Oscar Wilde quipped that, “There is no sin except stupidity.” Perhaps we can refine that. I propose that sin makes us stupid. Furthermore, once we recognise that we have sinned, it is even more sinful willingly to remain in the sinful stupidity that stupid sin provoked.

Speaking of being stupid, let’s have a look at the Collect for the upcoming 15th Ordinary Sunday’s Mass:

Deus, qui errantibus, ut in viam possint redire, veritatis tuae lumen ostendis, da cunctis qui christiana professione censentur, et illa respuere, quae huic inimica sunt nomini, et ea quae sunt apta sectari.

The alliteration and snappy clausula makes this a wonderful prayer to sing. Try it. That via, “way, method”, has moral content, as in “the right way, the true method, mode, or manner”. Moreover, Christ Jesus is, Himself, the Way, Truth, and Life (cf John 14).

The deponent verb sector indicates “to follow continually or eagerly”, in either a good or bad sense. Sector is a term for one who followed an ancient philosopher (Greek for “lover of wisdom”). In ancient art, Christ, Wisdom incarnate, is sometimes depicted in the philosopher’s draping robes. In the medieval period, the infant Christ sometimes sits upon Mary’s lap, who thereby becomes “Seat of Wisdom”.

Current ICEL translation (2011): “O God, who show the light of your truth to those who go astray, so that they may return to the right path, give all who for the faith they profess are accounted Christians the grace to reject whatever is contrary to the name of Christ and to strive after all that does it honour.”

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