WDTPRS Thursday in the 5th Week of Lent: Defending the Faith

Knight in Shining ArmorCOLLECT
Adesto, Domine, supplicibus tuis,
et spem suam in tua misericordia collocantes
tuere propitius,
ut, a peccatorum labe mundati,
in sancta conversatione permaneant,
et promissionis tuae perficiantur haeredes.

This prayer was not in a pre-Conciliar edition of the Missale Romanum, but a prayer from the Veronese Sacramentary in the month of September, a fast time, it was altered by the Cutters and Pasters, for the Novus Ordo. The Veronese has et consequentes sufficientiam temporalem promissionis tuae perficiantur heredes.

Tueor is one of those verbs with a zillion possibilities. The outstanding Lewis & Short indicates that it means, in the first place, “to see, to look or gaze upon, to watch, view” and hence it shifts in meaning to “to see or look to, to defend, protect”.

Permaneo, which is basically, “to stay to the end; to hold out, last, continue, endure, remain; to persist, persevere” is also, interestingly, “to abide in a way, rule, or mode of life, to live by, to devote one’s life to” as is attested to in the Vulgate.

Conversatio we have seen in an earlier Lenten entry.

Be present, O Lord, to Your humble petitioners,
and graciously protect those placing their hope in Your mercy,
so that, cleansed from the stain of sins,
they may persevere to the end in holy manner of living
and as the heirs of Your promise be brought to perfection.

John Paul II at prayerEven in a bare bones metaphrase such as this, the power of the Latin prayer shows forth.

Lord, come to us:
free us from the stain of our sins.
Help us to remain faithful to a holy way of life,
and guide us to the inheritance you have promised

Perseverance it is key to this prayer.

We all have something given to us by God to accomplish in life.

We require both grace and elbow grease to persevere in our vocations. The Church herself has a mission to fulfill and she also must be faithful to her Spouse, Christ the Lord. The integrity of our vocations must be defended as well.

The Church, from time to time, must make firm, clear and bold statements of belief and also exercise internal discipline for the sake of fulfilling her God given vocation. At times she must defend the flock from error and disorder.

You might remember that in 1998 the late Pope John Paul II issued a Motu Proprio document called Ad tuendam fidem. By this instrument, the Church’s legislator inserted some canons into the Code of Canon Law for both the Latin and Eastern Churches. The laws aimed to defend the Faith from theological errors especially by those who teach.

We need clear doctrine, clear prayers, and clear willingness to adhere to them on the part of her duly appointed pastors.

The new, corrected translation of the Missale Romanum will be a contribution, not an obstacle.

Be near, O Lord, to those who plead before you,
and look kindly on those who place their hope in your mercy,
that, cleansed from the stain of their sins,
they may persevere in holy living
and be made full heirs of your promise

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Those who do not appreciate the elevated style of the Roman Missal’s new translation might benefit from knowing that liturgical Latin is a mix of the simpler Biblical style and the highly ornate oratorical style of the prayers and the prefaces where the natural order of words was changed (hyperbaton, anaphora, chiasmus) in order to achieve a poetic effect based on the variation of accents (cursus tardus, cursus velox, cursus trispondiacus) made up of various combinations of basis and modulatio. Care was taken to avoid all excess such as words that would require opening the mouth too widely or sentence endings that would be abrupt and monosyllabic. Moreover, the prayers are usually structured in three parts: the invocation, the reason why the Divine favor is sought, and the petition itself.
    I’m just saying because some folks seem to think that liturgical prayers should be kind of like everyday street talk.

  2. Brooklyn says:

    What an amazing picture of the late Holy Father. It strongly conveys the idea of perservance, pushing ourselves beyond what we think we can accomplish. I think the problem with the “lame duck ICEL translation”, as you call it, is that it never seems to convey the idea of any kind of struggle or hardship. Those translations do very little to remind us that we are in a spiritual battle for our eternal lives, and that if we are not constantly drawing on the grace of God through the sacraments of the Church and spiritual disciplince and fighting the good fight, we could very well lose that battle.

  3. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I love that picture too. I am beginning to be shaped like that. John Paul II is my model of redemptive suffering. I see the pictures of him smiling in his kayak as a young man and then see him later. I hope to be able to follow him on this rocky path and not fall by the wayside into the multiflora. (ow!)

  4. jules1 says:

    I can imagine what those people in the church were thinking , as they saw the Holy Father bent over and frail, their eyes would have been very teary yet full of admiration for him. How God must love him!

  5. BobP says:

    I see a picture of a frail but beloved Pope next to something called “lame-duck.” I hope this is accidental.

  6. irishgirl says:

    What a moving, yet heartbreaking picture of our late Holy Father. He looks as if he has the weight of the world’s sins on his shoulders. When he was still on this earth, I could never watch any news stories about him in his later years-it was too hard. I remembered him in the prime of his manhood, standing straight and tall….as he now is in the kingdom of heaven!

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