We must accept the new wording for the Mass, because as followers of Jesus we can't always have our way.



With Lent drawing to a close we turn our thoughts to Our Lord’s efforts to submit himself to that cruel death. It would be well for us to remember his saying, “If you die with me, you will also rise with me.” If we have gone through Lent properly we have been preparing ourselves for submitting to God’s will, whatever form it might take.

The thought puts me in mind of Father Michael Ryan, pastor of Seattle’s Cathedral. He didn’t want to go along with the new wording for the Mass that we must start with next November. Using the internet he asked people to join a postponing movement he called, “What if We Just Wait?” Almost overnight he had 22,000 clergy and lay people sign up. But now, he has brought himself to see that it is God’s will that he submit, and he has asked his 22,000 signees to submit with him.

It isn’t necessary for Father Ryan to say that the new wording is better than the old. He only needs to say we can’t always have our way in our Church. I like seeing us as Our Lord’s flock of sheep. We have young sheep who want to sprint over the next hill, and we have old sheep who have trouble making it over the last one; and we have a shepherd whose objective is keeping his sheep together. In doing that he makes the  young sheep slow down and he helps the old sheep get over that last hill.

Let me touch on one sore point. Where the Creed used to have us saying the Son is “One in being with the Fatherwe will have to say “consubstantial with the Father.”
With difficulty I will switch to “consubstantial with the Father.” My difficulty is one I share with the bishops whom Emperor Constantine assembled for the Council of Nicaea in 325. The wording he ordered them to accept was “the Son who is of one substance with the Father.” They wanted to reject that, and their reason was that the word substance (ousia in Greek) is a Greek philosophical term, and as such is not part of the revealed truth they needed to believe. However, it was not a matter of life and death, and they couldn’t say “No” to the emperor. They went along with it. So, we must go along with the Holy Father, only hoping that sometime in the future we will be able to return to “one in being with the Father” which is fine English and fine Theology.     
      

No comments:

Post a Comment