Friday, July 22, 2016

Psalm 15 (Prime, Friday) - Short summaries

Petites Heures de Jean de Berry,
14th-century illuminated manuscript
commissioned by John, Duke of Berry.

Psalm 15 (16): Conserva me Domine
Tituli inscriptio, ipsi David.
The inscription of a title to David himself
Consérva me, Dómine, quóniam sperávi in te. * Dixi Dómino : Deus meus es tu, quóniam bonórum meórum non eges.
Preserve me, O Lord, for I have put my trust in you. I have said to the Lord, you are my God, for you have no need of my goods.
2  Sanctis, qui sunt in terra ejus, * mirificávit omnes voluntátes meas in eis.
To the saints, who are in his land, he has made wonderful all my desires in them.
Multiplicátæ sunt infirmitátes eórum : * póstea acceleravérunt.
Their infirmities were multiplied: afterwards they made haste.
4  Non congregábo conventícula eórum de sanguínibus, *  nec memor ero nóminum eórum per lábia mea.
I will not gather together their meetings for blood offerings: nor will I be mindful of their names by my lips.
5  Dóminus pars hereditátis meæ, et cálicis mei : * tu es, qui restítues hereditátem meam mihi.
The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is you that will restore my inheritance to me.
6  Funes cecidérunt mihi in præcláris : * étenim heréditas mea præclára est mihi.
The lines are fallen unto me in goodly places: for my inheritance is goodly to me.
7  Benedícam Dóminum, qui tríbuit mihi intelléctum : * ínsuper et usque ad noctem increpuérunt me renes mei.
I will bless the Lord, who has given me understanding: moreover, my reins also have corrected me even till night.
8  Providébam Dóminum in conspéctu meo semper : * quóniam a dextris est mihi, ne commóvear.
I set the Lord always in my sight: for he is at my right hand, that I be not moved.

9  Propter hoc lætátum est cor meum, et exsultávit lingua mea : * ínsuper et caro mea requiéscet in spe.
Therefore my heart has been glad, and my tongue has rejoiced: moreover, my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10  Quóniam non derelínques ánimam meam in inférno : * nec dabis sanctum tuum vidére corruptiónem.
Because you will not leave my soul in hell; nor will you give your holy one to see corruption.

11  Notas mihi fecísti vias vitæ, adimplébis me lætítia cum vultu tuo : * delectatiónes in déxtera tua usque in finem.
You have made known to me the ways of life, you shall fill me with joy with your countenance: at your right hand are delights even to the end.

You can hear the psalm read slowly in Latin at Boston Catholic.

Friday in the Benedictine Office continues the weekly mini-Triduum.  Yet St Benedict’s selection of the psalms for this purpose does not dwell much on Christ’s suffering on the cross – rather he points us firmly forward to its consequences, above all to the Resurrection.

Both SS Peter and Paul quote this psalm in sermons reported in Acts (Chapter 2&13), and it is worth reading the use St Peter makes of the psalm:

"Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs which God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know -- this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

But God raised him up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, `I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will dwell in hope.  For thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let thy Holy One see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou wilt make me full of gladness with thy presence. 

Brethren, I may say to you confidently of the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants upon his throne, he foresaw and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.” Acts 2:22-32

St Augustine:
Our King in this Psalm speaks in the character of the human nature He assumed, of whom the royal title at the time of His passion was eminently set forth.
St Alphonse Liguori:
The subject of this psalm, as St. Peter testifies, is a prayer addressed to God by our Lord Jesus Christ during the three days that his holy body was lying in the sepulchre. Resting on the authority of the prince of the apostles, Xavier Mattei and Father Rotigni rightly think that the literal sense and the spiritual sense are one and the same, and that thus the whole psalm directly refers to Jesus Christ raising his voice to his heavenly Father to address to him from the depth of the sepulchre the following prayer.
Fr Pius Pasch:
The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance: In this Psalm we give thanks for the gift of faith and of grace.  Other men may have kingdoms, but we possess God, the highest good.  It is he who has given me my blessed calling.  He will not suffer his holy one to see corruption: this beautiful Messianic verse foretelling the Resurrection of Christ may well be applied to our own hope in the resurrection of the body.

Pope St John Paul II:
…the New Testament incorporated this Psalm in connection with the Resurrection of Christ. In his discourse on Pentecost, St Peter quotes precisely from the second part of the hymn with an enlightening paschal and Christological application: "God raised him [Jesus of Nazareth] up, having loosed the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it" (Acts 2: 24).   St Paul refers to Psalm 16[15] in his announcement of the Passover of Christ during his speech at the Synagogue in Antioch Pisidian. In this light, let us also proclaim him: ""You will not let your Holy One see corruption'. For David, after he had served the counsel of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption; but he whom God raised up", that is, Jesus Christ, "saw no corruption" (Acts 13: 35-37). (Gen Audience, 28 July 2004)

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