Sunday, November 27, 2011

Does the new translation of the Mass over-emphasize our sinfulness?

My parish prayed the Confiteor at Mass this morning.  One thing I have read complaints about, in the new translation, is that the Confiteor over-emphasizes our sinfulness.  "I have greatly sinned ... through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault."

Did you happen to notice, new translation aside, the First Reading from this morning's Mass?
Behold, you are angry, and we are sinful;
all of us have become like unclean people,
all our good deeds are like polluted rags;
we have all withered like leaves,
and our guilt carries us away like the wind.
There is none who calls upon your name,
who rouses himself to cling to you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have delivered us up to our guilt.
Geez, Isaiah!  Lighten up, would you?  And yet, the First Reading ends thus:
Yet, O LORD, you are our father;
we are the clay and you the potter:
we are all the work of your hands.
And so ends the Confiteor, or whatever Penitential Act is used:  we acknowledge that God is almighty in His mercy, capable of granting us forgiveness of our sins, and ready to do so.

5 comments:

Moonshadow said...

May I ask about something you wrote several years ago on a Catholic Answers forum?

"And there are people who interpret (whether on purpose or not) 'born of the Virgin Mary and became man' to mean that Jesus was not a man until his birth;"

Jesus' human nature comes from the Virgin Mary, so in what sense is Jesus man prior to his birth?

Unless I misunderstand what you are saying ...

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

He was man for nine months prior to His birth: Jesus took on human nature at His conception.

Moonshadow said...

Fine.

Disciple96 said...

At last! Somebody writing about the Mass and actually writing about the readings and not complaining about the new translation! Praise the Lord, I'm bookmarking this site! ;)

Actually I am enjoying your site. I found it while doing some research on the difference between the soul and the spirit. There's a lot of stuff out there from non-Catholic sources and by persistence I'm finding good stuff like your site, good solid faithful Catholic doctrine. Thank you! Peace be with you, Jeffrey. :)

Disciple96 said...

And to respond to the question you asked in your post, no, I don't think the new translation over-emphasizes our sinfulness. I think we've been psychologized and Course in Miracle-ized and New Age-ized and positive thinking-ized and good self-esteem-ized into denial that we are fallen creatures, in need of God's grace for our salvation.

Some folks have come to think that we gather at Mass for fellowship and that this is the main point of it all. But we gather at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to bring our broken, contrite selves to the Lord so that He can pour His generous grace into our hearts and restore the broken, distorted likeness to Him that is damaged and lost through sin.

So many priests have neglected to preach and teach the faithful about sin and grace (or anything else) that to hear it mentioned at all now seems to be over-doing it. That just proves how much we need to be reminded of the truth of our human situation. Holy Mother Church always knows what her children need. Thanks be to God!

Peace be with you, Jeffrey. Glad to find you on the web. :)