True Confessions time: I am not a big fan of the new translation of the Roman Missal.
This will come as absolutely no surprise to some of you, who’ve heard me rail and whine about the clunky sentence structures, the esoteric vocabulary, the unhelpful focus on merit and worthiness, etc. etc. etc. (I mean, really: When I say in the Confiteor that “I have greatly sinned…”, haven’t I just committed another sin—the sin of pride? But I digress.)
On the other hand, I have begun to find a measure of grace in submitting to authority on this point. Even when the literally-translated words assault my ear, there’s something to be said for being obedient in circumstances that I do not fully comprehend. And once in a while, that trickle of grace becomes a flood—as it did this morning, when Father Santen led us in the new Preface II of Lent prior to the Eucharistic prayer.
He prayed, among other things, that we be “freed from disordered affections.”
Ah, yes: disordered affections! What in the Sam Hill are they?
Then I realized: This clunky term had stopped me in my tracks, long enough to consider what they meant…and whether, in fact, disordered affections might be a part of my life.
Upon further review, I had to admit that they are: My “favorite” sins. My disordered desire to cling to my brokenness…rather than embrace the saving power of the cross.
In today’s Gospel reading, I met a man like me—the one who had been waiting for 38 years in the portico of the Temple, hoping for the waters to stir in the pool called Bethesda.
Jesus asks him, “Do you want to be well?” Interestingly, he doesn’t give Jesus a direct answer. For some reason, in that moment, he seems to find more comfort in his long habit of brokenness…than in the saving grace that Jesus is offering him.
A disordered affection, indeed.
Save me, Lord Jesus, from myself…and from my cherished habits of sinfulness. Help me to say “Yes!” to the ever-present offer of your grace!