WDTPRS – 2nd Sunday of Lent – “Prayer over the people” (2002MR)

In the 2002 edition of the Missale Romanum the traditional Lenten “Prayer over the people” has been revived.  It can be used now in Latin.

Benedic, Domine fideles tuos benedictione perpetua,
et fac eos Unigeniti tui Evangelio sic adhaerere,
ut ad illam gloriam, cuius in se speciem Apostolis ostendit,
et suspirare iugiter et feliciter valeant pervenire.

The verb suspiro means “to draw a deep breath, heave a sigh, to sigh” and thus “sighing after, longing for”.

I found the phrase suspirare iugiter in a sermon of Caesarius of Arles (s. 43.5).   It seems to have come in large part from the Missale Parisiense, perhaps with influence from St. Gregory the Great.

Bless Your faithful, O Lord, with an everlasting benediction
and make them so to cling to the Gospel of Your Only-Begotten
that they may be able to long for always and happily to attain
unto that glory whose beauty He showed to the Apostles in Himself.

This wonderful plea for your sake on the part of the priest, which I hope you might hear someday with your heads bowed unto God, connects us back to the moment of the Transfiguration about which we were instructed in the Gospel for today’s Holy Mass.

That glimpse of something of His divine glory helped the Apostles endure the horror of His suffering.

If we have the opportunity for worthy worship, we have this glimpse as well.

It can help us now in our Lenten discipline, as we say “No!” even to some things which are good and say “Yes!” to performing works of mercy.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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