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  • Indie

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    Liberating Silence in the Dictatorship of Noise
    CONOR B. DUGAN

    Noise is one of the constants in our modern world. Visits to the doctor’s office or the corner pub require one to brave a cacophony of sound and visual stimuli. Think of the last time you were in shop or restaurant without loud music and flashing televisions. Even in my small office building, there is a television in the lobby blasting out the latest headlines while one waits for an elevator. And this is just the “noise,” the distractions that are external to our own persons. In the last decade with the introduction of the smart phone, the noise and distraction are now on our persons. On my phone there are six different ways someone can reach me directly—through phone, text, or various forms of electronic messaging. Unlocking my phone to do one task almost inevitably leads me to some other distraction: something to Google, news to check, a message from an old friend. Our churches, which should be sanctuaries from the relentless noise of the world, are filled with the same distractions. As soon as the communion song is finished, the choir is launching into its next song. The idea of letting congregants pray silently after communion is rejected. At a Mass I attended recently, the lyrics of banal hymns were projected onto screens, adding yet another distraction to the mystery occurring on the altar. We are overwhelmed both by the noise of the world and the noise inside ourselves. It seems we fear silence, and so have become the complicit victims of a dictatorship of noise.

    It is this reality that Robert Cardinal Sarah addresses in his most recent book, The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise. The book is a long interview with French journalist Nicolas Diat. Sarah takes on the “worldly powers that seek to shape modern man” and “systemically do away with silence” (24). According to him, noise is a sort of “drug on which [man] has become dependent… Agitation becomes a tranquilizer, a sedative, a morphine pump, a sort of reverie, an incoherent dream-world” (33). Sarah observes:

    Noise surrounds us and assaults us. The noise of ceaselessly active cities, the noise of automobiles, airplanes, machines outside and inside our houses. Besides this noise that is imposed on us, there are the noises that we ourselves produce or choose. Such is the soundtrack of our everyday routine. This noise, unconsciously, often has a function that we do not dare admit: it masks and stifles another sound, the one that occupies and invades our interior life. How can we not be astonished by the efforts that we constantly make to stifle God’s silences? (83)

    Ultimately, Sarah’s book is about each man’s search for God—a search that is “not just about a geographical solitude or movement, but about an interior state” (23). As Sarah says: “It is not enough to be quiet, either. It is necessary to become silence” (23). Silence is “not an absence,” rather, “it is the manifestation of a presence, the most intense of all presences” (27). Sarah wants to help men and women sweep away the noises and distractions that prevent them from meeting that Presence and responding to his love. His desire, like that of his friend, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to whom the book is in part dedicated, is to help mankind see the centrality of God to everything. The choice really is nihilism or God; which was the subject of God or Nothing, Sarah’s previous collaboration with Diat.

    Just as in that book, here Sarah reveals himself as a spiritual master. Indeed, these two books are modern spiritual classics that will be read for centuries to come. I could hardly make it through more than a few pages of The Power of Silence without underlining numerous passages. Sarah’s chief strength in this book is diagnostic. He has a clear vision of what ails modern man. Time and time again, I was drawn short by a line that seemed to capture my experience and daily reality. There is a great strength in having someone point out those things that wear us down but too often remain nameless. After reading Sarah’s book, I have a greater awareness of the evil—I use that word intentionally—that comes from the frenetic nature of my daily life. I am not simply running myself ragged: I am obscuring the very voice of God in my life. The noise that presses in upon me and that I let steal the peace in my heart, blocks me from asking the deepest questions about existence, meaning, and destiny. The dictatorship of noise prevents me from knowing God and myself.

    However, Cardinal Sarah’s book is not merely diagnostic. He suggests cures to what ails us. Befitting his role as the Prefect for the Congregation of Divine Worship, some of his strongest prescriptions are liturgical. Here too, he follows his great friend and mentor, Pope Benedict. Like Benedict, Sarah recognizes that the liturgy is the place where the faithful most directly experience the Church. Concern about the liturgy is not about mere aesthetics or things extrinsic to our conversation with God. Rather, the liturgy is a privileged locus for God to speak to us. This, of course, necessitates silence. As Sarah admonishes: “Sacred silence is a good belonging to the faithful, and clerics must not deprive them of it” (124). The last thing the faithful need is for the Church to add to the incessant noise of the world.

