"Grant, Lord, that we may see the course of events proceed peacefully by the observance of the divine order -- grant that Thy Church may know the joy of serving Thee without disturbance."
In today's epistle -- St. Paul originally wrote it to the Romans -- we look at the Fall of mankind and its Redemption from an unusual perspective. Paul looks not directly at the effect of the Fall on man, but on all of creation.
He tells us that through the fall of Adam "creation was made subject to vanity." Subject to "slavery to corruption." That it "groans and travails in pain." Paul is telling us that prior to Adam's fall, God had specially intervened in the working of nature to ensure order, tranquility, and harmony.
We know that Adam and Eve were given special gifts, which raised them above normal human nature -- "preternatural" gifts which exempted them from sickness and labor; gifts that enabled them to understand without study; which enabled their minds to control their desires. Saint Paul may be hinting that God gave these gifts to Adam and Eve by carefully ordering all of creation in one overall harmony.
And he seems to be saying that when Adam and Eve sinned, they destroyed this divine order -- not only in themselves, but in all creation. Thus, not only did man await redemption, but "with eager longing, creation awaits the revelation of the sons of God. That, somehow, through man's redemption order might be restored to the universe. Certainly this makes sense, for God made the earthly things of creation subject to Adam and his descendents.
What Paul is saying is borne out in Gospel accounts such as the one we read today -- ones in which the Redeemer of man causes nature to act in harmony with the sons of Adam. Under His influence, (1) water turns itself into wine to gladden the hearts of men, (2) the waves of a stormy sea are calmed and the winds made to die away, (3) today the fish literally swim into the nets of the Apostles.
Our own practical experience bears out the same idea. If we make, so to speak, an examination of conscience for mankind ... don't we see order and tranquility where God's commandments are observed, and where Christ is honored as King? Where people are humble, and deal with each other as Christians? Where they make frugal and reasoned use of the material things around them? Sometimes this even extends to miraculous proportions -- there was a Jesuit house that survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima -- something the occupants attributed to their daily praying of the Rosary together.
On the other hand, don't we often see the revenge of nature when God's commandments are broken and His Kingship rejected? Society cannot run on murder, theft, adultery, and slander. What do we see when it tries? Don't we see an increase of violence, and don't we fear to leave our homes? Don't we see ecological disaster? Don't we see corruption in government? Don't we see broken homes, child abuse, diseases that threaten our physical existence, and psychological maladies leading to despair and suicide? Don't we see instability in our economic system, and a general breakdown of society?
God's grace, you see, is as important for our natural earthly happiness as it is for our eternal salvation!
Now, I don't know if we could eliminate all natural disaster just by keeping the Commandments -- probably we will never be able to get everyone around us to try it and see. But, certainly, we can bring divine order to our own lives. We can live as if there is a tomorrow -- not in murder, theft, adultery, and slander -- but rather in humility, justice, chastity, honesty, and other such virtues. Not in making ourselves the reason for all existence -- but by centering our lives around Christ, making Him our King, and Mary His Mother our Queen.
If we are faithful in these things, we will receive what we prayed for in the Collect of this Mass -- we will see "the course of events proceed peacefully by the observance of the divine order...." We will see: our adoption as sons of God Á the redemption of our body in Christ Jesus, our Lord.