Sunday, November 22, 2015

Collect for the Sunday next before Advent

Latin Collect
EXCITA, quæsumus Domine, tuorum fidelium voluntates ut divini operis fructum propensius exequentes, pietatis tuæ præmia majora percipiant. Per Jesum Christum Dominum nostrum.

[My translation: Stir up, we beseech Thee O Lord, the wills of Thy faithful people that pursuing the fruit of the work of God more eagerly, they may know the greater reward of Thy kindness. Through Jesus Christ...]

Prayer book of 1549
STIERE [Stir] up we beseche thee, O Lord, the wylles of thy faythfull people, that they, plenteously bringing furth the fruite of good workes; may of thee, be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christe our Lorde. Amen.

Things will get better. Christians always have that hope and often that hope is offensive to those who perceive it to be a glib lack of recognition of the trauma and pain of living. Looking out into a world which is becoming politically darker now since it has wandered into the realms of spiritual night, it is easy to think that such a hope cannot be anything other than futile - offensively futile.

As we pray this last collect of the liturgical year, we find the Sun's rays darkened by clouds and curtailed by the inclination of the Earth's axis. Light begins to fail again - at least it seems that way. We become sleepy and forlorn. Yet, we recognise it and seek to be released from spiritual torpor and oppression. The only way to walk during the darkness is to walk in the light of God, seeking Him in the things around us and by doing those things that He wants us to do. We are to do that one Divine work that we can; we are to spread the light through struggle and hardship, pain, loss and humiliation and in them find ourselves ever more enlightened by God Himself.

What we have of God now is a tiny, finite fraction of what He promises us. There is a greater good beyond this world which will make our pain worth every drop of blood. For every tiny child that dies through the cruelty of man or the indifference of Nature, there is an existence in which that little one does and will shine more brightly than a supernova.

The world will always turn away from the Light and in doing so,it will forget God. We will not.

No comments: