Saturday, June 14, 2014

Psalm 148 verses 13-14

Psalm 148 concludes, St Bellarmine tells us, with a special call to those in the Church:

This is the conclusion of the Psalm, as it were to say: The hymn, then, to be sung to God should be specially sung by all his saints; that is, by all those dedicated and consecrated to him, the children of Israel especially, inasmuch as they come nearer to God than any other people, through true knowledge and faith, true worship and adora­tion, true filial confidence and love. 

Conféssio ejus super cælum et terram: * et exaltávit cornu pópuli sui.
Magnificentia eius super caelum et terram, et exaltavit cornu populi sui.
gloria eius in caelo et in terra. Et exaltabit cornu populi sui

ξομολόγησις ατο π γς κα ορανο κα ψώσει κέρας λαο ατο

For the raising of the horn, see Ps 131:17; Eccli 51:12, 1 Sam 2:1

confessio, onis, the praise of God, the glory and majesty of God confessed by His creatures, and the giving of thanks to God
cornu, us, n.  the horn of animals, of the bull, ram, etc; symbols of strength, power, glory, pride, or dominion

The praise of him is above heaven and earth: and he has exalted the horn of his people.
his praise is above the earth and heaven,  and he shall exalt the horn of his people
and his praise above heaven and earth. He shall exalt the horn of his people

St Augustine gives the Christological interpretation of the verse:

And He shall exalt the horn of His people. Behold what Haggai and Zachariah prophesied. Now the horn of His people is humble in afflictions, in tribulations, in temptations, in beating of the breast; when will He exalt the horn of His people? When the Lord has come, and our Sun is risen, not the sun which is seen with the eye, and rises upon the good and the evil, Matthew 5:45 but That whereof is said, To you that hear God, the Sun of Righteousness shall rise, and healing in His wings; Malachi 4:2 and of whom the proud and wicked shall hereafter say, The light of righteousness has not shined unto us, and the sun of righteousness rose not upon us. Wisdom 5:6 This shall be our summer. 
Cassio: This passage too is proclaimed in virtue of His magnificence and uniqueness. In the words: For his name alone is exalted: the confession of him is above heaven and earth, His magnificence is undoubtedly being made known in the whole world. Up to this final statement higher creatures are kept in abeyance, so that the faithful people may praise the Lord when established, as they shall be, in that native land of the future, when we know that they are released from the bonds of sins. Next follows the most just reason why the Lord must be proclaimed: it is because his name alone is exalted. It is exalted because in Paul's words before Him: Every knee bows, of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.11 The psalmist added: The confession of him is above heaven and earth. Here confession denotes the praise paid to Him by all rational creatures after the renewal of this world. He spoke of above heaven and earth, for neither heavenly nor earthly things can be found equal to those praises.

St Liguori sums it up as follows:

Let then the praises of the Lord resound through heaven and earth, since he has willed to exalt by his power his faithful people, in giving them Jesus Christ, who has made his servants victorious over the devils.

Hymnus ómnibus sanctis ejus: * fíliis Israël, pópulo appropinquánti sibi.
Hymnus omnibus sanctis eius, filiis Israel, populo, qui propinquus est ei.
laus omnibus sanctis eius, filiis Israhel, populo adpropinquanti sibi.

μνος πσι τος σίοις ατο τος υος Ισραηλ λα γγίζοντι ατ

hymnus, i, m.  a hymn, a song of praise to God.
appropinquo, avi, atum, are , to draw near, approach

A hymn to all his saints to the children of Israel, a people approaching to him.
there is a hymn for all his saints, even of the children of Israel, a people who draw near to him.
all his saints shall praise him, even the children of Israel, even the people that serveth him.

Why a hymn 'of the saints'?  Cassiodorus' take is that it points us to heaven:

These words are a promise; they represent the highest perfection of total blessedness. What the saints will deserve is to praise the Lord, the song which they sing when they are crowned by His eternal gift. Once they have obtained this, they will lack nothing more; they will have there all that cannot be grasped here: the manna of heaven, satiety which knows no surfeit, a gift beyond understanding, the continual performance of this task, and a constant and burning zeal for it. The hymn, then, is the saints' song directed to the Lord's praise, in which soul and body harmonise with perfect purity. We may appear to utter such praise eagerly here and now, but we can complete it only defec­tively. 

Psalm 148: Laudate Dominum de caelis

1 Laudáte Dóminum de cælis: * laudáte eum in excélsis.
Praise the Lord from the heavens: praise him in the high places.
2  Laudáte eum, omnes Angeli ejus: * laudáte eum, omnes virtútes ejus.
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his hosts.
3  Laudáte eum, sol et luna: * laudáte eum, omnes stellæ et lumen.
3 Praise him, O sun and moon: praise him, all you stars and light
4  Laudáte eum, cæli cælórum: * et aquæ omnes, quæ super cælos sunt, laudent nomen Dómini.
4 Praise him, you heavens of heavens: and let all   the waters that are above the heavens 5 praise the name of the Lord.
5 Quia ipse dixit, et facta sunt: * ipse mandávit, et creáta sunt.
For he spoke, and they were made: he commanded, and they were created
6  Státuit ea in ætérnum, et in sæculum sæculi: * præcéptum pósuit, et non præteríbit.
6 He has established them for ever, and for ages of ages: he has made a decree, and it shall not pass away.
7  Laudáte Dóminum de terra, * dracónes, et omnes abyssi.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth, you dragons, and all you deeps:
8  Ignis, grando, nix, glácies, spíritus procellárum: * quæ fáciunt verbum ejus:
8 Fire, hail, snow, ice, stormy winds, which fulfil his word:
9  Montes, et omnes colles: * ligna fructífera, et omnes cedri.
9 Mountains and all hills, fruitful trees and all cedars:
10  Béstiæ, et univérsa pécora: * serpéntes, et vólucres pennátæ:
10 Beasts and all cattle: serpents and feathered fowls:
11  Reges terræ, et omnes pópuli: * príncipes, et omnes júdices terræ.
11 Kings of the earth and all people: princes and all judges of the earth:
12  Júvenes, et vírgines : senes cum junióribus laudent nomen Dómini: * quia exaltátum est nomen ejus solíus.
12 Young men and maidens: let the old with the younger, praise the name of the Lord: 13 For his name alone is exalted.
13  Conféssio ejus super cælum et terram: * et exaltávit cornu pópuli sui.
14 The praise of him is above heaven and earth: and he has exalted the horn of his people.
14  Hymnus ómnibus sanctis ejus: * fíliis Israël, pópulo appropinquánti sibi.
A hymn to all his saints to the children of Israel, a people approaching to him. Alleluia

The next psalm in this series on the repeated psalms of the Office is Psalm 149.

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