Daily Archives: 21 May 2006

Repetita iuvant: something from a recent WDTPRS column

I got an e-mail from a distinguished person who sometimes is kind enough to check in on this blog. He expressed approval of a commentary I made in my WDTPRS article for the 6th Sunday of Easter.  Given the recently … Continue reading

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6th Sunday of Easter: Post Communion

There are many ways we can render some of these words and thus tease out nuances of meanings. I am glad I don’t have to produce in WDTPRS a liturgically final version. I can be both terse and literal or, when I wish, a little wordy. So, once again I remind you that sacramentum and mysterium are intimately interconnected in liturgical language. This is why I usually say “sacramental mystery” and not just “sacrament”. For fortitudo I choose “strengthening power” instead of simple “strength” so I can involve the concept of a virtue. At the moment the priest is raising this prayer heavenward the Host is intimately, even physically, within us, within our pectus! Therefore, when I get to nostris pectoribus, while I stick here with “souls” I would rather write, “hearts, minds and wills” so as to elaborate the depth of the word pectus and give a larger view of all the dimensions affected by a good reception of Communion.

After investigating these prayers each week, having all the various nuances and wrinkles of meaning of the vocabulary fresh in my mind, I begin to hear more than just the bare words. There is a great deal going on in each Latin prayer, friends. But the task of translating these orations so that they are beautiful, memorable, accurate and concise is daunting in the extreme. The people entrusted with this Herculean task need the support of prayers and positive comments when they have been successful.

We should arise from our Communion simultaneously as gentle as doves before our neighbor, as clever as serpents before the workings of the world, and as indomitable as lions in the face of the evil one (described also as a lion seeking to devour us – 1 Peter 5:8), ready to do battle against every kind of evil attack. When receiving Communion and in the subsequent period of thanksgiving, have an explicit intention, with the help of Mary, to ask God for the virtue of fortitude and the increase of that homonymous gift of the Holy Spirit. A Christian’s choice: lion or gerbil? Continue reading

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6th Sunday of Easter: Collect (1)

When we are at Mass, we as a Church do at the command of Christ what Christ commanded us to do: do this in memory (commemoratio) of me. Through Christ, who is Alpha and Omega, living and glorious yesterday, today and tomorrow (as the priest declares when preparing the Paschal candle at the Vigil and which burns in the sanctuary when this prayer is being sung), the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord are really and truly present sacramentally in the here and now even though they took place at a specific point in time many centuries ago. At Mass the Lord is not only risen, but He is also (sacramentally) rising: we receive the Dominus resurgens. Because Christ is the principle actor in the liturgical action, our liturgical commemoration is more than a simple “remembrance of things past.” The rising of the Lord (which some say is symbolized by the reuniting of the Body and Blood when the priest drops the small particle broken from the Host back into the chalice) means that we also, while we journey toward Him in this earthly life, are rising in Him. We are living in a state of “already but not yet.” We are risen, rising, and about to rise all at the same time. When we celebrate the Easter cycle of days commemorating these mysteries, in gratitude we seek to bring by the power of this Christ-informed faculty of “calling to mind” a new dimension to all that we do and say here and now. Our good works, performed by the baptized in charity and willed, conscience unity with Christ, are simultaneously our acts and His acts. Christian “commemoration” is enfleshed in many ways. So, placing ourselves at Christ’s service in the service of others (hopefully doing the same but most often not), we find a kind of freedom from past, present, and even the future that is not otherwise humanly attainable. Continue reading

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