Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who settest the solitary in families: We commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell.
‘Solitary’ puzzles me. Commentaries offer interpretations; I like wanderer. I identify with the literal notion and a feeling of rootlessness. God places the wanderer in families. Families, maybe not so much kinships’ bio-families, rather, again via commentary, families are comfortable dwellings or homes. God places the wanderer in comfortable dwellings; shelters the wanderer.
Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life.
And what about ‘them?’ The kinship of all who dwell in comfort; those who dwell in the bio-family? It’s there every root of bitterness, the desire for vainglory, and the pride of life . . . shows itself with clarity. I’ve felt bitterness towards family members, my desire for vainglory, and my envy of theirs. I’ve experienced my selfishness. I’ve witnessed the pride and selfishness of family members. I’ve lived beneath family judgments and the bitterness it sows. Vanity, selfishness, and pride are roots; every bitterness has a root. If the root is not removed the plant grows again. How is it I’m to put every root of bitterness far from myself? The prayer expresses the hope to do so.
Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness. Knit together in constant affection those who, in holy wedlock, have been made one flesh. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The prayer calls to enkindle fervent charity in the family. Fervent charity is forgiveness. Forgiveness tears out the root.