Over Thanksgiving weekend, concern about the revised Roman Missal was causing major angst among a number of Catholics as they experienced the language changes for the first time in the Advent liturgy.
Advance comments this week from friends posed the question: "How can we possibly pray using these clumsy words, these endless phrases?"
Here is an idea: First, take a deep breath. Next, search through your bookshelves for anecdotes of beauty. The poetry and depth of other prayer styles are waiting to feed your hungry souls.
One of my favorite collections is "Earth Prayers from Around the World," edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon. "Earth Prayers" has been available since 1991, but its contents are timeless. Contributors include Pablo Neruda, Black Elk, Thich Nhat Hanh, T. S. Eliot, Brother Antoninus, St. Francis, Rainer Maria Rilke and Albert Schweitzer.
The authors' introduction to the section "Praise and Thanksgiving" is particularly timely: