Sunday, July 12, 2015

Collect for the sixth Sunday after Trinity

Gelasian Latin version
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.

Translation by me:
O God, who hast prepared for them that love thee good things beyond sight: pour into our hearts the affection of love of thee; that, loving thee in all things and above all things, we may attain thy promises which exceed all desire.

Prayer book 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.

Prayer book 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 wee, loving thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

What is a good thing? Who will show us any good? This is a really good question these days. What really defines what good is? We all know what it is to feel good, by which we often mean happy and healthy. If we have a tummy ache or are feeling stressed then we don't feel good. Yet, we might have a tummy ache because we're dieting in order to get healthy. Scientists tell us, also, that some stress is necessary for us to live. So there is good there. Sweets taste good, but too much are not good for us. This brings us to a paradox: how can too much good not be good for us?

We all have our own idea of what good is, and it almost always has to do with how we experience life. However, we do fall into the trap of thinking that good is purely subjective, that it depends upon the individual. That's actually false, especially when we turn to the Creator.

God is good. More than that, God is what it means to be good. He is His own goodness. It is of Himself that He makes us, for in Him we live and move and have our being. Our good cannot be purely subjective but must depend on our relationship with God and how we draw that goodness from Him. In our very selves, all things are good. All human beings are good because they exist and have their being and likeness of God. That likeness gives us a dignity that is inseparable from our being. However, we are capable of Evil, and that is why we need to be taken out of an existence in which our choices tear us away from God. Who will shew us any good? Lord, lift Thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.

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