    Sarah is honest about the fact that, too often, our liturgies, rather than being transcendent, are pedestrian and mimic the noisy freneticism of the world. He observes that since the Pauline reform of the liturgy in the 1960s “sometimes in the liturgy there is an air of misplaced, noisy familiarity” (123). Indeed, some priests “are afraid that silence in the presence of the Most High might disconcert the faithful” (123). Yet priests must allow the people to participate actively in the silence of the liturgy. This silence “veils the mysteries, not to hide them, but to reveal them” (127). Furthermore, Sarah reemphasizes a proposal for which he has taken much (ahistorical and unfair) criticism: in our liturgical celebrations, we should return to the common orientation of priest and faithful toward the liturgical east. Sarah believes this external sign will help “everyone to understand that the liturgy turns us interiorly toward the Lord” (132). It also will help the priest to be “less tempted to become a professor giving a lesson throughout the Mass” and to allow the “whole assembly” to be “drawn in after the priest by the silent mystery of the Cross” (133).

    Cardinal Sarah, who comes from a simple background and a poor country, also extols the virtues of poverty in the quest for coming to know God in silence. “If we are loaded down with an excess of wealth and material goods, if we do not strip ourselves of the ambitions and devices of the world, we will never be able to advance toward God, toward what is essential in our lives” (169). Poverty, thus, can become the means to detach ourselves “from anything superfluous that would be an obstacle to the growth of the interior life” (169).

    This book is a spiritual guide, helping men and women to understand why they feel ill and pointing them toward the recovery of the interior life. It is by renewing this interior life that each person will come to know his origin and destiny in God and be able to battle the meaninglessness that modern culture attempts to obscure through noise.

    Liberating Silence in the Dictatorship of Noise | Humanum Review
     

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    @gramsci

    Dr. Bella Visono Dodd
    (1904 – 29 April 1969) was a member of the Communist Party of America (CPUSA) in the 1930s and 1940s who later became a vocal anti-communist. After her defection from the Communist Party in 1949, she testified that one of her jobs, as a Communist agent, was to encourage young radicals to enter Roman Catholic Seminaries.

    She was born in Picerno, Basilicata, Kingdom of Italy in 1904 and baptized Maria Assunta Isabella.

    Dodd testified before the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). She said: "In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within. The idea was for these men to be ordained, and then climb the ladder of influence and authority as Monsignors and Bishops”

    Dodd told Alice von Hildebrand that:

    “When she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican who were working for us, [i.e. the Communist Party]”(Christian Order magazine, “The Church in Crisis”, reprinted from The Latin Mass magazine).

    Dodd made a public affidavit which was witnessed by a number of people, including Paul and Johnine Leininger.

    In her public affidavit, among other things, Dodd stated: “In the late 1920’s and 1930’s, directives were sent from Moscow to all Communist Party organizations. In order to destroy the [Roman] Catholic Church from within, party members were to be planted in seminaries and within diocesan organizations... I, myself, put some 1,200 men in [Roman] Catholic seminaries”.

    von Hildebrand confirmed that Dodd had publicly stated the same things to which she attested in her public affidavit.

    The New York Times reported on March 8, 1954 that Bella Dodd "...warned yesterday that the 'materialistic philosophy,' [i.e., dialectical materialism ] which she said was now guiding public education, would eventually demoralize the nation."

    Bella Dodd - Wikipedia
     

    Dark Angel

    Legendary Member
    Lost in Translation? Pope Ponders an Update to Lord’s Prayer

    ROME — It has been a question of theological debate and liturgical interpretation for years, and now Pope Francis has joined the discussion: Does the Lord’s Prayer, Christendom’s resonant petition to the Almighty, need an update?

    On Wednesday, Pope Francis said the common rendering of one line in the prayer — “lead us not into temptation” — was “not a good translation” from ancient texts. “Do not let us fall into temptation,” he suggested, might be better.

    French Catholics adopted that change this week, and the pope suggested that Italian Catholics might want to follow suit.

