Sunday, October 11, 2015

Collect for the nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

Latin Collect
DIRIGAT corda nostra, quæsumus Domine, tuæ miserationis operatio : quia tibi sine te placere non possumus. Per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum . . . Amen.

[My translation: Direct our hearts, we beseech Thee O Lord, by the operation of thy mercy: for without Thee we are not able to please Thee. Through Jesus Christ]

Prayer book of 1549 O GOD, for asmuche as without thee, we are not able to please thee; Graunte that the workyng of thy mercie maye in all thynges directe and rule our heartes; Through Jesus Christ our Lorde.

Prayer book of 1662
O GOD, forasmuch as without thee we are not able to please thee; Mercifully grant, that thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

It seems to go without saying that, if God did not exist, we certainly could not please Him. However, the word "without" stands diametrically opposed to "within". In order to please God, we must be in with God. This puts a new spin on an old idea. God actually rejoices at our presence and is not pleased when we are away from Him. He does not need our presence, but rejoices in it.

It is our sin that makes us walk without God, and it is by His mercy working in us - operating in us - that we have our route back to Him. We walk through the wounds in Christ. We enter into the hoes in His hands and His side, like St Thomas. In so doing we find ourselves within God, participating in Him being Him. We take our being from God and, if our being stands apart from God, then we become nothing.

The mercy of God does indeed operate through the Holy Ghost as the modification of the 1662 collect does point out. The Holy Trinity are all involved in our existence, in our redemption and in our reunion with God. Their different personalities interact and even dance around us so that we might simply become and remain with God. We need God to show us those dance steps.

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