Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Translation Thursday: "Invisible"

"New Translation Thursday" greetings to you all.

I have to admit that I was paying very close attention to the prayers at the Christmas Mass at my parish this week.

My pastor chanted Preface I for the Nativity of the Lord. I found myself getting caught up in confusion over this line:
". . . so that, as we recognize in him God made visible,
we may be caught up through him in love of things invisible."
Often, when I am listening carefully to the preface being chanted, the meaning becomes elusive. Of course, now that I read this preface, I "get it." But the placement of "of things invisible" caught me off guard, because I didn't have an instant recall of the previous phrase in the previous line "made visible."

The word "invisible" just doesn't resound with me; when I hear it at liturgy, I can't help but think of the way this word has been used in my secular experience, i.e. "the invisible man," etc. I guess I need to continue to develop a new way of liturgical understanding. Sometimes it's just hard for this 54 year-old Catholic!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Denise Anderson said...

This was always one of my most favorite prefaces. Sadly, I don't think "invisible" holds any of the mystery and poetry of "And so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see."

Last year and this year, I was listening to see how it would flow sans the former evocative text - This year, it is just as jarring, maybe because of the word itself, but even though it is only twice, visible and invisible, it sounded like some Alice in Wonderland riddle.

Interestingly, this preface made its way into the Catechism:

477 At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus "we see our God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see."114 The individual characteristics of Christ's body express the divine person of God's Son. He has made the features of his human body his own, to the point that they can be venerated when portrayed in a holy image, for the believer "who venerates the icon is venerating in it the person of the one depicted".115