Lectionary[1]

As the Faithful focus on the prayers for this Sunday, the first focus is on the repeated Responsorial Antiphon, Lord heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.  One problem is how to identify sin.  Is it necessary to ascribe sin to everyone, especially those in the state of grace, who have always been in the state of grace?  Saint Paul feels that no one can keep all of the law.  In this sense, sin amounts to whatever the Faithful regret having done or not done.  Everyone, therefore, sins. 

Physical healing of the body is easier to recognize than spiritual healing of the soul.  In the Gospel, first Jesus heals the soul, child, your sins are forgiven.  (Mark 2:5)  Here Jesus, through the Gospel of Mark, is not trying to heal physical ailments of the Faithful.  He is trying to intimate that he is the Christ.

I see this spiritual type of healing as twofold, conscious and unconscious.  The unconscious changes the focus.  One type of soul healing is what the psychiatrist does uncovering the unconscious aspects of the soul.  The technical definition of soul is principal of self-motion.  All soul means here is who one is.  That includes the mind, both conscious and unconscious.  Soul also includes what is left after the mind is gone.  Soul is the entirety of who one is.  Besides healing the unconscious, the other type of soul healing is what happens when the sin-sick soul repents and changes whatever was disordered at the conscious level. 

Physical healing happened when Jesus said pick up your mat, and go home.  (Mark 2:11).  Mark does not portray the paralytic as asking for either physical or spiritual healing.  In the Gospel, unasked, Jesus heals both.  The Responsorial Antiphon about asking, Lord heal my soul, for I have sinned against you involves personal, active participation.  Part of looking inward includes opening the windows of the soul onto the total context of life outside.  This includes how the Faithful develop their own sense of who they are, what shepherds they follow, and where they are going.

To move from the Lectionary to the Faithful it informs, Cardinal Bernard Law symbolizes church prelates concerned about preserving the institutional Roman Catholic Church in order to preserve their place in that institution.  That is part of the genius of institutional organization.  Get the participants to confuse preserving their place with the institution itself.  For example, anyone objecting to the illiterate 2011 Missal takes that risk. 

The Church needs spiritual healing.  The life of Cardinal Law makes the point.  Beginning June 26, 2006, seven sets of these Personal Notes mention “Bernard Law.”[2]  Considering his importance as the first Cardinal to flee to the Vatican and avoid civil prosecution for covering up sexual abuse, that number is reasonable.  On Tuesday, November 22, 2011 (his birthday is November 4),[3] the Daily Press announced that Cardinal Bernard Law had turned the mandatory retirement age, eighty, and left the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.  His destination was unknown.[4]

On Monday, November 28, 2011 I received information related to my indictment of Anthony Burke Smith, The Look of Catholics:  Portrayals in Popular Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War.[5]  By that time I had already distributed my indictment in both hard copy and cyberspace.  While I might have updated the Second Sunday in Advent (December 4, 2011), I decided to leave the matter for here, two months later.  The new information is as follows.[6]

The 92nd Annual Conference of the American Catholic Historical Association is planned for January 5-8 at the Marriott Downtown Hotel in Chicago Illinois.  The Conference is scheduling a “Depictions of Catholic Life on the Silver Screen:  From Italy to Hollywood” session Saturday, January 7, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Anthony B. Smith, author of Catholics in Popular Culture, is presenting a paper “Manhattan Citta Apertas:  Neo-Realism Catholicism and Postwar American Cinema.”  I wonder how he is going to square that with his book.  At the same session Thomas Aiello is scheduled to present, “The Paranoid and the Damned:  Ira Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby and the Changing Religious Culture of the 1960s.” 

Debra Campbell will present the final paper, “Sisters Have At [sic] It:  Women Religious React to The Nun’s Story.”  Maureen Dowd published an Op-ed piece in the New York Times October 25, 2009, explaining The Nun’s Story as an objection to treating religious sisters as second-class citizens in the church.[7]  The Nun’s Story is about civil rights.  The Chair and Commentator for the session will be Bren A. O. Murphy of Loyola University in Chicago.  While I have been a member of the Catholic Historical Association since 1976, for forty-five years, I am not planning to attend the 92nd Annual Conference.

