Bishops to Consider New Psalter

Which hopefully will lead to a new edition of the Liturgy of the Hours that’ll include the countless saints canonized by Pope John Paul II, from Catholic Culture:

During their November 10-13 meeting, US bishops will consider a new Psalter for liturgical use in the United States, according to a press release issued Monday by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The new Psalter– the Revised Grail Psalter– has been prepared by the Benedictine monks of Conception Abbey in Missouri. According to the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, now chaired by Bishop Arthur Serratelli, the Revised Grail Psalter has been prepared in accord with Liturgiam authenticam, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments’ 2001 document that called for more accurate liturgical translations.

Currently, two translations of the Psalms are approved for liturgical use in the United States. The Grail Psalter (1963) is used in the Liturgy of the Hours, while the translation of the Psalms in the original edition of the New American Bible (NAB, 1970) is used at Mass. Slight modifications were made to the 1970 NAB text in the lectionary following the publication of Liturgiam authenticam; for example, ‘Israelites; was rendered anew as ‘children of Israel.’

The 1970 text that Catholics in the United States hear at Mass is different from the one currently in print. The revised New American Bible (RNAB) contains a 1986 translation of the New Testament and a 1991 translation of the Psalms. In 1991, the US bishops’ conference submitted to Rome two new lectionaries for liturgical use, one based on the RNAB. Three years later, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith rejected the proposed lectionaries because of problems with inclusive language. Revisions to the Grail Psalter using inclusive language were published in the 1980s and 1990s, but these revisions were not approved for liturgical use despite their adoption by some religious communities. Inasmuch as it is faithful to Liturgiam authenticam, the Revised Grail Psalter that the bishops will consider in November is altogether different from previous revisions of the Grail Psalter.

At a June meeting of the Bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, Father Joseph Jensen, OSB, who was chairman of the NAB Psalter Revision Committee from 1988 to 1991 and has served as executive secretary of the Catholic Biblical Association since 1970, discussed the merits of the 1991 RNAB Psalms, while Abbot Gregory Polan of Conception Abbey discussed the merits of the Revised Grail Psalter. After hearing their presentations, the committee recommended the adoption of the Revised Grail Psalter rather than the RNAB.

At their November meeting, the US bishops will also reconsider a translation of Proper of Seasons that failed to garner the necessary two-thirds approval at their June meeting despite its prior approval by the bishops of England and Wales, Scotland, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Some American bishops at the June meeting had expressed concern that sacral words such as ‘gibbet,’ ‘wrought,’ and ‘ineffable’ were too far removed from common language.

The Centrality of Christ

In Saint Paul, from the Vatican Information Service:

In his general audience this morning, Benedict XVI proceeded with his series of catecheses on St. Paul, focusing on the Apostle of the Gentile’s teaching on “the central role of the Risen Christ in the mystery of salvation”. The audience, held in St. Peter’s Square, was attended by 17,000 people.

For Paul, the Pope explained, Christ “is the principle for understanding the world and discovering the path of history”. The Apostle of the Gentiles, said the Holy Father “was not concerned with narrating the individual episodes of Jesus’ life” because “his pastoral and theological intention, which sought to sustain the nascent communities, concentrated above all on announcing Jesus Christ as the ‘Lord’, living and present, now among His people”.

The essential characteristic of Pauline Christology, said Benedict XVI, apart from announcing the living Christ, is “announcing the central fact of … the death and resurrection of Jesus as the culmination of His earthly journey and as the root of the subsequent development of all Christian faith, of all the reality of the Church. For the Apostle, the Resurrection is not some isolated event, separate from His death: the Risen Christ is always same Christ Who before was crucified”.

“The Apostle contemplates in fascination the secret hidden in the Crucifixion-Resurrection and, through the suffering Christ experienced in His humanity, is led back to the eternal existence in which Christ is one with the Father”. However, to understand Paul’s thought on “pre-existence and … the incarnation of Christ” we need to know “certain Old Testament texts which highlight the role of Wisdom before the creation of the world, … such as those that speak of creative Wisdom”.

“These texts … also speak of the descent of Wisdom which pitched its tent among us” as a premonition of “the tent of flesh” mentioned by St John the Evangelist. “But this descent of Wisdom … implies the possibility of its being rejected”, and St. Paul makes it clear that “Christ, like Wisdom, can be rejected, above all by those who dominate this world, so that in God’s plan a paradoxical situation may be created in which … the Cross … is transformed into the way of salvation for all humankind”.

In his Letter to the Philippians Paul “further develops this idea of Wisdom which descends to be exalted despite its rejection. … The gesture of the Son of God is the opposite of pride, it is a gesture of humility which is the realisation of love, and love is divine. Hence Christ’s descent, the radical humility with which He contrasts human pride, truly is an expression of divine love, and it is followed by that elevation to heaven to which God draws us”.

In the Letters to the Colossians and Ephesians, Christ is described as “firstborn”. This, the Pope explained, means that “the first among many children … came down to make us His brothers and sisters”.

Finally, in the Letter to the Ephesians the Apostle considers “the divine plan of salvation”, saying that “in Christ God wished to recapitulate all things. … Christ reassumes all things and guides us to God. Thus He involves us in a movement of descent and ascension, inviting us to share in His humility, in other words His love for others and, hence, His glorification”.

The Devil Exorcised

The devil less Rays are ready to reach sports immortality. Mike Bianchi’s take from the Orlando Sentinel:

Should the Rays win the Series, they will be the only truly authentic worst-to-first team in the history of American professional sports. They lost at least 90 games in their 10 previous years of existence, including a league-worst 66-96 record last year. Now they are four victories from going where no team has ever gone before.

“If you can’t appreciate this Rays story, you’re way behind the curve. This is magical. They’re living a dream. It’s an elusive thing. It’s like falling in love. You know when it’s happening, but you don’t know how and why it’s happening. It’s an amazing feeling.” 

If anybody should know what “amazing” feels like, it’s the guy who spoke the above words to me Tuesday on the telephone from his home in New Orleans. His name is Ron Swoboda, whose diving, fully-horizontal, rally-killing catch in the World Series against the powerfulBaltimore Orioles became the iconic image of the “Amazing Mets.”

Those “Miracle Mets” are a team that captured the nation’s imagination back in 1969 — the same year man walked on the moon. Which seems only appropriate when comparing the two teams. If the ’69 Mets are Neil Armstrong, then the ’08 Rays areBuzz Aldrin. Even though the Rays are mathematically more amazing (they improved by 31 victories from the previous season compared to 27 for the Mets), the Mets are universally more appreciated.

Maybe it’s a New York thing. Maybe it’s because baseball was bigger back then. Or maybe it’s just a depressing sign of times.

We spend so much time in the media these days focusing on Pacman Jones’ latest altercation or Roger Clemens‘ latest fabrication or Jose Canseco‘s latest book or college football’s latest crook that we can’t even appreciate a history-making once-in-a-lifetime miracle season anymore.

If Madonna is not having an affair with one of the players or the franchise pitcher hasn’t been indicted by the grand jury, then can it really be a compelling story?

Have we really become this jaded and joyless?

I hope not.

I sure hope not.

“The Rays should be celebrated,” Swoboda says. “They’re one of the great stories in baseball history.”

With four more victories, they will rewrite history and be more than just a great baseball story.

They will become the greatest story ever told.

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