproval, whether I "...always went to Confession this often?" I've even been told that it wasn't good for a person to live alone, and that I should get married! (This was a few years before I had discerned that my vocation was to the single life, you understand)... It was somewhat discouraging, as I couldn't quite figure out how I could comply with that particular instruction. I was sorely tempted to ask whether the same rule applied to priests...

If we want to encourage more people to frequent the Sacrament of Confession, then it has to become less of a pot-luck experience.

Hmmn. Maybe we should start a "Good Confession Guide"! We could award "five stoles" instead of "five stars"... Any thoughts?

Monday, 15 January 2007

Making the Sign of the Cross

Ok, time for a bit of theology (well, I can't keep posting about the weather, even if I am British!)

We had a comment about making the sign with reverence at one of our Confirmation classes, and Father Tim reminded everyone that Our Lady took the trouble to teach St. Bernadette how to make the Sign of the Cross with reverence - and I remember reading that others commented on how beautiful it was to see.

And now Diane at Te Deum Laudamus has put up a post which is well worth a read. Here's a snippet:

WHEN we cross ourselves, let it be with a real sign of the cross. Instead of a small cramped gesture that gives no notion of its meaning, let us make a large unhurried sign, from forehead to breast, from shoulder to shoulder, consciously feeling how it includes the whole of us, our thoughts, our attitudes, our body and soul, every part of us at once. how it consecrates and sanctifies us.

It does so because it is the Sign of the universe and the sign of our redemption. On the cross Christ redeemed mankind. By the cross he sanctifies man to the last shred and fibre of his being. We make the sign of the cross before we pray to collect and compose ourselves and to fix our minds and hearts and wills upon God. We make it when we finish praying in order that we may hold fast the gift we have received from God. In temptations we sign ourselves to be strengthened; in dangers, to be protected. The cross is signed upon us in blessings in order that the fulness of God's life may flow into the soul and fructify and sanctify us wholly.

It's Another No B-rainer...

Hmmn. This one is difficult to figure out. Perhaps you lot out there can help...

Apparently, the South-East of England has had more rainfall in the past two months than in the previous two years. At one stage we had over 50 flood warnings across the UK - with many areas suffering from flooding. December was another wet month throughout England and Wales and the fifth consecutive month with above average rainfall in five of our regions. All regions received average rainfall or above ranging from 100% in our South West Region to 180% in our North West Region.

Despite this, there is still a hosepipe ban in operation...

Another Reason for Latin in the Liturgy?

It would appear that speaking two languages every day helps to delay the onset of dementia. I better learn a few more of those Latin responses !!

H/T to Indolent Server.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Busy Day

Yippee! I have had over 130 hits on the blog today. Yes, I know... 130 is hardly the blogostratosphere... but it's nearly three times what I started with back in May.

Not bad for the rambling thoughts of a ditsy blonde!

Another Blog With Good Taste...

My blog has just been "discovered" by Autumn Rose. She's a convert from the Baptist Church, though I haven't managed to find out how recent... her blog, Christ's Rose, has been up and running since September 2006. I just had a look, and I'm feeling jealous: when you hover the cursor over a link, a picture of the site pops up, which is pretty neat. My blog feels positively underdressed in comparison.

Hmmn. Either Autumn Rose is a computer whizz, or WordPress have some pretty amazing templates...

UPDATE: I just had to swipe the "Proud Catholic" GIF for my sidebar... I think it compliments the "I support the Pope" banner and the Papal flag!

Heaven Help Us!

I can't remember where I first saw this: it is teeth-achingly awful. However, it does illustrate what tends to happen when you let lay people become liturgists and encourage them to be "creative" with the Mass.

Personally I think that this must be an attempt to imitate the beauty of the Classical Rite Mass (think of all the carefully choreographed symbolic gestures of priest, deacons and servers; the vestments (to die for), the sacred vessels, the music etc. etc.) all of which is missing from some of the more sloppy "celebrations" of the Novus Ordo.

Misguided. Sad. When will they realise... we don't need to "invent" a liturgy... it's already been given to us!

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