A "Soap Box" Perspective / "Rant"

This "rant" was a reaction to  a news item  indicating authorization of the "tridentine mass ritual".


Dene Sweat Ceremony teaches real prayer is ‘heart speak’



The Editor: The July 4 PM article on the removal of restrictions on the use of the Latin Tridentine Mass seems to call for a response from one guy in a pew.

Some time ago I had the privilege of taking part in a Dene Sweat Ceremony in which nearly all of the prayers and songs were in Dene. The sweat leader did a very impressive job and had a great voice. A few words were spoken in English, preceded by an apology to God for speaking in English for the benefit of non-Dene. At the end of the prayer ceremony I asked the sweat leader what he thought God was listening to: what was coming from his heart or what was coming from his mouth? With absolutely no hesitation he responded, “What came from my heart, of course!”

That, and subsequent experiences and discussions, have led me to understand that the traditional languages of Dene, Cree or Dakota are used, and clung to, primarily because these are the thinking and feeling languages of these people. I now largely discard the word “prayer” from my vocabulary and substitute “heart speak” to better reflect what I believe real prayer is. Too often the word “prayer” means many things which are not “heart speak” connection to our God. If it is not “heart speak,” and instead is simply noise, ritual, or ceremony that does not connect the participant with God, we must ask “why bother?”

As a child I attended the Tridentine Mass, later I learned what the Latin words meant, and even learned to use them to sing and pray; but it was never the language of my heart. It had much more to do with “magic” than “sacrament” for me. If a Latin Mass is ever foisted on my part of the Catholic Church, I will respectfully decline to attend because I believe in “sacrament” rather than “ritual magic” and in “heart speak” rather than meaningless noises that pretend to be prayer. I do not think I will be alone in this response.

— Gerald Regnitter, Christopher Lake, Sask.