The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Archive for March 23rd, 2010

St Thomas Aquinas’ Commentary On Psalm 22

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 23, 2010

The following post contains the Latin and English text of Aquinas’ commentary on Psalm 22 (21 in older bibles).  It is part of the Aquinas Translation Project at De Sales University and was translated by Stephen Loughlin.  The text is under copyright and appears here in accordance with the standards laid down by the copyright holder (see copyright notice at bottom of post).  You can find many more online resources for this year’s Palm Sunday Mass here.

Psalm 21

a. Deus Deus meus respice in me: quare me dereliquisti? longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum. My God, my God, look upon me: why have you forsaken me? far from safety are the words of my transgressions.
b. Deus meus clamabo per diem, et non exaudies: et nocte, et non ad insipientiam mihi. My God, I shall cry out by day, and you will not listen: and by night, and it will not be considered as foolish on my part.
c. Tu autem in sancto habitas, laus Israel. You dwell, however, in the holy place, the praise of Israel.
d. In te speraverunt patres nostri: speraverunt, et liberasti eos. Ad te clamaverunt, et salvi facti sunt: in te speraverunt, et non sunt confusi. Our fathers have hoped in you; they have hoped and you have freed them. They have cried out to you, and they were saved. They have hoped in you, and they were not confused.
e. Ego autem sum vermis et non homo: opprobrium hominum, et abiectio plebis. Omnes videntes me deriserunt me: locuti sunt labiis, et moverunt caput. But I am a worm and not a man: the reproach of men, and an outcast of the people. All who see me have ridiculed me: they have spoken with their lips, and have moved their heads:
f. Speravit in Domino, eripiat eum: salvum faciat eum, quoniam vult eum. “He hoped in the Lord, let him deliver him: let him save him, since he pleases him.”
g. Quoniam tu es qui extraxisti me de ventre: spes mea ab uberibus matris meae, in te proiectus sum ex utero. For you are the one who brought me forth from the womb, my hope from the breasts of my mother; from the womb I was thrown upon you.
h. De ventre matris meae Deus meus es tu: ne discesseris a me. From my mother’s womb you are my God: do not forsake me.
i. Quoniam tribulatio proxima est, quoniam non est qui adiuvet. For the trial is close, and there is no one who will help me.
j. Circumdederunt me vituli multi: tauri pingues obsederunt me. Aperuerunt super me os suum, sicut leo rapiens et rugiens. Many calves have surrounded me: fat bulls have besieged me. They have opened their mouths against me, like a snatching and roaring lion.
k. Sicut aqua effusus sum, et dispersa sunt omnia ossa mea. Factum est cor meum tanquam caera liquescens in medio ventris mei. Like water I am poured out, and all my bones are scattered. My heart has become like wax melting in the midst of my bowels.
l. Aruit tanquam testa virtus mea, et lingua mea adhaesit faucibus meis: et in pulverem mortis deduxisti me. My strength has dried up like an earthen vessel, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws: and you have brought me down to the dust of death.
m. Quoniam circumdederunt me canes multi: concilium malignantium obsedit me. Foderunt manus meas, et pedes meos, dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea. For many dogs have surrounded me: the counsel of the wicked has besieged me. They have pierced my hands and my feet, they have numbered all of my bones.
n. Ipsi vero consideraverunt, et inspexerunt me: diviserunt sibi vestimenta mea, et super vestem meam miserunt sortem. They looked at and examined me: they divided my clothes among them, and upon my garments they cast lots.
o. Tu autem Domine ne elongaveris auxilium tuum a me: ad defensionem meam conspice. But you, O Lord, do not withdraw your help from me: look towards my defense.
p. Erue a framea Deus animam meam, et de manu canis unicam meam. Rescue my soul, O Lord, from the spear, my only soul from the hand of the dog.
q. Salva me ex ore leonis, et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam. Save me from the lion’s mouth, and my lowliness from the unicorn’s horns.
r. Narrabo nomen tuum fratribus meis: in medio ecclesiae laudabo te. I will proclaim your name to my brothers: in the midst of the church I will praise you.
s. Qui timetis Dominum, laudate eum, universum semen Iacob glorificate eum. Timeat eum omne semen Israel. You who fear the Lord, praise him, all offspring of Jabob, glorify him. Let all the offspring of Israel fear him.
t. Quoniam non sprevit, neque despexit deprecationem pauperis. Nec avertit faciem suam a me: et cum clamarem ad eum, exaudivit me. For he has not spurned, nor despised the deprecation of the poor. Nor has he turned his face from me: and when I called upon him, he heard me.
u. Apud te laus mea in ecclesia magna: vota mea reddam in conspectu timentium eum. My praise is before you in the great church: I will repay my vows in the sight of those who fear him.
v. Edent pauperes et saturabuntur, et laudabunt Dominum qui requirunt eum: vivent corda eorum in saeculum saeculi. The poor shall eat and be filled, and they will praise the Lord who seek him: their hearts will live forever.
w. Reminiscentur, et convertentur ad Dominum universi fines terrae. Et adorabunt in conspectu eius universae familiae gentium. All the ends of the earth will remember and be converted to the Lord. And all the families of the nations will adore in his sight.
x. Quoniam Domini est regnum, et ipse dominabitur gentium. For the Lord is king, and he will rule over the nations.
y. Manducaverunt et adoraverunt omnes pingues terrae: in conspectu eius cadent omnes, qui descendunt in terram. All earthly gluttons have eaten and have adored: they all fall down in his presence, those who go down to the earth.
z. Et anima mea illi vivet: et semen meum serviet ipsi. And my soul shall live for him: and my offspring will serve him.
aa. Anuntiabitur Domino generatio ventura; et annunciabunt caeli iustitiam eius populo qui nascetur, quem fecit Dominus. There will be announced to the Lord a generation to come; and the heavens will announce his justice to a people who will arise, whom the Lord will make.
a. In praecedentibus prius videtur esse actum de tribulatione, quam sustinuit David a filio, et a Saule; hic autem in tertia decade agitur de persecutione quam passus est a toto populo, qui eum abiecit ad mandatum Saulis. In the preceding psalms, we saw an earlier act of tribulation which David endured from his son and from Saul; however here, in the third group of ten, the discussion is about the persecution which was suffered by all people, who threw him aside into Saul’s command.
Dividitur ergo Psalmus iste in tres partes. In prima narratur tribulatio. In secunda funditur oratio ad Deum pro liberatione. In teria ponitur gratiarum actio. Secunda incipit Psalmus 24. Ad te Domine levari. Tertia ibi, Afferte Domino. This psalm therefore is divided into three parts. A tribulation is set forth in the first part. In the second, a prayer is poured out to God for deliverance. The action of graces is discussed in the third. The second begins at Psalm 24, at, To you, O Lord, I have lifted up my soul, and the third, at Psalm 28, at, Bring to the Lord.
Circa primum duo facit. Primo exponit tribulationem. Secundo ostendit quomodo a Deo iuvatur in tribulatione, ibi, Dominus regnavit me. Concerning the first he does two things. First he explains the tribulation, and second he shows how he is helped by God in this tribulation, at Psalm 22, The Lord governs me.
Sicut supra dictum est, sicut in aliis prophetiis, ita hic agitur de aliquibus tunc praesentibus, inquantum erant figura Christi et quae ad ipsam prophetiam pertinebant. Et ideo quandoque ponuntur aliqua quae ad Christum pertinent, quae excedunt quasi virtutem historiarum. As was said above, just as in other prophecies, so too is it here a question of some present events at that time, insofar as they were a symbol of Christ and pertained to prophecy itself. And for that reason, matters are sometimes set forth which pertain to Christ, which surpass, as it were, the power of the narrative.
Et inter alia spiritualiter iste Psalmus agit de passione Christi. Et ideo hic est eius sensus literalis. Unde specialiter hunc Psalmum in passione dixit cum clamavit, Hely hely lamasabacthani: quod idem est quod Deus Deus meus, sicut Psalmus incipit. Et ideo licet figuraliter hic Psalmus dicatur de David, tamen specialiter ad literam refertur ad Christum. This very Psalm, among others, treats of the passion of Christ in a spiritual manner. And for this reason, this is its literal sense. Therefore, Jesus referred to this psalm particularly during his passion when he cried out “Eli, Eli, lema sabacthani”, that is, “My God, my God” as begins the psalm. Thus, although this psalm speaks figuratively about David, nevertheless it is especially referred to Christ in a literal sense.
Et in synodo Toletana quidam Theodorus Mopsuestenus, qui hunc ad literam de David exponebat, fuit damnatus, et propter hoc et propter alia multa; et ideo de Christo exponendus est. Sciendum est autem quod quandoque prius agitur de passione Christi prolixe: quorum iste Psalmus primus est. At the Synod of Toledo, a certain Theodorus Mopsuestenus, who was explaining this psalm literally with respect to David, was condemned, because of this approach, and for many other reasons; he ought to have explained it with respect to Christ. Let it be known this is treated of abundantly before the passion of Christ, of which this very Psalm is the first.
Alii enim brevius tangunt passionem Christi. Secundus est, Iudica Domine nocentes me. Tertius est, Exaudi Deus orationem meam, et ne despexeris deprecationem meam. Quartus, Salvum me fac Deus, quoniam intraverunt aquae. Quintus, Deus laudem meam ne tacueris. Other psalms touch briefly on the passion of Christ. The second of these is Psalm 34, Judge, O Lord, those who are harming me. The third is Psalm 54, Hear, O Lord, my prayer, and despise not my supplication. The fourth is Psalm 68, Make me safe, O God, for the waters threaten my life. And the fifth is Psalm 108, O God, whom I praise, be not silent
Et hoc propter quinque plagas Christi: vel propter quinque effusiones sanguinis. Et unus est modus procedendi in omnibus, quia incipiunt a gemitu, et terminantur in salutem populorum: quia ex passione facta est salus omnibus hominibus. And this on account of the five wounds of Christ: or because of the five outpourings of his blood. And there is one manner of proceeding in all of these, because they begin in lamentation, and end in the salvation of the people, since from the passion was accomplished the salvation of all men.
Titulus Hieronumi est Victori pro Cervo matutino. In nostra litera, Victori pro assumptione utiliter pro Cerva matutina. The title of this psalm, in Jerome’s version, is For the victor according to the stag of the morning. In our version, the title is For the victor, usefully for the assumption, according to the deer of the morning.
In hoc psalmo principaliter agitur de passione Christi. Secundo tangitur in eo de resurrectione: quia per eam datur intelligi passio, et passio ordinatur ad resurrectionem; sicut si dicam, Iste est manumissus, ostendit quod fuit servus. Ergo iste psalmus est David, idest Christi. Et est pro assumptione, idest resurrectione, et haec fuit matutina; unde, Pro serva, idest pro humana natura, vel pro servo matutino, idest Christo: Ps. 107. Exurgam diluculo. The discussion in this psalm is principally about Christ’s passion. It touches, secondarily, on the resurrection, because it is given that the passion is to be understood in it, and that the passion is ordered to the resurrection, just as if I were to say that “This slave is freed”, shows that he was a slave. Therefore, the psalm itself is of David, that is, of Christ. And it is for the assumption, that is, the resurrection, and this happened in the morning. Thus, for the female servant, that is, on behalf of human nature, or for the morning servant, that is Christ – Psalm 107: I will arise at dawn.
Hic autem titulus est quando David ibat profugus, et latebat in desertis sicut cervus. Unde supra dixit, Et posuit pedes meos tanquam cervorum. Unde pro ista tribulatione quae figurabat passionem Christi, intitulatur iste psalmus. The title here refers to the time when David was a fugitive, and was hiding in desert places like a stag. Thus, he previously said, And he set my feet as of a stag. Therefore, this psalm itself is entitled for the very tribulation which symbolized the passion of Christ.
Hoc modo tamen melius refertur ad Christum, ut per cervum intelligatur humana natura in Christo, quia cervus transit spineta sine laesione pedum, sic Christus transivit per istam vitam praesentem sine inquinatione. Nevertheless, this mode is referred better to Christ, so that by the stag is understood human nature in Christ, because the stag crosses a thicket of thorns without injury to its foot, just as Christ crossed through this present life without defilement.
Item cervus optime salit: sic Christus de fovea mortis ascendit ad gloriam resurrectionis. Et ideo cervus dicitur, et matutinus dicitur, quia tunc surrexit. Again, the stag leaps the best, just as Christ ascended from the pit of death to the glory of his resurrection. And for this reason, stag and of the morning are said, because he rose at that time.
Psalmus iste dividitur in tres partes. In prima ponitur conquaestio. In secunda narratio passionis, ibi, Ego autem sum vermis. In tertia ponitur liberationis petitio, ibi, Tu autem Domine ne elongaveris. The psalm is divided into three parts. A complaint is made in the first, the second sets forth the story of the passion, at, But I am a worm, and the third, a petition for freedom, at But you, O Lord, do not withdraw.
Circa primum tria facit. Primo ponitur conquaestio sive quaestio. Secundo ponitur expositio conquaestionis, ibi, Longe a salute. Tertio ponitur ratio conquaerendi, ibi, Tu autem in Sancto habitas. Concerning the first he does three things. First, he sets forth the complaint or question, second, the explanation of the complaint, at, Far from safety, and third, the reason for the complaint, at, You dwell, however, in the holy place.
Haec est translatio septuaginta. In Graeco autem, et in hebraeo non est, Respice in me; sic habetur sic, Deus Deus meus quare me dereliquisti, quia haec verba dixit Christus in cruce: sed, Respice, interpositum est. Ponitur ergo petitio cum dicit, Deus Deus meus. Repetitur autem bis Deus ad maiorem certitudinem: Gen 41. Quod autem secundo vidisti ad eandem rem pertinens, indicium est firmitatis. Respice in me, idest miserere mei: Ps. 42. Respice in me, et miserere mei, quia unicus etc. This is the Septuagint translation. However, in the Greek and Hebrew translations Look upon me is not present. Instead they have, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me, because Christ said these words from the cross: Look was inserted (afterwards). Therefore, the petition is set forth when he says My God, my God. “God” is repeated twice for greater certainty – Genesis 41: What you have seen twice pertains to the same thing, a strong sign. Look upon me, that is, have mercy on me – Psalm 25: Look upon me and have mercy, for I am alone etc.
Quare me dereliquisti. Haec fuerunt verba Christi in cruce. Ex his autem verbis Arius occasionem sumpsit erroris, scilicet quod in morte Christi separata est divinitas ab humanitate. Unde de hoc secundum eum conqueritur Dominus, dicens, Quare me dereliquisti. Why have you forsaken me. These words were said by Christ from the cross. Now, on account of these words, Arius took up an occasion for error, namely that in Christ’s death, his divinity was separated from his humanity. Therefore because of this, according to Arius, the Lord complained, saying Why have you forsaken me.
