The Last Collect of Advent

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December 24
Collect at the Hours and at the Mass in the Morning

Come quickly, we beseech you, Lord Jesus,
and do not delay,
so that those who trust in your loving mercy
may be lifted up by the consolations of your coming.

Come, Lord Jesus

Today, in the last Collect of Advent, the Church addresses the Lord Jesus. It is as if she can no longer contain her longing. The last Collect of Advent is inspired by the last page of the Bible. There, Christ speaks, saying, “Surely I am coming soon.” And the Church replies, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus” (Ap 22:20).

Domine Jesu

Whereas all throughout Advent the Church, according to her custom, has, for the most part, addressed the Father in her prayers, today she appeals to the Son directly. She calls the Son by his human name — Jesus — and to that name revealed by the Angel she adds the divine vocative, Lord. Domine Iesu. Hers is a prayer inspired by the Holy Spirit, for the Apostle says, “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor 12:3).

Do Not Linger on the Way

Today’s Collect is remarkably concise. Three lines only. The first line is inspired, not only by the final cry in the Apocalypse of Saint John, but also by Psalm 39:18: “Do not tarry, O my God” or, as the Douai translation puts it, “O my God, be not slack!” Ronald Knox translates the same with a certain courtesy: “My God, do not linger on the way.” The two words borrowed from Psalm 39 — ne tardáveris — should make us want to review the whole psalm. What do we discover? That the psalm begins with a verse that sums up the whole Advent experience. Expectans, expectavi! With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and he was attentive to me” (Ps 39:1).

The Consolations of His Coming

The second part of the Collect is: so that those who trust in your loving mercy may be lifted up by the consolations of your coming. Where our English translation gives “may be lifted up,” the Latin text uses sublevéntur, a verb that is wonderfully rich in meaning. It means not only to be lifted up, but also to be relieved of a heavy burden, to be assuaged.

Trust in His Merciful Goodness

What must we do in order to be lifted up? The Collect says that we have only to trust in the pietas of the Lord Jesus, in his tenderness, his lovingkindness, his unwavering divine affection for us. Qui in tua pietate confidunt. Weakness is no obstacle to a holy Christmas. A mediocre Advent is no obstacle to a holy Christmas. The grace of Christmas is not earned; it is freely given. The grace of Christmas will prevail even over our sins, provided that we trust in the pietas of the Infant Christ, in the tender pity of him who comes to us, comes for us already in the mystery of the Eucharist. O Jesus, King of Love, I put my trust in thy merciful goodness!

4 Comments

One is reminded of the confidence of St. Therese who delighted in the fact that she would stand empty handed before God and thus have nothing else to rely upon other than his pietas.

My prayers will be with you, Fr. Mark, and with all the readers of your blog, with all those who have been enriched by your prayerful insights.

A very happy and blessed Christmas Father. These posts of yours have been a source of great joy to my and i thank you for sharing them via this blog.
Continued prayers.

padre mark:

le deceo una feliz navidad y que dios y nuestra senora la imaculada virgen maria le mantengan por siempre en su regazo de amor...
gracias por todas las bendiciones recividas..

que el ninito jesus le colme de eternas bendiciones..
que dios bendiga a todos nuestros sacerdotes del mundo y que sean santos a imitacion de quien los llamo "amigos".
mary

Happy Christmas Father!

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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