Q: We’re using the Catholicism series by Robert Barron. In the one on Eucharist he says that the reason to say “And with your spirit” is because it’s a response to the persona of Christ in which the priest is acting. Is that your read on the meaning of the change of translation?
A: No, but it is an interpretation I’ve heard quite a bit, and it was the official stance of the USCCB. My position is that the greeting “The Lord be with you / And with your spirit” is based on biblical passages in the letters of Paul, where he says, “The Lord be with your spirit” to the entire community. Paul believed the whole community had spirit, as it had body, mind and soul. In the Order of Mass, the word “spirit” is not capitalized in Latin or in English. In my view it cannot refer to the Holy Spirit. I think the priest and people are basically saying the same thing to each other: “The Lord be with your spirit,” but the dialogue breaks it up for the sake of interest.