WDTPRS – 30th Ordinary Sunday: “In His will is our peace.”

In the Novus Ordo this Sunday it is the 30th Sunday of what an old friend of mine (rest in peace) called “Greater Meatloaf Season”.

Let’s look at upcoming Sunday’s Novus Ordo Collect.  This prayer has a precedent in the 1962MR as the Collect for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost. It was also in the Veronese and Gelasian, ancient sacramentaries both.

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, da nobis fidei spei et caritatis augmentum, et ut mereamur assequi quod promittis, fac nos amare quod praecipis.

OBSOLETE ICEL (1973 translation of the 1970MR):

Almighty and ever-living God,
strengthen our faith, hope, and love.
May we do with loving hearts
what you ask of us
and come to share the life you promise


Almighty eternal God, grant us an increase of faith, hope and charity, and cause us to love what You command so that we may merit to obtain what You promise.


Almighty ever-living God,
increase our faith, hope and charity,
and make us love what you command,
so that we may merit what you promise

Today we pray to God the Father for an increase of the theological virtues: faith, hope and charity.


By baptism we were endowed with a supernatural life. As the German writer Josef Pieper (+1997) wrote, a supernatural life can be described as having three main currents.

First, we have some knowledge of God surpassing what we can know about Him naturally because He reveals it to us (faith).

Second, we live by the patient expectation that what we learn and believe God promises will indeed be fulfilled (hope).

Third, comes our  affirmative response of love of God, whom we have come to know by faith, and also love of our neighbor (charity).

While natural human virtues are acquired through education and discipline, the three theological virtues faith, hope and charity are given to us by God. They are fused into us with grace at baptism.

Looking at the positive development of the theological virtues, we can say that faith logically precedes hope and charity, and hope precedes charity.

From the negative point of view, considering their unraveling and loss, we lose charity first of all, and then hope and, last of all, our faith. Charity is the greatest of the three, followed by hope and then faith.

As an aside… there are many believers out there who have fallen away.  They need your help to return.  Faith is the last thing to go. Many who lead quite dissolute lives still believe.  A tiny coal preserved in the ash of a dead fire can be fanned to life with exposure and a little TLC, a few puffs of reviving air.  But I digress…

The theological virtues perfect and elevate everything virtuous thing man can do naturally. They can be considered logically, one at a time, but are all three intimately woven together. St. Augustine (+430) says, “There is no love without hope, no hope without love, and neither love nor hope without faith” (enchir 8). The goal of the virtuous life, as we read in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1803), is to become like God. Living the theological virtues concretely reveals God’s image in us as well as the grace He gives to His adopted children. Today we pray for their increase.

This Sunday we also pray to love what God commands.

Doing what another commands is not always pleasant. Our wills and passions rebel and we prefer to command rather than be commanded.

It is easy, from the worldly point of view, to think that by being the commander, rather than the commanded, we can find peace. Surely each one of us desires peace and happiness and we seek after the means to attain them. If we attach our hopes to the created, passing things of this world to find peace and happiness we are inevitably disappointed.

All created things, including people, can be lost. They cannot be the foundation of lasting peace. Even the fear of their loss lessens our peace in this world. God alone gives the peace and happiness we seek. He alone is eternal, unchanging, forever trustworthy. We cannot lose God unless we ourselves reject Him. And, in the end, God, the source of peace, remains in command.

Esolen’s translation is very good.

In Canto III of the Paradiso of the Divine Comedy the poet Dante is in the Heaven of the Moon. He encounters the soul of Piccarda. Dante queries her about the happiness of the blessed in heaven wondering if somehow, even in heaven, souls might be disappointed that they do not have a higher place in celestial realm.

In response Piccarda utters one of the greatest phrases ever penned and or recited (l. 85):

In His will is our peace.
It is that sea to which all things move,
both what it creates and what nature makes…

We are all made in God’s image and likeness, made to act as God acts. He reveals something of His will to us. When we obey Him we act in accordance with the way He made us and what He intended for us. In obedience we find happiness and peace, even amidst the vicissitudes of this troubling and passing world.

Our Collect prays that we “love what you command”. This is a prayer for happiness. The theological virtues provide the key.

E ‘n la sua volontade è nostra pace.

In His will is our peace.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Great. Thanks fr!

  2. michele421 says:

    Fr. Zuhlsdorf, we disagree on many things but not on this. Beautiful! Thank you and may God bless you.

  3. Jim says:

    “E ‘n la sua volontade è nostra pace.”

    It is good to see Dante’s Paradiso, canto 3, quoted in the year of the seventh centenary of his death.

    An explicit mention of the poet would have been even better – but one cannot have everything.

    IIRC, Dante’s line is itself an allusion to Ephesians: he was very familiar with the Bible.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    “Looking at the positive development of the theological virtues, we can say that faith logically precedes hope and charity, and hope precedes charity.”

    Amen. Which recalls Fr. Neuhaus: “Politics is chiefly a function of culture, at the heart of culture is morality, and at the heart of morality is religion.”

