Monday after Ascension in the 7th Week of Easter

Adveniat nobis, quaesumus, Domine,
virtus Spiritus Sancti,
qua voluntatem tuam fideli mente retinere,
et pie conversatione depromere valeamus.

The first part of this is based on a phrase in a prayer during the Octave of Pentecost in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary and another prayer in the Veronese Sacramentary in the month of July: Omnipotens sempiterne deus da nobis uoluntatem tuam et fideli mente retinere. et pia conuersatione depromere. ut aecclesia [sic] tua a profanis uanitatibus expiata. non aliud profiteatur uerbis, aliud exerceat actione.  Notice that what we have going on here is underscoring of the contrast between mere words or actions and interior disposition.

If you are working these prayers out yourself, and don’t happen to have at hand (quod Deus avertat!) a copy of the excellent Lewis & Short Dictionary you may want to know that depromo means in the first place "to draw out, draw forth; to bring, to fetch from anywhere, esp. out of any place".  The dictionary and commentary by Blaise/Dumas (in French) says that depromo is “formuler (voeux, priers)”.  Okay… not too easy to work with this, right?  Let’s look at Blaise/Chirat for some extra help: “mettre au jour, communiquer, publier, render public”.  That’s more like it!  Pius is a complicated adjective.  Valeo means in a simple way, “be able” but it means that because it fundamentally has to do with strength and power.  We are able to do things because we are strong enough to do them.  It has to do with being “dutiful”, as when pius Aeneas carried his old father upon his back from out the ruin of burning Troy.  It also has to do with being holy and devout and, in especially in reference God, merciful.  I think today I will simply dump these concepts into your skulls and say “pious” in our WDTPRS … 

Let the might of the Holy Ghost
come to us, we beseech You, O Lord,
by which with faithful mind we may be strong to maintain Your will
and demonstrate it outwardly by a pious manner of life.

Life is filled with labors and cares and burdens to bear.  We have heavy loads to carry.  Even if our lives are relatively care free, the weight of years press Brother Ass down and become over time harder and harder.  The Holy Spirit charges us.  It “charges” us with interior power and it charges is in the sense of duty and responsibility.  Through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit we are made strong to bear anything.  When the Holy Spirit comes with the Father and the Son to make us Their living temples and fill us with the seven Gifts and the twelve Fruits, we outwardly manifest their presence.  Manifestation of the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit are a sign that a person is in the state of grace, and habitually so.

What you do outwardly can have an enormous impact on the faith of others.  You can jump start a dormant faith life, strengthen another, or perhaps spark someone else into seeking answers to the questions they have.  On the other hand, you can damage people too. 

Today’s prayer aims at putting ourselves interiorly and exteriorly in harmony with the will of God in our lives.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. 1973 ICEL version:
    send the power of your Holy Spirit upon us
    that we may remain faithful
    and do your will in our lives.

  2. Don Marco says:

    Let the power of the Holy Spirit
    come upon us, O Lord,
    so that with faithful minds
    we may hold fast to your will
    and be able to show it forth in godly living.

  3. Don Marco says:

    Prayer Over the Oblations

    May the immaculate gifts of our sacrifice cleanse us, O Lord,
    and impart to our minds
    the vigor of grace from above.

    Prayer After Communion

    Lord, we pray you:
    graciously be present to your people,
    and having imbued us with your heavenly mysteries,
    make us pass from what is old into newness of life.