Sed hoc erroneum est. Est autem sciendum, quod aliquis dicitur derelictus a Deo quando non adest ei Deus, sicut videtur adesse quando protegit eum, et implet eius petitionem: Hier. 20. Dominus Deus mecum est tanquam bellator fortis: idcirco qui persequuntur me cadent et infirmi erunt. Et quia Christus non est liberatus a passione corporali cum esset in passione, secundum hoc dicitur ad horam dereliquisti, idest passioni expositus: Ro. 8. Proprio filio suo non pepercit etc. But this is erroneous. For it should be known that someone is said to be forsaken by God when God does not go to him, just as he appears to approach when he protects him, and fulfils his petition – Jeremiah 20: The Lord God is with me as a strong warrior: therefore those who persecute me will fall and be most low. And because Christ was not freed from corporeal suffering at the time of his passion, for this reason it is said that you forsook (him) at that hour, that is, exposed him to the passion – Romans 8: He did not spare his only son etc.
Item illa petitio, Pater si fieri potest transeat a me calix iste, ut dicitur Matt. 26 non videtur impleta, quia erat secundum carnem: Isa. 54. Ad punctum et in modico dereliqui te, idest passioni te exposui; Et in miserationibus magnis congregabo te, scilicet in resurrectione. Et ideo dicit, Quare me dereliquisti, idest passioni me exposuisti. Again, that petition, Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me, as it is said at Matthew 26, does not seem fulfilled, because it was according to the flesh – Isaiah 54: I have forsaken you for a short time, that is, I have exposed you to the passion; and I will gather you together in great mercy, namely in the resurrection. And so he says, Why have you forsaken me, that is, exposed me to the passion.
Longe a salute mea verba delictorum meorum. Hic exponitur conquaestio sive quaestio. Et primo in generali. Secundo in speciali, ibi, Deus meus clamabo. Far from safety are the words of my transgressions. Here is explained the complaint or question, first in general, second in particular, at My God, I shall cry out.
Dicit ergo, Dereliquisti me. Et hoc, quia Longe sunt verba delictorum meorum a salute mea, mei veri hominis, inquantum habeo humanam naturam: Ps. 18. Longe est a peccatoribus salus. Therefore, he says, You have forsaken me. And this, because far are the words of my transgressions from my safety, from my true man, insofar as I have human nature – Psalm 118: Far from sinners is salvation.
Et haec verba, scilicet, Dereliquisti, et longe, et quare, non videntur esse hominis iusti sive iustitae, sed videntur esse, Verba delictorum meorum, scilicet hominis peccatoris, idest ostendunt me non esse iustum, sed peccatorem. Unde haec verba dixit Christus in person peccatoris, sive ecclesiae. These words, namely You have forsaken, far from, and why, do not seem to be of a just man or of justice, but seem to be, words of my transgressions, namely of human sin, that is, they show me not to be just, but a sinner. Therefore, Christ spoke these words in the person of a sinner, or of the Church.
Et haec est una de regulis supra in principio psalterii positis, quod ea quae pertinent ad membra, dicit Christus de se propter hoc, quia sunt sicut unum corpus mysticum Christus et ecclesia; et ideo loquuntur sicut una persona, et Christus transformat se in ecclesiam, et ecclesia in Christum: Ro. 12. Multi unum corpus sumus in Christo. And this is one of the rules posited above at the beginning of the psalter, that those things which pertain to its members, Christ says of himself, since the Church and Christ are as one mystical body; and for this reason, they are spoken of as one person, and Christ transforms himself into the Church, and the Church into Christ – Romans 12: We, being many, are one body in Christ.
In membris autem Christi, idest ecclesia, sunt delicta sive peccata. In capite vero, idest in Christo, nullum est delictum, sed similitudo delicti: Ro. 8. Misit Deus Filium suum in similitudinem carnis peccati, et de peccato damnavit peccatum: 2 Cor. 5. Eum qui peccatum non noverat, peccatum pro nobis fecit, ut nos efficeremur iustitia Dei in Christo. Now, among the members of Christ, that is, the Church, there are transgressions or sins. However, in the head, that is, in Christ, there is no transgression, but only the likeness of transgression – Romans 8: God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and of sin, has condemned sin (in the flesh); 2 Cor. 5: He who knew no sin, was made sin for us, so that we might accomplish God’s justice in Christ.
Christus autem imminente passione oravit, Pater si fieri potest etc. Sed haec verba Christi orantis possunt dupliciter exponi. Uno modo ut Christus ea protulerit quasi gerens infirmorum personam, qui sunt in ecclesia: quia futurum erat ut aliqua membra sua debilia quando immineret eis passio formidarent. However, when his passion was approaching, Christ prayed, Father, if it be possible, etc. But these words which Christ prayed can be explained in two ways. First, so that Christ, by these words, revealed one bearing, as it were, the person of infirmities, which are in the Church: for the sake of the future so that some members would fear their own weaknesses when passion threatened them.
Alio modo quod protulit hanc petitionem gerens officium carnis infirmae in Christo, quae naturaliter timet et fugit mortem. Quod petit ergo liberari, fuit verbum vel membrorum in quibus delictum invenitur, vel carnis Christi in qua est similitudo delicti sive peccati: et ideo dicit, Verba, quibus petit liberari, quae sunt, Delictorum meorum, idest fidelium, pro quorum delictis patior; vel sunt infirmae carnis quae habet similitudinem delicti: longe a salute corporali, quia calix, sive passio, non transit a me ut petii; quasi dicat, Non consequor salutem quam intendo, si petitio mea quam peto, exaudiretur. Pater transeat a me calix iste. Et ideo litera Hieronymi habet, Longe a salute mea verba gemitus mei. Second, this petition revealed in Christ one bearing the responsibility of weakened flesh which naturally fears and flees death. Since he seeks therefore to be freed, it becomes the statement either of the members in which transgression is found, or of the flesh of Christ in which there is a similitude to transgression or sin: and for this reason he says, Words, by which he seeks to be freed, which are, of my transgressions, that is of the faithful, for whose transgressions I suffer; or they are of the weakened flesh which has a similitude to transgression: far from bodily safety, since this cup, or passion, does not pass from me as I have requested; as if he were saying, “I do not attain the safety which I desire, if my petition was heard. Father, let this cup pass me by.” And for this reason, Jerome’s version has, Far from my safety are the words of my moaning.
Aliter exponit Augustinus in lib. de gratia novi testamenti: Haec verba quibus peto liberari a passione et conqueror quod sum derelictus passioni, sunt longe a salute mea quae secundum quod Deus debeo facere: Matt. 1. Ipse salvum faciet populum suum a peccatis eorum. Augustine explains this in a different way in his book Concerning the Graces of the New Testament: These words, by which I seek to be freed from passion and by which I complain that I am abandoned to passion, are far from my safety which, in accordance with God, I ought to achieve – Matthew. 1: He will make his people safe from their sins.
Et assignat rationem quare sit derelictus: est enim duplex salus, una corporalis, quae est communis hominibus et iumentis: Ps. 35. Homines et iumenta salvabis Domine. Alia spiritualis et aeterna; et haec est propria Christi: unde dicit, Mea, quia salvus novi testamenti est per Christum facta: Isa. 45. Israel salvatus est in Domino salute aeterna. And he assigns the reason why he is forsaken: Salvation is two-fold, the one of the body, which is common to men and beasts – Psalm 35: O Lord, you will save men and beasts. The other is spiritual and eternal; and this is proper to Christ: and so he says, My, since the salvation of the New Testament was accomplished through Christ – Isaiah 45: Israel was saved in the Lord in eternal safety.
Et haec differunt: quia prima quaerebatur in veteri testamento; secunda quaeritur in novo. Quare ergo derelictus est passibilis, quia ipse venit in novo testamento. Et haec verba quae hic dixit, Longe a salute mea, spirituali, quia sunt pro corporali salute. And these (two) differ because the first was sought in the Old Testament, while the second is sought in the New. Therefore, he is forsaken in his suffering, because it came in the New Testament. And these words which he says, Far from my spiritual safety, because they are on behalf of corporeal safety.
Longe. Christus loquitur in persona peccatorum, qui quandoque propter peccata derelinquuntur a Deo: unde dicit, Verba delictorum meorum, idest peccatorum sunt, Longe a salute, spirituali: quia haec est causa quare peccatores (non) salvantur, quia sunt peccatores: Io. 9. Peccatores Deus non audit. Vel secundum Augustinum loquitur, A me, quasi derelinquendo me, fecisti me longe a salute mea, idest corporali: et haec verba sunt delictorum meorum. Far from. Christ speaks in the person of sinners, who are forsaken by God whenever on account of their sins: and so he says, the words of my transgressions, that is, they are of sinners, far from safety, that is spiritual (safety). For this is the reason why sinners are not saved, because they are sinners – John 9: God does not hear sinners. Or, according to Augustine, from me, is spoken as if by having forsaken me, you have made me far from my safety, that is corporeal (safety): and these words are of my transgressions.
b. Haec in speciali prosequuntur. Per diem et noctem duo intelligere possumus. Uno modo ad literam diem et noctem temporalem: et sic clamare est clamare assidue; unde dicit, Non exaudies; quasi dicat, Quamvis assidue clamem, non sum tamen exauditus. These (words of complaint) are pursued in particular. We can understand “by day and by night” in two ways. First, literally, as temporal day and night. And so, to cry out is to cry out constantly. He thus says, You will not listen, as if he were saying, “Although I constantly cry out, I am not heard.”
Litera Hieronymi habet, Et nocte et non est silentium mihi, quasi non sileo die et nocte orare. Jerome’s version has, And by night, and it is not silence to me, as if to say, “I do not keep silent to pray by day and by night.”
Alio modo, ut per diem intelligatur prosperitas, et per noctem adversitas. Et secundum Augustinum verba quae pro salute corporali dicuntur, fiunt per diem pro prosperis, per noctem, ut tollatur adversitas. Second, that by “day” is understood “prosperity”, and by “night”, “adversity”. According to Augustine, words which are said on behalf of the safety of the body, are made by day on behalf of prosperity, and by night, so that adversity may be taken away.
Ergo Christus clamabat per diem, quando est in prosperitate, et non exauditur, quia petit ut non pereat: et per noctem, ut tollatur adversitas, et non tollitur. Therefore, Christ used to cry out by day, when he is in prosperity, and he is not heard because he prays that he not perish; and by night, that adversity be taken away, and it is not.
Sed contra dicitur de Christo quod Exauditus est etc. However, on the other hand, it is said concerning Christ that He was heard etc.
Et dicendum, quod oratio est actus rationis: unde omnis oratio Christi procedens ex rationis iudicio est exaudita. Secus est de oratione exprimente infirmitatem naturae passibilis et proprium motum membrorum, quia nec ipse voluit eam exaudiri – Io. 12. Nunc anima mea turbata est, et quid dicam, Pater etc. To this it may be said that prayer (or speech) is an act of reason: thus every prayer of Christ, proceeding from the judgment of reason, is heard. Otherwise, it concerns speech expressing the infirmity of passible nature and proper to the movement of its members, because he did not want it to be listened to – John 12: Now my soul is troubled. And what shall I say? Father, etc.
Et quare non est exauditus in prosperis et adversis, ostendit, Et non ad insipientiam mihi, quia haec petitio non pertinet ad salutem novi testamenti, quam ego intendo, quae est salus aeterna, sed pertinet ad salutem veteris testamenti. Ut ergo hanc sapientiam discas, scias quod salus temporalis non pertinet ad novum testamentum, sed ad vetus. Haec est sapientia quae stultitia est apud homines: 1 Corin. 4. Nos stulti propter Christum; 1 Cor. 1. Nonne Deus stultam fecit sapientiam huius mundi etc. And the reason he is not heard in prosperity and adversity, he declares, And it will not be considered as foolish on my part, because this petition does not pertain to the salvation of the New Testament, which I myself intend, and which is eternal salvation, but pertains to the salvation of the Old Testament. Therefore, so that you may learn this wisdom, know that temporal salvation does not pertain to the New, but to the Old Testament. This is the wisdom which is foolishness among men – 1 Cor. 4: We are fools for Christ; 1 Cor. 1: Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? etc.
c. Supra posita est quaestio Christi inquirentis causam passionis suae; hic autem ostendit quod huiusmodi quaestio est rationabilis, et rationabile est quod est derelictus. Et primo dicit hoc esse mirabile ex parte Dei. Secundo ostendit hoc experimento antiquo, ibi, In te speraverunt. Previously the question of Christ inquiring as to the cause of his passion was set forth. Here, however, he shows that a question of this kind is reasonable, and that it is reasonable that he was forsaken. And he first says this to be a wondrous deed on the part of God. Secondly, he shows this by earlier experience, at, In you they have hoped.
Hoc quod hic dicitur, dupliciter refertur ad praedicta, secundum tres expositiones. Una est, quia est longe a salute temporali, et sic facta est ista divisio. Unde illud est mirabile ex parte Dei propter duo. What he says here can be referred in two ways to the aforesaid, according to three interpretations. One is because he is far from temporal safety, and thus is fashioned this very division. Therefore, that is a wondrous deed on the part of God in two ways.
Primum est, cum Deus in sanctis habitet, et non defendat eos: Iudith 6. Si Dominus nobiscum est, cur haec mala omnia apprehenderunt nos? Ubi sunt mirabilia eius quae patres nostri narraverunt nobis? Et ideo dicit, Tu autem in sancto habitas: Hierem. 14. Tu in nobis es Domine, sed specialiter habitat in Christo. First, when God dwells in holiness, and does not defend them – Judith 6: If the Lord is with us, why do all these evils take hold of us? Where are his wonderful deeds about which our fathers told us? And for this reason, he says, You dwell, however, in the holy place – Jeremiah 14: You, O Lord, are in us, but he dwells especially in Christ.
Alia ratio est, quia quicquid boni habemus, totum est in laudem Dei. Et ideo si nobis est bene, melius a nobis laudatur Deus. Et ideo sequitur, Laus Israel: Hieram. 17. Sana me Domine, et sanabor, salvum me fac et salvus ero, quoniam laus mea tu es. Another reason is that whatever good we have, all of it is in the praise of God. And for this reason, if all is well with us, God is better praised by us. Thus follows, The praise of Israel – Jerome 17: Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed, make me safe, and I will be safe, for you are my praise.
