Dirigat corda nostra, quaesumus, Domine,
tuae miserationis operatio,
quia tibi sine te placere non possumus.
In the pre-Conciliar Roman Missal this was the Collect of the 18th Sunday after Pentecost. It had an ancient source in the Gelasianum and the Tridentinum. For a change, The Redactors, didn’t mess around with this prayer. Then again, there isn’t much to mess around with, is there? This is as simple as yesterday’s was complicated. Perhaps The Redactors chose one that was really easy for today because they were still trying to figure out what yesterday’s prayer meant. Be that as it may…
O Lord, we beg You, may the working of Your mercy
direct our hearts,
for we cannot please You without You.
Given the intricacy and depth of some of the prayers of the Lenten weekdays, this is startlingly stark. We have to conclude, I think, that it was chosen from our of the prayers for the Season of Pentecost for insertion into Lent because of its vocabulary, pointing to the themes The Redactors decided were important for us. We see a reprise of vocabulary of the heart and of direction and guiding.
In earlier contributions to this Lenten WDTPRS series, I have mentioned St. Augustine of Hippo’s great insight that God crowns His own merits in us. Surely that is what is at work in today’s prayer.
AN OLD HANDMISSAL VERSION FROM SOMEWHERE ONLINE
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord,
that the operation of thy mercy may direct our hearts,
forasmuch as without thee we are not able to please thee.
This is what you would have heard… or rathyr, hearde of yore in the
1549 Book of Common Prayer
for asmuche as without thee, we are not able to please thee;
Graunte that the workyng of thy mercie maye in all thynges
directe and rule our heartes;
Through Jesus Christ our Lorde.
I rather, er um, rathyr lyke the way they turnÃƒÂ©d downe syde up the ourdre of thynges.
Would that we might be able to have prayers like this in the new translation!
Since ICEL got to make up prayers higgeldy piggelty, so can we. Here is another addition, animi causa, to our distinguished collection, namely…
A MOCKING LAME DUCK ICELESE VERSION
you are nice.
Be nice and help us love.
I think this get’s to the essence of what the old ICEL "translators" gleaned from the Latin originals, don’t you? After all, it expresses our need for the sacrament of niceness, which is the heart and soul of the old ICEL versions and the now clichÃƒÂ© theology behind them. And don’t forget to look into everyone’s eyes at Mass, er… liturgy. As we were taught in seminary (and I am not making this up) when "community" goes forward for "bread" the sacrament takes place when you look into each other’s eyes.