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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Et cum spirtu tuo

illustration from

I was in a renew group meeting and we were talking after completing the didactic material and discussion.  Someone mentioned the "and with your spirit" response that we use at Mass following the priest's statement "The Lord be with you."  I asked the group leader if she knew what the translation in Latin for that would be and she replied with the above quote.  Being 52 yrs old, I still recall that phrase from the old Latin Mass of my childhood and it still sounds as melodic now as it did then (it was often sung anyway).  The alliteration of the "tu tuo" is what makes it distinctive.

In addition to that, it draws attention to that entity known as the spirit.  How often do I recognize that I have a spirit and not just take it for granted?  And that all of God's children are composed of the body, the mind and the spirit?  I think the spirit becomes more evident in the emotional realm when one is experiencing feelings or attraction or love.  Also when one is praying or when one is strongly affected by a conversation, a song or something being observed.

The fact is, the spirit is an essential element in our Christian Faith.  The response that we all say in Mass "and with your spirit" seems less of a nonsequitor when we ponder our own spirit and its status.  Is our spirit clean?  Is it healthy and being nurtured?  Do we foster a strong mind and body to make the dwelling place (during our earthly lives) of the spirit more optimal?

The spirit can prevail in our lives more when we take time to be quiet, to heighten our senses while eliminating offensive stimuli or excessive noise and distractions for a period of time each day.  Reading the literature of Church fathers and various bible passages is another way to foster our spirit and help it grow.  And may the Lord be with you and your spirit today!