Secundum aliam expositionem, Quare me dereliquisti, ideo scilicet quia, Verba delictorum meorum sunt longe a salute mea, spiritualiter: sed ego clamo pro temporali, tu vero qui habitas in sancto, ut sit, Laus Israel, non exaudies, quia non exaudis quando quis non clamat pro spirituali salute. According to the second interpretation, Why have you abandoned me, for this reason, namely because the words of my transgressions are far from my safety, spiritually speaking: I cry out for temporal safety, but you who dwells in the holy place, (so that he says The praise of Israel) will not listen, because you do not hear when one does not cry out for spiritual safety.
Vel secundum tertiam expositionem, ut loquatur Christus in persona peccatoris; quasi dicat, Ideo es longe a salute mea, quia non habitas in peccatoribus; sed in sancto. Or, according to the third interpretation, so that Christ speaks in the person of the sinner, as if he were saying, For this reason are you far from my safety, because you do not dwell among sinners, but in the holy place.
d. Hic ponitur alia ratio quae sumitur ex antiqua consuetudine et experimento quo sancti patres liberabantur a tribulationibus invocantes Deum, sicut patet Ex. 14. quod liberati sunt de persecutione Aegyptiorum, de Susanna quae liberata est ab iniqua sententia senum, Dan. 13. Daniel liberatus de ore sive de lacu leonum, Dan. 15. At this point is determined the other reason which is taken from earlier custom and experience by which the holy fathers, invoking God, were liberated from their tribulations, as is clear from Exodus 14 where they are freed from the Egyptians’ persecution, from Daniel 13 where Susanna is freed from the wicked sentence of the elders, and Daniel 15 where Daniel is freed from the lion’s mouth.
Quomodo ergo sum derelictus a te, et non sum liberatus a passione. Duo ergo facit circa hoc. Primo facit mentionem de malo corporalis afflictionis. Secundo de malo confusionis. In the same manner, then, am I forsaken by you, and not liberated from my passion. Concerning this, he thus does two things. First, he makes mention of the evil of his corporeal affliction, and second, of the evil of his confusion.
Quantum ergo ad liberationem primi mali duo faciebant. Primo sperabant in eum; unde dicit, In te, non in mundo: Speraverunt patres nostri: Isa. 26. Sperasti in Domino in saeculis aeternis, in Domino Deo forti in perpetuum etc. Et liberasti eos, et iste est fructus spei, quia liberasti eos. With respect, therefore, to his liberation from the first evil, he did two things. First, he hoped in him; and so, he says In you, and not “In the world”, our fathers have hopedIsaiah 26: You have hoped in the Lord for evermore, in the Lord God mighty forever etc. And you have freed them, and this is the very fruit of hope, because you have freed them.
Secundo clamabant; unde dicit, Ad te clamaverunt, ex magna cordis affectione: Et salvi facti sunt: Ps. 119. Ad Dominum cum tribularer clamavi etc. Second, they cried out; and so, he says, They have cried out to you, from great affection of heart: And they were savedPsalm 119: In my trouble I cried out to the Lord etc.
Quantum ad secundum malum, scilicet confusionem, dicit, In te speraverunt, et non sunt confusi. Sed contra Dan. 13. Non est confusio confidentibus in te: Rom. 5. Spes non confunditur. With respect to the second evil, namely that of confusion, he says, They have hoped in you, and were not confused. But on the other hand, there is Daniel 13: There is no confusion in those who trust in you; Romans 5: Hope does not confuse.
Dicendum quod patres pertinebant ad vetus testamentum in quo temporalia dabantur: et ideo ut ostendat quod divina providentia temporalia etiam disponat, liberat eos etiam temporali liberatione. It must be said that the fathers belonged to the Old Testament in which temporal things were given: and for this reason, that it demonstrate divine providence giving out even temporal things, and freeing them with temporal liberation.
Sed Christus promittit et donat spiritualia; et ut ostendat contemnenda temporalia, et speranda aeterna, noluit temporalem liberationem secundum rationem, et tamen aliqui in novo testamento sunt temporalibus liberationibus liberati, et in veteri testamento aliqui sunt spiritualibus afflictionibus eruditi, ut ostendatur Deus auctor esse utriusque testamenti. But Christ promises and confers spiritual things; and, so that he might show temporal things ought to be despised and eternal things ought to be hoped for, he does not desire temporal liberation according to reason, although some in the New Testament are freed with temporal liberation, while others in the Old Testament are educated by spiritual afflictions, so that God might be shown to be the author of both Testaments.
e. Hic ponit passionem suam. Et primo proponit confusionem suam quam passus est. Secundo exponit eam, ibi, Omnes videntes me. Tertio causam eius assignat, ibi, Quoniam tu es. At this point, he sets forth his passion. And first, he relates the confusion which he suffered. Second, he explains it, at, All who see me. Third, he assigns its cause, at, For you are the one.
Prima pars dupliciter potest legi. Uno modo, ut primo proponat similitudinem confusionis, Secundo ut exponat opprobrium. The first part can be explained in two ways. First, so that he might put forth the likeness of confusion, and second, that he might relate the disgrace.
Dicit ergo, Illi sunt liberati, ego autem non sum liberatus a confusione; sed sic viliter conculcatus ac si essem vermis et non homo: Iob 25. Homo putredo, et filius hominis vermis: Thren. 3. Factus sum in derisum omni populo, canticum eorum tota die. Therefore, he says “They, but not I, have been freed from confusion; but so worthlessly crushed underfoot as if I were a worm and not a man” – Job 25: (How much less) man that is rottenness, and the son of man who is a worm; Lamentations 3: I am made a derision to all the people, their song all the day long.
Et quomodo exponit, Opprobrium hominum, et abiectio plebis: Matt. 25. Praetereuntes blasphemabant eum, Vah qui destruis templum. Et qui crucifixi erant convitiabantur et, Alios salvos fecit. Et Ioa. 19. Plectentes coronam de spinis etc. et ideo, Opprobrium factus sum hominum, in verbis eorum, ut dictum est, Et abiectio plebis, quia spreverunt eum, et quia abiecto eo petierunt Barabbam, Matt. 27. Thren. 3. Abiectionem posuisti me in medio populorum. And he explains in what manner he is the reproach of men, and an outcast of the people – Matt. 27: And they that passed by blasphemed him…Vah, you who would destroy the temple…And those who were crucified with him, reproached him…He saved others… And John 19: Weaving a crown of thorns etc., and for this reason, I have become the reproach of men, in their words, as was said, and an outcast of the people, because they condemned him, and sought Barabbas, having rejected him – Matt. 27; Lamentations 3: You have made me an outcast in the midst of the people.
Secundo modo ut pertineat ad Christi dignitatem: vermis enim non generatur ex coitu, sed ex terra solo calore solis caelestis. Ipse enim quasi tenerrimus ligni vermiculus, ut dicitur 2 Reg. 23. sic Christus ex virgine sola operatione Spiritus sancti: Ps. 84. Dominus dabit benignitatem, et terra nostra dabit fructum suum. Ideo dicit, Ego autem sum vermis et non homo, scilicet tantum, sed etiam Deus. Second, that it might pertain to the dignity of Christ. For a worm is not generated from coition, but from the soil alone by the heat of the sun. For as we shall have had the most tender little worm of the wood, as is said at 2 Kings 23, so too Christ was had from the virgin only by the workings of the Holy Spirit – Psalm 84: The Lord will give goodness, and our earth shall yield its fruit. For this reason, he says But I am a worm and not a man, namely as amounting to a worm, but also God.
Vel aliter secundum Augustinum. Per hominem intelligitur homo vetus, scilicet Adam, qui sic fuit homo quod non filius hominis. Per vermem intelligitur Christus, qui sic fuit homo quod filius hominis, idest virginis: ideo dicit, Sum vermis et non homo, scilicet gaudens temporalibus, sed filius hominis gaudens spiritualibus. Or it may be interpreted in another way according to Augustine. By “man” is understood the old man, namely Adam, who was as man, but not the son of man. By “worm” is understood Christ, who was as man, and the son of man, that is, of a virgin: for this reason, he says I am a worm and not a man, namely rejoicing in temporal matters, but son of man rejoicing in spiritual matters.
Abiectio plebis. Hic non mutatur. Consequenter ponit derisionem: et primo ostendit quomodo sit universalis; secundo ostendit quomodo sit multiplex. An outcast of the people. This is not changed. Subsequently, he sets down the derision. First, he shows how this is universal, and second, how manifold it is.
Quod sit universalis, ostendit cum dicit, Omnes videntes me deriserunt me: Hier. 20. Tota die omnes subsannabant mihi: quia populi et principes: et haec distributio, Omnes, pro toto populo intelligitur, scilicet malo. That it is universal he shows when he says, All who see me have ridiculed meJeremiah 20: Everyone mocked me the whole day: because of the people and the rulers: and this distribution, All, is understood for all the people, namely for (their) evil.
Quod illusio fuerit multiplex ostendit, quia verbis; unde dicit quia, Locuti sunt labiis: Matt. 27. Praetereuntes blasphemabant eum: Isa. 57. Super quem lusistis, et super quem dilatastis os, et eiecistis linguam: Sap. 2. Si verus filius Dei est, suscipiet illum. Item factis, Et moverunt caput: Matt. 27. Moventes capita sua, scilicet prae derisu, dicentes, alios slavos fecit etc. That the derision was manifold is shown because of their words; and so he says, They have spoken with their lipsMatthew 27: And they that passed by blasphemed him; Isaiah 57: Upon whom have you jested? Upon whom have you opened your mouth wide, and put out your tongue?; Wisdom 2: If the just one is the son of God, he will defend him. Again, having done (this), They moved their headsMatthew 27: Moving their heads, namely on account of derision, saying, ‘He saved others…’ etc.
f. Ostendit quae sint illa verba quae in eius confusionem loquebantur: quia primo improperabant sibi spem quam habebant de Deo; unde dicit, Speravit in Domino, eripiat eum: Matt. 27. Confidit in Deo, liberet eum si vult; quasi dicat, Si sperasset in Domino, liberasset eum, quia dictum est supra statim, Quia speraverunt in te patres nostri, et liberasti eos. Sed decipiuntur: quia non intelligitur de salute, sive de liberatione temporali. He discloses those words which they said for his confusion, because first they were taunting him with the hope which they had concerning God. Thus, he says, He hoped in God, let him save himMatthew 27: He trusts in God, he will deliver him if he wishes; as if to say “If he trusted in the Lord, he would free him”, because it was said immediately above, Since our fathers hoped in you, you freed them. But they are deceived since they do not understand salvation or temporal liberation.
Secundo improperant Christo, quod non sit Deo acceptus; unde dicit, Salvum faciat eum quoniam vult eum: Sap. 3. Filium Dei se nominat. Second, they taunted Christ (with the taunt) that he was not accepted by God. And so he says, Let him save him, since he pleases himWisdom 3: He calls himself son of God.
g. Consequenter ponitur causa confusionis; et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ponit causam. Secundo prorumpit in orationem, Ne discesseris. Consequently, the cause of his confusion is set forth, concerning which he does two things. First, he determines the cause, and second, he breaks out in prayer at, Do not forsake me.
Causa irrisionis consuevit esse stultitia. Unde temporales reputant bonos homines stultos, quia non confidunt de mundo: Ps. 13. Consilium inopis confudistis, quoniam Dominus spes eius est. The cause of mockery is usually foolishness. And so, temporal men consider the good to be foolish since the good do not trust in the world – Psalm 13: You confuse the counsel of the impious since the Lord is (the good man’s) hope.
In hac causa duo facit. Primo ponit divinum beneficium motivum ad sperandum. Secundo ipsam spem, ibi, Spes mea; quasi dicat, Derident me, quia spes mea est in te; et ideo dicit, Quoniam tu es qui extracisti me de ventre matris meae. With respect to this cause, he does two things. First, he determines the divine benefit moving one to hope, and second, the hope itself, at, My hope; it is as if he were saying, “They mock me since my hope is in you.” And for this reason he says, For you are the one who brought me forth from my mother’s womb.
Hic ponit primo quae pertinent ad caput. Quaecumque nascuntur naturaliter ex utero matris, virtute divina producuntur, et ipsa est omnium causa: Gal. 1. Qui me segregavit ex utero matris meae, et vocavit per gratiam suam. Sed singulariter dicit Christum abstractum ex utero matris, quia mirabiliter conceptus est, et sine semine natus servata matris integritate: hoc est beneficium, et ex hoc sequitur spes: et circa hoc tria ponit. Primo ipsam spem. Secundo eius perfectionem. Tertio eius rationem. At this point, he first determines what belongs to the head. Whatever things are naturally born from a mother’s womb, are produced by the divine power, which is itself the cause of everything – Galatians 1: He who removed me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace. But he speaks separately of Christ taken from his mother’s womb because he was conceived miraculously, and born without seed to a mother kept undefiled – this is a benefit (from God), and from this, hope follows. Concerning this, he determines three things. First, the hope itself, second, its perfection, and third, its nature.
Dicit ergo, Spes mea ad uberibus matris meae, idest tu es spes mea ex quo homo sum et suxi ubera matris meae: quia cum erat Verbum apud Deum, non conveniebat ei sperare: Ps. 78. Spes mea a iuventute mea. Therefore, he says, My hope from the breasts of my mother, that is “You are my hope through which I am a man and have suckled at the breasts of my mother”, because when the Word was with God, it was not appropriate to hope in him – Psalm 78: My hope from my youth.
Sed contra Christus ad instanti conceptionis habuit usum liberi arbitrii, ergo ex tunc speravit. But on the other hand, Christ, from the beginning of his conception, had the use of free choice. Therefore, from that point, he hoped.
Respondeo. Dicendum quod ubera, idest lac Verbo in eodem tempore praeparatum fuit, quo fuit conceptus: unde ubera ad ipsam conceptionem referuntur. I respond by saying that breasts, that is, the milk that was prepared for the Word at that time, was that by which he was conceived. And so, “breasts” are referred to the conception itself.
In te proiectus sum ex utero. Contra. Si postquam egressus est ex utero, proiectus est in Deum, ergo antequam exiret uterum, non fuit proiectus in Deum. From the womb I was thrown upon you. On the contrary. If, after having come forth from the womb, he was thrown upon God, therefore before he came forth from the womb, he was not thrown upon God.
Dicendum, quod ille proiicitur in alterum, qui non in se, sed ei innititur: 1. Pet. 5. Omnem solicitudinem vestram proiicientes in eum: unde, Proiectus sum ex utero, quia tibi soli innitor. Et sic describitur perfectio spei. It must be said, in response, that he is thrown upon another, not as such, but that he depends upon him – 1 Peter 5: Casting all your care upon him. And so, From the womb I was thrown upon you, because I depend solely upon you. And in this way, the perfection of hope is described.
h. Hic ponitur ratio spei; quasi dicat, In te speravi, quia te habui semper ut Deum: Ps. 27. In Deo speravit cor meum, et aduitus sum; et ideo dicit Tu es Deus meus de ventre matris meae, idest ex quo factus sum homo, quia ante non erat Dei filius homo. At this point, he sets down a reason for hope; as if he were saying, “In you I have hoped, because I have always cherished you as God” – Psalm 27: In God has my heart hoped, and I have been helped. And for this reason he says, You are my God from my mother’s womb, that is by whom I became a man, since before this I was not a man, but the son of God.
