The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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A Question about Penance and Prayer

Canisius | 09 May, 2007 03:45

In his comments on the second of the Rogation Days, Gueranger notes that one reason we do penance is to avert the wrath of God. By so doing, he points out, we put off the day of wrath at the end of the world until after our time (IX, 153-154).

That seems true. On the other hand, we specifically pray in the Our Father, "Thy Kingdom come," which seems to mean that we ask God to end the world soon; with the bride and the Spirit at the end of Revelation, we say to Jesus, "Come!"

How do we seek to put off the last day and to hasten it? How do these things go together? Comments welcome.


comments

Comment Icon Pater Noster

philip | 11/05/2007, 17:21

I guess I thought that "Thy kingdom come" referred to the coming of Jesus' reign in the hearts of men, or the social kingship of Christ expressed in human institutions, rather than the end of the world. Are there some traditional references for this latter view?

Comment Icon Traditional references

Canisius | 17/05/2007, 17:53

Here is what Thomas culls from the Fathers in the Catena aurea on Matthew 6:

Gloss. ord.: It follows suitably, that after our adoption as sons, we should ask a kingdom which is due to sons.

Aug., Serm. in Mont., ii, 6: This is not so said as though God did not now reign on earth, or had not reigned over it always. “Come,” must therefore be taken for “be manifested to men.” For none shall then be ignorant of His kingdom, when His Only-begotten not in understanding only, but in visible shape shall come to judge the quick and dead. This day of judgment the Lord teaches shall then come, when the Gospel shall have been preached to all nations; which thing pertains to the hallowing of God’s226 name.

Jerome: Either it is a general prayer for the kingdom of the whole world that the reign of the Devil may cease; or for the kingdom in each of us that God may reign there, and that sin may not reign in our mortal body.

Cyprian, Tr. vii, 8: Or; it is that kingdom which was promised to us by God, and bought with Christ’s blood; that we who before in the world have been servants, may afterwards reign under the dominion of Christ.

Aug., Epist., 130, 11: For the kingdom of God will come whether we desire it or not. But herein we kindle our desires towards that kingdom, that it may come to us, and that we may reign in it.

Cassian, Collat., ix, 19: Or, because the Saint knows by the witness of his conscience, that when the kingdom of God shall appear, he shall be partaker therein.

Jerome: But be it noted, that it comes of high confidence, and of an unblemished conscience only, to pray for the kingdom of God, and not to fear the judgment.

Cyprian: The kingdom of God may stand for Christ Himself, whom we day by day wish to come, and for whose advent we pray that it may be quickly manifested to us. As He is our resurrection, because in Him we rise again, so may He be called the kingdom of God, because we are to reign in Him. Rightly we ask for God’s kingdom, that is, for the heavenly, because there is a kingdom of this earth beside. He, however, who has renounced the world, is superior to its honours and to its kingdom; and hence he who dedicates himself to God and to Christ, longs not for the kingdom of earth, but for the kingdom of Heaven.

Aug., De Don. Pers. 2: When they pray, “Let thy kingdom come,” what else do they pray for who are already holy, but that they may persevere in that holiness they now have given unto them? For no otherwise will the kingdom of God come, than as it is certain it will come to those that persevere unto the end.

[These are online here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/aquinas/catena1.ii.vi.html}

Comment Icon More on the kingdom

Philip | 08/07/2007, 10:10

Today (7-7-07_ I came across this quote from Newman which seems to ask the same question:

"This reflection leads us on to a parallel thought concerning the state and prospects of all Christians in every age. We too are looking out for Christ's coming,—we are bid look out,—we are bid pray for it; and yet it is to be a time of judgment. It is to be the deliverance of all Saints from sin and sorrow for ever; yet they, every one of them, must undergo an awful trial. How then can any look forward to it with joy, not knowing (for no one knows) the certainty of his own salvation? And the difficulty is increased when we come to pray for it,—to pray for its coming soon: how can we pray that Christ would come, that the day of judgment would hasten, that His kingdom would come, that His kingdom may be at once, — may come on us this day or tomorrow, — when by so coming He would be shortening the time of our present life, and cut off those precious years given us for conversion, amendment, repentance and sanctification? Is there not an inconsistency in professing to wish our Judge already come, when we do not feel ourselves ready for Him? In what sense can we really and heartily pray that He would cut short the time, when our conscience tells us that, even were our life longest, we should have much to do in a few years?"

Plain and Parochial Sermons Vol 5 "Shrinking from Christ's Coming"

Masterful thinker that he is, Newman goes on to deal with this issue at length.

Comment Icon Thanks

Canisius | 09/07/2007, 10:16

Thank you for this. When I can, I will read that sermon you mentioned--it is available online at http://www.newmanreader.org/works/parochial/volume5/sermon4.html.

 
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