    The distinction is subtle and easy to miss, even for devout Christians.

    “It is I who fall,” the pope said in Italian, in an interview with TV2000, an ecclesiastical television station in Rome. “But it is not He who pushes me into temptation.”

    The pope elaborated. “A father does not push me into temptation, to see how I fell,” he said. “A father doesn’t do that. He helps you get up right away. What induces into temptation is Satan.”

    In essence, the pope says, the prayer is asking God: “When Satan leads us into temptation, You please, give me a hand.”

    While Francis’ idea may not prove controversial among theologians and liturgists, it could unsettle Catholics who learn from childhood to recite the Lord’s Prayer, also called the “Our Father.”

    Traditionalist Catholic and Anglican bloggers were already taking Francis to task on Friday, suggesting that he was trying to upend settled tradition and that the distinctions he was drawing were clear enough to most worshipers.

    A commentary on the website of TV2000, the station that interviewed the pope, which is owned by the Italian conference of Roman Catholic bishops, acknowledged that the pope’s words had stirred great interest, but added, “ it is worth recalling that this question is not new.”

    “This is not a mere whim for Francis,” it said.

    Dismissing Italian newspaper headlines suggesting that the pope wanted to change the Lord’s Prayer, the commentary pointed out that in a new translation of the Bible in 2008, Italian bishops had already come up with a new formulation: “Do not abandon us to temptation.”

    The basic question, the commentary said, is whether God brings humans into temptation or whether “it is human weakness to surrender to the blandishments of the evil one.”

    French bishops this week tweaked the Lord’s Prayer in French from “Ne nous soumets pas à la tentation” (roughly, “do not expose us to temptation”) to “Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (“do not let us give in to temptation”).

    The new French version was first used during Mass on Sunday. It had been discussed for several years, and the updated translation was long-awaited, according to Guy de Kerimel, bishop of Grenoble.

    The previous wording was “often misunderstood by believers,” Bishop Kerimel told French journalists last month, as many parishioners interpreted it to mean that God himself was responsible for the temptation that leads men to sin.

    Other French-speaking churches have already made the switch to newer wording. In Belgium and Benin, the revised Lord’s Prayer was introduced earlier this year. The United Protestant Church of France also validated the change during its national synod in 2016.

    The Church of England has two forms of the Lord’s Prayer – traditional and contemporary — but both use the same wording in seeking protection from temptation, according to the church’s website.

    Pope Francis has generally shown a willingness to rethink liturgical translations. He recently took the controversial step of changing church law to give local bishops’ conferences more authority over translations of the liturgy. He was responding, in part, to widespread discontent with English translations that were literally correct but awkward and unfamiliar for worshipers.

    In his interview on Wednesday, the pope was focusing on the prayer as it is rendered in Italian. But scholars have noted that the ambiguity in meaning predates even the Latin rendering of the phrase: “et ne nos inducas in tentationem.”

    The word “tentationem,” and its Greek equivalent, have been translated in various ways over the centuries. Some say they better translate as trial or testing, and might refer either to the tribulations described in Scripture, like the suffering endured by Job, or even the Last Judgment.

    The pope’s reflection was part of a nine-episode commentary on the Lord’s Prayer that TV2000 has broadcast every Wednesday evening since October. Each program includes an exchange between the Pope and the Rev. Marco Pozza, a prison chaplain in Padua known as “Father Spritz,” after the renowned Venetian aperitif, because of his work evangelizing young people in bars and on the streets.

    In a book published in connection with the program, the pope said: “Evil is not something impalpable that spreads like the fog of Milan. It’s a person, Satan.”

    Satan is a master of seduction, the pope added, and that, in the end, “is the meaning of the verse, ‘Do not let us fall into evil.’ We must be crafty in the good sense of the word, we must be sharp, have the ability to discern the lies of Satan with whom, I am convinced, it’s not possible to conduct a dialogue.”


