Monday, December 11, 2017
The Pater Noster: a problem with the Son of God himself
So, the Sovereign Pontiff suggests the Pater Noster needs a rewrite, well we know from the Superior General of the Jesuits no-one had a tape recorder, so it is not possible to know what Jesus actually said, in the same way we don't haver a video of his life, so we have to rely on the Church's collective memory, guided by the Holy Sprit to lead us into all truth.
The Gospels though they give slightly different versions of this prayer, they concur with the ancient liturgical form of the prayer which ends, "Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo." in Greek, "καὶ μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλὰ ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ τοῦ πονηροῦ." So it is not just the translation the Pope has problems with but the actual text itself. His problem therefore is not with ICEL or some other body but with the Son of God himself.
The Greek means “to bring into” or “to lead into”: it’s in the active voice not the passive therefore it certainly does not mean “do not let”, the Pope's preferred translation. There is an important truth here, God does not merely permit temptation as though we live in a world where Satan is as powerful God and good and evil struggle together, and mankind is pulled hither and thither.
The new French translation uses the passive voice, "let us not fall into temptation", is far from accurate, it suggests that falling into temptation is some kind of unfortunate accident. For a Christian, that is those empowered by the Holy Spirit, to "cry out, "Abba, Father"", a new relationship has been formed, in whichthrough Grace we are empowered by God and no longer in sway of the Tempter, in short, we can resist sin and temptation, even the temptation in the Last Days to defect from the faith.
Regrettably, there seems to be trait in much of His Holinesses theology, where human beings do not receive sufficient grace to overcome sin or live Christian lives: the Blessed Virgin cries out to God that she has been decieved or Jesus has to beg forgiveness from Mary, and the Grace of marriage does not give the strength to live according to Jesus' teaching.
An alteration will obviously add to a sense of change within the Church. Protestant churches seem to have their own translation but what His Holinesses seems to want to do is to change, not merely change words but the very theology, the words, of Christ.
The problem is that the Orthodox Churches will continue with what has been given and the un-Churched will continue with what has always been but the cavalier attitude of the Pope to the explicit teaching of Jesus Christ will wound the Catholic Church for generations and set precedents for further rejection and sidelining of Christ.
If we can't have a Pope fluent in the major liturgical languages, God grant us one who knows when to keep silent!
Posted by Fr Ray Blake