Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms - Vol. 3

By Cassiodorus; P. G. Walsh | Go to book overview

feeling for the truth to come; for though we are bidden to pray even for our enemies, he revealed the nature of the truth concerning the obdurate who are doomed to perish. These words were not, however, uttered without fruit as the outcome of his great devotion, for many people save themselves by correction from the punishment which was foretold, once they realise the fate that overhangs the obstinate.


COMMENTARY ON PSALM 129

A canticle of steps. Unless we recall with concern the practice of the Church, some uncertainty can arise about why the prophet prostrates himself to offer satisfaction, when he has gained a foothold on the eleventh step. Though he was implanted on that height, and had made his way up towards enduring glory, he could still experience agitation if not destruction. A similar account was given at Psalm 127, when we said that fear of the Lord befits holy persons at every stage in this world. The Church says at Psalm 128: Often have they fought against me from my youth, and a little later: The wicked have wrought upon my back, 1 and in their ascent this people recounts the many disasters which they were still enduring in this world. So here too the closer the prophet's spirit mounted to the heights, the more he prostrated himself in devoted humility, so that bent low he could still ascend in mind, as long as he did not presume on his own merits. In his awareness of the human condition, though he had long subdued it, he bent low with greater humility, for no-one known to be implanted in our frail body can escape sin; for at what moment do we not sin in thought, or err through excess of words, or slip through thoughtless action? So there is this one safe course for the person living in this world: continually to bend low with devoted prayers, so that despite our inability to be free from guilt, we may deserve to be pardoned through the kind offices of devotion.


Division of the Psalm

The prophet's vision is mental rather than physical. To avoid being overwhelmed by massive billows of faults, in his exordium he cries

-311-

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Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Ancient Christian Writers - The Works of the Fathers in Translation *
  • Cassiodorus: Explanation of the Psalms *
  • Contents v
  • Commentary on Psalm 101 i
  • Commentary on Psalm 102 18
  • Commentary on Psalm 103 29
  • Commentary on Psalm 104 49
  • Commentary on Psalm 105 65
  • Commentary on Psalm 106 82
  • Commentary on Psalm 107 95
  • Commentary on Psalm 108 102
  • Commentary on Psalm 109 116
  • Commentary on Psalm 110 125
  • Commentary on Psalm III 131
  • Commentary on Psalm 112 137
  • Commentary on Psalm 113 141
  • Commentary on Psalm 114 150
  • Commentary on Psalm 115 155
  • Commentary on Psalm 116 160
  • Commentary on Psalm 117 162
  • Commentary on Psalm 118 174
  • Commentary on Psalm 119 259
  • Commentary on Psalm 120 265
  • Commentary on Psalm 121 270
  • Commentary on Psalm 122 277
  • Commentary on Psalm 123 281
  • Commentary on Psalm 124 287
  • Commentary on Psalm 125 291
  • Commentary on Psalm 126 296
  • Commentary on Psalm 127 301
  • Commentary on Psalm 128 306
  • Commentary on Psalm 129 311
  • Commentary on Psalm 130 316
  • Commentary on Psalm 131 321
  • Commentary on Psalm 132 332
  • Commentary on Psalm 133 337
  • Commentary on Psalm 134 341
  • Commentary on Psalm 135 351
  • Commentary on Psalm 136 359
  • Commentary on Psalm 137 365
  • Commentary on Psalm 138 371
  • Commentary on Psalm 139 386
  • Commentary on Psalm 140 392
  • Commentary on Psalm 141 399
  • Commentary on Psalm 142 406
  • Commentary on Psalm 143 413
  • Commentary on Psalm 144 422
  • Commentary on Psalm 145 432
  • Commentary on Psalm 146 438
  • Commentary on Psalm 147 444
  • Commentary on Psalm 148 449
  • Commentary on Psalm 149 457
  • Commentary on Psalm 150 461
  • Notes 471
  • Indexes 525
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