Here is the Collect for Thursday of the 1st week of Advent.
Excita, Domine, potentiam tuam,
et magna nobis virtute succurre,
ut, quod nostra peccata praepediunt,
gratia tuae propitiationis acceleret.
This prayer was in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary and other sacramentaries. It was in the 1962MR as well for the 4th Sunday of Advent ("Rorate").
A LITERAL VERSION:
Rouse up Your power, O Lord,
and hasten to aid us with your great might,
so that, what our sins are hindering
the grace of Your merciful favor may make swift.
Praepedio means "to entangle the feet or other parts of the body; to shackle, bind, fetter" and therefore "to hinder, obstruct, impede". The idea here is that something is placed "before" (prae) the "foot" (pes) which makes you stumble. But if you dig at the word a little more, you find that interestingly enough prae-pes means also "swift of flight, nimble, fleet, quick, rapid". There is an interesting tension that sparks the imagination in hearing prae-ped…
During Advent we are being constantly given images of movement, of rushing swiftly to a goal. Succurre harks to curro, which is "run". Accelero is "to hasten".
Christ is rushing towards us. Will we hasten him to us by clearing the path for His rushing feet, bring peace and reward? Will our sins hasten His more violent coming, with correction and then separation?
We must smooth His path, remove the obstacles.
When the Lord comes, He will come by the straightest path … whether we have straightened it out or not.
Our sins make His path crooked.