WDTPRS: Tuesday 1st Week of Lent – Post communionem (2002MR)

We continue our project of looking at the Post communions of Lent:

Tuesday – 1st Week of Lent

This is an ancient prayer, found in the usual manuscripts such as the Liber Sacramentorum Augustodunensis, Engolismensis, and Gellonensis.

POST COMMUNIONEM:
His nobis, Domine, mysteriis conferatur,
quo, terrena desideria mitigantes,
discamus amare caelestia
.

Wonderful assonance on "ah".

Keep always in mind that mysteria is pretty much interchangeable with sacramenta in our liturgical prayer.

The thing that will most puzzle the beginner here is that seemly errant quo.  In the first line we have a plural in mysteriis and the incautious might think that quo is a mistake and must really be quibus.  In reality that quo is actually the equivalent of ut eo, "in order that thereby".

This quo, used without a comparative, is I think rare.  It gives me the impression of a literary hand behind the prayer, applying perhaps more than the usual touch.  In fact, that quo is quite forceful, far more effective off the tongue and in the ear than a prosaic ut.

LITERAL VERSION:
O Lord, may it be brought to us by these sacramental mysteries,
that thereby we, pacifying earthly desires,
learn to love the heavenly
.

There is a progressive quality… an "ongoing" quality to the prayer.  Consider mitigantes… discamus.

The form of confero followed by the discamus in the polished literary phrasing, gives me an impression of divine pedagogy.  Christ and Holy Church are teachers and we must open ourselves to disciplina.  Lent is a time of stronger disciplina.

Another point: "learn to love".  Love is not a soupy gloopy feeling, mere sentiment.  It is the stuff of the will.  We choose to love.  We love what we know, what we have learned.  And when we love, we long to know more.  The object of our love is the object of our learning. 

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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