    09prayer-4-superJumbo.jpg






    09prayer-3-superJumbo.jpg


    merlin_130993053_c047b8a1-2829-4f7c-a522-662945393374-superJumbo.jpg


    source
     

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    Pope Francis is Only Partly Right on the Lord’s Prayer

    LIONEL YACECZKO

    Pope Francis was right that the traditional English translation of the Lord’s Prayer is deficient, but his suggested change, and even his identification of which part needs to be changed, is simply wrong, and requires some comment, partly because it is a question so easily answered, partly because others have answered it easily. There is, however, a very important part that is today a poor translation due to the transformation of English over the last 400 years.

    In the December 8 article from The Guardian, Pope Francis is quoted saying three things, 1) “It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation”; 2) he believed the wording should be altered to better reflect that it was not God who led humans to sin. And finally, 3) it ought to say, “do not let us fall into temptation” instead. The second point is important, since many have reported the Pope saying this, but none use quotation marks.

    The part of the prayer that the Pope targeted for change is undoubtedly translated correctly as “lead us not,” and anyone who suggests changing it is making a theological argument (and one against the original author of the prayer), not a philological one. For an example of a philological argument, read the next section.

    The Argument from Lexicography
    In the first place, there can be no question that μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς (mḗ eisenéngkēis) means “lead [us] not,” and that εἰσενέγκῃς (eisenéngkēs) is a compound of the verb φέρω (férō), “bring, bear,” and the preposition εἰς (eis), “into.” This is the same verb féro that the Romans used. No difference whatsoever. One might prefer “lead” or “bring,” but to change it into the a passive form of a different verb entirely is wrong on 1) semantic and 2) morphological grounds.

    In the second place, there can be no question that πειρασμός (peirasmós) is “temptation” or “testing.” This Greek noun is cognate with the Greek verb πειράζω (peirázō), “tempt” or “test.” The English words “tempt” and “test” are cognates, uniting the notion of “tempting” and “testing.” To the ancient Greek and Roman mind, there is no distinction, since there is no desire for the object of testing to fail the test, but merely to reveal the truth about the object.

    The Argument from Historiography
    Basil the Great (329–379), one of the Three Greek Doctors of the Church (along with John Chrysostom, and Gregory Nazianzen), told his disciple Chilo (pronounced like the name of the bad guy in the new Star Wars movie) that “the faithful is proven by all sorts of temptations”: Πειρασμοῖς δὲ ποταποῖς δοκιμάζεται ὁ πιστός (Peirasmoîs dè potapoîs dokimázetai ho pistós, Epistle 42.2.42–43). He even uses language reminiscent of the Epistle of James (1.12–13) that is being used by some to support the Pope’s criticism. Basil here is not only evoking for his student the Gospel teaching that God brings the faithful into temptation: he is doing it in language that would resonate with Chilo as a fourth-century student.

    Such a young man would go off to his university studies, usually at another city, under a teacher called a rhetor. There he would learn everything necessary to become what Cato in the first century BC called an orator (the literal Latin equivalent of the Greek word rhetor): vir bonus peritus dicendi. A good man who is also skilled at speaking. This unites moral (first) and technical (second) training as the irreducible united goal of the education of the young person.

    In the fourth century AD, as a graduated student of rhetoric, Chilo would have gone home to face his proving—his δοκιμασία (dokimasía). This was a special exhibition of the fruits of the graduate’s time spent abroad, given to his own community, a “proof” of his education. So when Basil tells Chilo that the faithful is proven by temptations, he is encouraging him that the tests he undergoes will reveal for all the gold of which he is made, in all its glitter.

    The Argument from Philology
    So perhaps we need to revisit the pope’s criticism, and consider changing “temptation” to “test.” For the modern Anglophone, there is a difference between a “test” and a “temptation.” After all, as a teacher, I do not tell my students that I am going to give them a “temptation” to prove their knowledge of Greek and Latin. In fact, the Greek noun from which both these words are derived—πεῖρα (peîra)—is the root of the Latin word experimentum: perhaps you noticed the -pe(i)r-, the image-bearing root of both words. Experimentum, I think, has an obvious English derivative.

    Peirasmós means “test” then. Fine. What about the question whether it is impious to say that God “puts man to the test”? We need not adduce the examples of Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 9), or Job, or Lot’s wife (Gen. 19): we need not stray from the Gospels themselves to prove that this is true. There we will find three increasingly compelling examples of God leading man into temptation.

