Friday, July 13, 2007

The Collect - Trinity VI

The Latin Collect from the Tridentine Missal
Deus, qui diligentibus te bona invisibilia praeparasti: infunde cordibus nostris tui amoris affectum; ut te in omnibus, et super omnia diligentes, promissiones tuas, quae omne desiderium superant, consequamur.

The Collect of 1549
GOD, whiche haste prepared to them that love thee suche good thynges as passe all mannes understanding; Powre into our hartes such love toward thee, that we lovyng thee in al thinges, may obteine thy promises, whiche excede all that we canne desyre; Through Jesus Christe our Lorde.

The Collect of 1662
O GOD, who hast prepared for them that love thee such good things as pass man's understanding; Pour into our hearts such love toward thee, that we, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Again Cranmer translates the collect from the Gelasian Sacramentary. The Tridentine Missal uses this collect for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost. This well-known collect is referenced in, amongst other places, Newman's Sermon "Miracles no Remedy for Unbelief".

Why is this one of the most familiar of collects? We've all heard it and it is so memorable, but why? While all the collects of the Church are worthy elements of our conversation with Our Lord, this particular prayer speaks of the very reason for our Creation. We are created to be loved by God, and we know this because of the myriad, myriad blessings that He lavishes upon us.

And yet here is the tragedy, Man does not always reciprocate! Indeed Man often sems oblivious to this whole idea of Love. The Creature made for love fails to do so.

As Christians, we feel both the warmth of the love of God and His pain at our decisions to do that which snubs that love. We need Love to show us how to love and our Sacraments give us the awareness of this pain and even permit us to suffer a fragment of it through Divine Grace. As Christians we pray for the Paraclete to make us aware of just how to respond approprately to Divine Charity and attempt to make that response to such perfect paternal devotion.

We fail.

However there is always hope - that trust in the fidelity of God to keep to His promises even when we are faithless. To develop sensitivity to the love of God is surely the beginning of our acquisition of a true and eternal life, but developing that sensitivity is painful!

How often should we be praying this prayer?

-------------------------------------------Jonathan Munn

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