Sed si exponatur de membris Christi, proiectio sive extractio est de uno in aliud secundum carnem, Christus autem semper tendebat in Deum: sed loquitur de membris quae secundum carnem semper sunt in ventre carnali, scilicet concupiscentiis mundanis; sed per Deum ab huiusmodi concupiscentiis extrahuntur, et proiiciuntur in Deum: ut nihil nisi Deum sperent et quaerant. But if this passage is interpreted concerning the members of Christ, projection or extraction is from one to another according to the flesh, but Christ always tended to God: however, it speaks of the members which, according to the flesh, are always in the carnal womb, namely in worldly concupiscence; but by God, they are extracted from any sort of concupiscence, and are thrown upon him, so that they hope in and seek after nothing except God.
Consequenter concludit orationem cum dicit, Ne discesseris a me, scilicet defendendo, vel in membris meis quantum ad spiritualia; quasi dicat, Dereliquisti me, exponendo passioni corporali. Ne recedas a me, fovendo me spirituali auxilio. Consequently he concludes his prayer when he says Do not forsake me, namely by protecting, or in my members so far as concerns spiritual matters; as if he were saying, Forsake me, by exposing me to corporeal suffering. Do not depart from me, by supporting me with spiritual help.
i. Hoc secundum Hieronymum est principium versus sequentis: et ideo potest, ut dictum est, convenienter cum praecedentibus legi: et etiam cum sequentibus. This, according to Jerome, is the first verse of the following (material): and for this reason it can be fittingly read, as was said, with what went before: and even with the following.
Et ut dicit Hieronumus, convenientius legitur cum sequentibus: nam psalmus ex persona Domini exponens passionem, praemittit primo orationem; postea ordinem passionis subsequitur, ibi, Circumdederunt me etc. Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit orationem. Secundo necessitatem orandi ostendit, Quoniam tribulatio. As Jerome says, it is more fittingly read with the following (material): for the psalm interpreting the passion from the person of Christ, first sends forth a prayer, after which follows the order of the passion, at Many calves have surrounded me etc. Concerning the first he does two things. First he relates the prayer, and second, shows the necessity of praying at, For the trial is close.
Dicit ergo, Tu es Deus meus de ventre matris meae, et ideo oro, ne discesseris a me, quoniam tribulatio proxima est. Haec enim intelligenda sunt ut Christus loquatur in persona membrorum suorum, ut non derelinqueret ea in tribulationibus: 1 Cor. 10. Fidelis Deus qui non patietur vos tentari supra id, quod potestis: Ps. 70. Ne derelinquas me, quia dixerunt inimici mei mihi, et qui custodiebant animam meam, consilium fecerunt in unum. Therefore he says, You are my God from my mother’s womb, and for that reason I pray, do not forsake me, for the trial is very near. These words are to be understood as Christ speaks in the person of his members, so that he would not forsake them in tribulations – 1 Cor. 10: And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able; Psalm 70: Do not forsake me, for my enemies have spoken against me, and they that watched my soul, have taken counsel together.
Non autem dicit pro se. Necessitas autem est duplex; tribulatio quae imminet, et auxilium quod deficit; unde dicit, Tribulatio proxima est, scilicet tempore: Matt. 26. Ecce appropinquabit hora, et filius hominis tradetur etc. However, he does not say this for himself. The necessity is twofold; the trial which threatens, and the help which falls short; thus, he says The trial is close, namely, in time – Matthew 26: Behold, the hour is at hand, and the son of man shall be betrayed etc.
Sed obiicitur quod cum haec verba sint Christi iam in cruce existentis, quomodo tribulatio proxima est etc. Possumus dicere quod David mutat tempora. However, it is objected that since these are Christ’s words when he was actually on the cross, in what sense is the trial close? We can say that David changes times.
Augustinus aliter solvit. Tribulatio quandoque est propinqua, quandoque remota. Sensus doloris est in anima: propinquum animae est corpus, remota sunt bona exteriora. Quando ergo est afflictio in exterioribus, tribulatio non est propinqua; sed quando est in proprio corpore, tunc est propinqua et proxima: et impossibile est quin homo sentiat. Christus autem in proprio corpore affligebatur: Ps. 114: Tribulationem et dororem inveni. Item deficit auxilium, Quoniam non est qui adiuvet. Et ideo est orationi instandum: Isa. 63. Circumspexi, et non erat auxiliator, quaesivi, et non erat qui adiuvaret: quia etiam apostoli relicto eo fugerunt. Augustine solves this objection in a different way. Sometimes a trial is close, and at other times is it remote. The feeling of pain is in the soul: the body is close to the soul, exterior goods are remote. Therefore, when there is affliction in exterior things, trial is not close. But when there is affliction in the body proper, then it is near and close: and it is impossible for a man who does not feel. Christ however, was afflicted in his very body – Psalm 114: I met with trial and pain. Again help falls short, For there is no one who will help me. And for this reason it was fitting that prayer be pursued – Isaiah 63: I looked about, and there was no one to help; I sought, and there was none to give aid: since even the apostles fled, having abandoned him.
j. Supra ostendit Psalmista in persona Christi suam conquaestionem sive quaerelam rationabilem esse, et ex parte Dei, et ex antiquorum consuetudine, sive experimento; hic autem prosequitur ordinem passionis quantum ad afflictionem carnis. Et proponit primo persecutores. Secundo persecutionis effectum, ibi, Sicut aqua. Tertio persecutionis modum, ibi, Circumdederunt me canes. Previously, the Psalmist, in the person of Christ, shows his complaint or quarrel to be reasonable, both on the part of God and of earlier custom or experience. However, here he pursues the order of the passion as to the affliction of the body. And he first determines the persecutors, second, the effect of the persecution, at, Like water, and third, the mode of persecution, at Dogs have surrounded me.
Primo ergo introducuntur persecutores invadentes opere: quorum quidam minores, ut plebs et ministri; et quantum ad hoc dicit, Circumdederunt me vituli multi: Eccl. 1. Stultorum infinitus est numerus. Circumdederunt me, quia undique invaserunt: Ps. 117. Circumdederunt me sicut apes etc. Thus, first are introduced his persecutors attacking his work. Some are young, such as the common people and servants; and with regard to this he states, Many calves have surrounded meEcclesiastes 1: The number of fools is infinite. They have surrounded me, because they attack from all sides – Psalm 117: Like bees they have surrounded me.
Quidam sunt mairores; unde dicit, Tauri pingues obsederunt me: Eccl. 6. Ne extollas te in cogitatione tua, sicut taurus qui ex pinguedine et fortitudine, nec iugo premitur, et multum generat et superbit. Others are old. Thus, he says, Fat bulls have besieged meEcclesiasticus 6: Do not extol yourself in your thought, like a bull through its bulk and courage, nor is it pressed down by its yoke; it engenders much and is proud.
Dicit quod taurus est animal melancholicum: et propter hoc diu retinet iram; et sicut minores habent audaciam propter multitudinem, ita maiores propter divitias. Et ideo dicit, Pingues: Iob 15. Pingui cervice armatus est. Obsederunt me: Iob 19. Obsederunt in gyro tabernaculum meum. He says this because the bull is a melancholic animal, on account of which it retains its anger for a long time. And just as the young possess insolence on account of their numbers, so too do the old, on account of their wealth. And for this reason he says Fat…Job 15: He is armed with a fat neck. They have besieged me; Job 19: they have besieged my tabernacle round about.
Consequenter ponit persecutores insurgentes ore; unde dicit, Aperuerunt super me os suum. Et quidem multipliciter eum tentando: Matt. 22. Quid me tentatis hypocritae, accusando, invidendo, ad mortem expetendo, dicentes, crucifige: Thren. Inimici mei aperuerunt os suum super me. Consequently, he sets forth his persecutors assailing him in words. Thus he says, They have opened their mouths against me. And indeed, by tempting him several times – Matthew 22: Why do you tempt me, you hypocrites? By accusing, by longing after and awaiting his death, stating, “Crucify him” – Lamentations 2: My enemies have opened their mouths against me.
Consequenter adhibet similitudinem, Sicut leo rapiens et rugiens, cui comparantur propter crudelitatem: Hier. 12. Facta est mihi haereditas mea quasi leo in sylva, dedit contra me vocem: nam leonis est ut capta praeda rugiat: Amos 3. Numquid dabit catulus leonis vocem de cubili suo, nisi aliquid apprehenderit? Et dicit, Rapiens,insidiando, et Rugiens manifeste in mortem expetendo: Ezech. 11. Sicut leo rugiens rapiensque praedam animam devoraverunt. Consequently he employs a similitude, like a snatching and roaring lion, to which they are likened on account of their cruelty – Jeremiah 12: My inheritance has become to me as a lion in the woods; it has gone against my voice; for this is characterisitic of a lion so that having caught its prey, it roars – Amos 3: Will the lion’s cub give voice from its den, if it has taken nothing? And he says, Snatching, by lying in ambush, and Roaring, clearly in awaiting death – Ezechiel 11: Like a lion roaring and snatching prey they devoured my soul.
k. Consequenter ponit persecutionis effectum. Et primo proponit hunc effectum. Secundo exponit eum, ibi, Dispera. Consequently, he determines the effect of his persecution. He first sets forth this effect, and second, explains it, at, Are scattered.
Dicit ergo, Persequuntur me et nocent: quia quantum ad corporalem salutem totaliter invaluerunt; et ideo dicit, Sicut aqua effusus sum. Si effundatur oleum, aliquid remanet in vase; si effundatur vinum, saltem remanet odor in vase, sed de aqua nihil remanet; quasi dicat, Totaliter effusus sum secundum eorum opinionem: 2 Reg. Quasi aquae dilabimur, quae non revertuntur super terram. Aqua leviter effunditur et proiicitur: sic ergo effusus sum. And so, he says, They pursue and harm me, because they have completely prevailed with respect to bodily safety. For this reason he says, Like water I am poured out. If oil were poured out, some would remain in the vessel, and if wine were poured out, at least some odour would remain in the vessel. But if water were poured out, nothing would remain. It is as if he were saying, I am completely poured out according to their opinion – 2 Kings: We are lost like water which is not returned above ground. Water is easily poured out and flung away: so therefore I am poured out.
Sicut etiam Iudaei non solum eum delere desuper terram conati sunt, sed etiam famam eius perdere voluerunt. Also, the Jews not only tried to annihilate him from the face of the earth, they also wanted to destroy his renown.
Vel assimilatur Christus aquae, quia aqua lavat; sic passio Christi de omnibus peccatis et omnes sorder lavat: Apoc. 1. Dilexit nos et lavit nos a peccatis nostris in sanguine suo. Or, Christ is compared to water, because water cleanses, just as Christ’s passion cleanses from every sin and filth – Apoc. 1: He loved us and cleansed us from our sins in his own blood.
Item aqua rigat et facit fructificare, sic passio Christi: Eccl. 24. Dixit irrigo hortum meum etc. Et fructificat fructum vitae aeternae: Eccl. 24. Flores mei, idest passionis meae, fructus honoris et honestatis. Again, water moistens and makes things to bear fruit, just like Christ’s passion – Ecclesiasticus 24: He said, I water my garden etc. And it brings forth the fruit of eternal life – Ecclesiasticus 24: My flowers, that is of my passion, are the fruits of honour and riches.
Item facit vitam lubricam: sic passio Christi disponit Iudaeos ad casum: 1 Cor. 1. Nos autem praedicamus Christum crucifixum: Iudaeis quidem scandalum, gentibus autem stultitiam, ipsis autem vocatis Iudaeis atque Graecis Christum Dei virtutem, et Dei sapientiam. Again, water makes life uncertain, just as Christ’s passion decreed the downfall of the Jews – 1 Cor. 1: But we preached Christ crucified, a scandal to the Jews, and foolishness to the gentiles; but to them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
Consequenter exponit hunc effectum: et ideo dicit, Dispersa sunt etc. quasi dicat, Quicquid videbatur in me forte, est dissolutum: quicquid pulchrum, emarcuit. Et ideo dicit, Dispersa. Consequently he explains this effect; and thus he says, Are scattered etc., as if he were saying, “Whatever strength was seen in me, is now destroyed: whatever beauty, has withered away.” And thus he says, Scattered.
In homine est duplex fortitudo. Una est fortitudo corporis, et haec consistit in ossibus et nervis; et quantum ad hoc dicit, Dispersa sunt omnia ossa mea; quasi dicat, Omnis virtus mea corporalis defecit; tamen de Christo dicitur spiritualiter: nam apostoli qui sunt ossa Christi, dispersi fuerunt: Zach. 13. Percutiam pastorem, et dispergentur oves gregis. There is a two-fold strength is man. One is the strength of the body, and this consists in the bones and tendons. With respect to this, he says, All my bones are scattered, as if he were saying “Every one of my corporeal powers has failed”; nevertheless, it is said spiritually of Christ: for the apostles, who were the bones of Christ, have become dispersed – Zach. 13: I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.
Alia est fortitudo animae, quae consistit in corde; unde dicit, Factum est cor meum tanquam caera liquescens. The other is a strength of the soul which consists in the heart. And so he says, My heart has become like melting wax.
Quaerit Augustinus quomodo de Christo capite verum sit: quia hoc videtur provenire ex superabundanti timore, quod non est dicendum de Christo: quia etsi fuerit in eo timor naturalis, non tamen fuit tantus quod liquesceret cor. Et ita intelligitur de Christo non secundum se, sed quantum ad membra, quae quidem sunt cor Christi, quae et praecipue diligit: Phil. 1. Eo quod vos habeam in corde. Et sequitur, Testis est mihi Deus, quomodo cupiam vos esse in visceribus Iesu Christi. Augustine asks how true this is of Christ the head, because this seems to come about from an excess of fear, which is not fittingly said of Christ, since even if natural fear arose in him, nevertheless it was not so much that it melted (or softened) his heart. It is thus not understood of Christ as such, but with respect to his members, which indeed are the body of Christ, and which he especially loves – Phil. 1: …for that I have you in my heart. And it follows, God is my witness, how I long after you all to be in the bowels of Jesus Christ.
Hi fuerunt apostoli qui fuerunt ossa ad sustentandum infirmos in ecclesia, sicut ossa sustentant carnes: Rom. 15. Debemus nos firmiores imbecillitatem infirmorum sustinere. These became apostles who became bones to uphold the infirm within the Church, just like the bones uphold the flesh – Rom. 15: We, the stronger, ought to bear the weakness of the infirm.
Et fuerunt corda eorum sicut caera liquescens. Primo mala liquefactione per timorem, sicut in fuga discipulorum: Matt. 26. Tunc relicto eo fugerunt omnes. Et in negatione Petri: Luc. 22. At ille negavit dicens, homo nescio quid dicis. And their hearts became like melting wax. First, by an evil melting (or softening) through fear, like in the flight of the disciples – Matthew 26: Then leaving him, they all fled. And in Peter’s denial – Luke 22: But he denied him saying, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.”