    First, in Luke 22, immediately before exhorting his disciples to pray that they enter not into temptation (22:40), Jesus tells Peter that Satan has sought the opportunity “to sift you (pl.) like wheat” (22:31), but that he has prayed “that your faith not fail you” (22:32). As we know well, Peter would fail and sin against the Son of Man, but, going out immediately and weeping bitterly, he would find a merciful master later on (walking on the seashore in John 21). Jesus did not pray that Peter be not put to the test, but rather that the gold of which he is made be revealed by that fire.

    Second, in John 6, (in my opinion the most important single chapter in all of the Scriptures), Jesus himself puts his disciple Philip to the test. When the crowds are gathered, and he is about to multiply loaves of bread, he asks Philip where they could buy bread for everyone to eat. The Evangelist then tells us directly, “he was saying this because he was testing him”: τοῦτο δὲ ἔλεγεν πειράζων αὐτόν (toûto dè élegen peirázōn autón, John 6:6). Not only is it Jesus’s will that his disciple’s faith be tested, but he himself will test the disciple.

    Finally in the first verse of Matthew 4, we are told that Jesus was “led by the Spirit into the desert to be tested by the devil”: Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνήχθη εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος, πειρασθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου (Tóte o Iēsoûs anḗchthē eis tḕn érēmon hupò toû pneúmatos, peirasthē̂nai hupò toû diabólou). Two strong semantic parallels invite comparison.

    One. We can see here that Jesus was “led” into the desert.

    Two. Jesus was led into the desert “to be tempted” or “tested,” πειρασθῆναι.

    This is the same verb (πειράζω) we keep seeing, from which the abstract noun “temptation” (πειρασμός) is derived. In the narrative that follows, the devil is referred to as The Tempter (ὁ πειράζων, 4:3), and Jesus tells him, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου, 4:8).

    The Argument from Common Sense
    What an absurd notion, to think that one of God’s creations could “tempt” him. Far more absurd than thinking that God will “test” one of his creations!

    Jesus is being tested, and we would be right to translate Matthew 4:1 with “to be tested,” and we would also be right to translate verse 3 with “the tempter” and verse 8 with “you shall not test.”

    The Holy Spirit led Jesus into temptation (Matt. 4:1). If saying those words strikes you as wrong, it is because of the failure of the modern English word “temptation” to convey the neutral image of a “testing” that is not eager to see the subject fail the test. The lynchpin of the issue is not the verb “lead”; it is the noun “temptation.” This is what we ought to change, if we change anything.

    If we can accept that it happened to Jesus, then surely we need not lose our peace if we humbly ask to be spared a difficult testing. After all, the same God that brings us to the test has prayed that our faith will not fail. May he make in us a soul of gold to be revealed in his time.

    Lionel Yaceczko, PhD, is on the faculty of The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland, where he teaches Greek and Latin. His articles have appeared in Studies in Late Antiquity, Cavalcade, and The Forum.

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/pope-francis-half-wrong-half-right-lords-prayer
     

    walidos

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Lost in Translation? Pope Ponders an Update to Lord’s Prayer

    ROME — It has been a question of theological debate and liturgical interpretation for years, and now Pope Francis has joined the discussion: Does the Lord’s Prayer, Christendom’s resonant petition to the Almighty, need an update?

    On Wednesday, Pope Francis said the common rendering of one line in the prayer — “lead us not into temptation” — was “not a good translation” from ancient texts. “Do not let us fall into temptation,” he suggested, might be better.

    French Catholics adopted that change this week, and the pope suggested that Italian Catholics might want to follow suit.

    The distinction is subtle and easy to miss, even for devout Christians.

    “It is I who fall,” the pope said in Italian, in an interview with TV2000, an ecclesiastical television station in Rome. “But it is not He who pushes me into temptation.”

    The pope elaborated. “A father does not push me into temptation, to see how I fell,” he said. “A father doesn’t do that. He helps you get up right away. What induces into temptation is Satan.”

    In essence, the pope says, the prayer is asking God: “When Satan leads us into temptation, You please, give me a hand.”