The readings for this Sunday begin with Isaiah 43:21 who reminds the Faithful, The people I formed for myself that they might announce my praise.  This means that God has already formed the Faithful, who must then act in a Faith-informed manner, which can include pay-pray-and-obey as well as determination to get beyond objection to Bible-babble into more substantive matters.

2 Corinthians 1:18 reminds the Faithful that God is faithful.  This means that the Faithful should act with courage to do what is right and holy.  Finally, the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 presents the Faithful doing something because their Faith is right. 

It does take Faith to try to do what is right, when the chances of actually doing the right thing seem minimal.  Objecting to and trying to steer scholars who are forming Catholic identity in a better direction seems like a hopeless task, except that God continues to do wonders and work miracles.  Praise God.

 

Missal[8]

Trying pray with the 2011 illiterate Missal[9] is difficult for at least two reasons.  The first is the amount of time and space it takes.  Second is the purpose of this part of Personal Notes is to pray with the Missal.  That means these Personal Notes are not free to ignore the Bible-babble found there. 

Clarity is not a prerequisite for prayer.  The search for clarity can be a means to prayer, faith seeking understanding, as Saint Anslem of Canterbury (1033-1109) puts it.[10]  In an attempt to use the prayers the anti-Vatican-II, Vatican, is now setting forth these Notes are taking on a new focus. 

 

 

Collect Prayer

 

 

Collect (prayer) from the Missal:  “Grant, we pray, almighty God, that, always pondering spiritual things, we may carry out in both word and deed that which is pleasing to you.”[11]

 

Revised:  “Almighty God we pray for the grace always to ponder spiritual things.  With this grace, enable us to carry out in both word and deed that which is pleasing to your holy will.”

 

Comment:  The Missal presents a fused sentence.[12]  By placing the verb, grant, first, the Missal does not follow either Latin (subject-object-verb)[13] or standard American English (subject-verb-object).

 

Collect (prayer) from the Missal, continued:  “Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever [standard American English is one word, forever] and ever.”

 

Revised:  “We ask for this precious grace through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Divine Son.  Jesus lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, three persons in one God forever.”

 

Comment:  Unlike the Protestants, who do use forever and ever at the end of the Our Father, the otherwise illiterate 2011 Missal does not.  The Missal uses now and forever instead.[14]  I wonder what the illiterate 2011 Missal might mean by ever and ever as the object of the preposition, for.[15]  The dictionary has something for over and over and ever and again, but not ever and ever.[16] 

Goggling “for ever and ever” gets 15 million responses, the most pertinent of which is at www.creation-science-prophecy.com  Even there, however, forever is one word.[17]  UMI Annual Commentary:  Precepts for Living, uses over and over to proclaim, “God repeated His promise over and over to Abraham and to his descendants.”[18]  The point here is not the promise, but the vocabulary, over and over, used to express the promise.  The for ever and ever language of the illiterate 2011 Missal brings shame to the Roman Catholic Church.  This is what Mary Coogan calls “theo-babble, bible babble, and holy nonsense.”[19] 

 

The Little, Brown Handbook explains,[20]

 

A prepositional phrase is a modifier consisting of a preposition (such as in, on, to, or with [including through] together with its object and any modifiers (see pp. 242-43).  A prepositional phrase cannot stand alone as a complete sentence . . .

 

 

Prayer after Communion

 

 

Prayer after Communion from the Missal:  “Grant, we pray, almighty God, that we may experience the effects of the salvation which is pledged to us by these mysteries.” 

 

Revised:  “Let this be our prayer after Communion.  Almighty God, grant that we may experience the saving effects pledged in the holy mysteries contained in this Mass.  Save us from our sins, through Christ our Lord.”

