Tuesday, September 3, 2013

why I miss anxiety

It’s just one word. But I notice it almost every day.

I miss “anxiety.”

The new English translation of the Roman Missal is not so new anymore. It was implemented in Catholic parishes across the country on the first Sunday of Advent 2011.

At our own parish, we were well prepared for the changes by our pastor who arranged very helpful homilies over several weeks—and even started using the new language two months early so that we could focus on Advent and not on whether we were getting the words “right.”

I found it helpful during the transition to keep in mind the responses we say in Spanish at Mass because the 2011 English translation parallels those Spanish responses much better than the previous one ever did.

Yet there is one point at Mass that still stalls me.

Right after we say the Our Father, the celebrant’s prayer that leads to the Sign of Peace now says:
Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,graciously grant peace in our days,that, by the help of your mercy,we may be always free from sinand safe from all distress,as we await the blessed hopeand the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
But prior to Advent 2011, we heard the celebrant say:
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil,
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy keep us free from sin
and protect us from all anxiety

as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
There is nothing wrong with distress. But I genuinely miss anxiety. 

I found it intensely healing to hear a public pleading to our Father at every Mass that He may “protect us from all anxiety”!  

It felt like a public confession (yes, Lord, anxiety is our culture’s distinctive and horrible disease--and I personally struggle with it)—followed by a shared supplication for help (we count on and desperately need your protection, Lord!).