Consubstantial? Come on. I think the Catholic Church is pulling my leg.
Ok, I’ve given this a couple of days to sink in, and now I have to say something. At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, or an old dog that can’t learn a new trick, I have to pipe up about the changes to the catholic Roman Missal (basically, what we say or recite during mass) that I experienced for the first time at mass this week. So here goes.
WHAT on earth are you people thinking?
I’m told the goal was to get closer to the true translation of the old writings. But come on, boys. And I know you are mostly boys. “Consubstantial”? Who are you kidding? We used to say “one with the father”, referencing Jesus, of course. Now consubstantial makes more sense to you?
I’m sitting here imagining scores of CCD students saying that word, with their cute, juvenile lisps (which they will grow out of) and the look of confusion on their cute little faces. Just think of all the songs whose lyrics you were not sure of throughout your life, and the words you made up to replace the ones you weren’t sure of. Come on, I grew up Catholic. Who can forget “Round young virgin” (Silent Night)?
And another thing: Many times during the weekly celebration, the priest will say “the Lord be with you” and we would respond “Also with you”. Makes sense right? Well, now we are to say “And with your Spirit”. I have my confused face on right now. Here’s my issue with this. I’ve had no problem wishing peace right back at the priest all these years. He wishes it upon me, I wish it back. It’s a give and take that I accept, sort of a tit for tat that seems like a good deal. I’m good with it. If you wish me peace while walking down the sidewalk, I’ll wish it right back at you, as long as I’m fairly certain you aren’t going to follow it up with a request for money. Or my leather jacket.
So here’s my problem with this whole spirit thing. Why are we separating the person (priest) from his spirit? This hit me as soon as I read it on the nice card they supplied for us in church. Am I only wishing peace upon his spirit, and not the man? AND, if his spirit can be peaceful, does that mean the person is a separate entity and can be other than peaceful? In other words, can the person be a bad ass but as long as his spirit is in good shape, what, he’s ok with us and God? Maybe I’m not making sense. But it makes sense to me. Why the two entities? If we are going to go to the trouble of using an SAT word like “consubstantial” to explain the combination of God/Jesus, why are we then splitting ourselves in two so less eloquently?
I’ll admit that part of my problem here may be my own agnosticism. But I am just trying to think of the semantically challenged among the flock. I may have also been driven a bit mad by the small child behind us in church continually shouting “Boo Ya” throughout the entire mass. Frankly, if you believe there is a God, words probably don’t matter a fig. Mass was in Latin when I was a kid. I don’t think my mother has ever spoken that ancient language, but she still went. And it meant a lot to her. I may not have the same feelings toward the whole “organized religion” thing, but, hey, if it makes you feel good, and you aren’t starting any wars or committing genocide because of it, what’s the difference.
Since it’s lunch time I think I’ll go become consubstantial with a corned beef Rueben. May you and your spirit have a great day.