Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms - Vol. 3

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

Conclusion Drawn From the Psalm

Let us pay heed to the nature of this proclamation by which the holy people has instructed us, and also to the depth of feeling of their devotion. They sought to cut out all their hearts' resentment towards their enemies, so they asked that those seen to be hostile towards them should become their comrades. Let us imitate their devoted purpose and opt to love those who afflict us. We should not regard as enemies those who are of service to us, for if we bear with them with equanimity they often bestow on us benefits which the sweetest friends cannot impart. Friends often by their flattery divert us from virtue, whereas enemies by afflicting us set us on the virtuous path. So show a desire for patience, and then you discover in an enemy more features to love.


COMMENTARY ON PSALM 138

I. Unto the end. A psalm of David. This repetition of unto the end comes after the interruption of several psalms, so it seems appropriate to explain it again, for this protracted interval virtually spells forgetfulness. We have stated that unto the end has two meanings. The first denotes the disappearance and end of things, when they complete their span and reach their close in a manner similar to the human condition. The second is the perfect and eternal End which is the Lord Christ. This End observes no setting, but attains the summit of total wholeness. Once we reach this there is nothing further for us to seek; He suffices for all things, since in Him lies all perfection of majesty and the fullness of all virtues. So this entire psalm—and this is also the view of the most learned father Hilary—is to be recited by the mouth of the Lord Christ. His lowliness must not however trouble or disturb anyone; to avoid this, each must have recourse to the canon of Catholic teaching, to remember that there are two natures united and perfected in the Lord Christ. The first is that by which He is God, coeternal with the Father; the second that by which He was born of the virgin Mary, and as one and the same Person deigned in time to become Man for our salvation. So the fact that He speaks in humble tones must not be a reflection on His divinity, but is to be understood

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