What’s in That Prayer? The Collect for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Here is the oration that the Church prays in the Mass and Office for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost:

Da, quǽsumus, Dómine, pópulo tuo diabólica vitáre contágia: et te solum Deum pura mente sectári.

Here is my translation:

Give to your people we ask, O Lord, to shun the contagions of the devil: also, with pure minds, to follow continuously after Thee the only God.

Here is the translation from the Divinum Officium site:

O Lord, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the devil, and with pure hearts to follow thee the only God.

Roman succinctness at its best!

We live in a day when many of our neighbors and family are obsessed with a contagion that most people have a better than 99% chance of surviving. That is because they are (no offense) all drugged out on mainstream media and blinded by fake “science.” But how much are they (or we, for that matter) concerned with something far more deadly — far more deadly even that really bad terrestrial viral contagions (e.g., ebola, the bubonic plague)? This would describe the “contagions of the devil” (or “diabolic contagions,” to keep the adjective an adjective). Our English word, contagion, comes from the Latin, of course, but the etymology of the word derives from the verb for “to touch” (tangere). Contágia can also be translated to mean “contacts” or “touchings.”

There is a doubly diabolical contagion going around: people who are positively apoplectic about normal human “contact” (which has been virtually criminalized in certain contexts) seem to have no problem with habitual mortal sin by direct violations of the Decalogue.

They call evil good and good evil; they shun their fellow man who will not harm them and continuously follow after what will kill them in the “second death” of Hell.

May both we and they receive receive the grace to see reality as it is, which is itself a prerequisite to following the only God with pure minds.