Fr. John Hunwicke has a superb post over at his place. He looks at today’s Collect in the Extraordinary Form. My emphases and comments.
in tot adversis
Da quaesumus, omnipotens Deus: ut, qui in tot adversis ex nostra infirmitate deficimus; intercedente unigeniti Filii tui passione respiremus.
Thus today’s ancient Collect (Grant, we beg, almighty God: that we, who among so many adversities faint on account of our weakness, may through the mediation of thy Son’s passion, get our breath back).
How extraordinarily up-to-the-moment those ancient prayers are. [Exactly. People don’t change. Some circumstances of life have changed over the centuries, but people are, essentially, the same. When the “reform” of the prayers of Mass was perpetrated, I think the “reformers” lost sight of this.] The Church is at this very minute under a great Satanic onslaught: she is still reeling from the wounds inflicted by the monstrous evil of pedophilia: men privileged to take the Lord into their own hands morning by morning so as to offer the immaculate oblation with the purest of hearts became … filth. [Remember the Stations of the Cross written by Joseph Ratzinger in 2005?] Demonic cunning is putting the Church’s doctrine of Marriage is under attack in some of the highest quarters of the Church. Sexual perversion is Proudly paraded before us, and woe-betide any who dissent. And, without the gates, Christians are hounded to Martyrdom by a foul and murderous superstition. Among so many adversities puts it mildly.
[NB] The new Rite retains this Collect. But [BUT!] it misses out the words in tot adversis [among so many adversities]. In the breezy and optimistic confidence of the post-conciliar years, we felt that as the Church made herself up-to-date, threw open her windows to the world, and blew her cobwebs away, old liturgical phraseology about her being besieged by afflictions was not particularly ben trovato.
Oh dear. How the chickens so carefully nurtured by the fashionable liturgists of the 1960s really are coming home to roost. One recalls the Lord’s words about the yet greater demonic infestation which can occupy the swept and garnished house.
Father is referring to the Lord’s warning in Matthew 12:
The men of Ninive shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they did penance at the preaching of Jonas. And behold a greater than Jonas here. The queen of the south shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon here. And when an unclean spirit is gone out of a man he walketh through dry places seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith: I will return into my house from whence I came out. And coming he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goeth, and taketh with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is made worse than the first. So shall it be also to this wicked generation.