Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms - Vol. 3

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

Unity knows no number, equality allows no scale. As Scripture says: Thou shalt not go up by steps to my altar. 11


Conclusion Drawn From the Psalm

The tiny psalm is enclosed in the most capacious brevity. What more expansive sentiment can be spoken than that the Creator must be praised all over the world? This is a fertile brevity, a restricted abundance, the broadest of confines, narrows which have no boundary. What sweet and remarkable variation, now expressing saving thoughts in a few aphorisms, now relating great tidings in extended speech, so that weary mortals should not experience distaste in their very diligence; for the pleasant diversity gives them appetite. Perhaps the enquiry may be raised why this psalm contains only two verses whereas by contrast Psalm 118 is seen to be prolonged to 176 verses, and several others are shaped differently according to the nature of the themes. Perhaps this consideration is found to explain it: just as a harmony or beautiful melody of musical power makes a perfect song from different sounds and tones, so these psalms, now short, now of medium length, now very long form a single harmony with the most delightful sweetness. An alternative credible explanation is that they denote the Lord's future kingdom in which the saints' diverse merits shine according to the nature of their deeds, though the one blessedness and eternal sweetness is bestowed on all of them.


COMMENTARY ON PSALM 117

Alleluia. We read in the Apocalypse of the apostle John that a huge crowd sings Alleluia in heaven, and also that the four beasts and twenty-four elders speak in adoration of the Lord; that the whole army of heaven celebrates together to the sound of the braying trumpet with exultant singing of hymns. 1 So we too must eagerly join in this duty of praise. If we sing with pure hearts, we mingle in devoted adoration with the holy Virtues; what we know to be the blessedness of heavenly creatures becomes the glory and favour accorded to us on

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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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