Sunday, January 18, 2015

Collect for the Second Sunday After Epiphany

Prayer book and Breviary
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who dost govern all things in heaven and earth; Mercifully hear the supplications of thy people, and grant us thy peace all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This is another of Pope St Gregory's collects. Within it we find that tension between the omnipotent God and His needy children. God knows what we need because He governs all things in Heaven and Earth. Yet we need to recognise our own impotence. Most of the time, we think that we are in control of our lives and that things will go our own way, we will get what we want, and we will rejcet that which we don't want. Yet, on reflection, we know that things don't go that way and when we realise it, then we receive a shock to the system from which it can be difficult to recover.

The "Copernican Revolution" that we are not the centre of the Universe with its loss of control creates within us a cognitive dissonance. It is said that people with low self-esteem perceive that they are not in control of their lives which are played out at another's bidding. The collect contains a tenson between the will of God and the will of Man.

Yet we remember that Our Lord Jesus unified the two wills, Divine and Human, not creating another will, nor by destroying one or the other, but by uniting them in Himself in his double nature. It is in Christ Himself that Human beings are united to God who does provide them with their needs. Our supplications may remind us that we are not in control of this universe, but also that our very selves are dear to God who, though we are undeserving, respects what He has created and seeks to preserve, first at the level of being and will, and then to the unification of that being and will with Himself. There can only be one true supplication from humanity, "Almighty and Everlasting God, give us Thyself!"

Herein is peace, and true peace too.

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