Thursday in the 5th Week of Lent

Knight in Shining ArmorCOLLECT
Adesto, Domine, supplicibus tuis,
et spem suam in tua misericordia collocantes
tuere propitius,
ut, a peccatorum labe mundati,
in sancta conversatione permaneant,
et promissionis tuae perficiantur haeredes.

This prayer was not in a pre-Conciliar edition of the Missale Romanum, but a prayer from the Veronese Sacramentary in the month of September, a fast time, it was altered by The Redactors, for the Novus Ordo.  The Veronese has et consequentes sufficientiam temporalem promissionis tuae perficiantur heredes.

Tueor is one of those verbs with a zillion possibilities.  The outstanding Lewis & Short indicates that it means, in the first place, "to see, to look or gaze upon, to watch, view" and hence it shifts in meaning to "to see or look to, to defend, protect".  

Permaneo, which is basically, "to stay to the end; to hold out, last, continue, endure, remain; to persist, persevere" is also, interestingly, "to abide in a way, rule, or mode of life, to live by, to devote one’s life to" as is attested to in the Vulgate.

Conversatio we have seen in an earlier Lenten entry.

LITERAL TRANSLATION
Be present, O Lord, to Your humble petitioners,
and graciously protect those placing their hope in Your mercy,
so that, cleansed from the stain of sins,
they may persevere to the end in holy manner of living
and as the heirs of Your promise be brought to perfection.

John Paul II at prayerEven in a bare bones metaphrase such as this, the power of the Latin prayer shows forth.

Perseverance it is key to this prayer.  We all have something given to us by god to accomplish in life.  We require both grace and elbow grease to persevere in our vocations.  The Church herself has a mission to fulfill and she also must be faithful to her Spouse, Christ the Lord.  The integrity of our vocations must be defended as well.  The Church, from time to time, must make firm, clear and bold statements of belief and also exercise internal discipline for the sake of fulfilling her God given vocation.  At times she must defend the flock from error and disorder.  

You might remember that in 1998 the late Pope John Paul II issued a Motu proprio document called Ad tuendam fidem.  By this instrument, the Church’s legislator inserted some canons into the Code of Canon Law for both the Latin and Eastern Churches.  The laws aimed to defend the Faith from theological errors especially by those who teach.

We need clear doctrine, clear prayers, and clear willingness to adhere to them on the part of her duly appointed pastors.  Hopefully the ongoing project of preparing a new translation of the Missale Romanum will be a contribution, not an obstacle.  

Also, I note with interest the theme of adoption/sonship/inheritance.  If I am not mistaken, we will see this taken up again.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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5 Responses to Thursday in the 5th Week of Lent

  1. Henry Edwards says:

    ICEL version:
    Lord, come to us:
    free us from the stain of our sins.
    Help us to remain faithful to a holy way of life,
    and guide us to the inheritance you have promised.

    If Father Z’s is a bare bones metaphrase, perhaps this is a rock bottom miniphrase. Actually, it does appear to retain some of the ideas of the original, albeit most minimally. Whatever, it certainly makes me glad I was able to attend a Latin Novus Ordo Mass this morning, thus being spared hearing ICEL stuff read painfully aloud, if only for a day.

  2. martin says:

    I have to register a vigorous protest at any prayers being referred to as “ICEL stuff”.

    The ICEL versions, as we know, are a long way from being rigorous translations of the Latin originals, but that in itself is no sufficient condemnation of them however much one might prefer the originals; and the words so ungraciously dismissed by Henry as “ICEL stuff” are still, for all that, prayers to Almighty God. Neither the ideas nor the words in which those ideas are conveyed are fatuous or meretricious, but are, on the contrary, devout and respectful, and no Christian praying them will be touched in the least degree by abusive disparagement of them.

    May Almighty God have mercy on us all if our scrutiny of prayers in a non-liturgical setting such as this ever strays beyond that spirit of charity which Fr. Z. announced at the start of Lent as informing the debate in this weblog, and which is not to be constrained. In these matters we all need to keep a strict guard over the expressions we use.

  3. Martin: Your protest is registered.

  4. Jeff says:

    “Tueor is one of those verbs with a zillion possibilities.”

    This reminded me of the marvellous Myles na cGopaleen “dictionary entry” for an Irish language word. Irish is of course not Latin, but anyone familiar with language study and the flamboyant variety in ancient Celtic literature will get the point:

    “Cur, g. curtha and cuirthe, m. – act of putting, sending, sowing, raining discussing, burying, vomiting, hammering into the ground, throwing through the air, rejecting, shooting, the setting or clamp in a rick of turf, selling,addressing, the crown of cast iron buttons which have been made bright by contact with cliff faces, the stench of congealing badgers suet, the luminence of glue-lice, a noise made in a house by an unauthorised person, a heron’s boil, a leprachauns denture, a sheep biscuit, the act of inflating hare’s offal with a bicycle pump, a leak in a spirit level, the whine of a sewage farm windmill, a corncrakes clapper, the scum on the eye of a senile ram, a dustmans dumpling, a beetles faggot, the act of loading ever rift with ore, a dumb man’s curse, a blasket, a ‘kur’, a fiddlers occupational disease, a fairy godmothers father, a hawks vertigo, the art of predicting past events, a wooden coat, a custard-mincer, a blue-bottles ‘farm’, a gravy flask, a timber-mine, a toy craw, a porridge mill, a fair day donnybrook with nothing barred, a stoats stomach-pump, a broken-”

  5. Hmmm… I don’t think tueor has quite that many possibilities.

    o{]:¬)