Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms - Vol. 3

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

and for ever. After these varied and diverse aspirations that the Lord's mercy may guard us, he comes to the end of the psalm and rounds it all off. He says: May the Lord keep thy beginning. It is appropriate for us to regard this as addressed to martyrs, whose beginning is to be guarded by the Lord in case they yield through the savagery of tortures, or are seduced by the enticement of flattery. So the prophet rightly prays that their beginning be protected, for without the Lord's help they cannot in any sense be wholly on their guard. As He says in the gospel: When you come before princes and powers, take no thought how or what to speak, for it shall be given to you in that hour how or what to speak. 15 He further adds: And thy end, in which lies total perfection, for until the very end of life there abides in them true and blameless confession. As He says in the gospel: He that shall persevere to the end shall be saved. 16 So the Lord watches over the beginning and guards the end, ensuring that martyrs both proclaim the truth and are not vanquished by any excessive punishment. But note what he added to this consummation: From henceforth, now and for ever, for whoever perseveres will gain eternal benefits. There can be no end where rejoicing is to continue without sense.


Conclusion Drawn From the Psalm

How well has this second step kept the prophet's feet steady and unshakeable! How well he rose above himself, for he mounted to merits of greater strength. Let us see what he achieves on the third step, after here demanding the Lord's protection with great longing.


COMMENTARY ON PSALM 121

A canticle of steps. We have listened to the previous step, and we must understand it as mounting to a higher level. But this ascent maintained with the Lord's vigilance is steady. Its advance in merit is balanced by self-prostration in mental subjection. See now how the prophet rises to the third step, rising higher than those on the second rung; he is said to inaugurate the psalm with a feeling of joy.

-270-

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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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