Friday, February 15, 2008

Overcoming fear

The crazy thing about fear is that it's often based on exaggeration. We make our fears even more serious than they ever need to be.

I was afraid of celebrating mass in Latin. I took some Latin in school and did alright with the language. I studied classical latin and sang church latin. I learned how to think it with Nero and learned how to pronounce it with Thomas. A group of students wanted to have a Vatican II mass in Latin. They had been learning the mass parts chanted in Latin and wanted to use what they learned. I was leery because I'm not the best "pronouncer" ever. But, I wanted to give it a shot.

Thankfully, I didn't let my fear get in the way. We celebrated it this afternoon and, to a group of young people who never experienced what some call the horrors of the pre-Vatican II liturgy, they spoke the parts in Latin that they have only said in English for years. It was awesome. I was terrified a few times because I'm sure I mangled the Latin and need to practice more but it was just nice to say "Dominus Vobiscum" and hear a resounding "Et cum spiritum tuo."

I think, if we do it again, we'd have to give them a crash course on some of the stuff that we take for granted. Like, Pax tibi instead of peace be with you for the kiss of peace. But, there was no question we were praying, even if part of the prayer was me saying, "God help me say this and understand it even if I don't say it exactly correct."

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