    On politics itself Abp. Chaput had something helpful to say: “Political engagement is- or at least it can be- a worthy Christian task. Public office can be an honorable Christian vocation. But any Christian involvement in politics needs to be ruled by modest expectations and a spirit of humility. Success will always be limited. No legal system will ever be fully just.”

    That’s a good point. Politics that are coercive, hyperactive and tribal are politics without virtue. History is filled with the consequences of politics without virtue- so are many current events.

    The wise Preacher of Ecclesiastes cautions: “What is it that hath been? The same thing that shall be. What is it that hath been done? The same that shall be done. Nothing under the sun is new, neither is any man able to say “Behold this is new” for it hath already gone before in the ages that were before us.”

    Good point there. So it’s reasonable to be wary of Integralists, some now describe themselves as “political Catholics,” who prioritize power, rage, Chinese Communist propaganda, National Socialist legal theory and panic over the virtues of hope and charity. Their faith appears to subsist in replicating the man-made, self-glorifying and vicious political religions of the Twentieth Century.

    Faith cannot be coerced, in John’s Gospel we read the words of Jesus Christ: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”

    Certainly, we have essential work to do in our present time and our current predicament. Also essential is remembering that in this our time of exile by the waters of Babylon we are tested and our virtues strengthened. The Christians in Rome were exhorted by St. Paul: “Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

    When tending and cultivating the vineyards of the Lord be aware of the presence of other workers, and beware of easily agitated “intellectuals” wielding pens who lead themselves and others astray. One world government is a fool’s errand, and a sinister one at that. There is ample space for political maneuvering between the swamps that are the handiwork of sloth and decadence, and the scorched earth that is the handiwork of rage, panic and utopian delusions.

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    In 1931 Fulton Sheen (who should be a Saint) wrote in the Preface to his book “Old Errors and New Labels”:

    “A need exists for a renewal of something implied in the word “appreciation,” in the etymological sense, namely an evaluation or a judging of things by their real worth. But the real worth implies a standard, and a standard of thinking cannot be the fashion, but what is true. This book attempts just such an appreciation of contemporary ideas in the light of that philosophical daylight called Common Sense.”

    Providing abundant material requiring the application of Common Sense are five excitable and often petulant Catholic professors and journalists. They claim that God’s will and peace can be realized by following their doctrine. Okey-dokey, let’s see what that doctrine is, starting with the following item.

    – One world government. “That’s the ticket!” exclaims Adrian Vermeule. CC Pecknold and Gladden Pappin nod and pick up their pens, underlining what they perceive as pertinent quotes from Pope Benedict XVI (a fine Pope). Here’s one quote: “Furthermore, such an authority would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights.”

    Well, that’s fine and dandy, but there’s a wee bit of a problem…

    The United Nations already has an Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals, and proposes sex-ed classes for kindergartners. Integralists by their nature are papalotrous, but the Pachamama Vatican has fallen in line with the UN. Among other things it recently named the ghoulish Jeffrey Sachs, “one of the world’s leading experts on population control,” to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. And for good measure the Pachamama Vatican recently chucked Chinese Christians into the claws of the ChiComs (an abhorrent act supported by Vermeule and Pappin in an article last year that takes “popery” and “Romish plots” to a new level).

    Furthermore, Benedict XVI is entitled to his opinion on one world government, just as Gregory XVI pounded the table in the 19th century against street lights and railroads. Now, adding Vermeule’s fascination with Nazi legal theory and Sohrab Ahmari’s schoolboy crush on the ChiComs to this curious blend, the jockeying by Integralists for one world government deserves a “hmm…” and an eyebrow-raise, perhaps also a few words of sharply spoken Latin from behind a raised Crucifix.

    Let’s not forget about the fifth gentleman, Patrick Deneen, who…finally said something reasonable just the other day.


    The men who landed on the Normandy beaches on D-Day or soon after (whether British, American, French, Polish, Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, agnostic, Buddhist, Sikh or Muslim) would have been disgusted and vehemently opposed to the abusive and lecherous behavior at that school district in Kentucky. An investigation is underway, let the locals take care of that (Benedict XVI wrote also of “subsidiarity” in the same text referenced by Pecknold and Pappin). Furthermore, the men of Normandy certainly were fighting against Nazi legal theory, and would fight today against the ChiComs.

    Integralists are Statists, like socialist revolutionaries everywhere they would deny locals the opportunity to exercise their rights and responsibilities by instead enforcing totalitarian rule from a national capital. Integralists are free under the U.S. Constitution to whine and gripe about “America” to their heart’s content, yet they would deny that same freedom to everyone else under Glorious Integralist Paradise. Integralism is ungodly socialism, it denigrates the individual and idolizes the State. It is not conservative, it is a political-religion.

    An outrage like what occurred at that Kentucky school is indeed an outrage, but every day one can find outrages if one takes the time to look. Certainly, outrages must be publicized as cautions and warnings. But, attempting to solve the problems of every human being on the planet with a political-religion regime that squashes immediately every “outrage” produces even more outrages. The endstate of every socialist political-religion is a tyrant or tyrants enslaving every human being within reach.