    While Francis’ idea may not prove controversial among theologians and liturgists, it could unsettle Catholics who learn from childhood to recite the Lord’s Prayer, also called the “Our Father.”

    Traditionalist Catholic and Anglican bloggers were already taking Francis to task on Friday, suggesting that he was trying to upend settled tradition and that the distinctions he was drawing were clear enough to most worshipers.

    A commentary on the website of TV2000, the station that interviewed the pope, which is owned by the Italian conference of Roman Catholic bishops, acknowledged that the pope’s words had stirred great interest, but added, “ it is worth recalling that this question is not new.”

    “This is not a mere whim for Francis,” it said.

    Dismissing Italian newspaper headlines suggesting that the pope wanted to change the Lord’s Prayer, the commentary pointed out that in a new translation of the Bible in 2008, Italian bishops had already come up with a new formulation: “Do not abandon us to temptation.”

    The basic question, the commentary said, is whether God brings humans into temptation or whether “it is human weakness to surrender to the blandishments of the evil one.”

    French bishops this week tweaked the Lord’s Prayer in French from “Ne nous soumets pas à la tentation” (roughly, “do not expose us to temptation”) to “Ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (“do not let us give in to temptation”).

    The new French version was first used during Mass on Sunday. It had been discussed for several years, and the updated translation was long-awaited, according to Guy de Kerimel, bishop of Grenoble.

    The previous wording was “often misunderstood by believers,” Bishop Kerimel told French journalists last month, as many parishioners interpreted it to mean that God himself was responsible for the temptation that leads men to sin.

    Other French-speaking churches have already made the switch to newer wording. In Belgium and Benin, the revised Lord’s Prayer was introduced earlier this year. The United Protestant Church of France also validated the change during its national synod in 2016.

    The Church of England has two forms of the Lord’s Prayer – traditional and contemporary — but both use the same wording in seeking protection from temptation, according to the church’s website.

    Pope Francis has generally shown a willingness to rethink liturgical translations. He recently took the controversial step of changing church law to give local bishops’ conferences more authority over translations of the liturgy. He was responding, in part, to widespread discontent with English translations that were literally correct but awkward and unfamiliar for worshipers.

    In his interview on Wednesday, the pope was focusing on the prayer as it is rendered in Italian. But scholars have noted that the ambiguity in meaning predates even the Latin rendering of the phrase: “et ne nos inducas in tentationem.”

    The word “tentationem,” and its Greek equivalent, have been translated in various ways over the centuries. Some say they better translate as trial or testing, and might refer either to the tribulations described in Scripture, like the suffering endured by Job, or even the Last Judgment.

    The pope’s reflection was part of a nine-episode commentary on the Lord’s Prayer that TV2000 has broadcast every Wednesday evening since October. Each program includes an exchange between the Pope and the Rev. Marco Pozza, a prison chaplain in Padua known as “Father Spritz,” after the renowned Venetian aperitif, because of his work evangelizing young people in bars and on the streets.

    In a book published in connection with the program, the pope said: “Evil is not something impalpable that spreads like the fog of Milan. It’s a person, Satan.”

    Satan is a master of seduction, the pope added, and that, in the end, “is the meaning of the verse, ‘Do not let us fall into evil.’ We must be crafty in the good sense of the word, we must be sharp, have the ability to discern the lies of Satan with whom, I am convinced, it’s not possible to conduct a dialogue.”


    09prayer-4-superJumbo.jpg






    09prayer-3-superJumbo.jpg


    merlin_130993053_c047b8a1-2829-4f7c-a522-662945393374-superJumbo.jpg


    source
    Funny, the way I learned it from my father was : “ne nous laisse pas succomber à la tentation”... apparently that’s how they were tought to say it at school... I like it better than the “ne nous laisse pas enter en tentation”
     

    walidos

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    Pope Francis is Only Partly Right on the Lord’s Prayer

    LIONEL YACECZKO

    Pope Francis was right that the traditional English translation of the Lord’s Prayer is deficient, but his suggested change, and even his identification of which part needs to be changed, is simply wrong, and requires some comment, partly because it is a question so easily answered, partly because others have answered it easily. There is, however, a very important part that is today a poor translation due to the transformation of English over the last 400 years.

