Essays/Articles and Scriptural Studies
COLLECTS OF THE ROMAN MISSAL - THE ANNUNCIATION: "SECRETA" PRAYER
Missale Romanum 1962 (MR' 62)
For this week's meditation on the Collects of the Roman Missal, we consider the Secreta (the Collect said during the Offertory) for the feast of the Annunciation in the MR ’62. The following is my own translation of this Collect borrowing some elements of the translation found in the Angelus Press Daily Roman Catholic Missal:
"Confirm in our minds, we beseech You, O Lord, the mysteries of the true faith, that we, who confess Him who was conceived of a Virgin to be true God and man, may merit to come to eternal joy through the power of His saving resurrection. Through the same our Lord, etc. Amen.”
“Confirm in our minds, we beseech You, O Lord, the mysteries (Latin: sacramenta) of the true faith”: The Church’s celebration of the mysteries of Jesus’ life are real encounters with God, which are founded upon the divine initiative and Mary’s fiat at the Annunciation. From that moment onward, Jesus continually and efficaciously communicates His love to His Church as she enters into His life liturgically, as well as in the personal prayer of each of her members (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church nos. 516-21, 1084-5, 1115 -18; cf. Bl. Columba Marmion, OSB, Christ in His Mysteries, 10-21)
In order to reap the bounty of each sacramental and devotional encounter, however, we do well to meditate on the truths of the faith each day and each night (cf. Psalm 1). This is the precondition for our Collect’s petition. If we want to be confirmed, or grounded in the revealed realities of the faith, we must strive to understand and cherish more deeply Christ’s saving deeds and words in union with Mary.
Consequently, as several Marian authors suggest, our recitation of the Rosary will be enhanced if it is accompanied by some kind of doctrinal instruction or content. One might read verses from Scripture, excerpts from the Catechism, Collects from the Missal, writings of the Saints or eminent Marian authors, etc, before one prays the entire Rosary, or just a decade. Nourishing our minds in the truth will provide nutritious food for our meditations, and make them much more fruitful over time. Additionally, ask Our Lady in all simplicity to lead you into a deeper understanding of each mystery. She will always answer such a prayer made in faith, accompanied by our effort to learn more from solid sources.
The more we exercise our minds in the doctrine of the faith, the more we will come to see how these truths of our faith make a real difference in our lives. In other words, the more our minds are shaped in the truths revealed by God, the more we will be drawn to know and to love Him, as well as our neighbor, in the concrete events of life. Put simply, our own lives gradually will come to resemble the life of the Holy Family in the Holy House of Nazareth.
“That we, who confess Him who was conceived of a Virgin to be true God and man, may merit to come to eternal joy through the power of His saving resurrection”: Doctrine matters! This is wonderfully liberating good news, for truth leads to the joy of communion, according to our Collect. Such joy is not sterile or theoretical, but deeply personal, for it is our encounter with the Risen Lord. Consider the following excerpt from Bl. Marmion in his book, Christ in His Mysteries, p. 11:
“Furthermore, this knowledge [i.e., of the faith] is for us an unfailing source of joy. Joy is the feeling arising in a soul conscious of possessing something that is good. The good of our intellect is truth, and the more abundant and luminous this truth is, the deeper is the mind’s joy. Christ brings us truth; He is Truth itself, Truth full of sweetness who shows us the munificence of our Heavenly Father. From the heart’s embrace of the Father, where He ever lives, Christ reveals to us the divine secrets that we possess by faith.”(David Allen)
|Mr. David Allen, M.T.S., is the lay Pastoral Associate for our parish of Mary Immaculate of Lourdes.