29 September, 2008

A "litany"

Near the end of Solesmes' Psalterium Monasticum there is a collection of eight Litaniæ. In the English-language Mass we call them "Intercessions". I found the last one interesting.

Et nos grátia tua ad tuum vocátos laudis ministérium, indígnos licet, súscipe.

(And preserve us, called by your grace, although unworthy, into your ministry of praise.)

What exactly to I like about it? Where to start?

1. We're hardly allowed to think of ourselves as unworthy of God's grace these days. It's not that I wish so much to beat up on myself, or use it as an excuse to escape my responsibilities. Rather, I'd like to express some gratitude. If someone is unworthy of a gift, and mentions it while omitting one's own unworthiness, that strikes me as a sign that the speaker does not understand the greatness of the gift—or else does not appreciate it.

2. The use of licet appears to be used as in the second definition given in the Lewis and Short Latin dictionary, although I could be reading it wrong. The primary meaning of licet helps it sound as if God allows me—despite my aforementioned unworthiness—to enter his ministry of praise.

3. It is a calling.

4. It is a ministry.

5. It is a grace.

Explore any of these thoughts in the context where I heard them all in this prayer tonight: singing my daughter to sleep. The prayer takers on an entirely new dimension.

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