The final line seems curious.
What is it about man that should not prevail?
Adjútor in opportunitátibus,
A helper in opportunity,
sperent in te,
May they hope in you,
qui novérunt te:
who know your name.
quóniam non derelínquis
For you have not abandoned
quæréntes te, Dómine.
those seeking you, Lord.
Quóniam non in finem
For the poor
oblívio erit páuperis:
will not be forgotten in the end.
The patience of the poor
non períbit in ætérnum:
will not perish in the end.
Rise up, Lord:
non præváleat homo.
do not let man prevail. *
(--Graduale, Missa, 25feb2023, Neumz)
* It is my translation inserted in the final line. Neumz website translates the final line as "Rise up, Lord: do not let man be strengthened."
I found it curious.
I suppose the text could be interpreted as implying that "man" is at odds with the will of God.
And that will? Perhaps the will of God might be construed as promoting the integrity and harmony, peaceful interrelationality and compassionate service to our brothers and sisters and all of creation.
It can reasonably be said that there is a significant percentage of the human population, or perhaps a significant number of people in positions of power, who do not exhibit a caring, egalitarian, and inclusive attitude and activity of responsiveness to all our relations.
Are these are those who the prayer exhorts "not...be strengthened"?
Often, it seems, man does not care for man. Russia devastates the people of Ukraine. Demented ideologues using assault weapons shoot and kill students, theater goers, dance hall patrons, Walmart and grocery store customers, children in their classrooms, strangers on corners, almost anyone anywhere.
"Rise up, Lord:
do not let man be strengthened.
Do not allow the fanatical gun manufacturers, gun lobby, takers of payoffs in congress, obsessed gun purchasers and owners intent on protecting their kind from those people, to prevail... Nor should the easy acquisition of street weapons become the argument of choice for settling the petty and gang initiated squabbles block to block in inner cities.
We do not seem to believe in a God who requires mercy, not sacrifice. A God who tells us to look at each person with familiarity and kindness. That God, as has been suggested, is dead. And we have committed the murder, or, by neglect, allowed to die.
Hence, the prayer. But to whom is it directed? If God is dead, to whom do we pray?
Who is the "helper in opportunity, in tribulation" being addressed?
Are we praying to one another? Praying to one another for one another?
Or, as some have suggested, God-on-earth, the one long called the Christ, has been the death of God-from-away, was entombed, mourned over, and left for rot. And, as the story is told, in-an-instant -- Gone!
Gone from the tomb, gone from rot, gone from the despair of loved ones, gone from the machinations of political/religious conspiracy intent on termination.
Gone to where?
Here is where it gets trickier.
Has God stepped away from Itself so that creation and "man" might step into Itself?
Is the inner "spirit" of each being now the residing place of divine habitation? Are we, each and all of us, the temporal residence of the eternal vagabond?
If so, is the task given us -- to drop into such crucial awareness of our own interior guest that, with alacrity and dispatch, realize how and who we are -- thus beginning to actuate the essence found at our deep and profoundly disconcerting center?
Some Christians call this being "born again." Buddhists call this "awakening realization." Others have other descriptions.
I call it "what is true within".
The eternal vagabond, with no name, no visibility, no place to be other than the center of everything, waits for us to accept new birth, awaken to what is true within, and realize -- with spirit, mind, and body -- a new way of being-with one-another.
So, we pray, "For you have not abandoned those seeking you, Lord."
Are we invited into this prayer, praying to, and seeking after, what-is-true-within?
If "man"is outside this vision quest, if "man" is hostile to this healing spiritual warriorship, then: "do not let man be strengthened" -- "do not let man prevail!"
Here is Kazantzakis:
- It is as though we had buried Someone we thought dead, and now hear him calling in the night: Help me! Heaving and panting, he raises the gravestone of our soul and body higher and still higher, breathing more freely at every moment.
- Every word, every deed, every thought is the heavy gravestone he is forever trying to lift. And my own body and all the visible world, all heaven and earth, are the gravestone which God is struggling to heave upward.
- Trees shout, animals and stars: "We are doomed!" Every living creature flings two huge hands as high as the heavens to seek help.
- With his knees doubled up under his chin, with his hands spread toward the light, with the soles of his feet turned toward his back, God huddles in a knot in every cell of flesh.
- When I break a fruit open, this is how every seed is revealed to me. When I speak to men, this what I discern in their thick and muddy brains.
- God struggles in every thing, his hands flung upward toward the light. What light? Beyond and above every thing!