Saturday of the 5th Week of Easter

Omnipotens aeternae Deus,
qui nobis regeneratione baptimatis
caelestem vitam conferre dignatus es,
praesta, quaesumus,
ut, quos immortalitis efficis iustificando capaces,
usque ad plentitudinem gloriae, te moderante, perveniant.

While this was not in a previous edition of the Missale Romanum it had precedents in the ancient Veronese Sacramentary and the Bergomense.

Almighty eternal God,
who in the regeneration of baptism
deigned to confer upon us heavenly life,
grant, we beg,
that they whom you make capable of immortality by justifying,
may, you being their guide, come through all the way to the fullness of glory.

Do you see the connection to Thursday’s and Friday’s prayer?  Thursday we also had justification language and yesterday we had in aptari the concept of being made fit, or suitable, or disposed for something.  Latin capax in the first place concerns the physical volume of something, but by extension it is “capacious, susceptible, capable of, good, able, apt, fit for”.  Here, capax has to do with the ability to receive something.  In juridical language capax applies to the ability to inherit.  Keep in mind that we are, in Christ, made by spiritual adoption co-heirs.   In Christian texts capax comes to mean “capable” or “disposed” to receive spiritual realities, such as the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, or sacraments.  Even today capax is used when conferring a sacrament provisionally on someone.  For example, if a priest does not know for sure if a person has been validly baptized, he will confer the sacrament provisionally by saying, “si capax es, ego te baptizo… if you are capable (of receiving the sacrament) I baptize you…”.   

The sin of our first parents brought necessary death on the human race.  Some theologians are of the mind that before the Fall, in the their state of original innocence, perhaps man might still have died, but according to his own choice.  It was also perhaps possible that he did not need to die.  That is to say, man might have been able not to die.  After the Fall, of course, any choice or ability we might have had was lost.  Now, however, because of Christ we have the possibility of eternal life in a way that was never possible before.  Our humanity has been raised up in an indestructible bond with His divinity.  In the Resurrection, our resurrection was secured. 

One day we will all rise again.  Will we rise to the happiness of heaven or the agonies of hell?  God makes it possible, by justifying and sanctifying us in baptism, for us to rise to glory and eternal joy.  By His grace and merits we can make the choice which it will be and cooperate with His plan for our salvation.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

  1. 1973 ICEL version:
    Loving Father,
    through our rebirth in baptism
    you give us life and promise immortality.
    By your unceasing care,
    guide our steps toward the life of glory.

    Yes, it appears that we’re seeing now a run of English collects by unfamiliar ICEL translator whose work WDTPRS hasn’t encountered before. His prayers differ from more familiar ICEL efforts in that they preserve the order and sequence of concepts in the Latin originals, while otherwise adhering to standard 1973 ICEL conventions. E.g., any beseeching quaesumus is ignored, and Omnipotens aeternae Deus (“Almighty eternal God”) becomes “Loving Father”. Or just “Father” if “love” is elsewhere available in the prayer. (You just gotta have luv in there somewhere.)

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