    Technology changes, but as far as human beings go, there is “nothing new under the sun.”

    Theology and politics are important, so is common sense. Be skeptical, very skeptical of five irascible professors and journalists who ambitiously want to rule the world for the Greater Glory of Integralism but have never managed day-to-day a Five Guys burger joint.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    “The theological virtues perfect and elevate every virtuous thing man can do naturally.”

    Amen. The theological virtues elevate the four classic virtues of prudence, fortitude, justice and temperance.

    Opposed to these seven virtues are man-made political-religions. CC Pecknold, who adheres to the political-religion of Integralism, helpfully provides a minor yet insightful example. He wrote on October 19:

    “In the 1830s, Alexis de Tocqueville prophesied that American protestants would eventually become either Catholic or pantheist. With the “High Church of Wokeism,” Tocqueville’s prophecy seems right on track.”

    As a theologian, Pecknold is no doubt aware of Holy Scripture, the Prophets and admonitions against fortune-telling. The word Pecknold is looking for is “hypothesize.” Pecknold could also provide a direct and lengthy quote from Tocqueville, accompanied by Tocqueville’s opinion on ultramontanism. In other words: prudence, temperance and justice.

    Regardless, there are many, many Protestants- good, faithful Christians- who are naturally repelled by pantheism, the Pachamama Vatican and its pagan “encyclicals,” pagan or perverted or pantheistic Catholic bishops, and the man-made political-religion of Integralism with its predelictions for tribalism, ultramontanism, one world government, Nazi legal theory, Chinese Communist collaboration, puritanical Wahabbi-like vision, anti-Semitism, un-Christian anti-Protestantism, un-Christian anti-Americanism, delusion and bad faith arguments.

    Integralism is Liberalism.

    “Choose today who ye shall serve, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    “It took the passengers of Flight 93 less than twenty minutes to decide that they would rather risk death as free men and women than submit to certain destruction as submissive captives of evil men intent on mass murder. Whatever their differences of race, sex, or political opinion, there was a unity in their determination to prevent a fourth national catastrophe on September 11, 2001. In the fateful and intense minutes leading up to their vote to resist, I think it very unlikely that there was discussion of America as ill-founded, systemically racist, homophobic, or misogynist. The American tradition of free cooperative action for the common good, which so impressed Alexis de Tocqueville when he wrote Democracy in America 160 years earlier, was alive on United 93 between 9:30 and 10 a.m. on 9/11.”

    “Passenger Todd Beamer, a leader of the revolt, recited the Lord’s Prayer and Psalm 23 with airphone operator Lisa Jefferson on the ground, asking her to call his family and tell them how much he loved them “if I don’t make it.” Jefferson then heard Beamer say to the others, “Are you guys ready? Okay. Let’s roll!””


  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Last month at City Journal by Christos Makidis.

    Reclaiming the Arts: Arts Education Should Defend Freedom and Virtue

    Arts education is an important tool for cognitive and non-cognitive skill development among children, as empirical research from cognitive psychology and other social sciences demonstrates.

    By convening people with varied socioeconomic and political backgrounds though a shared devotion to principles recognized as beautiful and true, the arts can reduce political polarization and promote social capital – trust, norms, and networks – within communities. These are the ingredients for healthy living both individually and collectively.

    At the heart of many of today’s challenges lies the breakdown of fundamental axioms once taken for granted. An intentional stand for the arts must self-consciously defend them as a tool to inculcate appreciation for freedom, virtue, and liberty.


  9. Semper Gumby says:

    The theological virtues are: Faith, Hope and Charity. The classic virtues are: prudence, fortitude, justice and temperance.

    As others have pointed out, in this mixed-up world one might want to specifically mention: discipline and common sense.

    Virtue and Discipline in the Arts, Carol Reynolds

    “The quality of a child’s life will be shaped by his or her capacity for self-discipline. Not long ago, children routinely learned lessons in self-discipline from exposure to ancient legends and classical myths. Great stories of the Bible (such as Jacob disciplining his emotions to labor for Rachel) shaped societal values.”

    “Living in a society where false winds blow the praises of instant gratification and superficial achievement [this can happen anywhere in the world], where can we turn to foster self-discipline in a child?”


    At the moment the annual “National Conservative” Conference is meeting in Orlando. Some conservatives support it, some, perhaps most, do not. At the NatCon Conference itself some are calling for “cultural regulation” and to “use state power.” Sure, but at some point, without discipline or self-restraint, that is no longer conservatism, that is socialism.

    Good luck to the NatCon folks, political conferences anywhere can be a bit of a jumble when a few hyperactive and ambitious personalities are gripped by the Rapture of the Podium.

    Our political problems begin with us. One wonders if during this Conference the attendees will turn their attention away from the State and Society, as important as they are, and pay attention to the virtues, to slippers-on-the-ground parenting, to education, to sacred or simply beautiful art, architecture, film and music.

    Government can be founded on rights and responsibilities, it can conserve the individual effort and opportunity that encourages a virtuous society. Government can also be used for self-glorification and obsessive control which turns society into a stockade.

    “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?”

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