Augustine on Psalm XXVII
Home of the Third Sunday after Epiphany
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, mercifully look upon our infirmities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Originally related to the epistle appointed for this Sunday of Matthew 8:1-13 where Jesus put forth his hand
quit thyself like a man
Augustine wrote of Psalm 27, in the last verse,
"Wait on the Lord, quit thyself like a man: and let thy heart be strong, yea wait on the Lord" (ver. 14). But when shall this be? It is arduous for a mortal, it is slow to a lover: but listen to the voice, that deceiveth not, of him that saith, "Wait on the Lord." Endure the burning of the reins manfully, and the burning of the heart stoutly. Think not that what thou dost not as yet receive is denied thee. That thou faint not in despair, see how it is said, "Wait on the Lord."
The King James Version, based on the Masoretic text reads: Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
The Orthodox Study Bible, based upon the LXX is similar: Wait upon the Lord, be courageous, and strengthen your heart, and wait upon the Lord.
This psalms has the title: "Of David, before he was anointed" The Orthodox Study Bible says the first verse is used before the epistle in the sacrament of Baptism, when the faithful declare war against Satan and his minions.
We are called upon to be courageous, to not faint when confronted with temptations and threats, but to take heart, call and wait upon the Lord, and march forward.
Paul wrote, Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. [1 Cor 16:13]
This call to manhood has been a part of being a Christian Soldier for as long as there have been those who followed Jesus. Stephen, and the early martyrs that we read of week by week, set a standard of courage in the face of persecution and certain death that should inspire one to "quit thyself like a man". So did John and Peter when confronted with the council and persecution. Jesus gave fair warning to his disciples of what was to come, and gave them his example in his passion of how to confront it.
This very week, one of our warrior centurions reminded me of Martin of Tours (whose name means the brave, the courageous). Martin had been called as a youth to Christ, and in his adulthood followed the footsteps of his father, who was a tribune, and entered the heavy cavalry. After his military service, he formed a monastery and led a campaign against pagan worship and heretics. Luther was named after him and baptized on his day, 11 November. Martin is the patron saint of the Army Quartermaster Corps.
Another centurion this week reminded me of that famous statement that the martyr Latimer made to Ridley as they awaited the fires of the stake to consume them; he said, Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out. ...
In an article by Dennis Prager entitled "Is America Still Making Men", Prager sees in a post-modern culture of a confused growing segment of the population who generally do not measure up to this standard of manhood, shirk responsibility, and fear commitment.
I am reminded of history and this old saying when James I ascended to the throne of England: Rex fuit Elizabeth: nunc est regina Jacobus
Therefore men, keep watch, guard yourself, follow the examples we have in the Church tradition and scriptures of true Christian men. Ladies, support your men and challenge them to rise to that standard of manhood established in scripture.
May Almighty God mercifully look upon the infirmities of our culture and stretch forth his mighty arm to protect, guide, and embolden his elect to stand firm in the faith and to quit themselves like men.
Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"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]
* ORDO CENTURIONUM * IN HOC SIGNO VINCES * TIME DEUM ET OPERARE IUSTITIAM