by Artist Eye
I once attended a Bible study with a man who, when he read aloud any passage of the Bible hesitated strangely, as if reading were not entirely natural to him. I realized after a time that the reason for the occasional odd pause in his reading was that he was translating directly from the Greek as he read. I have not known personally many other scholars of this man’s caliber and it was always a great pleasure to me to hear his point of view. But what was most striking to me was the freshness of the text arrived at in this fashion. No word could be taken for granted. Each phrase was an adventure, a voyage of discovery.
The restless sea of unfamiliar Latin I traverse in the daily office can be a little bit like that for me. Gaudium etenim Domini est fortitudo Nostra. The joy of the Lord is your strength, strength like a fortress, a stronghold that is bigger than me. And all that strength is what? God’s joy. A good place to pause.