Why pray in Latin?
#21
(08-21-2019, 04:48 PM)GoodKingWenceslas Wrote: 3. Again, you could say this about Greek or Hebrew - in fact, God's inerrant word has only been revealed in Greek and Hebrew, couldn't that make it more efficacious than Latin? If God Himself spoke those languages to reveal Himself. I don't think it is, because as far as I know, God hasn't revealed that one language is more efficacious than another.

Then why has the Roman Rite Mass been in Latin since the 3rd century until 1970?  From what I've read, they started using Latin in the 2nd century, likely for practical reasons, but kept going with it.  It seems there is a significance beyond the practical. 

Christians didn't widely adopt the crucifix until the 2nd or 3rd century, and the rosary has only been a thing since, at the very earliest, the 12th century.  Still, they are considered sacred.  And let's not forget the Bible.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it was translated into Latin around 400 AD and still used in the Roman Rite today.  In any event, the Bible in Latin was what was used for a very long time. 

I imagine that all those peasants, my ancestors included, thought of Latin as the language of the holy, what priests spoke, and therefore sacred.  I'm going to go with the sacramental angle unless I find something better. I do think of Latin, in context, as a sacred part of the Church. 

Call it intuition or delusional romanticism, but there it is.
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#22
1) 'But there is no connection to all Catholics that will ever exist, because the majority of them during the first millenium, and tens, if not hundreds, of millions during the second, never spoke Latin or incorporated it into their prayer or liturgical life.  Your belief is based on a false premise, and that is what makes the belief that Latin is more efficacious in prayer a superstitious one'

Admittedly, although I do believe in a deep connection between all Catholics (even when we don't recognise it and much less appreciate it), I was partly wrong to speak of that connection being based on Latin. You're quite right that a lot - or even most - people of the first millennium would have spoken a variety of other tongues, especially Greek.

Nonetheless, only partly wrong as when the Church didn't have Latin as its long-standing dominant language, it was more prone to division to the point of heresy and schism, than the more the Middle Ages went on, when it wasn't. Moreover, considering that the Faith began in the Holy Land and only gradually spread westwards, through lands much more used to these other languages, especially Greek, it's no wonder. Yet during the course of growth and development, the Church took Latin and made it its own. Due to this, the Arab Muslim conquests and schisms, the result was that towards the end of the first and certainly in the second millennium the majority of Catholics would've been in the West, speaking Latin to one extent or another.

Just in case anyone says about most people not knowing Latin in the past, I would disagree and say that's a misconception.
My Mum was growing up before and after Vatican II and to this day has a basic knowledge of Latin. If she has that after having grown up in a non-Catholic country/age, just think what those who did grow up in a Catholic country/age would've been capable of.


2) 'But I think God allowed it to happen passively.  I don't think he predestined it, or providentially ordained it, if you prefer (personally, I don't see any substantial difference between the two).  The reason I think that is because I don't get to pick and choose what God providentially ordains and what he passively allows to come to pass.  I can't say that God chose Rome and Latin to come to the forefront in the West unless I'm also willing to say that God chose the current crisis to befall the Western world.  I really can't say it without also saying God providentially preordained the Fall of Man, and I believe it would be blasphemous for me to suggest that he did.  Logically, I can't look at the unfolding of history and say that all the elements that are pleasing to me are ones that God ordained, and all the elements that offend me God merely passively allowed. I think Logic demands that God either passively allowed it all, the good with the bad, or he preordained it all, the good with the bad.  In my opinion, the former option is the only one that does not make God an evil being'

Obviously I don't know for sure and maybe shouldn't even speculate, but that's what I believe happened.

Predestination (but not the false Protestant idea of 'double' predestination) is a part of Providence and God both allows something bad to happen and makes something good happen, without it being all one or the other.

Be careful not to go from one extreme to the other, thinking God made it/all happen only and lapsing into Calvinism or to think God allowed it/all to happen only and lapsing into Deism.


3) 'I don't think there is anything wrong with seeing the beauty in it.  I think it becomes a problem if you then interpret the subjective beauty you see in it to be an objective sign of superiority.  The one does not follow from the other'

Maybe you're right, but I really do see the beauty and objective sign of superiority in it, with Latin having helped to bring about Christendom and the Age of Faith.


4) 'Well, you are believing and quoting demons when you say that they dislike Latin and it makes them leave and go back to hell.  You really have no way of knowing that that's not an act.  And to be fair, I really have no way of knowing that it is, either.  But I'm erring on the side of their known nature.  A demon tells me that Latin scares him?  I suppose I should become a Muslim, too, if he tells me that reading the Quran makes him flee'

Actually, I don't think you know much about exorcisms or have been really paying attention to me. After all, I have stated that the demons don't admit that, but that there is the demonstrable effect that they are driven out by that, which they clearly don't want and which the exorcising priest ascertains.

You're being silly as Latin is a part of the Faith and the Koran isn't, plus they're not going to aid in any way in their own expulsion!


5) 'This is what I mean by your belief being superstitious.  You're taking private revelation and making it a cornerstone of what you believe.  It doesn't make any logical sense that demons would hate Latin any more than they hate any other language.  It doesn't make any logical sense that demons would be so disgusted by one particular sin.  Are they not, then, disgusted by every other unnatural sin?  Why, then, are they demons if sin disgusts them so?  Why do they tempt people to commit sins that they, themselves, cannot bear to witness?  If sodomy is such a horrible sin in comparison to others, and demons hate God, this sin should be the most pleasing to them since it does the most spiritual damage to those who practice it. The premise is based on pious sensibility, not on reality.  The belief that sodomy disgusts demons, or that Latin scares them more than other languages, is really no different than the belief that the Pope, because of his position, is granted two guardian angels.  It's based purely on piety, not any logical inference that can be made from true Catholic doctrine.  It is superstition, not Catholicism'

For reasons unknown to us, God preferred the Hebrew language to receive worship in, so why not Latin later on?

