WDTPRS – 7th Sunday after Pentecost: circumventing God’s plan

Nadal 7th post PentecostIn the traditional Roman calendar this Sunday is the 7th Sunday after Pentecost.

Today’s Collect survived the cutting and pasting experts of the Consilium to live on as the Collect for the 9th Sunday of Ordinary Time.


Deus, cuius providentia in sui dispositione non fallitur te supplices exoramus, ut noxia cuncta submoveas, et omnia nobis profutura concedas.

Blaise/Chirat (a dictionary of Latin in French) indicates that dispositio is “disposition providentialle”. It has to do God’s plan for salvation. Fallo is an interesting word. It means basically, “to deceive, trick, dupe, cheat, disappoint” and it has as synonyms “decipio, impono, frustror, circumvenio, emungo, fraudo”. Fallo is used to indicate things like simply being mistaken or being deceived. It can apply to making a mistake because something eluded your notice or it was simply unknown. In our Latin conversation it is not uncommon to say nisi fallor, “unless I am mistaken…”. If you look for submoveo you may have to check under summoveo. Find profutura under prosum. Don’t confuse noxia with noxa.


God, whose providence, in its plan, is not circumvented, humbly we implore You, that you clear away every fault and grant us all benefits.

There is no getting around or circumventing God’s plan.

Why, given who God is and who we are, would we want to try?

But we do, don’t we.

We have to make a choice about which way to go with noxia.  Does it mean “harmful things” that are outside us or that are within us, that is, our own sins, our faults?  Both?

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973 9th Sunday Ordinary Time):

Father, your love never fails. Hear our call. Keep us from danger and provide for all our needs.

ROFL! Quite simply dreadful.  This may be one of the worst I have ever seen.  But we NEVER have to HEAR IT AGAIN.

CURRENT ICEL (2011  9th Sunday Ordinary Time):

O God, whose providence never fails in its design, keep from us, we humbly beseech you, all that might harm us and grant all that works for our good.

We have to make a choice about which way to go with noxia.  Does it mean “harmful things” that are outside us or that are within us, that is, our own sins, our faults?  Both?
God knows who we are and what we need far better than we can ever know ourselves.

Foreseeing all our sins and many faults, all that we say and do is embraced in His eternal plan.

He has disposed all things so as to make glorious things result from the evils for which we alone are responsible.

Sometimes, moreover, it is hard to understand that God actually cares are us.  Given how immeasurably vast God is and how small we are, it is easy for some, mired in earthly distractions, to lapse into sort of deism and imagine a God who created everything and then, like a clock maker, just set the pendulum to swing and stepped away.

There is an old adage that, if you want to know if God is interested in you, just make a plan.

It is good for us each day never to forget to make an Act of Faith, which is a good Trinitarian prayer.

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Nice to see this act of Faith. I say it each morning, thanks be to God.

  2. Philokalos says:

    Ah, yes, the old 1973 ICEL translations. Here’s one I share with my students:

    LATIN: Praesta, quaesumus, omnipotens Deus, ut, semper rationabilia meditantes, quae tibi sunt placita, et dictis exsequamur et factis.

    MY EXCESSIVELY LITERAL VERSION: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that always meditating-upon things-agreeable-to-reason, we may follow-to-fulfillment both in words and deeds those-things-which are pleasing to you.

    1973: Father,? keep before us the wisdom and love ?you have revealed in your Son.? Help us to be like him ?in word and deed.

    2011: Grant, we pray, almighty God,? that, always pondering spiritual things,? we may carry out in both word and deed ?that which is pleasing to you.

    I have a friend who shall remain nameless, because of his closeness to persons responsible for these translations, who just the other day said to me: “Someone should write a book about it, the systematic removal of language relating to sin, divine wrath, justice, omnipotence, human frailty, etc.”

  3. Philokalos says:

    Sorry about the otiose question marks. They represent return carriages in the original file.

  4. Fr. Reader says:

    Thanks for this post.

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