The VerbumQUO (feb28quo.htm)

Shrove Tuesday
February 28, 2006
vol 17, no. 46

Practice makes perfect

The Verbumquo for today is "Libera", the Latin word for "Deliver" as in the Introit for the Feria Mass today in preparation for the penitential season which begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. They say there is nothing free in this life and that is true. There is definitely a price to pay for salvation.

Michael Cain
Editor, The Daily Catholic

      Editor's Note: This is a new series the editor has launched in highlighting one word from the Proper of the day's Mass. Taking the Latin Verbum and Quotidianum, which mean respectively "Word" and "Daily", we we have coined the word "Verbumquo" by contracting quotidianum to quo and running it together as VerbumQUO for this feature series, thus "The Daily Word," as in the sum of the message, the 'quotient', if you will. It is also our hope that in choosing the Latin word with its meaning and etimology more will be attuned to hearing the word read at the altar and better comprehend the beauty of the Mother tongue. Hopefully in this Time of Septuagesima and Lent we can gain a higher appreciation and contemplation on how the Daily Proper of the Holy Mass applies in our lives in alignment with the will of Christ and His Blessed Immaculate Mother and His Mystical Bride, His Holy Roman Catholic Church.

    This is it, the last day to "party hardy" as they are wont to say with Mardi Gras being the concept that so many forget is no way to ask God for deliverance from our sins. On this day, which should be dedicated to preparing to don the sackcloth and ashes mentality so we can truly show our sincerity that we want to repent and be worthy of Gods' graces, most are engaged in licentious ribaldry especially in New Orleans. Didn't they learn from Katrina? Evidently not for to most today, the world is more important. Wo to them who in those days were feasting, drinking and making merry (cf. Luke 12: 19-21) for God's wrath will catch them unaware. Like the five maidens waiting for the Bridegroom, they have not prepared, have not had their lamps lit when the Bridegroom came. So also, even though the many may dismiss such "superstition" true Catholics realize the severity of the passage from Matthew 25: 1-13 that Christ was serious in His parable and that truly, we know not the day nor the hour when He will deliver - bad for those who rejected Him, good for those who embraced His truths, upheld them and passed them on.

    And yet, God has delivered us, through the Second Person of the Trinity Who was delivered up by those who hate the things of Heaven and put their emphasis on worldly things. Because they have been blinded and do not have the faith, hope or charity spoken of by Saint Paul in his Epistle and the blind man in the Gospel for this Feria day, those who reject Christ "shall they deliver you up to be afflicted and shall put you to death: and you shall be hated by all nations for My name's sake" (Matthew 24: 9).

    Yes, "deliver" is the VerbumQUO for were God not to deliver us from evil - sed libera nos a malo as we conclude each Pater Noster, we would perish. The Latin word libera is the verb: deliver and the etimology of this word comes from liber - "free." From this root we also get the words liberty; for it is only through God's deliverance that we have liberty - libertas. Asking God to Libera us is what is asked in the Introit for this Feria Mass, the last one of the Time of Septuagesima.

    "Deliver" - The word comes from the prefix de "from" and liberare "free" and Webster's defines it thus: "1. To set free from restraint; to release; also, to rescue from evil actual or feared. 2. To give or transfer; to commit; to surrender; to resign. 3. To disburden of, or as of young; to relive (of) in parturition; - used only in the passive. 4. To disburden (oneself), as of words; to give forth in words; to utter; hence to communicate; impart. 5. To give or put forth in action or exercisee; to discharge; as to deliver."

    We can clearly see how libera applies to both God and to us for as we expect God to deliver us from evil, to deliver us out of this veil of tears, to deliver us to the port of Heavenly bliss, there is a price to pay for this awesome service of providing everlasting freedom. God asks us to obey His Laws, to adore Him, to thank Him, to ask His forgiveness, and to ask Him. Those are the four qualities of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in which we seek God's deliverance. Not only is libera in today's Introit "deliver me in Thy justice, and save me" - in justitia Tua libera me, et eripe me but also in the Libera nos Prayer in the Ordinary of the Holy Mass following the Pater Noster when the priest, on our behalf in preparation for Holy Communion pronounces - as he breaks the Sacred Host in three pieces - prays silently:
Libera nos, quaesumus, Domine, ab omnibus malis, praeteritis praesentibus, et futuris: et intercendente beata, et gloriosa semper Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria cum beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, atque Andrea, et omnibus Sanctis,
He signs himself with the paten, and kisses it
da propitius pacem in diebus nostris: ut ope misericordiae tuae adiuti, et a peccato simus semper liberi, et ab onmi perturbatione securi.
The Priest places the Paten under the Host, uncovers the Chalice, and makes a genuflection. Rising, he takes the Host, breaks It in the middle over the Chalice, saying:
Per eumdem Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum Filium tuum.
He breaks off a Particle from the divided Host
Qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus.
V. Per omnia saecula saeculorum.
R. Amen.
Deliver us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, from all evils, past, present, and to come; and by the intercession of the Blessed and glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and of the holy Apostles, Peter and Paul, and of Andrew, and of all the Saints,
He signs himself with the paten, and kisses it
mercifully grant peace in our days, that through the assistance of Thy mercy we may be always free from sin, and secure from all disturbance.
The Priest places the Paten under the Host, uncovers the Chalice, and makes a genuflection. Rising, he takes the Host, breaks It in the middle over the Chalice, saying:
Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord.
He breaks off a Particle from the divided Host
Who with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth God,
V. World without end.
R. Amen.