Even if Latin isn't inherently powerful, perhaps it became so precisely because of the Church elevating it and it being to a great extent the basis of Christian Religion, Culture and Civilisation in the West, which by the second millennium was ascendant.

You really should read St Catherine of Siena's Dialogue, but the basic point is that the demons still have angelic natures albeit used for Evil. This means that for the sake of Evil they tempt people with this most unnatural of sins, but that their angelic natures can't bear the actual sight of this sin. So they tempt right up to the point where they know the person will engage in it and then flee immediately, this sin being so bad that even the demons aren't pleased with it or can bear it.

Seemingly, you keep using the words 'piety' and 'superstition' (or variations of them) interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Ergo, I am either pious (which regrettably is not true) or superstitious (definitely not), not both.
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#23
(08-21-2019, 04:39 PM)GoodKingWenceslas Wrote: Agreed. David prayed in Hebrew, our Lord for all the evidence we have prayed in Greek or Aramaic. If Latin were more effective, surely they'd have used Latin.

Hebrew and Greek are sacred languages, too. But the language of the Church now is primarily Latin, and that even applies to the East, given Roman primacy. The Eastern Churches are still subject to the Pope, even if he mostly allows them to govern themselves. But Greek's still used - at the traditional Papal Mass, the readings are done first in Latin and then in Greek, and it's still sometimes seen today in the new rite. And it's the Church's use of Latin, not anything inherent in the language itself, that makes it more powerful. Of course God hears prayers in every language, and most Catholics have never been fluent in Latin, certainly not enough to just talk to God in Latin rather than reciting already-composed prayers, but it makes complete sense that demons would fear Latin most since it's the language of the Church. Our Lord might have prayed in Hebrew and Greek, but the Church wasn't around yet when He did most of His praying. 

As St Isidore put it:

Tres sunt autem linguæ sacræ: Hebræa, Græca, Latina,
quæ toto orbe maxime excellunt.
His enim tribus linguis super crucem Domini
a Pilato fuit causa ejus scripta.
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#24
I'm all for Latin, but let's not forget that vocal prayer is only the first of many ascending levels of prayer (nine as outlined by St. Teresa of Avila and St. Francis de Sales).
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#25
I think it's all about how you use the language, if I thought any language had some intrinsic power it would be Hebrew or Greek - the languages of revelation. But even then, Hebrew and Greek can be used for evil purposes, and so can Latin.

Use whatever language helps you to increase in love of God, but in my experience, praying in Latin seems to be more of an exercise in pronouncing syllables than anything else (except for the most basic prayers). 

But on the other hand, I do agree that there is a beautiful sense of continuity praying basic prayers in Latin, they are not hard to understand and they link one to centuries of worship. But this is a very subjective preference and has nothing to do with the language's inherent "power."
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#26
(08-23-2019, 10:51 AM)Florus Wrote: I think it's all about how you use the language, if I thought any language had some intrinsic power it would be Hebrew or Greek - the languages of revelation. But even then, Hebrew and Greek can be used for evil purposes, and so can Latin.

Use whatever language helps you to increase in love of God, but in my experience, praying in Latin seems to be more of an exercise in pronouncing syllables than anything else (except for the most basic prayers). 

But on the other hand, I do agree that there is a beautiful sense of continuity praying basic prayers in Latin, they are not hard to understand and they link one to centuries of worship. But this is a very subjective preference and has nothing to do with the language's inherent "power."

Do you think the Extraordinary Form Mass would be as effective if said in the vernacular?
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#27
(08-23-2019, 12:01 PM)jack89 Wrote: Do you think the Extraordinary Form Mass would be as effective if said in the vernacular?

At the more reverent Anglican Ordinariate parishes, their Mass is basically a TLM in English.  Is it a less effective than a Latin mass?
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#28
(08-23-2019, 12:01 PM)jack89 Wrote: Do you think the Extraordinary Form Mass would be as effective if said in the vernacular?

Depends what you mean by effective. That's a whole host of issues.
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#29
(08-23-2019, 12:12 PM)Melkite Wrote: At the more reverent Anglican Ordinariate parishes, their Mass is basically a TLM in English.  Is it a less effective than a Latin mass?

Good question.  If it's not important, why has the Mass been said in Latin for roughly 1800 years?

Is it just a legacy from the Roman Empire that stuck, for a very long time?

Why does Father Ripperger, who seems to know his stuff, call it sacred?

The INTJ in me has been triggered, I must know. :)
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#30
(08-23-2019, 03:17 PM)jack89 Wrote:
(08-23-2019, 12:12 PM)Melkite Wrote: At the more reverent Anglican Ordinariate parishes, their Mass is basically a TLM in English.  Is it a less effective than a Latin mass?

Good question.  If it's not important, why has the Mass been said in Latin for roughly 1800 years?


I'd say more for human reasons than divine ones.  Even if the accusation is exaggerated and abused by the Orthodox and Protestants, they're not entirely wrong when they point their fingers at Rome when speaking of ultramontanism and imperialism.  I'd say Rome enforced Latin for the same reasons we enforced English on incoming immigrants and Native Americans: to stamp out diversity and preemptively eliminate any conflicts with the prevailing hegemony.
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