Thursday, May 08, 2014

Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? With a perfect hatred do I hate them: I account them mine enemies.

The hatred of the Faith quite often seems to include a direct hatred of Scripture. So much so that there has for a long time been a huge impulse among the lily-livered "Christians" of our time (and previous times) to edit it, to make it more palatable to modern sensitivities.

This desire was played upon mightily by the people who "reformed" the Divine Office. The little shreds, shards and fragments of the Faith that are left to us once all the difficult bits are taken out, were all neatly packaged up and re-sold (accompanied by a bunch of unsingable American Jesuit hymns) as the four-volume "Liturgy of the Hours". I was shocked to see that this monstrosity of the Church of Nice is STILL being used by a bunch of "conservative" religious orders. Mostly, I imagine, because the good sisters don't know there is anything else. Sigh...

I note it because I've been having an interesting time with my Benedictine Monastic Diurnal, an older edition of which I was given recently by some nice Benedictine nuns in Tuscany. In using it ever day, I've discovered that a previous owner, presumably a female, has gone through and minutely corrected a bunch of the English translation of the psalms in pencil, crossing out offensive parts and a bunch of the "thees-n-thous" kind of language (the "st" crossed off of "didst" etc.) and carefully re-writing them with "updated" language.

I was amused to note that the REALLY offensive bits of scripture have just been expunged. The scary bit at the end of Psalm 137, for example, is firmly crossed of with a big penciled "X".

"Thou wretched Babylon's daughter, * Blessed be who shall repay thee what thou didst to us!

Blessed be who taketh thy babes, and dasheth them against the rock!"

It's been interesting observing exactly which changes have been made by this unknown female Catholic hippie of the past. One of them that I thought telling was this: "How weighty for me are Thy thoughts, O God, * how imposing is the sum of them!" But "for me" is crossed out. It gives a tiny little insight into that kind of mind that is quite fascinating. Though depressing as all hell.

She pencilled her name in the front page: "Sue C." so maybe someone could say a prayer for her? Perhaps fortunately, she seems not to have persevered in her vocation, because the corrections and annotations can only be found in small sections of the book.

Anyway, I suppose it gives us a bit of a hint about the attitudes of a certain kind of Catholic. It should perhaps not be surprising to us when we see some members of the hierarchy telling Our Lord that His instructions, regarding marriage for instance, are just too much for modern people to handle.

"Truly I tell you that Moses only allowed you to divorce out of the hardness of your hearts..."

"Ah yeah...Thanks, dude, but we'll take it from here..."



Michael Demers said...

"This even goes so far that, in 1970, the pope [Paul VI]
excluded Psalm 137:7-9, together with some other psalms and psalm
verses, from the four-weekly recital of the Psalter in the Liturgy of

Michael Demers said...


Heather said...

So what is a good version of the hours to look for? I have been wanting to start praying it but didn't know they had been altered!