Augustine on Psalm LXIII
O GOD, whose blessed Son was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil, and make us the sons of God, and heirs of eternal life; Grant us, we beseech thee, that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves, even as he is pure; that, when he shall appear again with power and great glory, we may be made like unto him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, he liveth and reigneth ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
This Collect was added in 1662. It clearly points to the Gospel of the day and the Second Coming of Christ
Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips(v5. Ps 63)
If we would evidence a strong faith, we must anticipate the divine favour before it has been actually manifested…we must learn to be on our guard against dispondency.
[ Calvin on the Psalms ]calendar Edmund, King and Martyr November 20th C.S. Lewis, Lieutenant (GB), Apologist - November 22nd
A Centurion wrote to me and advised of a movement to encourage America's representatives to not allow the new Freedom of Choice Act. There is a petition at this site one may signwww.FightFOCA.com, and an analysis of the proposed statute here http://www.usccb.org/prolife/FOCAanalysis.pdf.
commentary and opinion
Today's we shall look at the exposition of Psalm LXIII by Augustine at the link above. The psalm has a title that attributes it to David while he was in the wilderness. Possible desert experiences were in the Desert of Hareth (1Sa 22:5), the Desert of Ziph (1Sa 23:15) or perhaps during his exile when threatened by his son Absalom and the conspiracy to kill him, which I have selected for today's Old Testament Reading (2Sa 15:23) when David crossed over the Kidron into the Wilderness of Judah.
This psalm is one that was sung daily in the Early Church. It opens with the thirsting for God as in a desert (v1) finding God in the Sanctuary (v2), prayers sung (v3) and the lifting of hands (v4), and the imprecatory bidding against enemies (vs 9-11)
Augustine writes :
men's…souls ought to thirst for God. Wisdom therefore must be thirsted after, righteousness must be thirsted after. With it we shall not be satisfied, with it we shall not be filled, save when this life shall have been ended, and we shall have come to that which God hath promised.
These are the things that Solomon thirsted for, which pleased God, and which he received in abundance, but forsook. This is the essence of the prayer of the Order's Labarum Guard. Augustine then speaks of our destiny and help from heaven.
For God hath promised equality with Angels: and now the Angels thirst not as we do, they hunger not as we do; but they have the fulness of truth, of light, of immortal wisdom. Therefore blessed they are, and out of so great blessedness, because they are in that City, the Heavenly Jerusalem, afar from whence we now are sojourning in a strange land, they observe us sojourners, and they pity us, and by the command of the Lord they help us, in order that to this common country sometime we may return, and there with them sometime with the Lord's fountain of truth and eternity we may be filled.
Note here that Augustine speaks of those heavenly powers, the Angles in heaven, who intercede for men by the command of God (compare with Jesus observation in Matthew 10). He then makes it clear that Christians are not with the Angels in the City of God now, thirst to be there, and shall be rewarded at the Resurrection (Mt 22:30-For in the resurrection they…are as the angels of God in heaven. and also Mt 16:27 ) Then follows this wonderful sermon on the nature of the physical reality of the Resurrection which is doubted and spiritualized by so many false religious teachers, but who are scandalized by the Gospel.
Now therefore let our soul thirst: whence doth our flesh also thirst, and this in many ways? "In many ways for Thee," he saith, "my flesh also." Because to our flesh also is promised Resurrection. As to our soul is promised blessedness, so also to our flesh is promised resurrection.…For if God hath made us that were not, is it a great thing for Him to make again us that were? Therefore let not this seem to you to be incredible, because ye see dead men as it were decaying, and passing into ashes and into dust. Or if any dead man be burned, or if dogs tear him in pieces, do ye think that from this he will not rise again? All things which are dismembered, and into a sort of dust do decay, are entire with God. For into those elements of the world they pass, whence at first they have come, when we were made: we do not see them; but yet God will bring them forth, He knoweth whence, because even before we were, He created us from whence He knew. Such a resurrection of the flesh therefore to us is promised, as that, although it be the same flesh that now we carry which is to rise again, yet it hath not the corruption which now it hath. For now because of the corruption of frailty, if we eat not, we faint and are hungry; if we drink not, we faint and are thirsty; if long time we watch, we faint and sleep; if long time we sleep, we faint, therefore we watch.…Secondly, see how without any standing is our flesh: for infancy passeth away into boyhood, and thou seekest infancy, and infancy is not, for now instead of infancy is boyhood: again this same also passeth into youth, thou seekest boyhood and findest not: the young man becometh a middle-aged man, thou seekest the young man and he is not: the middle-aged man becometh an old man, thou seekest a middle-aged man and findest not: and an old man dieth, thou seekest an old man and findest not: our age therefore standeth not still: everywhere is weariness, everywhere faintness, everywhere corruption. Observing what a hope of resurrection God promiseth to us, in all those our manifold faintings we thirst for that incorruption: and so our flesh manifoldly doth thirst for God.
Let us remember Paul's words and be comforted and reassured of our destiny, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. [Rom 10:9]. Furthermore, let us spread this good news abroad to all. Those whom God has called will hear, and receive, and believe, and shall be saved and physically and perfectly raised in the Day of the Lord.
Grant, O Lord, that the lies of the wolves among us may be stopped.--
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]
IN HOC SIGNO VINCES - TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM