Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ours Is the God of Victories

Having an old post of mine about prayers against enemies got me to thinking about -- well, prayers against enemies.  We in the Church have really gotten wimpy in the face of our enemies over the last several decades, and now we can't figure out why they have the upper hand.  We need to remember that the enemies of the Church are the enemies of God, and that behind them is the primordial enemy, the devil himself.  We should pray for the conversion of the humans under the devil's sway, but we should also do what we can to thwart them: this includes praying for their defeat.  

Such prayers are not only permissible, but laudable, and perfectly in line with Scripture and Tradition.  Running my finger down the table of contents of my trusty 1962 Missal, I find votive Masses against the persecutors of the Church, and against persecutors and evildoers.  Consider the Collect of the Mass against Persecutors and Evildoers:
Hostium nostrorum, quaesumus, domine, elide superbiam: et eorum contumaciam dexterae tuae virtute prosterne.
O Lord, we beseech Thee, crush the pride of our enemies and humble their insolence by the might of Thy hand.
What ever possessed us to stop offering this Mass, and praying this prayer?

Then of course there are the maledictory Psalms, such as Psalm 68; the St. Michael prayer, that is said after every Low Mass; and, one of my favorites, the Litany of Saints sung in procession on Rogation Days, in which we pray, among other things, that God would deign to humiliate the enemies of His Church.  What good has come of our having largely abandoned these prayers?

We need to remember that our God is not the God of Mediocrity or the God of Level Playing Fields, but the God of Victories.  We must remember that those who pit themselves against Him should be given no quarter.  We must both strive and pray for their absolute, crushing, decisive and humiliating defeat, even if we do not hope to witness such a defeat with our own eyes.

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