Monday, November 28, 2011

Cold, Confession, and Bible Misunderstandings

So I'm happy to say that I'm pretty much over the cold, but my body is overly tired and really I should be sleeping not typing.  Unfortunately, a certain Mr. Stinks aka Little Brother is waking up.  So much for that.  The cold sucked the life out of me.  On Saturday, Hubby went to work after giving me two days in a row off.  I spent the morning sleeping.  Usually I doze for about 15-20 minutes on the couch while HB does his own thing.  That morning HB sat next to me and I slept an hour and forty-five, woke up, and declared that CPS should have been called as I became a terrible Mommy who neglected a little boy.  But I'm sure it's happened to a few sick parents before.

So Hubby mentioned the overkill of the I Confess.  This got us into a discussion about many things including public and private Confession.  I've mentioned it before (just do a search) so I won't do much repeating.  Hubby talked about a couple of things: 1) he doesn't necessarily agree that there's anything wrong with having both public and private confession.  There are some Protestants who do.  I use the term Protestant because it's a general term for non-Catholic and non-Orthodox Christians (who share similar views and theology).  I could be specific, but I have learned that there are so many denominations within denominations (what type of Lutheran are you?) that it makes my head spin and it would take me all day to weed through who believes what.  Hubby was raised Baptist so that's his perspective.  The problem with Hubby isn't that he thinks Catholicism is illogical, quite the contrary.  No, the problem for him is what exactly does he personally believe.  He kinda views Christianity as a philosophy or a theory.  2) He did say that someone once quote a bit of the Old Testament to him about spoken Confession or something.  I had to Google to figure out what he was talking about since I don't recall there every being a passage about man silently mouthing his confession.  The closest I could come up with is this: 1 Samuel 1:9-17.

The passage is talking about Hannah's prayer to have a child.  It doesn't have anything to do with confession.  It's the difference between silent and spoken prayer.  Jews often spoke out very loudly, and in this case one can interpret that silent prayers are also heard.  But Jesus talks about that in Matthew 6:6.

And I've talked about public and private confessions before and how it's more common than most people think.  And I've talked about how priest's have given the authority but do not have the power to forgive sins (my analogy was a teacher's authority over a student).  One Protestant site actually referred to the entire congregation as the priesthood and therefore said that it was important to pray for the remission of sins for others since they have the power to do so (as Christians).  I'm not sure I can follow that logic since Jesus gave this authority to the apostles specifically (John 20:22-23).  He didn't give it to anyone.  Nor have I heard a Protestant congregation refer to itself as being the priesthood.  I know it's a Catholic thing to say the ordained priesthood versus the common priesthood so maybe that's where the root of it is.  Most Protestants hate the word "priest" and prefer something else like "minister" or "elders." 

Interestingly, Hubby asked me about the difference between a priest and a rabbi as far as Judaism is concerned.  There are no Jewish priests currently because there is no temple.  Apparently Jewish priests were from a specific line (Levites) and were attached to the temple.  Someone said they were more like scribes and things although they performed ritual sacrifices and purification and were the only ones allowed to do so.  Rabbi means teacher.  They were originally, you may have surmised, teachers of Jewish law and customs.  Today they are in charge of their synagogue.  Jesus was not called a priest by his Jewish followers because he was not a Levite.  He was called, Rabbi, because he was a teacher.  Make sense?

It is interesting that people of some Protestant groups give actual directives on how exactly your supposed to pray especially when it concerns how Catholics pray (which is often said to be wrong).  I think I've mentioned that too.  Something about the babbling of pagans getting confused especially since the Our Father follows directly from that Bible verse (Matthew 6:9-13).

I've also talked about Venial sins versus Mortal sins and how they work.  Venial sins do not require confession.  You do have to publicly confess them at the beginning of Mass before receiving common.  Mortal sins must be absolved in confession first.  This is the reason for the I Confess, which has changed to be more close to the Latin text.

Hubby thought the beating of the breast and repeating my fault three times was a bit over board, but it's symbolic.  First of all like all parts of the Mass, it's based in the Bible specifically Luke 18:13 and Jeremiah 31:19 (NIV).  To beat ones breast is to show remorse for sin.

As far as the triple repetition.  This is actually common in the Mass.  We say "Holy, Holy, Holy" and also use it in the "Lamb of God/ Agnes Dei."  There are numerous theories as to why the I Confess has this triple repetition.  One can speculate that it's a human characteristic meant for emphasis or a symbol of the trinity.  Suffices to say that the practice is ancient and a part of the Latin text so when they translated it into English they chose to stay closer to the original form.   

Oh and for those of you who may find this interesting the "Christ has died, Christ has risen...." is not part of the original Latin.  This was thrown in during the second edition translation.  So alas you will never hear those all to common words again since they discarded them to be more authentic. 

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