this campaign of Christian service,
so that, as we take up battle against
we may be armed with weapons of
Collect for Ash Wednesday, Roman missal, translation of 2010.
Concede nobis, Domine,
praesidia militiae christianae sanctis inchoare ieiuniis,
ut, contra spiritales nequitias pugnaturi,
continentiae muniamur auxiliis.
Collect for Ash Wednesday, Missale Romanum. =Corpus orationum no. 673 (vol. 1, pp. 326-327), which lists a few minor variants (most importantly salutaris for continentiae in Bergomensis (second half of the 9th century)) =Bruylants no. 117 (vol. 2, p. 39). This one is present in the Veronese or "Leonine" sacramentary (Verona, Biblioteca capitolare LXXXV (80)), which was written in the 2nd half of the 6th century, but contains prayers that can be traced back into the 1st half of the 5th. This collect is thought by some to be one of those.
Perisho (recognizing that it is impossible to get all of the harmonics of the Latin into a single, word-for-word translation; cf. e.g. nequitia in the Vulgate of Eph 6:12 & 1 Cor 5:8):
Grant to us, O Lord,
with holy fasts to found [(inchoare)] garrisons [(praesidia)]
of Christian valor [(militiae, also warfare)],
that, contending in battle [(pugnaturi)] against spiritual laxities
[(nequitias, also evils, wickedness)],we may be reinforced [(muniamur)] by auxiliaries [(auxiliis)]
of self-control [(continentiae)].
Grant us, O Lord, to commence the defenses of the Christian field campaign by means of holy fasts, so that, we who are about to do battle against spiritual negligences, may be fortified by the support of continence.
Roman missal as translated before 2010, reproduced by Fr. Z, and included here for laughs:
Father in Heaven,
Protect us in our struggle against evil.
As we begin the discipline of Lent,
make this season holy by our self-denial.