For the 11th Sunday of orderly, Ordinary Time, Holy Church presents for our first major oration a highly sculpted prayer found in the ancient Gelasian Sacramentary and, subsequently, the 1962 Missale Romanum, rich with technical, philosophical vocabulary:
Deus, in te sperantium fortitudo, invocantibus nostris adesto propitius, et, quia sine te nihil potest mortalis infirmitas, gratiae tuae praesta semper auxilium, ut, in exsequendis mandatis tuis, et voluntate tibi et actione placeamus.
The word pairings – fortitudo and infirmitas, voluntas and actio – hint at a possible source for this Collect in the anti-Pelagian writings of St Augustine of Hippo (d 430). The presence of technical vocabulary in prayers suggests deep sources.
Current ICEL translation (2011):
O God, strength of those who hope in you, graciously hear our pleas, and, since without you mortal frailty can do nothing, grant us always the help of your grace, that in following your commands we may please you by our resolve and our deeds.
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