Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Psalm 9 (Pt 1) - Prime, Tuesday, No 3

Ms. Codex 1058 Glossed psalter, folio 5v,
circa 1100, Laon, France
University of Pennsylvania Libraries

Psalm 9 part 1: Confitebor tibi Domine
In finem, pro occultis filii. Psalmus David.

Unto the end, for the hidden things of the Son. A psalm for David.
1 Confitébor tibi, Dómine, in toto corde meo: * narrábo ómnia mirabília tua.
I will give praise to thee, O Lord, with my whole heart: I will relate all thy wonders.
2  Lætábor et exsultábo in te: * psallam nómini tuo, Altíssime.
I will be glad, and rejoice in thee: I will sing to thy name, O thou most high.
3  In converténdo inimícum meum retrórsum: * infirmabúntur, et períbunt a fácie tua.

When my enemy shall be turned back: they shall be weakened, and perish before thy face.

4  Quóniam fecísti judícium meum et causam meam: * sedísti super thronum, qui júdicas justítiam.
For thou hast maintained my judgment and my cause: thou hast sat on the throne, who judgest justice.
5  Increpásti Gentes, et périit ímpius: * nomen eórum delésti in ætérnum, et in sæculum sæculi.

Thou hast rebuked the Gentiles, and the wicked one hath perished; thou hast blotted out their name for ever and ever.
6  Inimíci defecérunt frámeæ in finem: * et civitátes eórum destruxísti.
The swords of the enemy have failed unto the end: and their cities thou hast destroyed
7  Périit memória eórum cum sónitu: * et Dóminus in ætérnum pérmanet.
Their memory hath perished with a noise: But the Lord remaineth for ever.
8  Parávit in judício thronum suum: * et ipse judicábit orbem terræ in æquitáte, judicábit pópulos in justítia.
He hath prepared his throne in judgment: And he shall judge the world in equity he shall judge the people in justice.
9  Et factus est Dóminus refúgium páuperi: * adjútor in opportunitátibus, in tribulatióne.
And the Lord is become a refuge for the poor: a helper in due time in tribulation.
10  Et sperent in te qui novérunt nomen tuum: * quóniam non dereliquísti quæréntes te, Dómine.
And let them trust in thee who know thy name: for thou hast not forsaken them that seek thee, O Lord.
11  Psállite Dómino, qui hábitat in Sion: * annuntiáte inter Gentes stúdia ejus:
Sing ye to the Lord, who dwelleth in Sion: declare his ways among the Gentiles:
12  Quóniam requírens sánguinem eórum recordátus est: * non est oblítus clamórem páuperum.
For requiring their blood, he hath remembered them: he hath not forgotten the cry of the poor.
13  Miserére mei, Dómine: * vide humilitátem meam de inimícis meis.
Have mercy on me, O Lord: see my humiliation which I suffer from my enemies.
14  Qui exáltas me de portis mortis, * ut annúntiem omnes laudatiónes tuas in portis fíliæ Sion.
You that lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare all your praises in the gates of the daughter of Sion.
15  Exsultábo in salutári tuo: * infíxæ sunt Gentes in intéritu, quem fecérunt.
I will rejoice in your salvation: the Gentiles have stuck fast in the destruction which they prepared.
16  In láqueo isto, quem abscondérunt, * comprehénsus est pes eórum.
Their foot has been taken in the very snare which they hid.
17  Cognoscétur Dóminus judícia fáciens: * in opéribus mánuum suárum comprehénsus est peccátor.
The Lord shall be known when he executes judgments: the sinner has been caught in the works of his own hands.
18  Convertántur peccatóres in inférnum, * omnes Gentes quæ obliviscúntur Deum.
The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God.
19  Quóniam non in finem oblívio erit páuperis: * patiéntia páuperum non períbit in finem
For the poor man shall not be forgotten to the end: the patience of the poor shall not perish for ever.