Secundo bona liquefactione, sicut in conversione discipulorum, ut patet in Petro et Andrea. Vel dicendum quod liquefactio etiam est amoris: Cant. 5. Anima mea liquefacta est. Res antequam liquefiat dura est et constricta in se; si liquescit, diffunditur et tendit a se in aliud. Second, by a good melting (or softening), like in the conversion of the disciples, as is clear with Peter and Andrew. Or it ought to be said that melting (softening) is also of love – Song of Songs 5: My soul has melted (softened). Before a thing melts (softens), it is hard and bound in itself; if it melts (softens), it pours out, and tends from itself into another.
Timor etiam quandoque indurat, quando scilicet non est magnus: et sic est etiam de amore, quia quando supervenit amor, tunc ostendit in aliud quod ante in se erat. Et de hac liquefactione potest exponi etiam de Christo, secundum quod est caput: nam hoc liquefieri et est a Spiritu sancto, et est in medio ventris, idest affectus. Fear also hardens sometimes, namely when it is not great. It is also so with love, because when love supervenes, then it shows in another what before was in itself. And concerning this melting (softening), it can even be explained concerning Christ, insofar as he is head. For this melting (softening) is both from the Holy Spirit, and in the midst of his bowels, that is his desire.
Vel per cor Christi intelligitur sacra Scriptura, quae manifestat cor Christi. Hoc autem erat clausum ante passionem, quia erat obscura; sed aperta est post passionem, quia eam iam intelligentes considerant, et discernunt quomodo prophetiae sint exponendae. Or, by the heart of Christ is understood Holy Scripture, which manifests the heart of Christ. However, this was closed before the passion, because it was obscure; but is opened after the passion, because they consider it now understanding, and they teach how the prophets are to be explained.
l. Hic ostendit quod quicquid pulchrum fuit in Chrito evanuit. Florere videbantur in Christo ante passionem tria: operatio miraculorum, facundia doctrinae, fama et gloria populorum. At this point, the psalmist shows that whatever beauty was in Christ disappeared. Before his passion, flourishing was seen in Christ in three ways; the performing of miracles, eloquence of teaching, and the fame and glory of the people.
De primo Io. 7. Multitudo magna sequebatur eum, quia videbant etc. Et haec virtus aruit in passione quantum ad opinionem eorum: unde clamabant, Alios slavos fecit etc. Aruit, idest viluit, Tanquam etc. Vel Testa, quando arescit induratur, sic in passione virtus Christi fuit indurata ad sustentandum: Eccl. 27. Vasa figuli probat fornax, et homines iustos tentatio tribulationis. Concerning the first, there is John 7: A great multitude followed him, because they saw etc. And this power dried up during his passion in their opinion. And so, they cried out, He saved others etc. Has dried up, that is, has become worthless, like etc. Or, an earthen vessel, when it becomes dry, is hardened, just as during the passion, Christ’s strength became hardened so as to sustain him – Ecclesiasticus 27: The furnace tests the potter’s vessels, and the trial of tribulation, just men.
De secundo: Matt. 7. Erat docens eos tanquam potestatem habens; sed in passione, Adhaesit lingua mea faucibus meis, prae taciturnitate: Ezec. 3. Adhaerere faciam linguam tuam palato tuo, et eris mutus. Et hoc est factum in passione, quia non respondebat Herodi: Luc. 23. Interrogabat eum Herodes multis sermonibus. At ipse nihil respondebat ei. Concerning the second, there is Matthew 7: He was teaching them as one having power; but in the passion, my tongue cleaves to my jaws, because of a disinclination to talk – Ezechiel 3: I will make your tongue cleave to the roof of your mouth, and you shall be mute. And this was done in the passion, because he did not respond to Herod – Luke 23: Herod questioned him in many words. But he answered him nothing.
De tertio Matt. 21. Plurima autem turba straverunt vestimenta sua in via. Alii autem caedebant ramos de arboribus etc. Tunc impletum est quod David prophetaverat de Christo dicens, Domine salvum me fac, o Domine bene prosperare; benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, Deus Dominus et illuxit nobis. Sed in passione viluit; unde dicit, Et in pulverem mortis deduxisti me, idest vilem mortem me pati fecisti: Sap. 2. Morte turpissima condemnemus eum. Concerning the third, there is Matthew 21: A very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from trees etc. Then it was fulfilled what David had prophesied concerning the Christ saying, Lord, make me safe, O Lord, may you prosper well; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, the Lord God has shone upon us. But in his passion, he withered; and so he says, And you have brought me down to the dust of death, that is, you have made me to suffer a vile death – Wisdom 2: Let us condemn him to a most shameful death.
Vel si referatur ad membra. In pulverem mortis deduxisti me, idest membra mea quae sunt incinerata, non autem Christi. Or, if it is referred to his members. You have brought me down to the dust of death, that is, my members which are reduced to ashes, not however of Christ.
Vel, In pulverem etc. idest in potestatem Iudaeorum dedisti me, qui sunt sicut pulvis etc. Or, You have brought me down to the dust of death, that is, you have given me over to the power of the Jews, who are like dust etc.
m. Hic ponitur modus passionis. Et primo ponit ea quae facta sunt ante crucifixionem. Secundo quae facta sunt in ipsa crucifixione. Tertio quae facta sunt post crucifixionem. At this point, the mode of the passion is set forth. He first determines those things which were done before the crucifixion, second, those which were done during the crucifixion itself, and third, those which were done after the crucifixion.
Ante crucifixionem facta fuerunt duo. Primo fuit captus; et quantum ad hoc dicit, Circumdederunt me canes multi: Phil. 3. Videte canes, videte malos operarios: Isa. 56. Canes impudentissimi nescierunt saturitatem. Before the crucifixion, two things were done. First he was captured; with respect to this he says, Many dogs have surrounded me – Phil. 3: See the dogs, see the evil doers; Isaiah 56: Most impudent dogs, they never had enough.
Item secundo, quomodo fuit illusus; unde dicit, Consilium malignantium obsedit me. Second, how he was derided. And so he says, the counsel of the wicked has besieged me.
Consequenter ponit ea, quae facta sunt in ipsa crucifixione. Et primo quantum ad affixionem, Foderunt manus meas et peds meos, grossis clavibus affigentes ligno: Zac. 13. Quid sunt plagae istae in medio manuum tuarum? Following upon this, he determines those things which were done at the crucifixion. And first, with respect to attachment, They have pierced my hands and my feet, affixing them to the wood with large nails – Zac. 13. What are these wounds in the middle of your hands?
Item quantum ad distensionem dicit, Dinumeraverunt omnia ossa mea, idest dinumerabilia fecerunt. Again, with respect to distention, he says, They have numbered all of my bones, that is, they have been made countable.
n. Hic ponuntur illa, quae facta sunt post passionem; unde dicit, Ipsi etc. Convenientes ad spectaculum ut illuderent: Luc. 23. Milites illudentes impleverunt spongiam aceto dicentes, Si rex Israel es salvum te fac etc. At this point are determined those things which were done after the passion. And so he says, They etc., coming to the spectacle so they might deride him – Luke 23: The soldiers who were deriding him, filled a sponge with sour wine, saying, If you are the king of Israel, save yourself etc.
Et inspexerunt, scilicet quid eveniret de me, Diviserunt inter se vestimenta mea, quae erant plura et divisibilia: Et super vestem meam, scilicet inconsutilem, miserunt sortem; et hoc fecerunt vel propter cupiditatem, vel propter quandam illusionem. And they examined me, namely, what would become of me, They divided my clothes among them, which were several and divisible: And upon my garment, namely seamless, they cast lots; and they did this either because of desire, or as a sort of mockery.
Per haec vestimenta divisa signantur ecclesiae sacramenta; sed per vestem, quae non dividitur, signatur unitas ecclesiae, quam quilibet credit habere; sed non habet nisi unus, quia sola est unitas ecclesiae: Cant. 6. Una est columba perfecta mea. By these divided clothes are signified the sacraments of the Church; but by garment, which is not divided, is signified the unity of the Church, which everyone believes it to have; but it does not have it unless it be one, since there is a single unity of the Church – Song of Songs 6: One is my dove, my perfect one.
o. Narrata passione, hic procedit ad orationem: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo petit divinum auxilium. Secundo petit preastiti auxilii fructum, ibi, Narrabo nomen tuum. Having recounted the passion, he proceeds at this point to his prayer, concerning which he does two things. He asks, first, for divine help, and second, for the fruit of help provided, at I will proclaim your name.
Circa primum duo facit. Primo petit divinum auxilium in generali. Secundo per se in speciali, ibi, Erue a framea. Concerning the first, he does two things. He asks, first, for divine help in general, and second, for himself in particular, at Rescue from the spear.
Circa primum duo facit. Primo petit accelerationem auxilii. Secundo auxilii necessitatem. Concerning the first he does two things. He asks, first, for a hastening of help, and second, for the necessity of help.
Dicit ergo quantum ad primum, Sic fecerunt. Foderunt manus meas et pedes meos etc. sed Tu Domine ne elongaveris auxilium tuum a me, idest ne differas praebere mihi homini Christo auxilium divinitatis; quasi dicat, Factum est, quia liberatus est a morte per gloriam resurrectionis, quae non est elongata: quia post triduum resurrexit. Et fuit Christus resurgens: 1 Cor. 15. Christus resurgens ex mortuis primitiae dormientium: Ps. 56 Exurgam diluculo. Therefore, concerning the first, he says, So they have done. They have pierced my hands and my feet etc., but You, O Lord, do not withdraw your help from me, that is, do not delay in giving me God’s help in Christ the man; it is as if he were saying, It was done, because he was freed from death by the glory of his resurrection, which was not withdrawn, since he rose from the dead after three days. And Christ did this, rising from the grave – 1 Cor. 15: Christ rising from the dead, the first of those who sleep; Psalm 56: I will arise at dawn.
Ad defensionem meam conspice; quasi dicat, Ad hoc necessarium est auxilium tuum mihi, scilicet Ad defensionem. Look towards my defense; as if he were saying, For this, your help is necessary to me, namely, For my defense.
Sub umbra alarum tuarum protege me etc. Defende me, scilicet contra persequentes ad mortem, et contra daemones ne detineant in limbo. Sic ergo petiit ne corpus resolvatur in cineres, et ne anima detineatur in inferno: Actu. 2. Solutis doloribus inferni, iuxta quod impossibile erat teneri illum; Ps. 37. Ne derelinquas me etc. Protect me under the shadow of your wings etc. Defend me, namely, against those who persecute me unto death, and against demons so that they might not detain me in limbo. And so, therefore, he asked so that his body would not be reduced to ashes, and that his soul would not be detained in hell – Acts 2: …having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that he should be held by it; Psalm 37: Do not forsake me etc.
p. Hic exponit in specialia quibus petat defendi. Et primo contra mortem. Secundo contra tentationem mortis, ibi, De manu canis. At this point, he explains in particular from what he asks to be defended, first against death, and second against the trial of death, at, From the hand of the dog.
Dicit ergo, Conspice ad defensionem meam, et Deus, Erue animam meam, quam ipsi quaerunt, A framea, idest a gladio qui fremit agitatus. Therefore, he says, Look towards my defense, and God, Save my soul, which they themselves seek, from the spear, that is, from the sword which disturbed angrily demands.
Sed contra, Christus non fuit occisus a gladio, sed lancea, et lancea etiam fuit percussus post mortem. But on the other hand, Christ was not slain by a sword, but by a lance, and moreover, by a lance inflicted after death.
Sed dicendum, quod gladius sua acuitate dividit: Heb. 4. Acutior omni gladio ancipiti, et pertingens usque ad divisionem: et ideo quia mors dividit animam a corpore, et patrem a filio, et e contra, et fratrem a fratre, dicitur gladius: Zac. 13. Framea, idest mors, Suscitare super pastorem meum: et ab hac eruitur in resurrectione. However, it must be said that the sword divides by its sharpness – Heb. 4: …sharper than any two-edged sword, and reaching unto the division…: and thus since death divides the soul from the body, father from son, and on the other hand, brother from brother, a sword is said – Zac. 13: O spear, that is death, awake against my shepherd: and from this he is rescued in the resurrection.
Vel framea est lingua adversariorum: Ps. 56. Lingua eorum gladius acutus. Or, spear is the tongue of one’s opponents – Psalm 56: …their tongue a sharp sword.
Vel hic loquitur Christus pro membris, quorum plures sunt occisi gladio: Act. 12. Occidit autem Iacobum fratem Ioannis gladio. Or, Christ speaks here on behalf of his members, of which many were killed by the sword – Acts 12: But he killed Jacob the brother of John by the sword.
Et de manu canis. Hic orat contra tentationes; et tripliciter describit hic eos irrationabiles: et hoc facit sub similitudine canis, qui latrat antequam percipiat contra quem debeat latrare propter subitam iram eius. And from the hand of the dog. He prays here against trials, and he describes them in a three fold way as unreasonable. He does this under the likeness of the dog, which barks immediately in accordance with its anger before it perceives against whom it ought to bark.
Sic Iudaei antequam scierent quare latrarent contra Chrisum clamabant: Phil. 3. Videte canes, videte malos operarios: et supra, Circumdederunt me canes multi. Hoc maxime pertinet contra Iudaeos, qui contra Christum latrantes clamabant, Crucifige crucifige eum. And so, before the Jews know why they bark, they cry out against Christ – Phil. 3: See the dogs, see the evil doers: and above, Many dogs have surrounded me. This pertains most especially to the Jews who, barking against Christ cried out, Crucify, crucify him.
q. Hic describit eos crudeles sub similitudine leonis, qui est crudele animal: et hoc refertur ad Pilatum qui fungitur leonis potestate, idest imperatoris, quem Apostolus dicit leonem: 2 Tim. 4. Liberatus sum de ore leonis. At this point, he describes cruel men under the similitude of the lion, which is a cruel animal. And this is referred to Pilate who exercises the power of a lion, that is, of an emperor, whom the Apostle calls a lion – 2 Tim. 4: I was freed from the mouth of the lion.
Vel refertur ad diabolum: 1 Pet. ult. Tamquam leo rugiens circuit quaerens quem devoret. Or, it is referred to the devil – 1 Peter: Like a roaring lion he goes about, seeking someone to devour.
Et a cornibus unicornium humilitatem meam. Hic describit eos superbos: et refertur ad principes sacerdotum, et scribas, qui scilicet comparantur unicorni superbiam designanti: et hoc incidat quod unum cornu habet in capite, et est tantae superbiae quod nullo modo patitur subiectionem, sed statim captus moritur: Iob 39. Numquid volet rhinoceros, idest unicornis, servire tibi aut morabitur etc. And my lowliness from the unicorn’s horns. Here, he describes arrogant men, and is referred to the High Priest and Scribes, who are compared to the unicorn, designated as arrogant. And it happens that it has one horn on its head, and is so arrogant that in no way does it suffer subjection, but when captured immediately dies – Job 39: The rhinoceros, that is the unicorn, will never desire to serve you, but will die etc.
