We beseech thee, Almighty God: look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of thy majesty, to be our defence against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. - Collect for the Third Sunday in Lent, Divine Worship: The Missal.
‘[T]he Collect, Epistle and Gospel [in the Prayer Book] are the same as in the Roman rite, and are derived from ancient sources. Our Collect adds “hearty” to desires and in place of “the humble” puts “Thy humble servants”. The old Collect ends at “defence” whilst our Collect adds “against all our enemies”.
Again we have a warning against those terrible sins of uncleanness. Again the Epistle implores us to avoid them; and the Gospel shows us Who alone can expel the unclean spirit. The Collect takes up this thought and prays that God will stretch forth the right hand of His Majesty to be our defence. The Collect suggests that our prayer to avoid this danger and for His help comes from our “Hearty desires”, or heartfelt desires.
…The Collect assumes that we do not want to leave the house of our soul empty, that we want to cast out all uncleanness and put the love of God into our souls. So it speaks of our desires for cleanness as being “hearty desires”… which come from the heart. Unless they are hearty desires we shall never conquer evil”.
from Teaching the Collects, 1965, by H.E. Sheen
Fr Lee Kenyon
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