“among so many adversities”

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.

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  1. Grumpy Beggar says:

    “Superb”, for sure. Thanks for posting it Padre.

    A little credit where credit is due though : One could note that there was a definite move in the right direction in today’s Collect from The New English Translation of the Roman Missal, in that it is still an improvement on (not perfect, but better than) the previous one in use (I’m quoting the Canadian Sacramentary CCC 1974 Edition in the second quote – what we used before the new English Translation – which is the closer cousin of “post-conciliar”)

    Today’s Collect:

    Grant, we pray, almighty God, that , though in our weakness we may fail, we may be revived through the Passion of your Only Begotten Son. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

    1974 CCC Sacramentary Collect for Monday of Holy Week:

    All-powerful God, by the suffering and death of your Son, strengthen and protect us in our weakness.We ask this though our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

    The 1974 version in and of itself, is still a good prayer, but when we add “among so many adversities” and “though we may faint or fail on account of our weakness” – it takes on a more personal meaning in relation to our true human nature without His grace, or on those occasions where we have either given up on or turned away from His grace.

    And Father H’s point is well made : “among so many adversities” is as applicable today as it was during the persecution of the early Church, and its Founder –

    [John 15:19-21] :

    “If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
    Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
    And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”

  2. Kathleen10 says:

    Great post and great points by Fr. Hunwicke. One point of a disagreement of terms. To call what has occurred in our Catholic church “pedophilia”, is to allow the men who acted out on their same-sex attraction to escape responsibility for their heinous actions. Since the John Jay study identified over 80% of the victims as male, and since most of those male victims were post-adolescent boys between roughly 11 and 17, it is obvious that the root cause of the scandal is homosexual predation on younger males. Yes, to point that out is going to bring out the gay mafia. To avoid identifying it means we are putting our comfort ahead of vulnerable young boys.

  3. albizzi says:

    …” the Church made herself up-to-date, threw open her windows to the world”…
    …and the world got in, and the worldliness came in…

  4. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Admittedly, it was our Blessed Lord Himself who said [Matt 13:52] , “Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

    Admittedly, Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary , in its definition of the word reform , makes reference to the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy of the Second Vatican Council and its theme of a “desire to impart an ever-increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful” :

    “Change with a view to improvement. By her nature as a living organism, the Catholic Church has undertaken numerous reforms in her long history. These have been mainly concerned with the moral and spiritual life of the faithful, by the use of the elaborate legislative, administrative, and ritual means at the Church’s disposal. The term “reform” occurs in the first paragraph of the first document issued by the Second Vatican Council in its Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. And the desire “to impart an ever-increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful” (Introduction) runs as a theme through all the conciliar teaching and the postconciliar directives of the Holy See.”

    And yet, when we realize just how rich some earlier versions of the Presidential Prayers really are , one can’t help but wonder whether certain individuals, in their more recent renderings of these prayers, may have mistaken the word “vigor” for “vinegar“.

  5. Matt R says:

    Fr. Hunwicke is English. I do not believe ephebophilia was as dominant in Europe as pedophilia.

    Wow. This is one of the most incrediblle Collects.

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