 

Comment:  We pray is a parenthetical expression, not essential to meaning.  The Little Brown Handbook explains, “Parenthetical expressions provide comments, explanations, digressions, or other supplementary information not essential to meaning.”[21] 

 

Word order in Vatican Italian may not provide the subject before the verb.  The Little Brown Handbook explains standard American English.  “Word order in English sentences may not correspond to word order in the sentences of your native language.  English, for instance, strongly prefers subject first, then verb, then any other words, whereas some other languages prefer the verb first.”  That is what is happening in this prayer.  The verb, Grant, is first.[22]  Through Christ our Lord is another sentence fragment.  The Little, Brown Handbook explains, as above.

 

Readings

First Reading:          Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25

Psalm:                    Psalm 41:2-3, 4-5, 13-14 (5b)

Second Reading      2 Corinthians 1:18-22

Alleluia                    cf. Luke 4:18

Gospel:                   Mark 2:1-12

 

 

Annotated Bibliography

Musings above the solid line draw from material below the line.  Those uninterested in scholarly and tangential details should stop reading here.  If they do, however, they may miss some interesting details.

 

Isaiah 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25

Meaning changes significantly between the Lectionary and NABRE.[23]

Verse Lectionary                                    NABRE

19       In the wilderness . . .                    In the desert . . .

Wilderness and desert do not communicate the same type of place.

 

21       . . . announce my praise.             . . . recount my praise.

Announce engages my praise less actively than recount.

 

Isa 43:23, 24

Elie Assis, “The Unity of the Book of Lamentations”[24]

Assis helps explain the missing verses 23 and 24a in the Lectionary.  The missing verse 24a is sloppy scholarship that I overlooked the first three times; but not now.  Israel was weary because of the Exile.  A hint of that is found in verse 22, you grew weary of me, O Israel.  I am not saying that growing weary of God was not the cause of the Exile.  Weariness continued during the Exile, as Second Isaiah brought the Israelites back to their senses.

 

Psalm 41:2-3, 4-5, 13-14 (5b)

Meaning changes significantly between the Lectionary and NABRE.

Verse Lectionary                                    NABRE

4        Lectionary     . . . he will take away all his ailment when he is ill.

          NABRE         . . . you turn down his bedding whenever he is ill.

The NABRE has a note:  You turn down his bedding whenever he is ill:  the Hebrew is obscure.  It suggests ongoing attentive care of the one who is sick.

 

Psalm 41:3

Richard J. Bautch, “An Appraisal of Abraham’s Role in Postexilic Covenants”[25]

Batch argues that the Lord will keep and preserve him implies that God continually supports the existence of all creation.  The Lectionary uses the future tense, whereas the NABRE uses the present tense, the LORD keeps and preserves him.

 

2 Corinthians 1:18-22

2 Cor 1:18-22

Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., "Episteusa, dio elalhsa (2 Corinthians 4:13): Paul's Christological Reading of Psalm 115:1a LXX"[26]

Stegman argues that the apostle refers in 1:19-20a to the human Jesus’ fundamental choice to obey God that extends to an ongoing amen [verse 20b] possibility for human existence.

 

2 Cor 1:18-22

Thomas D. Stegman, S.J., “Paul’s Use of Dikaio- Terminology [sic]:  Moving Beyond N. T. Wright’s Forensic Interpretation”[27]

Stegman notes that 2 Corinthians 18-22 foreshadows the defense Paul makes of his apostolic ministry.  Unlike Mark, Paul offers his credentials.

 


 

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

John Calvin, “Commentary on Ephesians”[28]

Where Paul proclaims, the one who gives us security with you in Christ . . . is God; he has also put his seal upon us . . ., the Protestant Revolutionary, John Calvin (1509-1564), explains, “Seals give authenticity to charters and to wills and were used on letters to identify the writer.”  In other words, a seal distinguishes what is genuine from what is not.

