Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Go-To Latin Phrases To Enrich Your Life

The Latin Mass is often called “the closest thing to heaven on earth.”

Rich in history with a language that most closely resembles the spirit of the Gospels, the Latin Mass is considered, by many, to most accurately reflect the mystery of the presence of Christ at the altar. After decades of Novus Ordo (Latin for “New Order” is the 1969 Mass of Pope Paul VI in which the Mass was offered in English with additional changes such as the priest facing the congregation instead of the altar), there is a renewed interest in the Latin Mass.

Indeed, with Benedict’s 2007 interest in revising the Latin Mass, many Catholics have been introduced to the beauty of the Latin language for the first time while others are recalling their great love for Latin.

Outside of the Latin Mass, additional Latin words and phrases are now proving invaluable in the spiritual life of a Catholic and can undoubtedly enrich the lives of other Christians as well.

Dominus is Latin for master or owner. Taken in context of the faith, it most perfectly reflects the beauty of being in a loving relationship in which Christ is the master. Unfettered by a secularist world view, dominus is the truest indicator of what it means to be a believer: we are “owned” by the one who loved us so deeply that he died for us and for our salvation.

Lectio Divina is Latin for Divine Reading. It is an invitation into the reading of Scripture wherein we enter the heart of God and he enters ours. It is a slow inhalation of as little as a word or as much as a paragraph that takes root in the soul of a reader. Lectio divina requires we let go of the world and let God, through the Holy Spirit, speak his sacred word divinely into our heart and soul.

Oratio Ignita is Latin for Fiery Prayer. No longer satisfied with a mundane prayer life, a believer who enters into a more intimate union with God often finds that his or her prayer takes on a “fiery” or even a somewhat heightened aspect of communing with God. Erupting from the depths of the heart, oratio ignita reflects a deeper understanding of God’s will and desire to be in obedience.

Bios Praktikos is Latin for Active Life. According to Aristotle, those who engage in bios praktikos are able to attain noble things. This is due to the fact that all things wind back to the Divine and this becomes more apparent the more a believer participates in the things of life, particularly bringing those experiences back into prayer.

Dei Gratia is Latin which means Grace of God. Grace being the favor—the gift—given to us by God; something unearned, undeserved. Exploring the true meaning of grace from the Latin perspective encourages us to think more clearly about this divine gift and possibly experience it in a new, appreciative way.

Beatus is blessed in Latin and easily brings to mind the Beatitudes—the roots of Christianity that cannot be divided.

Redemptor Hominus is Latin for The Redeemer of Man—Christ.

Exploring Latin words affords a unique opportunity to delve into the history of Christianity in a very unique way. These few words are just the beginning of a wealth of words and phrases which have the ability to speak to the heart and soul of a believer as they force a sense of concentration and seeking wherein God will be able to respond.

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