If you really love Jesus, don’t honk!

I thought for a while that there was something wrong with me. A part of me was pleased with what I shall term the “divine détente” that appeared to be developing quite rapidly in Christian community.

However, an uncomfortable question mark tended to hover over what seemed to be not so much détente as impropriety in the expression of our relationship with the diety. God is our personal God; Jesus did say that we are his friends; the Savior used the familiar “Abba” when speaking of the heavenly Father.

Yet the model prayer opens the gates of heavenly communion by stating that the name of the One upon whom we call is “hallowed”: holy, consecrated, sacred, revered.

In an attempt to break from errors embraced by some traditionalists, is it possible that many in today’s church have also unwittingly tossed aside basic tenets of our faith? In an honest desire to take the church into the streets—and rightly so—are we dangerously close to bringing the streets into the church? The language of today’s liturgy often gives indication that holiness is passé, and we must be careful that we not season our speech with terms that might sound sacred.

The old cliché “is nothing sacred anymore?” becomes all too real.

In a recent editorial, a Catholic leader, John Catoir, expressed something of the same concern. “Worship cannot be reduced to a coffee klatch where people can smile at one another and feel chummy. We should realize that we are participants in a mystery to which we adhere by faith.… Speech has much to do with language. After all, speech is the language of communication. To convey a sense of mystery one can hardly use the same language spoken at a cocktail party.

“Today, unfortunately, the language ...

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