Life & Soul

Omnium Gatherum

We are firmly ensconced in the green season, called in the traditional Roman calendar the Season of Pentecost, this Sunday being its fifth after that great feast. Here is the Collect for this Sunday in Holy Church’s official language and our patrimony of prayer:

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.

This oration pulses with longing. When it is pronounced aloud, in Latin, my ears tune in to the connection between invisibilia at the beginning and promissiones at the end. In a super-literal way we can render this as:

O God, who has prepared unseen goods for those loving You, pour into our hearts the disposition of Your love, so that we, loving You in all things and above all things, may attain Your promises, which surpass every desire.

We long for love. Restless for it, still unseen but sensed and trusted, we are inclined to God until we finally arrive before Him and rest. We don’t know everything about what awaits us. Paul wrote that “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him” (1 Cor 2:9). But we take it on faith that what awaits us is going to be great.

Speaking of invisibilia, your eye might rest on that seen “unseen” in our prayer. Unseen things are the objects of our faith. As Paul wrote to the Hebrews: “Faith is the realisation of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). In heaven we will not have faith any longer, because we will have the definitive answers. Here, we struggle along with the help of God’s grace.

Do you make an Act of Faith, at least once each day, along with Acts of Hope and Charity? Here is a classic Act of Faith:

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in Three Divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I believe that Thy Divine Son became Man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.