 

2 Corinthians 1:22

Erasmus Sarcerius, “Annotations on Galatians”[29]

The Protestant Revolutionary, Sarcerius (1501-1559), explains why God sent the Spirit of his Son into the hearts of the Faithful with the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.  “He [God] does this in order to reveal to our hearts that we are indeed his children, in order to confirm and make us certain of that fact, in order to bear witness to it, in order to expel every doubt and uncertainty and in order to seal us in our sonship and inheritance.”

 

2 Cor 1:22

Frank J. Matera, "Christ in the Theologies of Paul and John: A Study in the Diverse Unity of New Testament Theology"[30]

Matera argues that first fruits of the Spirit is forward looking; rather than more strictly focused on the present, like John.

 

2 Cor 1:22

Nijay K. Gupta, “Which `Body’ Is a Temple (1 Corinthians 6:19)?  Paul beyond the Individual/Communal Divide”[31]

Gupta cites the Spirit in our hearts to argue that Saint Paul presents individuals individually and corporately as temples of the Holy Spirit.

 

cf. Luke 4:18

 

Mark 2:1-12

Mark 2:1-12

Pastoral Care of the Sick uses this Gospel according to Mark.[32]  The Faithful should anticipate this as one of the readings the parish Healing Ministry will use when they are sick. 

 

Mark 2:1

Daniel B. Wallace, With Scripture, Subject, and Greek Word Indexes: Greek Grammar:  Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament[33]

Wallace notes that at home involves a Greek preposition.  Without calling attention to the repetition, Wallace repeats the following.

 

Mark 2:1       hkoush oti en oikw estin

                     It was heard that he was at home

Note that although the equative verb estin is here translated as a past tense, it is not a historical present.  The semantics of historical presents are quite different from the present tense retained in indirect discourse.  In particular, the verb eimi does not occur as a historical present in the NT.

 


 

Mark 2:6-9

C. Clifton Black, “Mark as Historian of God’s Kingdom”[34]

Black argues for several interesting points.  “It is Jesus’ refusal of conventional accreditation—due recognition of status, biblical literalism, astral signs—that repeatedly draws the fangs of his coreligionist antagonists (2:6-9 . . .”  Black goes on,

 

Ultimately it matters little whether we dress Jesus as the Cynic sage . . . the peasant revolutionary  . . . the frustrated apocalypist . . . the “pale Galilean” . . . the exemplar of liberal values . . . in a feminist key . . . the epitome of God-consciousness . . . the ethical . . . or mythic ideal . . . the mountebank . . . the blasphemer . . . Satan’s wizard . . . or in the costume of countless other roles in which we may cast him.

 

Black attributes all of the above to historical imagination and continues, “If Mark is right, it is Jesus, the agent of God’s apocalyptic sovereignty, who reveals to us who we really are and whether our motives are misguidedly religions . . .  timorous . . . , disbelieving . . . , or self-delusional bluster.”

 

 

For my background and more on sources see the Appendix file.  Personal Notes are on the web site at www.western-civilization.com/CBQ/Personal%20Notes.



[1] National Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Roman Missal Restored by Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican and Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Lectionary for Mass: For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America: Second Typical Edition: Volume I: Sundays, Solemnities, Feasts of the Lord and Saints (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1998).

 

[2] A search on my personal computer November 28, 2011 got the following results:  004A, 101205; 007A, 101212; 071B, 090201; 095B, 060625; 102C, 100704; 124A, 110828; 133C, 100926.

 

[3] Sarah Delaney, Catholic News Service, Vatican City:  “Cardinal Law replaced in Rome post,” The Catholic Virginian, Vol. 87, No. 2 (November 28, 2011), page 13, col. 3-5

 

[4] n.a., The Newsmaker:  Law exits Vatican post,” Daily Press (published in Newport News, Virginia), Tuesday, November 22, 2011, page 14, col. 4, just below the fold.

