I just completed an article for The Wanderer. In this week’s offering I delved into the first of the priest’s possible preparatory prayers before Holy Communion during Mass.
In this preparatory prayer we find the phrase “a te numquam separari permittas… let me never be separated from You”.
As part of the article I added the following:
That phrase “a te numquam separari permittas… let me never be parted from Thee” will be familiar to those who pray the Stations or Way of the Cross according to the method composed by St. Alphonsus Liguori (+1787). A woman, Dhuoda, married to Duke Bernard of Septimania in 824, used the phrase in her Liber manualis quem ad filium suum transmisit Wilhelmum, 4,8. Thomas a Kempis (+1471) uses it in the Imitation of Christ, 1,1. The phrase is also found in the Anima Christi, once attributed to St. Ignatius of Loyola (+1556), but which comes from at least the 14th century. The priest used to say it during every Mass. In the Novus Ordo it is an option.
Nothing is more terrifying than separation from God. Nothing that can happen to the body in life is as bad as dying in the state of mortal sin. When we sin, we separate ourselves from God. If we die in that state, that is how we remain: separated. That is the essence of the state called Hell, and all Hell’s unending agony derives from that separation. Break God’s commandments, separate yourself from God.
“Free me by this your most holy Body and Blood from all my sins and from every evil; keep me always faithful to your commandments, and never let me be parted from you.”