1 min read
10 Jun

Thank you for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

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. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.

Hope is a “theological virtue by which we desire the kingdom of heaven and eternal life as our happiness.” (CCC 1817) The Catechism continues, telling us that hope requires us to place our trust in Christ’s promises and not to rely on our own strength but on the help of the grace of the Holy Spirit.

We hope for a lot of different things. I admit that I am usually the first one to hope for a good parking place. I also hope that God keeps my family safe. Many mothers hope their children return to the Church. I also know grandmothers who hope that their grandchildren would be baptized.

We can run out of hope if we put it in the wrong place. Finding a good parking place is pretty short-lived hope and it is subject to someone’s opinion of how close is close. However, when it pertains to spiritual matters, hope is a virtue, a gift from God that comes from the strength of God. Why does it matter? Because our human frailty cannot conjure up hope. A part of being mortal means we need to rely on our immortal God.

In the prayer, we also ask that with God’s grace, we please him by our resolve and our deeds. That sounds easy enough, but the meaning is actually a bit deeper than that.

In the Latin form of the prayer, for the word resolve, we find the word voluntate, which means decisions of the will, resolve, or behavior.

Our “deeds” or actione in Latin, aren’t just any deeds. Used here, actione means a putting into motion.

Today we ask for the grace that we would please God through our resolve, or our inclinations, and that we carry through with them.

So what would this look like? As I prayed into this prayer, I discovered that the requests of this prayer, the desire and actually doing it, are important in the spirit life.

Someone may feel called to pray for others, and may ask God to give them people to pray for. The decision would be that we want to intercede for others. The “deed,” or our putting into action, might be that we do not just add them to a prayer list for later, we would pray with them, right then and there, for their needs or for their healing. (Note: This is only scary the first time. After that, it is fun.)

Surrender is another area that we can find a resolve and a deed. How many times have you uttered a word or a prayer and told God that you are surrendering this to Him? The hard part is next - just do it. We can make the resolve to give everything to God, but to just do it requires effort on our part and strength which is God’s part. Surrender has become easier to me when I give the strife to Christ who is behind me and step out ahead to Christ who is before me.

There are two things we must know about resolve and putting our inclinations into action.

First, without God our mortal frailty can do nothing. Our resolve and our deeds can come from our own will, but if we rely on ourselves, we tend to fall flat.

Second, it pleases God. These decisions and actions on our part can move the heart of God, who in turn blesses us with grace.

If you are sensing that what God wants you to do seems a bit out of reach? You can know that it is from God. Why? Because if you can do it yourself, you don’t need Him. Reaching requires hope and faith, both of which move the heart of God who also gives us His love.

Thanks for praying with me,

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