There is an interesting word in the Collect of today’s Mass: convalescant. Here is the prayer:
Vota, quaesumus, Domine,
supplicantis populi caelesti pietate prosequere,
ut et quae agenda sunt videant,
et ad implenda quae viderint convalescant.
The Lewis & Short Dictionary shows that convalesco means “to recover from a disease, to regain health, to grow strong, gain strength”. Think of the English word “convalesce”, which is narrowed in meaning to refer to gaining strength after an illness.
We beg, O Lord, follow up on the promises
with heavenly mercy for a supplicant people,
so that they may both see the things that must be done,
and also gain strength in order to bring to completion what they will have seen.
That convalescant suggests us a flavor of a continuous process. We who suffer from a wounded human nature need the medicine the Doctor of our souls can give. The Doctor is, of course, Christus medicus. He is also in the person of the priest, who gives us the Eucharist to consume and absolution when we have sinned and come to back our senses. We gain strength, strength upon strength, when we stay close to the sacraments. They help us to see what we must fulfill according to the vocations God’s gives us and then bring to completion the good initiatives God provides in His mercy.