Wednesday, October 19, 2011


"Pray in Latin whenever possible"   Benedict XVI [June 2005]

As Roman Catholics, Latin should hold a special place in our hearts. All too often I hear the same few- misguided arguments concerning that which I would like to briefly address... [In no particular order]
A. "Why pray in a language that I don't speak or understand?"  
B. "Why Latin? Why not Hebrew or Aramaic- since this is what Jesus actually spoke?"        
C. "Vatican II did away with all Latin..." 

     - G-d has blessed Our Church with a special association to Latin; we have used it for thousands of years! Though I would agree that it would be difficult to learn a prayer directly in Latin... I believe this argument holds no validity- ESPECIALLY when we can learn said prayers in English first. Nobody is asking you to pray ONLY in Latin... but it would be a good idea- and a special dedication to G-d- to try to pray at least partly in Latin. I'd suggest that you begin with the sign of the cross, [In Nomine Patri, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti] and the Glory Be. . . From there you can go on into the Ave Maria [which I learned by repeatedly listening to the hymns and opera] and the Pater Noster [which I am currently learning via listening to Gregorian Chant- on repeat... while reading along with the words printed].  Nobody is asking you to learn the language- or even speak it! But I think you would just try to even read it- it would be pleasing to the Lord. 
  To this you must forgive me for saying so- but THANK G-D ITS LATIN! I'm given to understand that Hebrew and Aramaic quite difficult to learn- in both reading & writing and speaking. Latin is the language of the Church because Christianity [Catholicism was the only one present at the time] began IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE- hence the Latin. We continue to use Latin because it is what we have always used. We ceased to use Hebrew because not all Christians were Jewish... there were many converts who did not know a lick of Hebrew.  I shall leave you with this for now... but I will return to the subject soon. 

For now, please think about praying- at least a little bit- in Latin. It does awesome things for our soul [-the actual definition of the word- not as in "cool"]. Trust that G-d knew- and knows what He is doing. What the mind cannot comprehend - the heart and soul can. Trust that your soul will understand it... don't resist... it might feel alien at first- but I strongly encourage you to try. Just do that- try. No need for long term commitments... just a simple little prayer.      May G-d Bless you now and always. In Nomine Patri, et Fili, et Spiritus Sancti. 


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