Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms - Vol. 3

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

COMMENTARY ON PSALM 101

I. The prayer of the poor man, when he was anxious, and in the presence of the Lord poured out his supplication. Though some have believed that this psalm should be attributed to the Lord Saviour, it seems appropriate to introduce in this account the character of the afflicted and grieving pauper, as the title states, for there are many features which cannot be apt for the spotless and holy Word made flesh. First, nowhere do we read that the Lord Christ was anxious, for the anxious person is one who in a situation of serious danger can choose no plan to follow. Second, the text of the psalm includes: I forgot to eat my bread, and: For I did eat ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping. In the face of thy anger and indignation: for having lifted me up thou hast dashed me down. 1 There are other points too which are reconciled only with the greatest effort if we consent to attach them to the Lord himself. But since it was appropriate that a man grievously wounded and beset with harsh calamities should pour out continual prayer, the character of the anxious pauper is suitably apt, for no sense of shame would repress his voice, and the need inspired by poverty would not deter it. When the psalmist says: In the presence ofthe Lord, he wishes us to understand a prayer poured out before the King's feet like a gleaming mass of gold from the sacks of the soul. As someone has said, you will scarcely ever find that when a person prays, some empty and external reflection does not impede him, causing the attention which the mind directs on God to be sidetracked and interrupted. So it is a great and most wholesome struggle to concentrate continually on prayer once begun, and with God's help to show lively resistance to the temptations of the enemy, so that our minds may with unflagging attention strain to be ever fastened on God. Then we can deservedly recite Paul's words: I have fought agood faght, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 2 Such are Christ's poor, who are known to intercede not only for their own evils but also for the disasters of the whole world. They are needy in this world, but rich in God. They are empty of vices but full of virtues. They are despised by men but acceptable to Christ. This man who first tortures himself with tearful

-i-

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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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