Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Best Ritual Moment Ever

From the former rite of confirmation (as found in the 1885 Pontifical):

"Next [the bishop] lightly slaps him on the cheek, saying:

Peace be with you."

(note: the word translated as 'slap' could also be translated as 'beat', 'cut', or 'slay'. And who knows how they interpreted that in the craziness that was the pre-Trent world?)

As an aside, since the tradition shows that slapping can be a legitimate sign of peace...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Spiritual Warfare Metaphors?

I'm not sure how I feel about them. I'm not sure the phrase "prayer warrior" really applies to anyone who isn't at least a person who's had some real experiences praying against more concrete manifestations of dark forces. I feel like for most of us the effects aren't that direct. (This is not to be taken to mean they are not present, but let us note that war has many indirect effects on non-soldiers.) I believe in the unfortunate pervasiveness of dark forces but at the same time the ways they work, "war" seems too violent an image for the resulting conflict. Of course, the whole thing is a war, but I think of angels and exorcists as being more the warriors. I think most of us are more like homeland manufacturers or field support. So yeah, we're fighting a spiritual war. Nothing metaphorical about that. But I'm not sure we're quite as on the front lines as we sometimes might think.

Thoughts, anyone?