Saturday, September 08, 2007

Trinity XIV Collect

I don't have to argue with myself about whether to have the "collect of the week" this week be the real collect of the week. Some weeks I may fudge on that, if there's a different collect I'd rather talk about. But this is one of the best, for the fourteenth Sunday after Trinity.

Almighty and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

This is a theme in a number of the collects. That for Trinity X, for example, asks that we may "ask such things as shall please thee" in order to obtain our petitions. But it's stated even better here: If we love what we should love and want what we should want, we will have what we want. God's promises surpass all that we could desire or deserve, but that doesn't mean that they are what we imagine or wish them to be.

When I was little, I was always bugging my mother about whether there would be horses in heaven. I figured if I couldn't have a horse on earth, I should get one in heaven. She used to imagine with me that perhaps I'd get to tend the white horses who would be ridden by Our Lord and his armies of the Apocalypse. This seems to me to have been rather catering. But I get similar questions from my girls today, "Will there be dogs in heaven?" is still a burning question for Eldest Daughter, even in her teens, for pretty much the same reason I asked about horses. Only she loves dogs more than horses.

But while we adults may think ourselves less crude in what we hope for from heaven, which really means more vague, we (or at least I) still imagine all too often that God exists to serve us and that the wonderful thing about heaven will be that we don't have to do uncomfortable things anymore. All peace, bliss, joy, and so forth. But "in his will is our peace." The real hope is that we ourselves shall be changed. That is the promise. And that we may obtain it, let us in this life try to learn, just a little, to love what God commands.


Eclectic Evidentialist said...

Oh great! Now there's yet another reason to be distracted when I'm working on the computer!

Lydia has stopped working for "The Man" and has struck out for herself. The blogosphere trembles in fear! :-)

Lydia McGrew said...

Whaddaya mean I've stopped working for The Man? I'm still on board at a couple of group blogs, and happy for it, especially for WWWtW.

But may this personal effort give you many good distracting moments, EE.

Rev Dr McIlvaine said...

Bishop Lightfoot suggested this blog to me. It sounds like an excellent resource to use against those pesky Unitarians, rationalists, and German higher critics!

Alvin P. said...

Warranted or no, this blog is going on my bookmarks list!

William Luse said...

Re the dog thing, I have a post your teen might like, but I won't offer it without your permission.

Lydia McGrew said...

Um, why? What's wrong with it? Is it designed to make kids bug their parents to get them a dog?

I'd love to see it.

William Luse said...

Let me check it out first. I need to make sure there aren't too many swear words.

William Luse said...

All right, it's here. But maybe you should screen it first. It's for your teen daughter. And make sure she understands I love Aquinas. His name just presented too many opportunities for wordplay. I think she'll like the pictures (except for one), which are enlargeable.