We continue to look at our prayers for Mass during Advent.
SUPER OBLATA – (2002MR):
Deus, qui salutare tuum cunctis terrae finibus declarasti,
ut nativitatis eius gloriam laetanter praestolemur.
This is and ancient prayer, found in the Rotulus 14 included with the Veronese Sacramentary. It was not in any pre-Conciliar edition of the Missale Romanum.
The verb declarasti is a syncopated form, shortened from declaravisti. The wonderfully apt verb praestolor, deponent (passive in form but active in meaning), is "to stand ready for, to wait for, expect a person or thing".
O God, who made known Your salvation to all the ends of the earth,
grant, we entreat You,
that we may in joyful expectation await the glory of His Nativity.
A DRAFT VERSION:
who have shown forth your salvation
to all the ends of the earth,
grant, we pray,
that we may await in joy
the glory of his birth.
God found ways through the history of salvation to make His salvation known through signs and revelation and even in the workings of the human mind.
Before the Nativity of the Lord, He showed signs to the Jews and, in the persons of the Magi, to all the nations. There were even, perhaps, prophecies of the event among Roman writers, if some are to be believed. For example, Virgil wrote something quite interesting in Eclogue IV.
Ever since, Holy Church has been announcing the Good News to the ends of the earth.
This Collect reminds us to prepare ourselves well for the coming of the Lord as Judge, and not just as the Infant of Bethlehem.
We also, as baptized Christians, have the obligation in our words and deeds to make known the fact that the Good News of salvation has had more than a merely superficial impact on our lives.
Remember: God gives everyone sufficient means for salvation. But not all will be saved.
Help those who struggle with an incomplete understanding of God’s gifts to know more about His plan.
In my experience, I’ve found it hard to find the right balance between sympathy and evangelization. One example…a friend of mine went from being Catholic to an atheist with a series of “religion-bouncing” in between the two. We’ve since had a falling out and we unfortunately no longer speak, perhaps because I refused to back down on my convictions and I tried to help him see my side of the coin, the way he once did. It’s a fine line, to be sure, trying to reach out to someone who doesn’t want to hear the good news. How would you suggest fighting these battles? Obviously one cannot simply concede every argument in order to sympathize with their interior plight, but I know that I can’t sit there stone-faced and quote the Catechism and tradition and revelation all day either. How can we “help those who struggle with an incomplete understanding of God’s gifts to know more about His plan” if they don’t want to hear it? Prayer, yes, but action as well? Or just plant the seeds of faith and lay low, hoping they come around by the grace of God?