In my last blog I wrote about how the Latin Mass helps keep most of us priests humble, because few of us are Latin language experts. I wrote how my altar server corrected my Latin the other day: “In your in nomini Patris the third person of the Trinity should be in the genitive rather than the dative.” Reading this post later I saw a mistake in the words in nomini Patris but didn’t correct it so that you, my loyal readers, would have the chance to call me on it. But nobody did, perhaps because you are excessively polite. Can anyone spot what’s incorrect with “in nomini Patris”?
On to another subject: let’s talk about hate. It’s a seriously overused word today. Everyone is accused of hating someone, it seems, but really: we can’t all be haters. A few years ago, I discovered I was a “hater” myself. How did I learn of my new status? I had announced some modest liturgical changes to Sunday Masses, and some parishioners were discussing these over a meal at a restaurant one night. The couple at the next table, also Catholics but not members of the parish, began arguing with them. A bit of a heated discussion ensued about the purpose of the Divine Liturgy and the nature of sexual distinctions. As my friends were leaving the restaurant the other couple hurled this epithet their way: “We would never be part of a parish motivated by hate!”
It reminded me of an incident with one of my nieces, who was 12 years old at the time. Her parents would not let her do something she wanted to do, so she stormed out of the room crying “you all hate me!” Often tweens don’t have the intellectual or emotional capacities yet to discuss what confuses them rationally. They resort to calling other “haters.” A healthy person grows out of that stage by mid adolescence. The excessive use of the word “hate” in our time is perhaps a manifestation of the prolonged adolescence of a great number of people. To help tweens grow beyond this stage, their parents and priests must provide solid education in rational thinking and consistent formation in prayer, which trains the mind and the heart to get beyond the “hater” stage. This is why, I’m putting my time and energy into both a classical Catholic school and a deeply prayerful parish at Star of the Sea.