Take for instance reciting the Morning Office, with only a short window of opportunity to say this on a school day, I have to be very organised and very focussed. Today, in my little dream world I found my mind wandering and I'm not sure its has been fruitful.
I like to use the pocket sized Shorter Morning and Evening Prayer published by Collins. This is not because I like the text, but because it unites me to all those others in other parishes and religious communities I know are using it too; prayer is not an isolated experience. However the text is woeful and today's readings are no exception. Normally I wouldn't give this a second thought, but dangerously, I've got time on my hands:
The scripture reading is taken from Ephesians 2: 13-16, in the Collins it is rendered thus:
Now in union with Christ Jesus, you who used to be far away have been brought near by the death of Christ. For Christ himself has brought us peace, by making Jews and Gentiles one people. With his own body he broke down the wall that separated them and kept them enemies. He abolished the Jewish Law, with its commandments and rules, on order to create out of two races one new people in union with himself, in this way making peace. By his death on the cross Christ destroyed the enmity; by means on the cross he united both races into one body and brought them back to God.
The same reading for today is rendered here thus:
Now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, actually destroying in his own person the hostility caused by the rules and decrees of the Law. This was to create one single New Man in himself out of the two of them and by restoring peace through the cross, to unite them both in a single Body and reconcile them with God: in his own person he killed the hostility.
This is taken from the Jerusalem Bible and as a reading it flows better and does not contain the questionable phrase He abolished the Jewish Law, with its commandments and rules, on order to create out of two races one new people in union with himself, in this way making peace. This so goes against everything else St Paul writes that it can't be a good translation: why does the Collins use it?
One of the fruits of the current Papacy is a legitimising of our(the ordinary pewsitter's) desire for worthy liturgy. I feel we are more likely to question Fr when liturgical norms are not adhered to. The internet allows us to reach for the GIRM as soon as we get home from Mass. What does this do? Well, often we end up saying "Ha, I was right, Fr was nearly out of order there....that wasn't quite as it should be". What has it done to my soul? Does it now shine brighter having partaken in the liturgy but having been distracted by intellectual meanderings and irritations with imperfections. Has this made me a better Catholic? Am I using the little bit of love planted in my heart to the best possible advantage so that is may become fuller with that same love?
For me, this is spiritually quite draining. I am thirsting for pure water and needing to drink out of desperation at streams that are muddy and brackish. I have no doubt that this is a thirst I should hold onto, but I am feeling so weak, so isolated and so lacking in that sustainance that is our right. I'll have to keep at the clouded waters, I'm not running to my cassock clad lovelies in another diocese....It is a St Bernadette thing...it is mortification, and in this year of St Paul I'm determined this weakness can become my strength.