WDTPRS – 8th Sunday after Pentecost: Be yourself… more
This Sunday’s Collect in the Extraordinary Form is from the ancient Veronese Sacramentary and the Gelasian and the so-called Gregorian. It survived the liturgical tailors with their scissors and thread to live on in the post-Conciliar Missale Romanum on Thursday of the 1st week of Lent. However, there is a minor adjustment in the Novus Ordo version.
Let’s drill into what our prayer really says.
Largire nobis, quaesumus, Domine, semper spiritum cogitandi quae recta sunt, propitius et agendi: ut, qui sine te esse non possumus, secundum te vivere valeamus.
In the Novus Ordo version that oddly placed propitius (“propitiously”) is replaced by promptius (“more readily/openly”). In the critical edition of the ancient Veronese Sacramentary, you find promptius. The reformers preferred the version that pre-dated the “Tridentine” editio princeps of 1570. What happened? Probably some ancient copyist made a mistake in reading an old manuscript’s ink squiggles in – mpt – and – pit -. Easy to do.
One meaning of secundum in the prestigious Lewis & Short Dictionary is “agreeably to, in accordance with, according to”. Remember that largire is an imperative of a deponent verb, not an infinitive. The famous verb cogito is more than simply “to think”. It reflects deeper reflection, true pursuit in the mind: “to consider thoroughly, to ponder, to weigh, reflect upon, think”.
We beg you, O Lord, bestow upon us propitiously the spirit of thinking always things which are correct, and of carrying them out, so that we who are not able to exist without You may be able to live according to Your will.
In my peregrinations though the writings of St. Augustine of Hippo (+430) I found a text which harks to at least part of the content of this prayer (In io. eu. tr. 51,3):
“For Christ, who humbled Himself, made obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross, is the teacher of humility.