    This same petition is silently repeated by the priest soon after the Agnus Dei in the second Prayer before the Domine, non sum dignus which is called the "Prayer for Sanctification":
Domine Iesu Christe, Fili Dei vivi, qui ex voluntate Patris, cooperante Spiritu Sancto, per mortem tuam mundum vivificasti: libera me per hoc sacrosanctum Corpus et Sanguinem tuum ab omnibus iniquitatibus meis, et universis malis: et fac me tuis semper inhaerere mandatis, et a te numquam separari permittas: Qui cum eodem Deo Patre, et Spiritu Sancto vivis et regnas Deus in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, who, according to the will of Thy Father, with the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, hast by Thy death given life to the world; deliver me by this Thy most sacred Body and Blood, from all my iniquities and from all evils; and make me always cleave to Thy commandments, and suffer me never to be separated from Thee, Who livest and reignest, with the same God the Father and the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

    We have asked God to deliver in Holy Mass, now it is our time to deliver beginning with our heartfelt repentance at the second Confiteor of the Holy Sacrifice when we deliver to God our sincerest apologies for offending Him through our own fault, our most grievous fault as said in the singular for we are forgiven each of us according to our transgressions and thus we say mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Worthily forgiven of our venial sins, the priest delivers absolution to the faithful so that they may worthily receive the God-Man Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in Holy Communion with the Bread of Heaven in which God delivers to us Himself with the words pronounced by the priest to each communicant:
Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. Amen.
May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy soul unto life everlasting. Amen.

    Just as Christ delivered the truths of His teachings to His disciples, they in turn delivered the same to others including those who heard our Lord foretell of His Passion, Death and Resurrection and yet did not hear because they were not ready to deliver their body, mind, heart and soul to God, but when the news was delivered to the blind man of the Gospel for the Feria Mass today from Quinquagesima Sunday, he delivered to God his faith by stepping up and crying out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me" twice, God could not say no. Christ delivered and in turn the blind man, whose faith had made him whole, delivered on his promise to spread the Faith. So also must we do the same, glorifying God through our prayers, penance and reparation for our own sins and those of others, especially those who remain blind and do not understand what it means to be free from the shackles of the world, the flesh and the devil. Truly we say in our daily prayers, at Holy Mass, and in the Rosary our prayerful response to our Lord's Prayer - "But deliver us from evil" Sed libera nos a malo. Amen.

    We also ask for deliverance for Holy Mother Church in the Oremus prayer of the Leonine Prayers in which we say for the "liberty (or freedom) and exaltation of Holy Mother the Church."
Deus, refugium nostrum et virtus, populum ad te clamantem propitius respice; et intercedente gloriosa et immaculata Virgine Dei Genitrice Maria, cum beato Joseph, ejus Sponso, ac beatis Apostolis tuis Petro et Paulo, et omnibus Sanctis, quas pro conversione peccatorum, pro libertate et exaltatione sancta Matris Ecclesiae, preces effundimus, misericors et benignum exaudi. Per eumdem Christum Dominum nostrum.
O God, our Refuge and our Strength, look down in mercy on Thy people who cry to Thee: and by the intercession of the glorious and immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of St. Joseph her Spouse, of Thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of all the Saints, in mercy and goodness hear our prayers for the conversion of sinners, and for the freedom and exaltation of our holy Mother the Church. Through the same Christ our Lord.

    While others party on, let us put away the things of a child as St. Paul says in the Epistle for this Feria and take up the things of an adult, the ability and knowledge to know why we must immerse ourselves in the proverbial mentality of sackcloth and ashes, to pay our dues and help others to see what the blind man heard and saw. Then we will truly be practicing the charity which Paul speaks of in the Epistle. Then, and only then, through thorough preparation and conditioning ourselves in self-denial, devout prayer and penance can we expect God to deliver His graces to us.

    "Deliverance." It may be the title of a movie, but in reality, it is what we all strive for: to unloose the shackles of the world, the flesh and the devil in yearning to be free. In order for God to deliver, we must be ready to deliver by striving for holiness. It isn't easy, never meant to be, for sanctity is hard-earned and well deserved for those willing to deliver to Him Who is always ready to deliver. We have, beginning tomorrow, 40 days to practice what we preach. The axiom is never truer for true Catholics: practice makes perfect.

Michael Cain, editor, The Daily Catholic

    Shrove Tuesday
    February 28, 2006
    vol 17, no. 46