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 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 Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, Divine Worship: The Missal.
‘The Collect is very ancient and, together with the Epistle and Gospel [in the Prayer Book], is the same as used in England before the Reformation.
This Collect asks for an increase of the three Christian virtues, faith, hope and love, which are also gifts of the Spirit. St Paul said these gifts would abide when the extraordinary gifts of the Church’s earlier days would pass away. Once more the Collect reminds us that mere obedience will not suffice; we must love to do what God commands. Our obedience must not be thaa of a servant, but that of a child.
It was Quinquagesima when we spoke about these three Christian virtues mentioned in today’s Collect, and we dealt very fully with the last - charity. Now although charity may well be the greatest of these three virtues, we cannot do without faith and hope. They form a kind of Trinity of virtues because each is necessary to the others; they are complementary, they complete each other, and all are necessary if we are to obtain God’s promises’.
from Teaching the Collects, 1965, by H.E. Sheen
Fr Lee Kenyon
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