Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Psalm 60: Christ our strong tower

File:Unicorn annunciation.jpg
Hunt of the Unicorn Annunciation (ca. 1500)
Joseph Zahavi/Morgan Library
Psalm 60 is the second of the psalms set for Wednesday's at Matins, and reminds us to put our trust in Christ.  St Alphonsus Liguouri comments on it that:
Full of confidence in the power of God, the psalmist prays to him to come to his aid. St. Jerome and St. Hilary say that all afflicted souls find here an excellent prayer which they may recite in time of tribulation.
 Psalm 60: Exaudi Deus (Matins Wednesday, I:2)

In finem. In hymnis David.
Unto the end, in hymns, for David.
1  Exáudi, Deus, deprecatiónem meam : * inténde oratióni meæ.
2 Hear, O God, my supplication: be attentive to my prayer.
2  A fínibus terræ ad te clamávi : * dum anxiarétur cor meum, in petra exaltásti me.
3 To you have I cried from the ends of the earth: when my heart was in anguish, you have exalted me on a rock.
3  Deduxísti me, quia factus es spes mea : * turris fortitúdinis a fácie inimíci.
You have conducted me; 4 for you have been my hope; a tower of strength against the face of the enemy.
4  Inhabitábo in tabernáculo tuo in sæcula : * prótegar in velaménto alárum tuárum.
5 In your tabernacle I shall dwell for ever: I shall be protected under the covert of your wings.
5  Quóniam tu, Deus meus, exaudísti oratiónem meam : * dedísti hereditátem timéntibus nomen tuum.
6 For you, my God, have heard my prayer: you have given an inheritance to them that fear your name.
6  Dies super dies regis adjícies : * annos ejus usque in diem generatiónis et generatiónis.
7 You will add days to the days of the king: his years even to generation and generation.
7  Pérmanet in ætérnum in conspéctu Dei : * misericórdiam et veritátem ejus quis requíret?
8 He abides for ever in the sight of God: his mercy and truth who shall search?
8  Sic psalmum dicam nómini tuo in sæculum sæculi : * ut reddam vota mea de die in diem.
9 So will I sing a psalm to your name for ever and ever: that I may pay my vows from day to day.

Cassiodorus comments on the title of the psalm as follows:
...All know that unto the end indicates the Lord saviour, for that has now become sufficiently clear by explanation of it.  
In the hymns is a Greek expression and means "in praises", for the whole psalm will ring forth Christ's praises.  David denotes the Lord Saviour Himself, whose praise the Christian people, spread through the whole world, sings.  
 In terms of its content he says:
In the first part of the psalm the faithful people from the ends of the earth begs that its prayer be heard, so that in persevering in holy Church it may be protected by the covering of her wings.  In the second part it gives thanks that the loving God of pity has bestowed His inheritance on the just, and has consecrated His name for eternal glory.  Hence it promises to render continual praise to the Lord...   

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