WDTPRS Wednesday 3rd Week of Lent: a polishing not a torture

Rock TumblerCOLLECT
Praesta, quaesumus, Domine,
ut, per quadragesimalem observantiam eruditi
et tuo verbo nutriti,
sancta continentia tibi simus toto corde devoti,
et in oratione tua semper efficiamur concordes.

A bit strange in its style, no? Well, this is of new composition for the Novus Ordo. It takes some inspiration from Sermon 40, 4 of St. Pope Leo I “the Great” (+461).

Erudio is “to polish, educate, instruct, teach”. Rudis is an adjective for “unwrought, untilled, unformed, unused, rough, raw, wild”. Someone who is rudis is “rude, unpolished, uncultivated, unskilled, awkward, clumsy, ignorant; hence (like ignarus)”. People must be brought out of this state by being polished. St. Augustine (+430) wrote a work called De catechizandis rudibus. Eruditio refers to the whole culture and formation of a Catholic.

Observantia is certainly an “observance”, but also “an observance of religious duties, divine worship, religion”. For example, the Theodosian Code speaks of “fides Catholicae observantiae” (16, 5, 12, § 54).

LITERAL TRANSLATION
Grant, we beg You, O Lord,
that we, having been polished by means of the Lenten observance
and nourished by Your word,
may by holy continence be consecrated with our whole heart,
and we may be made always harmonious in Your prayer.

Day by day our Lenten observance ought to be a polishing not a torture. Sometimes people make the mistake in the spiritual life of putting themselves on the rack. The rock tumbler is a better model than the rack.

NEW CORRECTED ICEL VERSION:
Grant, we pray, O Lord,
that, schooled through Lenten observance
and nourished by your word,
through holy restraint
we may be devoted to you with all our heart
and be ever united in prayer
.

UPDATE:

The Lame-Duck version is in a comment in the combox, below.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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4 Responses to WDTPRS Wednesday 3rd Week of Lent: a polishing not a torture

  1. Brad says:

    I am pleased that Lent’s privations (and additions) have borne much fruit for me. I have never liked it when people chirpily declare, “Happy Lent!”, but I must say that the privations have brought happiness to me.

  2. Henry Edwards says:

    Unfortunately, the corrected (and much improved) version we’ll hear at vernacular Masses next Lent still lacks the polish–as well as the continence, consecration, and harmony–of Father Z’s literal translation:

    Grant, we pray, O Lord,
    that, schooled through Lenten observance
    and nourished by your word,
    through holy restraint we may be devoted to you with all our heart
    and be ever united in prayer.

  3. doodler says:

    It reminds me of a favourite Lenten Prayer:
    The Master Carpenter Prayer
    O Jesus, Master Carpenter of Nazareth, who on the Cross with wood and nails hast wrought
    man’s full salvation, wield well thy tools in this thy workshop, that we, who come to thee
    rough-hewn, may be fashioned to a truer beauty by thy hand; for thy name and glory’s sake.Amen

  4. Nathan says:

    The lame duck version:

    Lord, during this lenten season
    nourish us with your word of life
    and make use one in love and prayer.

    In Christ,