Thank You, Dear Bishops, For Changes

I rejoice that the American bishops have approved the proposed liturgical changes. After reading “How Will the Mass Change?” (June 11-17), I was astonished at some of the concerns. In an eagerness to make the Mass more comprehensible to the faithful, (some) translators objected to any language of poetry, metaphor, mystery or delight — not to mention dismissing the original Latin text. In the name of accessibility, they proposed the language Americans meet on billboards and websites.

Thank goodness the bishops, in collaboration with the Holy Spirit, have re-invigorated the liturgy with the language of poetry, haven and rest, which will nourish their exhausted sheep.

Thank goodness they have respected the intelligence of the faithful, confident that we are able to recognize that a phrase such as “the dew of the Spirit” is a metaphor. I do not agree with Bishop Trautman that this phrase “does not mean anything to Americans.” I am an American, I have seen dew, and dew brings to mind morning hope, refreshment in heat, the verdure of gardens and surprising visitations. It delights me to associate these ideas with the Holy Spirit of God, falling upon our human world like dew.

Thank goodness the bishops have believed we the faithful are teachable. If Americans have become deaf or insensible to the meaning of a nobler language, the bishops have confidence that we can be educated by exposure and explanation.

Thank goodness the bishops have restored a right translation of the word credo, so that the unique, individual assent of each member of the congregation is allowed expression. I rejoice in this chance to publicly profess my personal and heartfelt belief in God and the Church with the words “I believe.”

Thank goodness they have restored the words “precious chalice,” which makes me ponder the value of the blood of Christ, the One who makes the chalice precious. Thank goodness they left behind the word “cup,” a word that I associate with Starbucks and Styrofoam.

Thank goodness the bishops have honored our human reality as creatures of flesh and spirit. We are not just brains, and we need repetitions, variations and images to assist our fragile memories. A phrase such as “a pure victim, a holy victim, a spotless victim: the holy Bread of eternal life,” has a music and rhythm that helps me stay focused on the wonderful gift of the Eucharist, a gift God offers so sweetly that I may take it for granted or miss it altogether. Thank goodness we may look forward to a translation that will help us stay aware of the enormous reality hidden in the appearance of bread.

Thank you, dear bishops, for shepherding us rightly, for assisting our weakness, for providing sanctuary and delight in a fast-paced, utilitarian world. Thank you for feeding us the bread of life, and for the words that will help us recognize him.

Wendy-Marie Teichert

San Luis Obispo, California

Home Schools Happen

Regarding the letter to the editor titled “Home Schooling Heat” (June 11-17):

I am a home-schooling mom of four (currently only home schooling two) who really struggled with the decision to home school. Those of us who take this enormous task to educate our children do so mostly with great and many fears, but also after much discernment and prayer, completely surrendering to God’s will.

We’re not home schooling because is the latest in academic fashion. We’re not home schooling because we “know better” how to educate our children, strictly follow the “council’s teaching” or believe and trust in our own abilities. No — far from it! We home school because we unite our will to the will of the Father and we step out in faith, trusting in the graces he gives us to do the work he requires of us in educating our children.

Every family has a journey to follow and a need to pray for discernment in this area of education to really know what God’s will is for them. For my family, oddly enough, it was to home school. Much prayer and spiritual direction was needed, but the rewards and blessings to my family from acting on God’s will for us have been so many.

You’ll be glad to know that I do not read the Register to look for support or praise of my way of life. I look to the Register to keep me informed of what’s new in our Catholic Church, what struggles are showing up I could bring to prayer. And I just love having our Holy Father’s weekly audience available to read and study. May God reward you with many blessings.

Elsie Turoci

Kinderhook, New York

Treacherous Illogic? 

As a pro-life lobbyist, I have become ever more frustrated by what I perceive to be a supplanting of party-line positions for Catholic moral principles among Catholic politicians on both sides of the aisle.

A case in point, I believe, is evidenced by your interview with Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, about her courageous, public confession lamenting her own abortion while testifying for a beleaguered pro-life bill on the floor of Kansas Legislature (“Abortion Issue Is Personal for Convert Politician,” Inperson, June 18-24).

Within a few paragraphs of Rep. Landwehr stating that “I killed my baby,” your correspondent asked about the politician’s position on the death penalty. She strongly affirmed her support. She cited her family involvement with law enforcement and the difference between killing the innocent and the guilty — a common rejoinder of generally Republican capital punishment supporters.

Shocking, however, is Rep. Landwher’s unequivocal endorsement of executing those guilty of killing innocent human lives, even though she confessed to doing exactly that. One can’t help being reminded of Our Lord’s words, “Let he without sin cast the first stone.”

From her courageous testimony and conversion, it is clear that Rep. Landwher does not intend the apparent hypocrisy and callousness in her support of capital punishment, given her own transgression that ended the life of her innocent baby. But her logical blunder does demonstrate that thinking along political party lines on issues that directly touch on life and death — moral issues — is a treacherous practice.

Michael Janocik

Louisville, Kentucky

Confusedly Catholic Colleges

Relevant to “Ex Corde on the Great Plains” (June 18-24):

I believe that the average Catholic, like me, has not been aware that most bishops lack direct jurisdiction over the Catholic colleges and universities in their dioceses. One wonders why? As we can now see, some of these schools have veered away from Catholic teaching.

If the bishops are not able to pull these institutions into line, they should publicize the names of the schools that have defected from the Catholic faith. Catholic parents strive to sacrifice so they may enroll their children in Catholic schools. It is their hope and trust that the teachers will instill a strong belief, which they will be able to defend and pass along to their children.

One way to enforce the Catholic philosophy is to employ professors and invite speakers who best exemplify a strong championship of Catholic principles. Their lives should be models to be imitated and followed. If this does not occur, then why not send the students to secular colleges, which are cheaper?

The argument that universities must preserve their diversity of ideas is not sound. Perverse theories should be examined and discussed in the classroom under proper guidance. I don’t believe, for example, that Planned Parenthood would invite a representative from a right-to-life group to speak to their members and give them some sort of commendation. So why should our schools host an insidious opponent and risk confusing our impressionable youths?

The secular society abounds in atheistic and materialistic ideas and practices that constantly confront us in the news, the TV, the theater and books. Why must this sludge be allowed to flow into our Catholic schools? Have the religious orders that founded these schools lost their direction? Have the boards of trustees lost their Catholic identity to the point where they now think and act in terms of profit alone?

I hope and pray that all our Catholic schools will review their positions and give the fullest support to Ex Corde Ecclesiae. And I hope our bishops will relentlessly pursue them.

Elenor Loarie Schoen

Shoreline, Washington

Credit Due

The beautiful photo that accompanied our Prolife Profile of Prenatal Partners for Life (“Life Changes Lives,” June 11-17), showing a young girl cuddling her infant Trisomy 18 sister, was taken by Paul Tomas.