Sunday, June 25, 2006

Watch Your Language! (Part 1)

This is rather an ongoing mulling-it-over process for me, but one of the things that really bugs me about many modern prayers is the language in which they're written. It's not the English that gets my goat, but the academic buzzwords (and there's a whole other rant there about academics who hijack perfectly good words for their own nefarious agendas). I can (and am forced to) read this sort of writing in my courses at the university--I'd rather it not be thrust into my prayers. These words are simultaneously politically charged and devoid of true meaning. And to top it all off, they lack beauty and impact. This, I think, is one of the reasons why many modern prayers and hymns ring hollow and leave me thinking, "What on earth did we just say?"

I don't want to pray to God, my Heavenly Father, that I wish Him to 'empower' me to become an 'agent of social change.' I don't want to 'engage in meaningful dialogue' with the saints. I don't want to sing about 'embracing diversity' in our one sappy 'community' (although I suppose I might deserve that one for going to a 'worship space' rather than a church). The intent of these phrases is often laudable (though all too often highly agenda-ized), but the expression of that intent is gag-worthy.

Give me the Our Father or Hail Mary (or Memorare, or prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, or Eternal Rest, etc.) any day.

3 Comments:

Anonymous pmdesmarais@msn.com said...

I'm with you...why do we feel we have to "improve" or modernize our prayers. We have such beautiful prayers of our catholic faith and when said slowly and meditated upon, can truly strengthen our faith. I have a favorite prayer from St.Louis de Monfort if you are interested I would like to share it with you. Paula in Az.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are so right! all the 'politically correct' jargon takes alot of the beauty away. prayer should never be lowered to this level!

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

St Anthony--I have lost my car keys (in my home) I have exausted my search---I Know you will help--you ALWAYS do!!! Thank you I will perform a good deed in return.

12:38 PM  

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