Monday, August 1, 2016

Psalm 6 - Prime, Monday no 3, short summaries

Psalm 6 (Prime Monday): Domine ne in furore tuo arguas me
Magistro chori. Fidibus. Super octavam. PSALMUS. David.
Unto the end, in verses, a psalm for David, for the octave.
Dómine, ne in furóre tuo árguas me, * neque in ira tua corrípias me.
O Lord, rebuke me not in your indignation, nor chastise me in your wrath.
2  Miserére mei, Dómine, quóniam infírmus sum : * sana me, Dómine, quóniam conturbáta sunt ossa mea.
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak: heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.
3  Et ánima mea turbáta est valde : * sed tu, Dómine, úsquequo?
And my soul is troubled exceedingly: but you, O Lord, how long?  
4  Convértere, Dómine, et éripe ánimam meam : * salvum me fac propter misericórdiam tuam.
Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me for your mercy's sake.
5.  Quóniam non est in morte qui memor sit tui : * in inférno autem quis confitébitur tibi?
For there is no one in death that is mindful of you: and who shall confess to you in hell?
6  Laborávi in gémitu meo, lavábo per síngulas noctes lectum meum : * lácrimis meis stratum meum rigábo.
I have laboured in my groanings, every night I will wash my bed: I will water my couch with my tears
7  Turbátus est a furóre óculus meus : * inveterávi inter omnes inimícos meos.
My eye is troubled through indignation: I have grown old amongst all my enemies.
8  Discédite a me, omnes, qui operámini iniquitátem : *  quóniam exaudívit Dóminus vocem fletus mei.
Depart from me, all you workers of iniquity: for the Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.
9  Exaudívit Dóminus deprecatiónem meam, *  Dóminus oratiónem meam suscépit.
The Lord has heard my supplication: the Lord has received my prayer.
10  Erubéscant, et conturbéntur veheménter omnes inimíci mei : * convertántur et erubéscant valde velóciter.
Let all my enemies be ashamed, and be very much troubled: let them be turned back, and be ashamed very speedily.

Psalm 6 is the first of the penitential psalms. 

St Benedict picks up the central image of this psalm, the man who spends his nights weeping for his sins, in his chapter on the tools of good works, where he instructs us to ‘confess our past sins to God daily with tears and sighs’.  

St Benedict goes to some trouble to include it in Monday Prime, moving Psalm 5 to Lauds in order to accommodate it on Monday.  I think the reasons for this are several. First, the psalm can be interpreted at the collective level as a plea for the Messiah to come and free us from Hades, so fits in with the general theme of the Incarnation on Mondays in the Benedictine Office: through Christ’s coming the devil is confounded and turned back, a phrase that echoes through many of the psalms of the day.  Secondly, the flood of tears of verse 6 can perhaps be viewed as a reference to one of the other major themes of the day, the gift of baptism.  Thirdly, the call to conversion and repentance can perhaps be seen as a final preparation for the mini-renewal of monastic vows/promises each week at Terce. 

 St Augustine:
Intimates the day of judgment, that is, the time of the coming of our Lord, when He will come to judge the quick and dead.
St Thomas Aquinas:
In Psalm 6 is seen the effect of a person punished for sins, then led into enemies' hands, and finally obtaining freedom by penance. Psalm 6 is the first in a series of seven Penitential Psalms. These so termed seven psalms can refer to seven gifts of the Sacred Spirit. All the seven Penitential Psalms commence in a spirit of sadness. So, after wailing within a spirit of penance, a person arrives to a kingdom of glory. Because: "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be “conforted."…Now, Psalm 6 is divided into three parts. First is presented the idea of penance; and second, an idea of tears. There: "I am weary with my mourning; every night I flood my couch with weeping.". Third, the results of such tears and penance is exposed. There: "Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping".
St Alphone Liguori:
According to the most probable opinion of the learned, this psalm, taken in the literal sense, properly refers to the penitence of David. Hence it is, conclusively, the prayer of the sinner who fears the blows of the divine justice, and who strives to become reconciled with his God. It is the first of the Penitential Psalms.

Fr Pius Parsch:
Argument and repentance - This song of fervent penance inspires the thought: Was today a day of sin? Vs 1-3: Lamentation of the suffering, repentant sinner, Vs 4-7: Argument of the prayer Vs 8-10: Confident of being heard

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