Saturday, August 6, 2016

Psalm 19 - Saturday, Prime No 3

Ceiling of St. Michael's Church, Hildesheim
Psalm 19 (20) : Exaudiet te Dominus in die tribulationis 
Vulgate (numbering follows psalter)
Douay-Rheims (numbering follows Bible)
In finem. Psalmus David.
1 Unto the end. A psalm for David.
1 Exáudiat te Dóminus in die tribulatiónis: * prótegat te nomen Dei Jacob.
2 May the Lord hear you in the day of tribulation: may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2  Mittat tibi auxílium de sancto: * et de Sion tueátur te.
3 May he send you help from the sanctuary: and defend you out of Sion.
3  Memor sit omnis sacrifícii tui: * et holocáustum tuum pingue fiat.
4 May he be mindful of all your sacrifices: and may your whole burnt offering be made fat.  
4  Tríbuat tibi secúndum cor tuum: * et omne consílium tuum confírmet.
5 May he give you according to your own heart; and confirm all your counsels.
5  Lætábimur in salutári tuo: * et in nómine Dei nostri magnificábimur.
6 We will rejoice in your salvation; and in the name of our God we shall be exalted.
6  Impleat Dóminus omnes petitiónes tuas: * nunc cognóvi quóniam salvum fecit Dóminus Christum suum.
7 The Lord fulfil all your petitions: now have I known that the Lord has saved his anointed.

7  Exáudiet illum de cælo sancto suo: * in potentátibus salus déxteræ ejus
He will hear him from his holy heaven: the salvation of his right hand is in powers.
8  Hi in cúrribus, et hi in equis: * nos autem in nómine Dómini, Dei nostri invocábimus.
8 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will call upon the name of the Lord, our God.
9  Ipsi obligáti sunt, et cecidérunt: * nos autem surréximus et erécti sumus.
9 They are bound, and have fallen: but we are risen, and are set upright.
10  Dómine salvum fac regem: * et exáudi nos in die, qua invocavérimus te.
10 O Lord, save the king: and hear us in the day that we shall call upon you.

In its historic setting this psalm is a call by the people for God to grant David victory in battle, and therefore could be used before any battle in wartime.  It can also of course, be read as a plea for help before the spiritual battles that face us everyday.

The Fathers and theologians, however, have consistently interpreted it as also looking forward to the coming celebration of the Resurrection, thus it provides a fitting conclusion to the Holy Saturday theme of Prime.  St Augustine, for example, says in his commentary on the opening verses:  “And turn the cross, whereon You were wholly offered up to God, into the joy of the resurrection.”  Verses 6-7 and 9 contain the most explicit prophesies of the Resurrection, saying, for example, “now have I known that the Lord has saved his anointed…”

St Augustine:
It is not Christ who speaks; but the prophet speaks to Christ, under the form of wishing, foretelling things to come.
The most holy prophet has taught us with what devotedness we must serve Christ the Lord.  He seeks for Him the blessings which he knew would come to pass, for it is the habit of believers to pray for what we long to happen.  So in the Lord's prayer we are likewise forewarned Thy kingdom come,...So let us be oppressed at his passion, and rejoice at His resurrection, for we can be called His if we deserve to be associated with His dispensation. 
St Alphonsus Liguori:
This psalm is a prayer which the people address to God for the success of the arms of David. But Bellarmine and Rotigni think that this psalm and the two following psalms, that is, the XX. and the XXI. Of the psalter, refer to the victories of Jesus Christ over the devil and the persecutors of the Church.
Fr Pasch:
This Psalm is a plea to the Father before the day's battle, the week's conflict, of the kingdom of God―a plea which expresses at the same time great confidence of victory.

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