Et per hoc significantur principes Iudaeorum qui singulariter gloriabantur de congnitione Dei. Et quicumque singulariter se extollit, similis est Pharisaeo: Luc. 18. Non sum sicut caeteri hominum; Ps. 74. Nolite extollere in altum cornu vestrum. And by this is signified the rulers of the Jews who especially boast in their knowledge of God. And whoever especially raises himself up, is similar to a Pharisee – Luke 18: I am not as other men are; Psalm 74: Lift not your horn up high.
r. Consequenter ostendit divini auxilii fructum. Et primo ostendit hoc quantum ad ipsum Christum. Secundo quantum ad alios, ibi, Edent pauperes. Consequently, he shows the fruit of divine help. And he shows this first with respect to Christ himself, and second, with respect to others, at, The poor shall eat.
Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit duplicem fructum, scilicet praedicationis et laudis. Secundo explicat utrumque, ibi, Qui timetis. Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he determines a two-fold fruit, namely, of proclamation and of praise, and second, he explains both, at, You who fear.
Circa primum ponit duplicem fructum de liberatione Christi. Primus fructus Christi fuit praedicatio per universum mundum. Concerning the first, he determine the two fold fruit of Christ’s liberation. The first fruit becomes a proclamation through the whole world.
Dicit ergo, Salva me ex ore leonis etc. quia salvatus et liberatus de faucibus eorum. Therefore he says, Save me from the lion’s mouth etc. because he was saved and liberated from its jaws.
Narrabo nomen tuum fratribus meis, idest apostolis: et hoc fecti post resurrectionem. Sunt autem apostoli fratres sui, et per naturam assumptam, et per gratiam vocationis ad apostolatum: Rom. 8. Quod praescivit et praedestinavit conformes fieri imaginis Filii sui: quos praedestinavit hos et vocavit. I will proclaim your name to my brothers, that is, to the apostles. And this was done after the resurrection. The apostles are brothers to Christ both through assumed nature and by the grace of the calling to apostleship – Romans 8: (For those whom) he has foreknown he has also predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son: those whom he has predestined, them he has also called.
Sed numquid non narravit ante passionem nomen Dei, cum ipse dicat Io. 22. Pater manifestavi nomen tuum hominibus etc. But he did not set forth the name of God before the passion, although he himself said at John 22: Father I have made your name known to men etc.
Dicendum quod sic: sed plenius post passionem et resurrectionem. Primo quidem narravit discipulis ore proprio, quando aperuit illis sensum ut intelligerent Scripturas, Luc. ult. It must be said thus: but more fully after his passion and resurrection. First, he sets it forth to the disciples by his own mouth, when he opened their minds to them so that they might understand the Scriptures – Luke 24.
Secundo dando eis Spiritum paraclitum: Io. 16. Cum venerit paraclitus ille spiritus veritatis, docebit vos omnem veritatem. Et Io. 14. Manifestabo ei meipsum: Luc. 21. Tunc videbunt filium hominis venientem cum potestate magna et maiestate. Tunc enim in Filio cognoscent Patrem: Io. 14. In dei illa cognoscitis, quia ego in Patre, et Pater in me, et ego in vobis. Et hoc ipsi soli filio convenit ut ipse dicit Matt. 10. Nemo novit Patrem nisi filius. Second, by giving them the Holy Spirit – John 16: But when he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will teach you every truth. And John 14: I will reveal to him my very self; Luke 21: Then they will see the Son of Man coming with great power and majesty. For at that time, they will know the Father in the Son – John 14: On that day, you will know that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me, and that I am in you. And this is suitable only to the Son himself as he himself says at Matthew 10: No one knows the Father except the Son.
Secundus fructus liberationis Christi fuit laus divina; unde dicit, In medio ecclesiae laudabo te: Isa. 44. Laus eius ab extremis terrae. The second fruit of Christ’s liberation was divine praise. And so he says, In the midst of the Church I will praise youIsaiah 44: His praise from the ends of the earth.
Sed dicit, In medio ecclesiae, quod Augustinus sic exponit, dicens primo sic. Illud dicimus esse in medio, quod est in manifesto. In veteri testamento Deus laudabatur in occulto, idest in mysteriis; sed in novo laudatur in publico, quia in nuda veritate: 2 Cor. 3. Nos autem revelata facie gloriam Domini contemplantes, per amotionem velaminum. But his says, In the midst of the Church, which Augustine explains as follows. We say that something is in the middle or in our midst, which is in the open. In the Old Testament, God was praised in secret, that is, in secret rites. But in the New Testament, he is praised in public, because (he exists now) in unveiled truth – 2 Cor. 3: But we, contemplating the glory of God revealed to our face, through the removal of our veils.
Aliquando dicimus esse in medio illud, quod est intimum. Intimi in ecclesia sunt viri perfecti, qui specialiter laudant Deum in corde. In medio ecclesiae laudabo te, idest in doctoribus et viris perfectis. Sometimes we say something is in the middle which is innermost. Such in the Church are the perfected men who especially praise God in their hearts. In the midst of the Church I will praise you, that is, in your doctors and perfected men.
s. Exequitur utrumque. Et primo primum. Secundo secundum, ibi, Apud te. Both are accomplished in order, the latter at (My praise is) before you.
In primo proponit totam praedicationem novi testamenti, quomodo narratur nomen Domini. Et primo ostendit ad quid inducuntur homines in novo testamendo. Secundo quid eis narretur, ibi, Quoniam non sprevit. In the former, he sets down the entire proclamation of the New Testament, in what way the name of the Lord is set forth. He first shows that to which men are led in the New Testament, and second, what is set forth to them, at, For he has not spurned.
Ad tria inducuntur homines in novo testamento, videlicet ad confessionem oris, ad quaerendam glorima Dei, et ad Deum timendum. Quantum ad primum dicit, Qui timetis Deum laudate eum. In the New Testament, men are led to three things, namely to the confession of the mouth, to seek the glory of God, and to fear God. With respect to the first he says, You who fear the Lord, praise him.
Est autem duplex timor, unus filialis qui timet Deum offendere, et timet ab eo separari, et exhibet ei reverentiam; et hic est ex caritate. Alius autem est timor servilis, qui timet solum poenam: et hic non est ex charitate: Io. 4. Charitas foras mittit timorem. Now, there is a two-fold fear. The first is filial, where one fears to offend God and to be separated from him; he exhibits reverence to Him, and this is from love. The other, however, is a servile fear, where one fears only the penalty; and this is not from love – John 4: Love banishes fear.
Vetus lex fuit timoris; sed nova est lex amoris. Vos ergo, Qui timetis Dominum, idest qui impletis legem ex timore, Laudate eum, quia nihil laudat quis quod non diligit; quasi dicat: Confitemini ei ex amore: Ps. 116: Laudate Dominum etc. The Old Law was of fear; but the New Law is a law of love. Therefore, You who fear the Lord, that is, you who have fulfilled the law out of fear, Praise him, since no one praises something which he does not value highly; it is as if he were saying “We acknowledge him out of love” – Psalm 116: Praise the Lord etc.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Universum semen Iacob magnificate eum: 1 Cor. 10. Sive manducatis, sive bibitis, sive aliud facitis, omnia in gloriam Dei facite. Et dicit universum semen Iacob etc. quia filiis Iacob, idest Iudaeis lex veteris testamenti fuit data, in qua promittitur gloria Dei. Et dicit, Universum, ut includat filios promissionis qui computantur in semine, ut dicitur Gal. 3. scilicet gentiles. With respect to the second, he says, All offspring of Jacob, glorify him1 Cor. 10: Whether you are eating, drinking or doing something else, do everything for the glory of God. And he says All offspring of Jacob etc. because to the sons of Jacob, that is, to the Jews, the law of the Old Testament was given, in which the glory of God is promised. And he says, All, so as to include the sons of the promise who are counted among their offspring, as is said at Galatians 3, namely the nations.
Quantum autem ad tertium dicit, Timeat eum omne semen Israel, timore reverentiae qui est cum dilectione: Deut. 10. Et nunc quid Dominus Deus tuus petit a te nisi ut timeas eum, et ambules in viis eius? Israel idem est quod Iacob. With respect to the third, he says, Let all the offspring of Israel fear him, with a fear of reverence which is with delight – Deut. 10: And now, what does the Lord, your God, desire from you except that you fear him, and walk in his ways? Israel is the same as Jacob.
t. Hic ostenditur quid eis annuncietur, scilicet virtus Christi, secundum quod loquitur in persona Christi orantis. At this point is shown what is announced to them, namely the power of Christ, as it speaks in the person of Christ praying.
Aliquando enim non vult quis preces exaudire, quando scilicet ipsum pro quo petitur, non vult videre, vel quando non vult videre rogantem; aliquando etsi vult videre rogantem, non tamen vult exaudire petitionem: et hoc excludit quantum ad primum cum dicit, Non sprevit, quasi negligendo: Neque despexit deprecationem pauperis, idest humilitatem eius qui non habet spem in temporalibus, idest Christi. Sometimes, one does not want to regard someone’s prayers, namely, when he does not want to see the very one on behalf of whom he is petitioned; or when he does not want to see the one asking. Sometimes, even if he wants to see the one asking, he does not want to listen to his petition. With respect to the first, he excludes this when he says, He has not spurned, as it were, by being neglectful: Nor despised the deprecation of the poor, that is, his humility which does not have hope in temporal things, but in Christ.
Secundum ostendit, Nec avertit faciem suam a me, quasi non acceptando me: Ps. 68. Ne avertas faciem tuam a puero tuo etc. Second, he shows, Nor has he turned his face from me, as it were, by not accepting me – Psalm 68: Do not avert your face from your child etc.
Tertium cum dicit, Et cum clamarem ad eum exaudivit me, quia iudex admisit quod petii pro me et pro meis: Io. 16. Si quid petieritis Patrem in nomine meo, dabit vobis: Io. 2. Clamavi, et exaudisti vocem meam. Third, when he says, And when I called upon him, he heard me, because the judge allows what I have asked on behalf of myself and mine – John 16: Whatever you petition the Father in my name, he will give to you; John 2: I cried out, and you listened to my voice.
Et nota quod ante passionem tria dicit se fuisse passum. Dicit enim fuisse abiectum, Ego sum vermis etc. Derelictum, Quare me dereliquisti. Item dicit se non exauditum, Clamabo per diem et non exaudies: et quare tunc dicebat, Verba delictorum, idest pertinentia ad infirmitatem carnis secundum quam potius temporalia quaeruntur; nunc autem quia per resurrectionem ad hoc genus adduxit humanam naturam ut quaereret spiritualia, dicit contrarium. Note that before the passion he said that three things were to be suffered by him, namely he would be cast aside, I am a worm etc., forsaken, Why have you forsaken me, and would not be listened to, I will cry out by day and you do not listen: and why he was then speaking, words of transgressions, that is, belonging to the infirmities of the flesh according to which temporal things are more sought. Now, however, because through the resurrection, for this kind (of people), he has prompted human nature so that it might seek spiritual things, he speaks the contrary.
Quia supra dixit, Ego sum vermis etc. hic dicit, Non sprevit me etc. Supra dixit, Dereliquisti me, hic dicit, Neque avertit faciem suam a me. Supra dixit, Clamabo per diem, hic dicit, dum clamarem ad eum, exaudivit me. Because he said above, I am a worm etc., here he says, He has not spurned me etc. Above he said, You have forsaken me, here he says, Nor has he turned his face from me. Above, he said, I will cry out by day, here he says, When I called upon him, he heard me.
u. Supra Psalmista ex persona Christi duo promisit se dicturum, scilicet narrationem divini nominis, et laudem Dei. De primo iam dixit; hic agit de secundo, scilicet de laude divina. Previously, the Psalmist, in the person of Christ, promised that he was to speak of two things, namely the setting forth of the divine name, and the praise of God. He has already spoken concerning the first; at this point, he takes up the second, namely divine praise.
Circa hoc duo facit. Primo ostendit qualis sit laus Dei. Secundo quomodo laudi adiungit opus, ibi, Vota mea etc. Concerning this he does two things. First, he shows of what sort is the praise of God, and second, how the work adds to praise, at, My vows etc.
Dicit ergo quantum ad primum, Apud te laus mea. Et hoc potest dupliciter intelligi. Uno modo sic: laus mea qua ego laudor, est apud te, non apud homines a quibus non habeo laudem, sed a te: 2 Cor. 10. Non qui seipsum commendat ille probatus est, sed quem Deus commendat. And so, with respect to the first, he says My praise is before you. And this can be understood in a two-fold way. In the first way, as so: My praise by which I am praised, is before you, not among men from whom I do not have praise, but from you – 2 Cor. 10: It is not the one who commends himself that is acceptable, but the one whom God commends.
Alio modo sic: Laus mea, qua scilicet te laudo, est Apud te, non in oculis hominum: Eccl. 47. De omni corde suo laudavit Deum, et dilexit Dominum, et hoc, In ecclesia magna, per me et meo nomine congregata. Magna, dilatatione: Isa. 54. Dilata locum tentorii tui, et pelles tabernaculorum tuorum extende. Magna, potestate: Matt. 16. Super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam etc. et quodcumque solveris etc. Dignitate: Apoc. 11. Reges terrae afferent gloriam suam et honorem in illam. In the second way, as so: My praise, by which, namely, I praise you, is before you, and not in the eyes of men – Ecclesiasticus 47: Concerning all things, he praised God in his heart, and delighted the Lord, and this, in the great church, brought together through me and my name. Great, in expansion – Isaiah 54: Expand the space of your tents, and extend the skins of your tabernacles. Great, in power – Matthew 16: Upon this rock I will build my church etc., and whatever you loosen etc. Great, in dignity – Apoc. 11: The kings of the earth will affirm his glory and honour on that day.
Hic ostendit quomodo laudi adiungit opus. Votum Christi fuit ut se daret pro salute fidelium: ipse enim illud vovit inquantum homo: Ps. 39. Ut facerem voluntatem tuam, Deus meus volui. Quae quidem voluntas Dei est sanctificatio nostra: Isa. 6. Descendi de caelo non ut faciam voluntatem meam, sed voluntatem eius qui misit me. At this point, he shows how work adds to praise. Christ’s vow was made so that he might offer himself for the salvation of the faithful: he vowed himself to this as a man – Psalm 39: I have desired, my God, that I might do you will. For indeed the will of God is our sanctification – John 6: I have come down from heaven not so that I might do my will, but the will of him who sent me.