 

[5] Anthony Burke Smith, The Look of Catholics:  Portrayals in Popular Culture from the Great Depression to the Cold War (Lawrence, Kansas:  University Press of Kansas, 2010).

 

[6] Program receive in mail November 28, 2011, from the American Catholic Historical Association, in possession of the author.

 

[7] http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/opinion/25dowd.html  (accessed November 28, 2011).

 

[8] n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011).

 

[9] n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011).

 

[10] http://www.google.com/search?q=faith+seeking+understanding&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a  (accessed November 28, 2011) and http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/anselm/ (accessed November 28, 2011).

 

[11] See Chapter 18, “Comma Splices, Fused Sentences,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 339-444.

 

[12] See Chapter 18, “Comma Splices, Fused Sentences,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 339-444.

 

[13] http://www.google.com/search?q=Does+the+verb+come+last+in+Latin+word+oarder%3F&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=IXc&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&sa=X&ei=iKzVToqRPKLx0gHWxdDrAQ&ved=0CBkQvwUoAQ&q=Does+the+verb+come+last+in+Latin+word+order%3F&spell=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=c5f9ab36cd8b91fa&biw=1472&bih=754  (accessed November 30, 2011)

[14] n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011) #125, 665.

 

[15] n.a., The Roman Missal:  Renewed by Decree of the Most Holy Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Promulgated by Authority of Pope Paul VI and Revised at the Direction of Pope John Paul II:  English Translation According to the Third Typical Edition:  For Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America:  Approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See (Washington, DC, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), #106, 649; #114, 654-655; #123, 662.

 

[16] http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/unabridged?va=ever+and+ever&x=0&y=0  (accessed November 26, 2011).

 

[17] http://www.creation-science-prophecy.com/special1.htm  (accessed November 26, 2011).

 

[18] UMI Annual Commentary:  Precepts for Living, Vincent E. Bacote, Ph.D., (ed.) (Chicago, IL  60643: UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.), 2011) 294.

 

[19] Mary Coogan, 07/01/2011 7:24 p.m. Comment.  See Rita Ferrone, “Article:  It Doesn’t Sing:  The Trouble with the New Roman Missal,” Commonweal, July 15, 2011, http://commonwealmagazine.org/it-doesn%E2%80%99t-sing  (accessed November 26, 2011).

 

[20] See Part 4, “Clear Sentences,” Chapter 17 c, “Sentence Fragments:  Verbal or prepositional phrase,” H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 335.

 

[21] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 236.

 

[22] H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron, Eleventh Edition:  The Little, Brown Handbook (New York:  Longman, 2010) 236.

 

[23] Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible:  Revised Edition (New Jersey:  Catholic Book Publishing Corp., 2011.

 

[24] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 2 (April 2009) 325.

 

[25] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 56.

 

[26] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 69, No. 4 (September 2007) 737, 739-745.

 

[27] Theological Studies, Vol. 72, No. 3 (September 2011) 504, 505, 506, 509.

 

[28] Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 258. 

 

[29] Reformation Commentary on Scripture:  New Testament X: Galatians, Ephesians, (ed.) Gerald L. Bray (Downers Grove, Illinois:  IVP Academic, An Imprint of InterVarsity Press, 2011) 138.

 

[30] Theological Studies, Vol. 67, No. 2 (June 2006) 254.

 

[31] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 72, No. 3 (July 2010) 530.

 

 

[32] ICEL, The Roman Ritual: Revised by Decree of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council and Published by Authority of Pope Paul VI: Pastoral Care of the Sick: Rites of Anointing and Viaticum: Approved for use in the dioceses of the United States of America by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and Confirmed by the Apostolic See: Prepared by International Commission on English in the Liturgy: a Joint Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conferences (New York: Catholic Book Publishing Co. 1983) 94, 306.

 

[33] Grand Rapids: Michigan: Zondervan, 1996, 247, 457-458, 538.

 

[34] the Catholic Biblical Quarterly, Vol. 71, No. 1 (January 2009) 78, 79.