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