The Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments specifies the Biblical readings for use at Mass celebrated for the intention “ad postulandam continentiam”, or to pray for self-restraint.
The Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments has issued a Decree indicating the Biblical Readings for the Mass “ad postulandam continentiam,” which is found among the formularies of Eucharistic celebrations for various needs in the Roman Missal. The Decree containing the list of readings was signed by Cardinal Arthur Roche, Prefect of the Dicastery, and Archbishop Vittorio Francesco Viola, Secretary of the same Dicastery. It was sent out to the various national Bishops’ Conferences around the world. The Dicastery for Divine Worship also released a communiqué to explain the Decree, dated 22 June.
“In the Roman Missal,” reads the communiqué, “the term ‘continentia’ is used in a general way to indicate all those things which every baptized person is called to do in order to put on Christ (cf. Gal. 3:27), fighting against every form of evil, aware that one’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, a means to glorify God (cf. 1 Cor 6:19), following life’s path, in step with the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:25), in observance of the Divine commandments (cf. Sir 2:20, 21 and Ez 36:27), and not a means to offend Him by clinging to the desires and works of the flesh (cf. Gal 5:19).”
The communiqué emphasizes that this endeavor is not solely reliant on human effort, since Christians must “ask for and abtain the grace to live by the Holy Spirit (cf. Gal 5:25), to receive a new heart and a new spirit (cf. Ez 36:26)”. “With these biblical readings,” the communiqué states, “the intention is to offer a complete celebration in order to ask for the grace of a chaste heart, free from the desire to dominate, to possess, to conquer, to peruse one’s ambitions in an unbridled manner and to satisfy one’s desires, often at the expense of the weakest.” Therefore, the Mass “ad postulandam continentiam” can be celebrated for the intentions of every baptized person, regardless of their condition or status. Biblical Readings The indicated Readings include a Gospel passage from Matthew (“You are the salt of the earth,” Mt 5:13-16) and one from John (“This is my commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you,” Jn 15:12-17).
The Old Testament readings are taken from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (“I will give you a new heart, I will put a new spirit within you, I will remove from you the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,” Ez 36:24-29a) and from Sirach (“Those who fear the Lord prepare their hearts,” 2:18- 23). The New Testament readings are derived from St. Paul’s Epistles to the Romans (“Let charity have no pretenses,” Rom 12:1-2, 9-18), to the Corinthians (“All things are lawful to me! But not all things profit,” 1 Cor 6:12-15a, 17-20), and to the Galatians (“The fruit of the Spirit, on the other hand, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control; against these things there is no law,” Gal 5:16-25). The responsorial psalm is taken from Psalms 86 and 112.