    In the December 8 article from The Guardian, Pope Francis is quoted saying three things, 1) “It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation”; 2) he believed the wording should be altered to better reflect that it was not God who led humans to sin. And finally, 3) it ought to say, “do not let us fall into temptation” instead. The second point is important, since many have reported the Pope saying this, but none use quotation marks.

    The part of the prayer that the Pope targeted for change is undoubtedly translated correctly as “lead us not,” and anyone who suggests changing it is making a theological argument (and one against the original author of the prayer), not a philological one. For an example of a philological argument, read the next section.

    The Argument from Lexicography
    In the first place, there can be no question that μὴ εἰσενέγκῃς (mḗ eisenéngkēis) means “lead [us] not,” and that εἰσενέγκῃς (eisenéngkēs) is a compound of the verb φέρω (férō), “bring, bear,” and the preposition εἰς (eis), “into.” This is the same verb féro that the Romans used. No difference whatsoever. One might prefer “lead” or “bring,” but to change it into the a passive form of a different verb entirely is wrong on 1) semantic and 2) morphological grounds.

    In the second place, there can be no question that πειρασμός (peirasmós) is “temptation” or “testing.” This Greek noun is cognate with the Greek verb πειράζω (peirázō), “tempt” or “test.” The English words “tempt” and “test” are cognates, uniting the notion of “tempting” and “testing.” To the ancient Greek and Roman mind, there is no distinction, since there is no desire for the object of testing to fail the test, but merely to reveal the truth about the object.

    The Argument from Historiography
    Basil the Great (329–379), one of the Three Greek Doctors of the Church (along with John Chrysostom, and Gregory Nazianzen), told his disciple Chilo (pronounced like the name of the bad guy in the new Star Wars movie) that “the faithful is proven by all sorts of temptations”: Πειρασμοῖς δὲ ποταποῖς δοκιμάζεται ὁ πιστός (Peirasmoîs dè potapoîs dokimázetai ho pistós, Epistle 42.2.42–43). He even uses language reminiscent of the Epistle of James (1.12–13) that is being used by some to support the Pope’s criticism. Basil here is not only evoking for his student the Gospel teaching that God brings the faithful into temptation: he is doing it in language that would resonate with Chilo as a fourth-century student.

    Such a young man would go off to his university studies, usually at another city, under a teacher called a rhetor. There he would learn everything necessary to become what Cato in the first century BC called an orator (the literal Latin equivalent of the Greek word rhetor): vir bonus peritus dicendi. A good man who is also skilled at speaking. This unites moral (first) and technical (second) training as the irreducible united goal of the education of the young person.

    In the fourth century AD, as a graduated student of rhetoric, Chilo would have gone home to face his proving—his δοκιμασία (dokimasía). This was a special exhibition of the fruits of the graduate’s time spent abroad, given to his own community, a “proof” of his education. So when Basil tells Chilo that the faithful is proven by temptations, he is encouraging him that the tests he undergoes will reveal for all the gold of which he is made, in all its glitter.

    The Argument from Philology
    So perhaps we need to revisit the pope’s criticism, and consider changing “temptation” to “test.” For the modern Anglophone, there is a difference between a “test” and a “temptation.” After all, as a teacher, I do not tell my students that I am going to give them a “temptation” to prove their knowledge of Greek and Latin. In fact, the Greek noun from which both these words are derived—πεῖρα (peîra)—is the root of the Latin word experimentum: perhaps you noticed the -pe(i)r-, the image-bearing root of both words. Experimentum, I think, has an obvious English derivative.

    Peirasmós means “test” then. Fine. What about the question whether it is impious to say that God “puts man to the test”? We need not adduce the examples of Abraham and Isaac (Gen. 9), or Job, or Lot’s wife (Gen. 19): we need not stray from the Gospels themselves to prove that this is true. There we will find three increasingly compelling examples of God leading man into temptation.

    First, in Luke 22, immediately before exhorting his disciples to pray that they enter not into temptation (22:40), Jesus tells Peter that Satan has sought the opportunity “to sift you (pl.) like wheat” (22:31), but that he has prayed “that your faith not fail you” (22:32). As we know well, Peter would fail and sin against the Son of Man, but, going out immediately and weeping bitterly, he would find a merciful master later on (walking on the seashore in John 21). Jesus did not pray that Peter be not put to the test, but rather that the gold of which he is made be revealed by that fire.

