Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I am not someone who counts prayers -- I mean, if you know anything about the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, you will think that I probably don't get it if I'm counting Memorares. God certainly takes us to uncomfortable places we never thought he'd lead us.

That's my first observation upon having reached 979 Memorares -- this feels uncomfortable.

One interesting thing that has happened to me on this adventure has to do with the problem of translation. When I learned the prayer, my translation was different than the one that many of my friends use, so I've come to address both the most "gracious" Virgin Mary, as well as the most "blessed" Virgin Mary. As I've been repeating this prayer, sometimes I will say "gracious" and sometimes "blessed," without any sort of plan or reason. Then, one time, both words wanted to come at once and I addressed Mary as "most blecious," which sounded to me like "precious." Then I prayed a whole cycle of Memorares using the word "precious." Finally, I looked up the original Latin and spent quite a bit of time trying to learn it in Latin, and then praying in English but using the word "piisima" or sometimes "most pious" or "most loving" in place of all the other words. Unfortunately, my favorite of all these words is still "blecious" -- it sounds awful, not at all like a word to be addressed to Mary - and yet, it sums everything up so nicely!

1 comment:

Marie said...

Perfect -- a word a Mama would treasure!

Dumbstruck by the Mystery

...our temptation is always to impose our prejudices or our measure on reality -- except when we are faced with a fact that leaves us dumbstruck, and instead of dominating the fact ourselves, we are dominated, overcome by it. If there were no moments of this kind, the Mystery could do anything, but in the end, we would reduce everything to the usual explanation. But not even a Nobel Prize winner can stop himself from being dumbstruck before an absolutely gratuitous gesture. If there were not these moments, we would find answers, explanations, and interpretations to avoid being struck by anything. It is good that some things happen that we cannot dominate, then we have to take them seriously, and this is the great question of philosophy. If the conditions for the possibility of knowledge (see Kant) impose themselves on reality or if there is something that is so powerfully disproportionate that it does not let itself be "grasped" by the conditions of possibility, then the horizon opens. If this were not the case, then we could dominate everything and be in peace, or at least without drama. Instead, not even the intelligence of a Nobel Prize winner could prevent him from coming face-to-face with a fact that made him dumbstruck -- instead of dominating, it was he who was dominated. Here begins the drama, because I am called to answer. It is the drama that unfolds between us and the Mystery, through certain facts, certain moments, in which the Mystery imposes itself with this evidence. These are facts that we cannot put in our pocket, which we cannot reduce to antecedent factors.
-- Julian Carron in "Friends, that is, Witnesses."