Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

And with your spirit.

By Dr. Jeff Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Feb 17, 2011

What are we supposed to gain from the new translation of the Roman Missal, to be implemented next Advent? Auxiliary Bishop James Conley, who is in charge of overseeing the new Missal’s implementation in Denver, sees the new translation as an important opportunity for spiritual deepening and authentic liturgical renewal. His address to choir members and church musicians last St. Cecilia’s Day is something each of us should read and savor: Sing a New Song with Your Lives: The Promise of the New Edition of the Roman Missal.

Since you can read it for yourself, there is no reason to summarize it extensively here. But I’ll mention just one thing: Bishop Conley’s treatment of the restored response “and with your spirit” instead of the current mistranslation, “and also with you.” Going back to “and with your spirit” is, I think, one of those reversions to accuracy which many people wonder about. Why is the Latin phrased that way? What value does this bring to the liturgy?

Bishop Conley answers that question as follows:

Remember those powerful lines from the prologue to John’s Gospel…. Christ gave us the power “to become children…born not of blood nor the will of the flesh…but of God” [Jn 1:12-13].
That’s who we are in God’s eyes. The love of God, the Holy Spirit, has been poured into our hearts in baptism so that we bear witness in our spirit that we are His sons and daughters [see Rom 5:5, 8:6]. We are made in the image of God and renewed in the image of His Son, who is the perfect image and likeness of God [Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 4:4; Col 1:15, 3:10].
That’s why Saint Paul so often said in his letters, “The Lord be with your spirit” [2 Tim 4:22; Gal 6:18; Phil 4:23]. He was taking the measure of our great dignity.
Our God is spirit. And we are His children, born of water and the Spirit. And we are made to worship our Father in spirit and in truth. So it is fitting that we recognize the Lord’s presence among us, “And with your spirit” [see Jn 4:24].

This is just one way that a renewed and corrected translation of the original Latin can help us to focus not so much on the community but on Christ who is the life of the community, and to begin to recover a connection between our own worship and the eternal liturgy of the heavens. But Bishop Conley has much more to say than this. I recommend his address, for both instruction and spiritual reading.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($27,707 to go):
$150,000.00 $122,292.96
18% 82%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: nacalum - Feb. 18, 2011 5:24 PM ET USA

    Bishop Conley's point is very interesting; the only problem is that he seems to be arguing "and with your spirit" recognizes Christian dignity and calling; however, the priest never uses that formula in his greeting to the people. He still says: "The Lord be with you."

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? 3 hours ago
The Complexity of Reforming Religious Communities 24 hours ago
Speaking Softly to Women Religious December 16
In showdown with American sisters, the Vatican blinked December 16
Policing, torture, reasons of State, and our Christian mistake December 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - 23 hours ago