Haec vota solvit Christus dando se ad passionem, et iterum quando dedit corpus suum in cibum fidelium; unde dicit, Vota, idest sacrificia: Reddam, in ara crucis et sacrificium fidelium; et hoc faciam, In conspectu timentium eum: Eccl. 5 Qui timet Dominum, honorat parentes. Christ repays these vows by giving himself to the passion, and furthermore when he gave his body for the food of the faithful. And so he says, Vows, that is, sacrifices: I will repay, on the altar of the cross and the sacrifice of the faithful; and this I will do, in the sight of those who fear himEcclesiasticus 5: He who fears the Lord, honours his parents.
v. Hic consequenter ponit effectum passionis qui est ad alios: et primo proponit diversos passionis effectus; secundo ostendit eos ad futura pertinere, ibi, Annunciabitur. Consequently, at this point he sets down the effect of the passion for others. He first sets forth diverse effects of the passion and second, shows them to pertain to the future, at There will be announced.
Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit effectus pertinentes ad apostolos. Secundo ponit tales effectus per apostolos ad alios derivatos, ibi, Reminiscentur. Concerning the first he does two things. First, he sets forth the effects pertaining to the Apostles, and second, he determines the sort of effects dispensed to others through the Apostles.
Ad apostolos pertinet ministerium dominici sacramenti: quod designatur cum dicit, Edent pauperes, idest humiles et contemnentes res mundi: Matt. 3. Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum. Isti edent sacrificium, idest sacramentum corporis et sanguinis sacramentaliter et spiritualiter. To the Apostles pertain the ministry of the Lord’s sacraments, which is designated when he says, The poor shall eat, that is, the humble and despised things of the world – Matthew 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. These very ones will eat the sacrifice, that is, the sacrament of the Lord’s body and blood, both sacramentally and spiritually.
Et ex hoc sequitur triplex effectus; spiritualis, scilicet satietas, laus, et vita. Quantum ad primum dicit, Et saturabuutur, quia quiescet desiderium suum in plenitudine gratiarum, quae per hoc sacramentum acquiruntur: Ps. 62. Sicut adipe et pinguedine repleatur anima mea. And from this follows a three-fold effect; spiritual, namely sufficiency, praise, and life. With respect to the first he says, And they will be satisfied, because he will quiet their desire in an abundance of graces, which are acquired through this sacrament – Psalm 62: My soul is filled as with grease and fat.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Et laudabunt Dominum qui requirunt eum. Nec mirum, quia laus sequitur ex laetitia: Isa. 51. Venient in Syon laudantes et laetitia sempiterna super capita eorum. Satietas autem desiderii causat delectationem: Isa. 55. Delectabitur in crassitudine anima vestra, idest in spirituali pinguedine: Ps. 41. In voce exultationis et confessionis sonus epulantis. Sed non quilibet laudat Deum; sed Qui requirunt eum, idest qui nihil aliud quaerunt nisi Christum, vel Deum: Isa. 35. Quaerite Deum dum inveniri potest; invocate eum dum prope est. With respect to the second, he says, And they will praise the Lord who seek him. This is not extraordinary, because praise follows upon joy – Isaiah 51: They shall come into Zion praising and everlasting joy upon their heads. Sufficiency of desire causes delight – Isaiah 55: Your soul will be delighted in thickness, that is, in spiritual fatness – Psalm 41: The noise of those feasting, with the sound of exaltation and acknowledgement. But not just anyone praises God, but Those who seek him, that is, those who seek nothing other than Christ, or God – Isaiah 35: Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
Quantum ad tertium dicit, Vicent corda eorum etc. Io. 6. Si quis manducaverit ex hoc pane, vivet in aeternum: et ideo dicit, Vivet; quasi dicat: Quamvis corpora moriantur imitando passionem Domini, tamen corde vivent: Ps. 68. Quaerite Dominum, et vivet anima vestra. With respect to the third, he says, Their hearts will live foreverJohn 6: He who eats of this bread, will live forever. And thus he says, He will live, as if he were saying, “Although bodies pass away by imitating the passion of the Lord, nevertheless they will live in heart – Psalm 68: Seek the Lord, and your soul will live.
w. Hic ponit effectus derivatos ad alios. Et primo communiter ad omnes. Secundo quantum ad carnales, ibi, Manducaverunt. Tertio quantum ad spirituales, ibi, Et anima mea. At this point, he sets down the effects dispensed to others, first, commonly to all, second, with respect to carnal people, at, All have eaten, and third, with respect to spiritual people, at, And my soul.
Est autem triplex effectus. Primus est divina cognitio ad quam gentes per apostolos devenerunt. Secundus est effectus ad conversionem ad Christum. Tertius effectus manifestatur per operis perfectionem. There is a three-fold effect. First, there is divine knowledge at which the nations arrive through the Apostles, second, there is the effect to the conversion to Christ, and the third effect is manifested through the perfection of the work.
Quantum ad primum dicit, Reminiscentur. Hominibus naturaliter inserta est quaedam Dei cognitio; sed obliviscuntur Domini per peccatum: Deut. 32. Oblitus es Domini creatoris tui. Gentiles autem habuerant aliquam Dei cognitionem, sed obliti fuerunt propter peccata; sed per apostolos fuerunt reducti ad reminiscentiam naturalis cognitionis: Ie. 31. Recordammi Domini procul. With respect to the first, he says, They will remember. In men, there is naturally inserted a certain knowledge of God. However, they forget God through sin – Deut. 32: You have forgotten the Lord, your creator. The nations had some knowledge of God, but it had been forgotten because of sin; however, through the Apostles, they were led back to the remembrance of this natural knowledge – Jeremiah (?) 31: Remember only the Lord.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Et revertentur ad Dominum, scilicet per amorem. Et hoc fecerunt non solum Iudaei, sed, Universi fines terrae: Isa. 21. Si quaeritis quaerite; convertimini, et venite: With respect to the second, he says, And they will be returned to the Lord, namely through love. And this was done not only for Israel, but for All the ends of the earthIsaiah 21: If you will inquire, inquire; turn back and come
et hi duo effectus etiam ad sacramentum altaris pertinet, quod est quoddam memoriale dominicae passionis, ut dicitur 1. Cor. 11. and these two effects also pertain to the sacrament of the altar, since it is a kind of memorial of the Lord’s passion, as is said at 1 Cor. 11.
Ideo dicit Reminiscentur, quia conversio animae ad Deum est effectus sacramenti altaris: Ps. 22. Super aquam refectionis educavit me. Colentes eum non in caeremoniis, sed, In conspectu eius, scilicet spirituali cultu: Io. 4. Veri adoratores adorabunt Patrem in spiritu et veritate. Et omnes familiae gentium: Soph. 2. Adorabunt eum viri de loc suo, omnes insulae gentium; quasi, ut intelligatur quod gentiles coluerunt Deum Israel: et sicut proselyti euntes ad habitandum eum Iudaeis, recesserunt a loco suo. And so he says They will remember, since the conversion of the soul to God is an effect of the sacrament of the altar – Psalm 22: He leads me beside still waters. Honouring him not in ceremonies, but In his presence, namely in spiritual worship – John 4: True worshippers will adore the Father in spirit and in truth. And all the families of the nations – Wisdom 2: The men will adore him concerning this place, all the islands of the nations; as it were, that it may be understood that the nations worshipped the God of Israel: and just as the proselytes going to the Jews to live with him, they returned to his place.
x. Potestas spiritualis totius mundi est Christi: Dan. 7. Et dedit ei potestatem, et regnum etc. Et non solum Iudaeorum, secundum illud, Super solium David; sed ipse dominabitur gentium: Ps. 2. Postula a me, et dabo tibi gentes haereditatem. The spiritual power of the whole world is of Christ – Daniel 7: And he gave power to him, and the kingdom etc. And not only of the Jews, according to that, Upon David alone; but he himself will rule the nations – Psalm 2: Ask of me, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance.
y. Hic ponitur effectus qui secutus est quantum ad carnales: et ponit duo. Primo ponit bonum eorum. Secundo ponit eorum defectum, ibi, In conspectu eius cadent, carnales: et hi perceperunt duplex bonum, scilicet participationem sacri, et venerationem Dei in cultu. At this point, he determines the effect which followed with respect to carnal people. And he sets down two things. First, he determines their good, and second, their defect, at, They, carnal people, fall down in his presence: and these receive a two-fold good, namely participation in sacred things, and veneration of God in worship.
Quantum ad primum dicit, Manducaverunt, licet indigne, quia carnales sunt: 1 Cor. 15. Caro et sanguis regnum Dei non possidebunt. De bonis dixit supra quod saturabuntur et laudabunt Dominum, et vivent, quia venerantur sacramentum per fidem quam habent. Sed isti quia sunt pingues terrae, idest in terrenis defixi, idest non in spiritualibus elevati: Cadent in conspectu eius, scilicet Dei: Hier. 21: Inebriabo animas sacerdotum pinguedine, et populus meus bonis meis adimplebitur. With respect to the first, he says, They have eaten, although unworthy, because they are carnal – 1 Cor. 15: Flesh and blood will not possess the kingdom of God. Concerning the good he said above that they will be satisfied and will praise the Lord, and they will live, because they reverence the sacrament through the faith which they have. But these very people because they are the fat of the earth, that is, fixed upon earthly things, and not raised up to spiritual ones – They fall down in his presence, namely God’s – Jerome 21:
Isti designantur per vaccas pingues, Amos 4. Deut. 32. Incrassatus est dilectus, et recalcitravit: nam, qui indigne manducat et bibit, iudicium sibi manducat et bibit, ut dicitur 1. Cor. 11. These are designated by fat cows, Amos 4; Deut 32: He was fattened and loved, and has become resistive: for, he who eats and drinks unworthily, eats and drinks the judgment to himself, as is said at 1 Cor. 11.
Et bene dicit, Omnes qui descendunt, idest si qui affectu demerguntur ad terrena: quia etsi isti videantur stare in conspectu hominum, tamen in conspectu Dei cadent: Isa. 8. Offendent ex eis plurimi, et cadent. And he well says, All those who go down, that is, those who are submerged in earthly matters by their emotions, because even if these seem to stand in the presence of men, nevertheless they fall in the presence of God – Isaiah 8: Many of these they offend, and they fall.
Vel, Cadent in conspectu eius, idest substernentur ei etiam inimici, Omnes qui descendunt in terram, idest in corruptionem peccati: Ps. 2. In nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur. Or, They fall in his presence, that is, they are submitted to him, even his enemies, All those who go down to the earth, that is, into the corruption of sin – Philippians 2: At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bend.
z. Hic ponitur effectus quoad spirituales. Anima Christi sunt illi in quibus requiescit Spiritus sanctus, spirituales scilicet, qui dupliciter se habent ad Deum. At this point he determines the effect with respect to spiritual persons. The soul of Christ is in those upon whom the Holy Spirit rests, namely spiritual people, which is related to God in a two-fold way.
Primo quantum ad cor, quia vivunt illi, scilicet Deo, vel Christo: Gal. 2. Vivo ego etc. 2. Cor. 5. Qui vivunt iam non sibi ipsi vivant, sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est. First, with respect to the heart, because they live in this, namely in God, or Christ – Gal. 2: I live etc.; 2 Cor. 5: Those who are living now do not live for themselves, but for the one who died for them.
Secundo quantum ad opus, Et semen meum. Semen bonum sunt filii regni; quasi dicat, Filii quos ego seminavi, servierunt soli Deo: quia omnia opera quae fecerunt, ad eius gloriam retulerunt. Second, with respect to work, and my offspring. Good offspring are the sons of the kingdom; it is as if he were saying, “Sons which I myself have brought forth, serve God alone; since every work which they have done, they refer to his glory.”
aa. Hic exponit quando fiet, quia non in tempore, sed in futuris temporibus: et ponit tria. Primo praenunciat fidei praedicationem. Secundo a quibus debeat praedicari. Tertio quibus praedicetur. At this point, he explains when this will happen, because it is not at that time, but at a future date. And he sets down three things. First, he makes a proclamation of faith, second, by whom it ought to be proclaimed, and third, to whom it will be proclaimed.
Quantum ad primum dicit, Annunciabitur Domino generatio ventura: et hoc potest dupliciter exponi. With respect to the first, he says There will be announced to the Lord a generation to come. And this can be explained in a two-fold way.
Uno modo cum Hieronymo; quasi dicat, Generatio ventura annunciabitur, idest evangelizabitur. Et ad hoc, ut convertantur ad Dominum. Etiam annunciabitur sive passive; quasi dicat, Per praedicationem apostolorum illa generatio adducetur ad Dominum: Matt. 11. Pauperes evangelizantur. In one way with Jerome; it is as if he were saying, A generation to come will be announced, that is, it will be evangelized, so that they might be turned towards the Lord. Also, it will be announced or rather passively announced, as if he were saying “Through the proclamation of the Apostles, that generation will be brought to the Lord” – Matt. 11: The poor will be evangelized.
Vel sic. Bonum generationis annunciabitur per angelos ipsi Deo, non quod ignoret sive indigeat, sed ut ordo servetur, ut dicit Dionysius, et ut dicitur Tob. 12. Ego sum Raphael angelus unus ex septem qui astamus ante Dominum. Et annunciabunt caeli, idest caelestes apostoli: Phil. 3. Nostra conversatio in caelis est: iustitiam eius, non humanam, sed Dei quam repellunt Iudaei: Ro. 10. Ignorantes Dei iustitiam, et suam quaerentes instituere etc. Or thus: The generation’s good will be announced by the angels to God himself, not that he is unknowing or wanting, but so that order is observed, as Dionysius says, and as is said in Tobit 12: I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who stand before the Lord. And the heavens will announce, that is, the apostolic heavens – Phil. 3: Our conversation is in heaven – his justice, not human, but God’s, which the Jews repel – Romans 10: Ignorant of the justice of God, and seeking to establish their own etc.
Quibus annunciabitur, Populo qui nascetur, spirituali generatione: Io. 3. Nisi quis renatus fuerit etc. Hic autem populus non renascitur operatione humana, sed divina: Io. 1. Non ex sanguinibus, neque ex voluntate carnis, neque ex voluntate viri, sed ex Deo nati sunt. Et ideo dicit, Quem fecit Dominus: Ps. 99. Dominus fecit nos etc.these translations are held by the individuals who have translated them. They are offered for public use with the provision that, if copied, they not be altered from their present form, and that the copyright notice remain at the bottom of each translation to ensure that appropriate credit be given to both individual and the Project. Links should be established to this index page. All Biblical translations are taken from the Douay-Rheims version. It will be announced to them, as to a People who are born, by a spiritual generation – John 3: Unless a man be born again etc. However, this people is not born again by human workings, but by divine – John 1: Not from blood, nor from the will of the flesh, nor from the will of man, but from God they were born. And for this reason, he says, Whom the Lord will makePsalm 99: The Lord made us etc.

