Total Pageviews


The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity

Augustine on Psalm 145
Home, Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity

O LORD, we beseech thee, absolve thy people from their offences; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed. Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Source: Sacramentary of Bishop Leo of Rome [461] and of Gregory. Said the Sunday week before the penitential season of Advent, it begs God for absolution. Today's Gospel echoes this theme as the woman was released from her bands of infirmity through faith [Barbee and Zahl]

Psalm  145, Colossians i. 3   &  St. Matthew ix. 18 
Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXLV 

 "I will exalt Thee, my God, my King; and I will bless Thy Name for the age, and age upon age"


 David composed this psalm near the end of his life.  It is the last of the "acrostic" psalms, wherein each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet.   

The first verse sets the tone for all that is to follow, as David then recounts his justification for his praise of God today and everyday forever:  Beginning in verse 1 for his fame; in verse 8, for his goodness; in verse 11 for his kingdom; in verse 14, for his providence; and in verse 17 for his justice, holiness and saving mercy.

Let us see what Augustine has written of the first and second verses:

"I will exalt Thee, my God, my King; and I will bless Thy Name for the age, and age upon age" (ver. 1). Ye see that the praise of God is here begun, and this praise is carried on even to the end of the Psalm....Now then begin to praise, if thou intendest to praise for ever. He who will not praise in this transitory "age," will be silent when "age upon age" has come. But lest any one should in any otherwise also understand what he saith, "I will praise Thy Name for the age," and should seek another age, wherein to praise, he saith, "Every day will I bless Thee" (ver. 2). Praise then and bless the Lord thy God every day, that when single days have passed, and there has come one day without end, thou mayest go from praise to praise, as "from strength to strength."  No day shall pass by, wherein I bless Thee not. And it is no wonder, if in thy day of joy thou bless the Lord. What if perchance some day of sorrow hath dawned on thee, as is natural in the circumstances of our mortal nature, as there is abundance of offences, as temptations are multiplied; what, if something sad befall thee, a man; wilt thou cease to praise God? wilt thou cease to bless thy Creator? If thou cease, thou hast lied in saying, "every day," etc. But if thou cease not, although it seem to thee to be ill with thee in the day of thy sorrow, yet in thy God it shall be well with thee....

Augustine has clearly stated the standard of worship for all Christians, and that is to praise God daily.  He did so, and had a rule in his church that all should say the Lord's prayer thrice daily in accordance with the tradition of the Old Testament admonition and the early church practice in morning and evening devotions at church (see the Apostolic Constitutions)

 We daily say, "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name", as our Lord taught us, and thereby do praise his name.
Hallelujah is the Hebrew term for "Praise the Lord", and a good praise to use, or its equivalent in your own language, as a part of your daily worship.

In the western tradition praise was always the beginning of any devotional office. Beginning with the first prayer book, and possibly before, the English worship began with the Lord's Prayer, and then followed with praise. The minister said, "O Lord open thou my lips", and the people responded, "And my mouth shall show forth thy praise". Thus, from the very beginning of morning and evening prayer the folk did praise the Lord and set the proper tone and sequence for all that was to follow.

Let  us follow the words of David in this psalm, and the encouragement of Augustine to his church, and practice a praise of the Lord each and every day, now and forever.

Read it all here: Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXLV 


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]


No comments: