Can you help me out with a quick liturgical experiment?

If you have about 20-30 seconds to spare, would you please consider reading this post and taking the easy one-question test, providing your answer as a comment to the post on the blog?

Thank you very much.

May we bring before you as fruits of penance a cheerful purity of mind…

Well, usually when I look at fruits anything I look at the reward for something. Well, should there really be a reward penance? Well, if our penance is done for sin then yes, our reward is a state of Grace as well as Communion with the Saints. Now, lets look at Jesus Christ - he gives penance for all of us in his Paschal Sacrifice. So - where does the purity come in. Well, we are all sinners - there is almost always temptation in the world - but when I choose to partake of the Paschal Sacrifice in the Eucharist the Lord will “Keep Me From Tempation” offering me purity of mind for the fruits of His penance for our sins. Amen.

Not sure why you emphasized a one-time-only listening but I have to confess I needed to listen a couple of times to get the gist. So, maybe I ruined your experiement?

In any case, what I understood from it was we have achieved a joy-filled, God-like nature (the fruit) through the labour of the penance we have done and are bringing this (both the labour and the fruit) to God as an offering.

The reason I’ve asked for you to listen to it only once is because you’ll only hear it spoken once a year, so you won’t have the benefit of hearing it said a couple times for it to “sink in”. However, one would hope you would have access to it in written form (such as in a daily missalette).

I understood what it was saying in the sense that it didn’t sound like: “O God, in thou prodigious benevolence thou dost …”. So I didn’t have a “what was that word” moment (not that that would be inherently bad).

I also understood the message it was trying to convey: by our bodily penances our hearts and minds are purified and made acceptable to God.

Note: even if it is heard just once a year, the prayers of the Liturgy are not just meant to be consumed in a single moment and then discarded. At the very least, the prayers (particularly the proper prayers) should provide fruitful meditation for the remainder of the day – so by the day’s end the prayers should be fully interiorized and integrated into our life (how else are we to grow spiritually?). In other words, we should ``masticate the liturgical orisons within the maxillae of our sapience so that we may attain the acme of spiritual perspicacity’’ (did you understand that :p)

Because it says “may we bring before you”, I took the “cheerful purity of mind” as a gift from God. I thought it implied that we’re doing bodily penance, that the penance has a desired result, that we desire to bring that result before God, but that the result we desire from our penance is actually up to God. Otherwise, I would think it would have the form, “Look, we bring before you this cheerful purity of mind, obtained by penance, we want you to bless it and we hope it pleases you.”

Um, I’d love to quote that in a book I’m writing. Or at least paraphrase it an give you a free copy. :wink:

Be my guest. :slight_smile:

What book are you writing (I’m hopeful to get a small liturgical press going in the next year or two)?

The sequel to the one in my signature; this second book is Praying the Mass: The Prayers of the Priest, a guide to the new English translation of the Roman Missal.


As I listened to it, I compared it to the current version. It is far superior to what we have in use right now.

The prayer that I heard called to my mind the issue of giving God our first fruits. These “first fruits” are not confined to our tithing. We need to give him the best of ourselves. The Lenten regimen should help us to present to the Lord pure and charitable hearts come Easter. Lent is ultimately about preparing us for Holy Week. The partial soundbite that you posted just further brings home the point.

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