  4. Don Marco says:

    Preaching on today’s Collect

    Seventh Monday of Paschaltide

    Beginning with Second Vespers of the Ascension of the Lord, the Church prays intensely, urgently, insistently for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Obedient to the command of Christ, “not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father” (Ac 1:4), we remain quiet and still, “enclosed” in one place. We have entered upon a kind of “Advent of the Holy Spirit.” It is no mere coincidence that the second mode melody of last evening’s Magnificat Antiphon, “O Rex Gloriae” is the very one used for the Great O Antiphons. The same climate of irrepressible expectant and joyful expectation pervades the Church. “O King of glory, Lord God of the Universe, you who ascend to the heavenly heights, do not leave us orphans, send upon us the Promise of the Father, the Spirit of Truth, alleluia” (Magnificat Antiphon, Second Vespers of the Ascension).
    We cried out, last December, during our winter Advent, for the coming of Christ, the first Paraclete, the Advocate who is to us Wisdom, Adonai, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Dayspring from on high, King of Nations, and Emmanuel. “I will pray the Father, he said, and he will give you another Paraclete, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him for he dwells with you, and will be in you” (Jn 14:16-17). In this springtime Advent of the Holy Spirit, made bold by the prayer of the risen and ascended Christ on our behalf, we cry out for the other Paraclete, the Comforter sent by the Father to plead our cause.
    We cry out for the coming of the Father of the Poor, the Giver of Gifts, the Light of hearts, the best of all Consolers, the soul’s sweet Guest and gentle refreshment (cf., Pentecost Sequence, Veni, Sancte Spiritus). The Veni Creator is repeated every evening at Vespers from Ascension to Pentecost, swelling with intensity as the fiftieth day approaches. The whole prayer of the Church during this Advent of the Holy Spirit is, as it were, condensed in a single aspiration rising “out of the depths” (Ps 129:1), “Veni!”
    The Holy Spirit comes to help us in our weakness (Rom 8:26). The advent of the Holy Spirit is our rest in labour; it is coolness in the heat, and solace in our tears. The Holy Spirit comes to wash what is soiled within us, to irrigate what is arid, to heal what is sickly. The Holy Spirit comes to make supple all that is rigid and unbending. The Holy Spirit comes to warm what is cold, and to straighten what is crooked.
    The beginning of prayer is in the admission that “we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rom 8:26), and so, all our prayer during these last days before the Pentecost is to remain in one place, waiting for the Promise of the Father (Ac 1:4). When the Holy Spirit comes, his power will overshadow us; then, filling the innermost secrets of the soul, he will intercede for us with sighs too deep for words (Rom 8:26).
    Today’s Collect, in the Latin text, begins with the word, “adveniat,” the very word we use in the Our Father to ask for the coming, the advent of the kingdom. “Adveniat regnum tuum!” Today, the Church beseeches the Father, that the “virtus” —the power, the energizing force, the quickening might— of the Holy Spirit come over us and come upon us. The image is that of the Spirit falling upon the judges and the prophets of Israel, coming upon them all of sudden, changing them into men and women consumed by God’s indwelling Word.  And again, the image evoked is that of the Holy Spirit coming upon the Virgin of Nazareth, according to the word of the Angel. “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Lk 1:35).
    We do well during this “Advent of the Holy Spirit” to make the “Veni” of the Church our own, opening our hearts to the urgency of her prayer. It is always urgent to pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Prayer for the advent of the Spirit —invocation of the Spirit, epiclesis— is always pressing, for the advent of the Holy Spirit is the beginning of all prayer, and apart from the Holy Spirit, “we do not know how to pray as we ought” (Rom 8:26).
    If, with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and the apostles, we remain enclosed in the upper room, if we persevere in the humble prayer of waiting and of beseeching, we will not be disappointed in our hope. And now, if we go to the altar, it is for this: for the advent of the Holy Spirit over gifts of bread and wine, and over ourselves. The consuming Fire will descend invisibly over the altar. The Eucharist is the action of the Holy Spirit making us the Body of Christ, the Body in which the whole Mystery of Christ the Head is renewed.

  5. AM says:

    Even if conversatio doesn’t actually mean “talking” in this context, doesn’t it have rather a social connotation? L&S have “Frequent use, frequent abode in a place, [social] intercourse, conversation (most freq.).

    Would “… show it forth in the godliness of our common life” express this?

  6. AM: Conversatio is one of those words which I think we simply have to take in sense most common in Christian Latin texts, which is really “manner of life”. It is very common in monastic texts. However, in considering your question, I looked again at Blaise/Dumas for a hint. I did find the meaning of “citoyenneté”, which draws closer to what you are talking about.

    Blaise/Dumas explains in the commentary section of the book that some terms designate conduct and manner of life. In the very first place is our friend. He gives us Biblical citations also, Tobit 14:17; Gal 1:13; Eph 4:22; Philipp 3:6. Blaise/Dumas also pairs c. up with words like digna, pia, sancta.

    This is where I think we need to keep our focus. Thanks for the question!

  7. Don Marco says:

    Some input from one who has a vow of “conversatio morum.” “In godly living,” was my own rendering of “pia conversatione.”
    “Conversatio” has to do with all of life. It is one’s turning Godward —living “facing God” — and also the manner of engaging with one’s neighbour and, indeed, with one’s whole social context. Benedictines and Cistercians have translated “conversatio morum” as conversion of manners . That doesn’t quite get to the core of it, though it expresses something of what is intended. The idea is really about one’s whole manner of living. I translated “pia” as godly because godly evokes the notion of one’s duty to God, a duty that, energized by grace, becomes the expression of one’s loving attachment to God as Father and one’s obedience to all that He has ordered in His wisdom and providence.

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