Holy Spirit is God’s Love
- 17 February, 2012 -
- As A Catholic -
- Tags : holy spirit, latin translation, love, reflection
- 3 Comments
I read a small article on a parish bulletin few weeks ago. The article written by Pastor Ignotus discussed about the Latin word ‘ut’ which example can be found on the Prayer after Communion for the Second Sunday of the Ordinary Time. In Latin, the prayer is
Spiritum nobis, Domine, tuae caritatis infunde,ut, quos uno caelesti pane satiasti,
auna facias pietate concordes.
While in English, it was translated into
Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love,
and in your kindness
make those you have nourished by this one heavenly Bread
one in mind and heart.
The ‘ut’ word here was translated into ‘and’ in English; while the correct translation is supposed to be ‘so that’.
So, what’s the fuss about it?
It may look like a mere debate, like literature scholars arguing on word usage precision. However, as Ps Ignotus explained, not only does the translation alter the exact translation but also change the whole meaning of God’s loving act in the prayer.
I am not a scholar, but let’s have a look through my perspective as a layman.
Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love, ‘and’ in your kindness..
In the current English translation, the ‘and’ creates a separation between the Holy Spirit and God’s kindness. We pray for the Holy Spirit, the sign of his love. However, we then ask for his kindness for the blessing of unity of mind and heart. In my opinion, it creates a separation between the Holy Spirit and God’s kindness.
Pour on us, O Lord, the Spirit of your love, ‘so that’ in your kindness..
Let’s look at the literal translation. In this translation, there is a unity between the Holy Spirit and God’s kindness. Moreover, it clearly states that the Holy Spirit comes from God’s kindness; which then is emphasised as God’s Love. It clearly shows that the Holy Spirit is God’s loving sign. Love and kindness may a have different literal meaning. Nevertheless, they point out to common goal: to give something precious to the loved ones.
Holy Spirit is the sign of God’s love to us. After Jesus ascended into Heaven, the Holy Spirit comes. God never leaves us alone. We received this precious gift through our baptism, and strengthen through Confirmation. God exercises His Infinite Love through the Holy Spirit. He dwells and works within us.
Yet, God does not stop here. He also invites us to share His love to others. Through the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, we are able to extend the love of God to other people. However, it depends on how we accept this calling and how we want to co-operate with Him. The Holy Spirit is not a magical tool. Love can grow if each side responds positively. God has started His move first, now it is up to us to respond.
© Christian Rosario
I think that to pin so much on the rendering of “ut” as “and” is very laboured, and ultimately invalid. “And” does not always imply a complete separation of the things either side of it.
Look at Jesus’ words in Matthew 19:21 – “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess AND give to the poor, AND you will have treasure in heaven; AND come, follow me”.
Obviously the selling leads into the giving, which leads into heavenly treasure, which frees one to follow. All the “and”s of course could have been rendered as “so that” but the English is more natural this way.
I wonder if Pastor Ignotus was being difficult for the sake of it.
Hello Father Hugh,
Thank you so much for your comments. I also read you counter-post on your blog and I understand the points you showed.
While my post might look like a critic for some people, I clarify that I did not write it as a critic.
While Pastor Ignotus pointed out on the parish bulletin, I do not think he had the intention to criticize the Church. I think he only gave his opinion. I am not sure though whether or not he raised this internally before publishing it as an article. As for myself, I cited his article because I found that he had a point; and it was published openly.
As I said before, I am only a lay person. Also, I might have not done extensive research before writing the blog post. However, the ‘ut’ meaning I found was ‘so that’ or ‘in order to’ instead of ‘and’. It would be great to have the text closer to its meaning because it has its own standalone meaning (I have not read his second article though). Nevertheless, it is only a thought, not a critic, and I am bound and submit to the Church’s teachings.
In regards with my expanded post about the Holy Spirit as a sign of from God’s love, it was purely my own reflection.
Regarding your follow-up post, I am sorry to hear that it affected people close to you. I back you and them up because you have the right to express your point. It is unfair if you and people surround you get unpleasant treatment caused more by emotional reaction.
Regardless, I love the new Missal translation and I will always support the Church. I, myself, have no intention to be on the opposition side.
I hope this clarifies.
NOTE: I have edited your post to capitalise the “and” between “possess” and “give”, without changing your original comment. Also, I will hide the parish name to prevent more conflicts. I hope it can remain anonymous.
Christian, peace to you!
Thank you for your response, which I appreciate very much. One reason I did not link to your blog was to keep the parish anonymous, and so the priest. It was not my intention to shame anyone directly, but to address the article as symptomatic of a problem that is widespread in the Church, especially among its clergy.
We should ALL (clergy included) have an attitude of humility towards the Church, which is the Body of Christ himself. When it does something that does not appear right or reasonable to us, our first reaction should not be to criticise aloud, but to delve further to see what points or issues we might be missing, because there is something that we have missed.
When clergy publish their criticisms they end up confusing, and potentially leading astray, good and well-intentioned Catholics who have grown up expecting authentic leadership and instruction from their clergy. Clergy have a right to their opinions in private, but not always in public. The same goes for Government ministers, public servants etc.
I am glad that you were prompted to reflect more on the role of the Holy Spirit as God’s love poured into our hearts. Hopefully you saw that I had no quibble with your own reflections.
Your gesture in removing the parish name from the blog was generous of you, and reveals your good heart, not least towards me as towards the parish and its priest.
May God bless you.