The Collect for this 4th Sunday after Easter, in the Traditional Roman Rite, survived the slash and hack editors of the Novus Ordo for the 21st Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Deus, qui fidelium mentes unius efficis voluntatis: da populis tuis id amare quod praecipis, id desiderare quod promittis; ut inter mundanas varietates ibi nostra fixa sint corda, ubi vera sunt gaudia.
That varietas is commonly used to indicate “changeableness, fickleness, inconstancy”. Note the id … quod as well as the ibi … ubi parallels. A genius wrote this prayer. It ought to be used, sung, more often in Latin. Alas.
Let’s see several versions.
Literal rendering: “O God, You who make the minds of the faithful to be of one will, grant unto Your people to love that thing which You command, to desire that which You promise, so that, amidst the vicissitudes of this world, our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are.”
We could say simply “love what you command”, but that seems vague. I sense that “id…quod” is concrete. We must love and desire God’s will in the concrete, in the details of life, especially when they are little to our liking. This basket of laundry, this paperwork, this chore. We must love God in this beggar or annoying creep, not in beggars or creeps in general.
How about the 1662 Book of Common Prayer: “O almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise, that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found.”
I often wonder why we didn’t use the Book of Common Prayer as a model. By contrast, here’s the obsolete ICEL of 1973 inflicted on us for years: “Father, help us to seek the values that will bring us lasting joy in this changing world. In our desire for what you promise make us one in mind and heart.” This makes me want to scream. “Lasting joy in this changing world”?
To cleanse our eyes, here’s Juergen’s translation in the Angelus Press 1962 Roman Catholic Daily Missal: “O God, Who makest the faithful to be of one mind and will: grant to Thy people the grace to love what Thou dost command and to desire what Thou dost promise, that amid the changes of the world, our hearts may be fixed where true joys are to be found.”
Current ICEL: “O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on that place where true gladness is found.”
Today’s Collect, in both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary form of the Roman Rite, is a spiritual safeguard in the vicissitudes of this world.
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