St Augustine:
...This Psalm is then sung for the hidden things of the only-begotten Son of God. For the Lord Himself too, when, without addition, He uses the word Son, would have Himself, the Only-begotten to be understood; as where He says, If the Son shall make you free, then shall you be free indeed...we must first understand that there are some things of the Son manifest, from which those are distinguished which are called hidden. 
Wherefore since we believe two advents of the Lord, one past, which the Jews understood not: the other future, which we both hope for; and since the one which the Jews understood not, profited the Gentiles...The hidden one is passing now, of which the Apostle Peter says, The time has come that judgment should begin from the house of the Lord. The hidden judgment accordingly is the pain, by which now each man is either exercised to purification, or warned to conversion, or if he despise the calling and discipline of God, is blinded unto damnation. But the manifest judgment is that in which the Lord, at His coming, will judge the quick and the dead, all men confessing that it is He by whom both rewards shall be assigned to the good, and punishments to the evil. 
St Thomas Aquinas:
In Psalm 8 the psalmist rendered thanks to God for granting divine blessings to the entire human race. Here in Psalm 9, thanks is especially rendered to God for blessings to the psalmist… 
Mystically the title for Psalm 9 can refer to Christ (Son of God). For, Christ is called a "Son," as of God, the Father...So, hidden things of a son are as mysteries concerning Christ. For such hidden things of Christ are twofold, Christ's first coming on earth is hidden in reference to his divinity and glory,…Christ's second coming upon this earth will be evident… 
Christ's judgment is also twofold. One is hidden within the very condition of this present world. Another judgment is from God, the Father, allowing good persons to suffer from evil persons…So, in Psalm 9 there is exposed a hidden judgment that good persons suffer from evil persons...Thus, the entire Psalm 9 is exposed along the above consideration of thanks, and freedom from enemies…considers actions from divine blessings. 
Divine blessings are threefold: from the mouth, the heart, and the deed. The blessings from the mouth are twofold: from praising and preaching. By praising when it says: "I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart" (Verse 1). And by preaching, from three ideas: faith, sinners, and praise. Regards faith is said: "For man believes with his heart, and is so justified. He professes with his lips and so is saved." …Regards sinners: "Therefore confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed". Regards praise: "Then the angel called the two of them private, and said to them: "Praise God and give thanks to him in the presence for what he has done for us". 
St Alphonsus Liguori:
Among the interpreters there are some that see in this psalm, when taken in the literal sense, David thanking God for having given him the victory over his enemy; and when taken in the spiritual sense, Jesus Christ accomplishing the work of the Redemption, and thus subduing the devil, the great enemy of the human race. Others, whose opinion does not lack probability, regard this psalm as the portrait of the unhappy end of the wicked, who have lived in prosperity, and of the glorious end of the just, who have been living in tribulation.
Fr Pasch:
Thanksgiving for victory - Christ is victorious in his Resurrection and in the Church. By his dying, Christ has overcome the devil and given us a pledge of the victory.  He will win in the Church and in our soul.  The enemies spoken of are not the forces of earth, but those of hell.  Nor must we think of an earthly victory.  Rather, our victory as Christians will be like that of Christ, who seemed to be defeated in the eyes of men. 

The opening phrase of today's psalm, Confitebor tibi Domine, recurs in several other places on Tuesdays (indeed it can be found in all of the variable psalms/canticles at Lauds), and can perhaps be applied firstly to Christ during his time on earth, and his preaching of the Gospel to the world in the face of intense opposition.

It seems to refer to the preaching of the kingdom: the references to Sion in this psalm are echoed in numerous other references to heaven (especially the holy mountain and tabernacle of Psalm 42 at Lauds; the dedication of the temple, a microcosm of the heaven at Vespers in Psalm 131; and the several songs of Sion sung at Matins).

This last psalm of Prime is also, of course, a call for us to imitate Christ in his preaching and ascent: it reminds us of the joy of heaven; of the grace God provides to aid us in our struggles; and of the reason we must do it, in the form of Christ's second coming to judge.

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