Catholics/Prayer at Mass


Dear Priest,
at Mass we say Domine, non sum dignus, ut intres sub tectum meum: sed tantum dic verbo, et sanabitur anima mea (translated: "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed" or "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word, and my soul shall be healed".
I study Latin so I looked up sanabitur (third-person singular future passive indicatice).
Et sanabitur anima mea must be something like and my soul he shall be healed.
Why is the soul third person? Does this have a theological significance?

Greetings, Hank - Thanks for the question...

This liturgical phrase is a gloss on the words of the Centurion to Christ who asked our Lord to heal his servant (boy).

In the Gospels, the phrase spoken to Christ by the Centurion is: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my servant shall be healed."
Matthew 8:8.

If there is a particular theological significance of the use of the 3rd person singular in reference to the soul, I must not be aware of it.  As far as I can tell it is a grammatical construct based upon replacing the word "servant" (boy) with the word "soul."

The use of this reconstructed phrase in the Mass makes it our own plea to Christ that He would enter in and heal our soul through His Eucharistic Presence in Holy Communion.

Fr. Timothy Johnson


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