    Second, in John 6, (in my opinion the most important single chapter in all of the Scriptures), Jesus himself puts his disciple Philip to the test. When the crowds are gathered, and he is about to multiply loaves of bread, he asks Philip where they could buy bread for everyone to eat. The Evangelist then tells us directly, “he was saying this because he was testing him”: τοῦτο δὲ ἔλεγεν πειράζων αὐτόν (toûto dè élegen peirázōn autón, John 6:6). Not only is it Jesus’s will that his disciple’s faith be tested, but he himself will test the disciple.

    Finally in the first verse of Matthew 4, we are told that Jesus was “led by the Spirit into the desert to be tested by the devil”: Τότε ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἀνήχθη εἰς τὴν ἔρημον ὑπὸ τοῦ πνεύματος, πειρασθῆναι ὑπὸ τοῦ διαβόλου (Tóte o Iēsoûs anḗchthē eis tḕn érēmon hupò toû pneúmatos, peirasthē̂nai hupò toû diabólou). Two strong semantic parallels invite comparison.

    One. We can see here that Jesus was “led” into the desert.

    Two. Jesus was led into the desert “to be tempted” or “tested,” πειρασθῆναι.

    This is the same verb (πειράζω) we keep seeing, from which the abstract noun “temptation” (πειρασμός) is derived. In the narrative that follows, the devil is referred to as The Tempter (ὁ πειράζων, 4:3), and Jesus tells him, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (οὐκ ἐκπειράσεις κύριον τὸν θεόν σου, 4:8).

    The Argument from Common Sense
    What an absurd notion, to think that one of God’s creations could “tempt” him. Far more absurd than thinking that God will “test” one of his creations!

    Jesus is being tested, and we would be right to translate Matthew 4:1 with “to be tested,” and we would also be right to translate verse 3 with “the tempter” and verse 8 with “you shall not test.”

    The Holy Spirit led Jesus into temptation (Matt. 4:1). If saying those words strikes you as wrong, it is because of the failure of the modern English word “temptation” to convey the neutral image of a “testing” that is not eager to see the subject fail the test. The lynchpin of the issue is not the verb “lead”; it is the noun “temptation.” This is what we ought to change, if we change anything.

    If we can accept that it happened to Jesus, then surely we need not lose our peace if we humbly ask to be spared a difficult testing. After all, the same God that brings us to the test has prayed that our faith will not fail. May he make in us a soul of gold to be revealed in his time.

    Lionel Yaceczko, PhD, is on the faculty of The Heights School in Potomac, Maryland, where he teaches Greek and Latin. His articles have appeared in Studies in Late Antiquity, Cavalcade, and The Forum.

    http://www.crisismagazine.com/2017/pope-francis-half-wrong-half-right-lords-prayer
    These guys have nothing better to do with their time... who cares what the words are?
     

    Indie

    Legendary Member
    Staff member
    These guys have nothing better to do with their time... who cares what the words are?
    They are scholars. It is their work to study such matters.

    As for me, the more I learn about the doctrine of the Catholic Church, the more I want to learn. Why do we believe, or say, or do certain things? What is the meaning behind them? I want to understand and live the faith, not follow it mindlessly like it's a habit or a cultural custom.

    Sometimes, a word or two can make a big theological difference.
     

    walidos

    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    They are scholars. It is their work to study such matters.

    As for me, the more I learn about the doctrine of the Catholic Church, the more I want to learn. Why do we believe, or say, or do certain things? What is the meaning behind them? I want to understand and live the faith, not follow it mindlessly like it's a habit or a cultural custom.

    Sometimes, a word or two can make a big theological difference.
    That’s exactly the point: it’s not about memorising the words this way or that way, it’s not the vocabulary you use. It’s the feeling, the faith, that something inside that speaks to your very soul and unites you in prayer with the church, not the building, nor the Vatican, the church of people praying.

    Sometimes doing too much reading distracts us from what is truly important