November 29, 2011

New Translation: The Healing Remedy

Journeying through these first days of the new translation, I keep finding new appreciations. Today I'm thinking of two of the private prayers of priest, each of which restores somewhat the sense of Holy Communion as a sort of medicine, a healing remedy.

The first is the second option for the private preparation of the priest, which concludes by asking that the priest's communion be a "healing remedy," translating the Latin medela. The second is the prayer at the purification of the vessels which concludes by asking that the communion just made be a "healing for eternity," translating the Latin remedium sempiternum.

These prayers really speak to my heart at this moment in my journey as a Christian. When I was first trying to live the faith, I think I looked on the sacraments as if they were sources of power for living the agonistic, counter-cultural life I wanted to admire in myself. That was my vainglory. Going on twenty years later, I realize that I am very far from surrendering to any devout energy to become heroically virtuous. Rather, I need the healing touch of the divine Physician just to begin to learn how to be a repentant sinner.

May the sacred mysteries of which God has made me an awkward and negligent custodian be for me--and for those I am unworthy to serve--a healing remedy, now and into eternity. Amen.

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