BALTIMORE, MD. (Catholic Online) - The sacred liturgy is no less than the very work of Almighty God through which Christ continues the work of our redemption (cf CCC 1069). This is a truth that is so profound that the Church is rightly moved to refer to Holy Mass as a "sacred mystery."

Bask in that glorious reality indeed, but let's not be naïve. It also happens to be the epicenter of Satan's war against all that is good and holy. Scandalized? Don't be.

The Council Fathers tells us that the sacred liturgy is "the summit toward which the activity of the Church is directed; it is the font from which all her power flows" (SC 10). This being the case there can be no doubt that the Evil One, like any savvy wartime general, has a battle plan designed specifically to disrupt his Adversary's supply lines.

Make no mistake about it, my friends - Satan boldly staked his flag on the summit right from the start, entering Judas in the Upper Room as Jesus instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice; thus turning Holy Mass into a battlefield upon which the very heart and soul of the Catholic faith must be defended by all who bear the mark of Christ.
  
At times, this spiritual reality is manifested plainly as in the controversy surrounding the new English translation of the Roman Missal. A conflict has arisen. Christian warriors are needed. The battle plan follows.
 
CAUTION: This is a call to arms. Should you choose to continue reading you will be rendered unable to claim neutrality; rather, you will be required to choose this day who you will serve. 

BACKGROUND: The authoritative Latin text of the first and second editions of the Roman Missal (the latter being the one currently in use in the United States) was translated into English using a method called "dynamic equivalence" - an approach that sought to translate the liturgical text into the "language of the people," attempting to present general meaning and thought apart from the form of the original text. 

While this method of translation may be sufficient for some applications, when applied to the liturgy the results are painfully deficient. For instance, the current English text can obscure, and even distort, the deeper theological truths to which it should point. It often blurs the connection that exists between the text of the liturgy and its principal source - Sacred Scripture. We must admit that these translations (which were unnecessarily rushed in the atmosphere of urgency after the Council) are at times just plain incorrect. 

Recognizing the need to remedy this situation, Holy Mother Church called for a more faithful translation to be carried out - a process of correction and improvement that has taken nearly a decade to complete. At long last, on November 27, 2011, the Third Edition of the Roman Missal in English will be officially implemented in the United States and elsewhere.

The time to prepare is at hand. A great gift is coming our way. We are about to recover a sense of the sacred in the language of Holy Mass! And yet, just as at the Last Supper, there are some who are plotting against us.

CONFLICT: Scarcely a week goes by without the media touting the activities of those who are decrying the forthcoming sacred text. One well publicized dissenter stands out - an American priest who started an online signature drive called "What if we just said wait?" to recruit troops in a resistance movement against the new translation. That was sixteen months ago. Now, thanks in no small part to the aid and comfort of friends in the liberal media, this ongoing drive has amassed over 22,000 signatures.

Let's be clear about what is happening: Faithful Catholics who would otherwise be willing to approach Holy Mass and the newly corrected liturgical text with humility are being misled into a posture of prideful resistance by irresponsible clerics and others. Something must be done.
 
ENGAGEMENT: In this battle against these ecclesial enemy-combatants we mustn't hesitate to take up the most dependable weapon of all - prayer.

"Such a battle and such a victory become possible only through prayer..." (cf CCC 2849).

As in any conflict in the spiritual war we cannot go the mission alone; rather, "it is always 'we' who pray, in communion with the whole Church, for the deliverance of the whole human family as our interdependence in the drama of sin and death is turned into solidarity in the Body of Christ" (cf CCC 2850).

Yes, just like our prideful counterparts we too must come together in a display of unity. To that end, with the help of Catholic News Agency, I recently launched a different kind of signature drive; a movement of humble acceptance called "What if we just said pray?" where

faithful Catholics can publically proclaim their common commitment to the following:

- To pray for our bishops that they may be strengthened in their ministry as an expression of gratitude for their efforts to bring sacred language back to the Mass
 
- To pray for those who are engaged in prideful resistance against the new English translation of the Roman Missal that they may come to humility

- To prepare ourselves and our loved ones for this great gift by engaging in the liturgical catechesis necessary to grow in our awareness of the mysteries being celebrated at Holy Mass and their relationship to daily life

INTERIM ASSESMENT: The Evil One is clearly agitated. We are on the right track.
Since going live, I've been forced to remove a number of profanity laced entries from the website. Less than a week into the effort two of my personal email accounts were hacked, my passwords were changed, and every single one of my contacts were deleted. This kind of retaliation can only mean one thing; we are successfully inflicting a direct strike!

One of the very first signatures on the website is that of Catholic Online Editor-in-Chief Deacon Keith Fournier, and though our movement was launched less than three weeks ago already more than 700 clergy, religious and laity from all over the world have joined in. A good start indeed, but much remains to be done. 

CALL TO ARMS: You now know that the sacred liturgy is at once the centerpiece of our lives and the epicenter of the spiritual battle that rages just beyond the veil, sometimes in a most tangible way as in the case of the Roman Missal. You've been read in on the mission. Neutrality is no longer an option. You must choose this day who you will serve.

Those of you who are willing to take up the weapon of prayer with humility are invited to join us at www.whatifwejustsaidpray.org to boldly enter the battlefield while crying out with eyes firmly fixed upon the Cross, Serviam! I will serve!

Those of you who are not can be assured of at least two things; we will be praying for you, and Christ our Redeemer and King shall reign victorious.