I was feeling the need for a Mass this evening, so I attended the local 6pm Mass followed by a Rosary. It was a Portuguese Mass, but foreign languages have never stopped me. I have either attended or still do attend Masses or Divine Liturgies in Latin, Portuguese, Arabic, Coptic, Spanish, Greek and French. English is feeling kind of foreign these days. ;-)
I do not always understand the meanings of the specific foreign language words, but thanks to the Universal Catholic Church, I usually understand where we are in the Mass. I can then join in on some level with everyone else.
The same is true with the Rosary. Tonight, I did not understand one of the prayers said after each decade. When I listened more closely, the rhythym was familiar and I realized it was, "Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy." I then started saying it under my breath in English whenever the rest of the congregation said it aloud in Portuguese.
That is what I do when I do not know the meaning of the specific foreign language words. That is what I can do because the basic construct is the same for all languages. The Catholic Church took to heart the directive of Jesus, "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:19)
It was a nice way to wind down from a somewhat chaotic week in which I finished up a newspaper article entitled, A Woman In Support Of An All-Male Priesthood. It is a shortened version of my entry, Why Catholic Woman Can Not Be Priests. I hope the editor accepts it, especially because the newspaper is a secular publication going out to mainstream America (well, ok, mainstream MA/Southern NH).
Maybe some day I will submit it to a Catholic publication, especially because many Catholics need to hear that message too.
Peace in Christ,
image - http://www.lionsliema.com/news.htm