Ecclesiam tuam, Domine,
miseratio continuata mundet et muniat,
et quia sine te non potest salva consistere,
tuo semper munere gubernetur.
In the so-called "Tridentine" Missal this was the Collect for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost: Ecclesiam tuam, Domine, miseratio, continuata mundet et muniat: et quia sine te non potest salva consistere; tuo semper munere gubernetur.
Let’s go back to gubnero again, a favorite word of Cicero. The Lewis & Short, our reliable source of Latin lemmas, says this is "to steer or pilot a ship". Logically, it also means "to direct, manage, conduct, govern, guide". The Liddell, Scott, Jones Greek Lexicon, or LSJ, says that kubernao is "steer", "drive" and metaphorically "guide, govern" and then "act as a pilot, i.e., perform certain rites in the Ship of Isis". I can’t quite imagine what those are, but it might be a little outside of our sphere of interest.
Munus is a little hard to get at in English is this Collect. Usually munus is "a service, office, post, employment, function, duty" but I think we must avoid reducing God to a functioary. It is true that God is often said in our prayers to have pietas, which carries a strong sense of "duty", but in Latin prayers pietas when applied to God cannot be separated from "mercy". In this instance of munere, we ought to lean toward another, less common meaning of "a service, favor" in the Lewis & Short. In fact, Blaise has, "don, faveur (de Dieu)".
Let Your continuous compassion,
cleanse and defend Your Church, O Lord,
and because without You she cannot continue safe,
may she ever be steered by Your favor.
We are coming up on the one year mark of the final days of His Holiness Pope John Paul II during that powerfully moving Triduum last year. On Good Friday the soon to be elected Joseph Card. Ratzinger lead the Stations of the Cross at the Colloseum. In the …
Jesus falls for the third time
V. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
R. Quia per sanctam crucem tuam redemisti mundum.
From the Book of Lamentations 3:27-32
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when he has laid it on him; let him put his mouth in the dust — there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the smiter, and be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off for ever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion, according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
What can the third fall of Jesus under the Cross say to us? We have considered the fall of man in general, and the falling of many Christians away from Christ and into a godless secularism.
Should we not also think of how much Christ suffers in his own Church? How often is the holy sacrament of his Presence abused, how often must he enter empty and evil hearts! How often do we celebrate only ourselves, without even realizing that he is there! How often is his Word twisted and misused! What little faith is present behind so many theories, so many empty words! How much filth there is in the Church, and even among those who, in the priesthood, ought to belong entirely to him! How much pride, how much self-complacency! What little respect we pay to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where he waits for us, ready to raise us up whenever we fall!
All this is present in his Passion. His betrayal by his disciples, their unworthy reception of his Body and Blood, is certainly the greatest suffering endured by the Redeemer; it pierces his heart. We can only call to him from the depths of our hearts: Kyrie eleison — Lord, save us (cf. Matthew 8: 25).
Lord, your Church often seems like a boat about to sink, a boat taking in water on every side. In your field we see more weeds than wheat. The soiled garments and face of your Church throw us into confusion. Yet it is we ourselves who have soiled them! It is we who betray you time and time again, after all our lofty words and grand gestures. Have mercy on your Church; within her too, Adam continues to fall. When we fall, we drag you down to earth, and Satan laughs, for he hopes that you will not be able to rise from that fall; he hopes that being dragged down in the fall of your Church, you will remain prostrate and overpowered. But you will rise again. You stood up, you arose and you can also raise us up. Save and sanctify your Church. Save and sanctify us all.
All: Pater noster …
Eia mater, fons amoris,
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.