Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Psalms of David -- Psalms 7 and 8

"Psalms of the Incarnation"--Fr. Patrick gives this theme to these two psalms, which portray very different moods. The psalter as a whole, he says, is seen as a very "human" book, but not in the sense that it centers around humans as the end-all; it ultimately centers on Christ as man. "The Psalter is not human merely because it speaks for man in general, but because it speaks for Christ. The underlying voice of the Psalms is not simply "man," but the Man."

Seven is said to be a parallel of our Lord's passion--from the initial plot to betray the LORD'S Anointed One to the scourging, crucifixion, and death. This highly emotionally expressive psalm "is not [there] to give expression to our own personal feelings, but to discover something of His. It is to taste, in some measure, the bitterness and the gall."

Eight is a meditation on the parallel between the fourth verse--"What is man"--that is, the total of our race--"that You are mindful of him, / And the son of man that You visit him?"--and the Creed, where we see the uniquely translated line, "and was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and was made man"--that is, made into the total of all mankind, the restatement of the whole human race in Himself, the "reboot" of humanity in that one Man. The man little lower than the angels and crowned with glory and honor (Heb. 2:9); the subjugation of all things under the first Adam was a precursor to all things being put under Christ's rule later.

Good, I think, that those two psalms are back to back; the passion and the pain of the Cross before the glory and honor of the Resurrection. O Lord, bring us further into union with Thy Passion and Thy Resurrection, that we might truly walk with Thee; through the prayers of the holy Prophet David, have mercy on us.


Ian said...


I have to get this book! ;-)

Complete tangent: as a wise Spanish teacher, how do you get your students to pronounce the rolling 'r'? Are there any techniques to help speakers of English? I'm learning Arabic, and there is a rolling 'r' similar to that found in Spanish / Italian. Any help is greatly appreciated! I can't get anywhere near to it! ;-) My (Italian) boss is laughing quite a lot at my feeble attempts: it comes easy to her! ;-)

Mimi said...

Oh that's a good question, Ian. There's a Romanian woman at Church who is absolutely stunned at my inability to roll any of my consonants. Or anything, actually.

Amen, Bryan Peter!

David Bryan said...

Funny y'all should ask that; I just posted something on this very thing here.

Hope it helps. And thanks for the comments.