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St John Chrysostom Homily #2 on Phil 2:6-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 23, 2010

This is the second of two exegetical homilies the Saint preached on these verses.  The first was posted earlier and, as noted there, is much more difficult than the current one.

Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God; but emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, yea, the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave Him the Name which is above every name: that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (+Ph 2,5-11)

701  I Have stated the views of the heretics. It is befitting that I now speak of what is our own. They say that the words, “He counted it not a prize,” are of wrongfully seizing. We have proved, that this is altogether vapid and impertinent, for no man would exhort another to humility on such grounds, nor in this sort does he praise God, or even man. What is it then, beloved? Give heed to what I now say. Since many men think, that, when they are lowly, they are deprived of their proper right, and debased, Paul, to take away this fear, and to show that we must not be affected thus, says that God, the only begotten, who was in the form of God, who was no whit inferior to the Father, who was equal to Him, “counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God.”

Now learn what this meaneth. Whatsoever a man robs, and takes contrary to his right, he dares not lay aside, from fear lest it perish, and fall from his possession, but he keeps hold of it continually. He who possesses some dignity which is natural to him, fears not to descend from that dignity, being assured that nothing of this sort will happen to him. As for example, Absalom usurped the government, and dared not afterwards to lay it aside. We will go to another example, but if example cannot present the whole matter to you, take it not amiss, for this is the nature of examples, they leave the greater part for the imagination to reason out. A man rebels against his sovereign, and usurps the kingdom: he dares not lay aside and hide the matter, for if he once hide it, straightway it is gone. Let us also take another example; if a man takes anything violently, he keeps firm hold of it continually, for if he lay it down, he straightway loses it. And generally speaking, they who have aught by rapine are afraid to lay it by, or hide it, or not to keep constantly in that state which they have assumed. Not so they, who have possessions not procured by rapine, as Man, who possesses the dignity of being a reasonable being. But here examples fail me, for there is no natural preëminence amongst us, for no good thing is naturally our own; but they are inherent in the nature of God. What does one say then? That the Son of God feared not to descend from His right, for He thought not Deity a prize seized. He was not afraid that any would strip Him of that nature or that right, Wherefore He laid it aside, being confident that He should take it up again. He hid it, knowing that He was not made inferior by so doing. For this cause, Paul says not, “He seized not,” but, “He counted it not a prize”; He possessed not that estate by seizure, but it was natural, not conferred, it was enduring and safe. Wherefore he refused not to take the form of an inferior. The tyrant fears to lay aside the purple robe in war, while the king does it with much safety. Why so? because he holds his power not as a matter of seizure. He did not refuse to lay it aside, as one who had usurped it, but since He had it as His own by nature, since it could never be parted from Him, He hid it.

This equality with God He had not by seizure, but as his own by nature. Wherefore “He emptied Himself.” Where be they who affirm, that He underwent constraint, that He was subjected? Scripture says, “He emptied Himself, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death.” How did He empty Himself? By taking “the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man.” It is written, “He emptied Himself” in reference to the text, “each counting other better than himself.” Since had He been subjected, had He not chosen it of His own accord, and of His own free will, it would not have been an act of humility. For if He knew not that so it must be, He would have been imperfect. If, not knowing it, He had waited for the time of action, then would He not have known the season. But if He both knew that so it must be, and when it must be, wherefore should He submit to be subjected? To show, they say, the superiority of the Father. But this shows not the superiority of the Father, but His own inferiority. For is not the name of the Father sufficient to show the priority of the Father? For apart from Him, the son has all the same things. For this honor is not capable of passing from the Father to the Son.

702  What then say the heretics? See, say they, He did not become man. The Marcionites, I mean. But why? He was “made in the likeness of man.” But how can one be “made in the likeness of men”? by putting on a shadow? But this is a phantom, and no longer the likeness of a man, for the likeness of a man is another man. And what wilt thou answer to John, when he says, “The Word became flesh”? (Jn 1,14). But this same blessed one himself also says in another place, “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” (Rm 8,3).

“And being found in fashion as a man.” See, they say, both “in fashion,” and “as a man.” To be as a man, and to be a man in fashion, is not to be a man indeed. To be a man in fashion is not to be a man by nature. See with what ingenuousness I lay down what our enemies say, for that is a brilliant victory, and amply gained, when we do not conceal what seem to be their strong points. For this is deceit rather than victory. What then do they say? let me repeat their argument. To be a man in fashion is not to be a man by nature; and to be as a man, and in the fashion of a man, this is not to be a man. So then to take the form of a servant, is not to take the form of a servant. Here then is an inconsistency; and wherefore do you not first of all solve this difficulty? For as you think that this contradicts us, so do we say that the other contradicts you. He says not, “as the form of a servant,” nor “in the likeness of the form of a servant,” nor “in the fashion of the form of a servant,” but “He took the form of a servant.” What then is this? for there is a contradiction. There is no contradiction. God forbid! it is a cold and ridiculous argument of theirs. He took, say they, the form of a servant, when He girded Himself with a towel, and washed the feet of His disciples. Is this the form of a servant? Nay, this is not the form, but the work of a servant. It is one thing that there should be the work of a servant, and another to take the form of a servant. Why did he not say, He did the work of a servant, which were clearer? But nowhere in Scripture is “form” put for “work,” for the difference is great: the one is the result of nature, the other of action. In common speaking, too, we never use “form” for “work.” Besides, according to them, He did not even take the work of a servant, nor even gird Himself. For if all was a mere shadow, there was no reality. If He had not real hands, how did He wash their feet? If He had not real loins, how did He gird Himself with a towel? and what kind of garments did he take? for Scripture says, “He took His garments.” (Jn 13,12). So then not even the work is found to have really taken place, but it was all a deception, nor did He even wash the disciples. For if that incorporeal nature did not appear, it was not in a body. Who then washed the disciples’ feet?

Again, what in opposition to Paul of Samosata? for what did he affirm? The very same. But it is no emptying of Himself, that one who is of human nature, and a mere man, should wash his fellow-servants. For what we said against the Arians, we must repeat against these too, for they differ not from one another, save by a little space of time; both the one and the other affirm the Son of God to be a creature. What then shall we say to them? If He being a man washed man, He emptied not, He humbled not Himself. If He being a man seized not on being equal with God, He is not deserving of praise. That God should become man, is great, unspeakable, inexpressible humility; but what humility is there in that one, who was a man should do the works of men? And where is the work of God ever called “the form of God”? for if he were a mere man, and was called the form of God by reason of His works, why do we not do the same of Peter, for he wrought greater deeds than Christ Himself? Why say you not of Paul, that he had the form of God? Why did not Paul give an example of himself, for he wrought a thousand servile works, and did not even refuse to say, “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.” (2Co 4,5).

These are absurdities and trifles! Scripture says, He “emptied Himself.” How did He empty Himself? tell me. What was His emptying? what His humiliation? was it because He wrought wonders? This both Paul and Peter did, so that this was not peculiar to the Son. What then means, “Being made in the likeness of men”? He had many things belonging to us, and many He had not; for instance, He was not born of wedlock. He did no sin. These things had He which no man has. He was not what he seemed only, but He was God also; He seemed to be a man, but He was not like the mass of men. For He was like them in flesh. He means then, that He was not a mere man. Wherefore he says, “in the likeness of men.” For we indeed are soul and body, but He was God, and soul and body, wherefore he says, “in the likeness.” For lest when you hear hat He emptied Himself, you should think that some change, and degeneracy, and loss is here; he says, whilst He remained what He was, He took that which He was not, and being made flesh He remained God, in that He was the Word. (Jn 1,14).

703  In this then He was like man, and for this cause Paul says, “and in fashion.” Not that His nature degenerated, nor that any confusion arose, but He became man in fashion. For when He had said that “He took the form of a servant,” he made bold to say this also, seeing that the first would silence all objectors; since when he says, “In the likeness of sinful flesh,” he says not that He had not flesh, but that that flesh sinned not, but was like to sinful flesh. Like in what? in nature, not in sin, therefore was His like a sinful soul. As then in the former case the term similarity was used, because He was not equal in everything, so here also there is similarity, because He is not equal in everything, as His not being born of wedlock, His being without sin, His being not a mere man. And he well said “as a man,” for He was not one of the many, but “as” one of the many. The Word who was God did not degenerate into man, nor was His substance changed, but he appeared as a man; not to delude us with a phantom, but to instruct us in humility. When therefore he says, “as a man,” this is what He means; since he calls Him a man elsewhere also, when he says, “there is one God, one Mediator also between God and men, Himself man, Christ Jesus.” (1Tm 2,5).

Thus much against these heretics. I must now speak against such as deny that He took a soul. If “the form of God” is “perfect God,” then the “form of a servant” is “a perfect servant.” Again, against the Arians. Here concerning His divinity, we no longer find “He became,” “He took,” but “He emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men”; here concerning his humanity we find “He took, He became.” He became the latter, He took the latter; He was the former. Let us not then confound nor divide the natures. There is one God, there is one Christ, the Son of God; when I say “One,” I mean a union, not a confusion; the one Nature did not degenerate into the other, but was united with it.

“He humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death, yea, the death of the cross.” See, says one, He voluntarily became obedient; he was not equal to Him whom He obeyed. O ye obstinate ones and unwise! This cloth not at all lower Him. For we too become obedient to our friends, yet this has no effect. He became obedient as a Son to His Father; He fell not thus into a servile state, but by this very act above all others guarded his wondrous Sonship, by thus greatly honoring the Father. He honored the Father, not that thou shouldest dishonor Him, but that thou shouldest the rather admire Him, and learn from this act, that He is a true Son, in honoring His Father more than all besides. No one hath thus honored God. As was His height, such was the correspondent humiliation which He underwent. As He is greater than all, and no one is equal to Him, so in honoring His Father, He surpassed all, not by necessity, nor unwillingly, but this too is part of His excellence; yea, words fail me. Truly it is a great and unspeakable thing, that He became a servant; that He underwent death, is far greater; but there is something still greater, and more strange; why? All deaths are not alike; His death scented to be the most ignominious of all, to be full of shame, to be accursed; for it is written, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Dt 21,23 Ga 3,13). For this cause the Jews also eagerly desired to slay Him in this manner, to make Him a reproach, that if no one fell away from Him by reason of His death, yet they might from the manner of His death. For this cause two robbers were crucified with Him, and He in the midst, that He might share their ill repute, and that the Scripture might be fulfilled, “And he was numbered with the transgressors.” (Is 53,12). Yet so much the more doth truth shine forth, so much the more doth it become bright; for when His enemies plot such things against His glory, and it yet shines forth, so much the greater does the matter seem. Not by slaying Him, but by slaying Him in such sort did they think to make Him abominable, to prove Him more abominable than all men, but they availed nothing. And both the robbers also were such impious ones, (for it was afterward that the one repented,) that, even when on the cross, they reviled Him; neither the consciousness of their own sins, nor their present punishment, nor their suffering the same things themselves, restrained their madness. Wherefore the one spake to the other, and silenced him by saying, “Dost thou not even fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?” (Lc 23,40). So great was their wickedness. Wherefore it is written, “God also highly exalted Him, and gave Him the Name which is above every name.”

704  When the blessed Paul hath made mention of the flesh, he fearlessly speaks of all His humiliation. For until he had mentioned that He took the form of a servant, and while he was speaking of His Divinity, behold how loftily he doth it, (loftily, I say, according to his power; for he speaks not according to His own worthiness, seeing that he is not able). “Being in the form of God, He counted it not a prize to be equal with God.” But when he had said, that He became Man, henceforth he fearlessly discourseth of His low estate, being confident that the mention of His low estate would not harm His Divinity, since His flesh admitted this.

When the blessed Paul hath made mention of the flesh, he fearlessly speaks of all His humiliation. For until he had mentioned that He took the form of a servant, and while he was speaking of His Divinity, behold how loftily he doth it, (loftily, I say, according to his power; for he speaks not according to His own worthiness, seeing that he is not able). “Being in the form of God, He counted it not a prize to be equal with God.” But when he had said, that He became Man, henceforth he fearlessly discourseth of His low estate, being confident that the mention of His low estate would not harm His Divinity, since His flesh admitted this.

+Ph 2,9-11. “Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave Him the Name which is above every name: that in the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Let us say against the heretics, If this is spoken of one who was not incarnate, if of God the Word, how did He highly exalt Him? Was it as if He gave Him something more than He had before? He would then have been imperfect in this point, and would have been made perfect for our sakes. For if He had not done good deeds to us, He would not have obtained that honor! “And gave Him the Name.” See, He had not even a name, as you say! But how, if He received it as His due, is He found here to have received it by grace, and as a gift? And that “the Name which is above every name”: and of what kind, let us see, is the Name? “That at the Name of Jesus,” saith He, “every knee should bow.” They (the heretics) explain name by glory. This glory then is above all glory, and this glory is in short that all worship Him! But ye hold yourselves far off from the greatness of God, who think that ye know God, as He knoweth Himself, and from this it is plain, how far off ye are from right thoughts of God. And this is plain from hence. Is this, tell me, glory? Therefore before men were created, before the angels or the archangels, He was not in glory. If this be the glory which is above every glory, for this is the name that is “above every name,”). though He were in glory before, yet was He in glory inferior to this. It was for this then that He made the things that are, that He might be raised to glory, not from His own goodness, but because He required glory from us! See ye not their folly? see ye not their impiety?

Now if they had said this of Him that was incarnate, there had been reason, for God the Word allows that this be said of His flesh. It touches not His divine nature, but has to do altogether with the dispensation. What means “of things in heaven, and things in the earth, and things under the earth”? It means the whole world, and angels, and men, and demons; or that both the just and the living and sinners,

“And every tongue,” should “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” That is, that all should say so; and this is glory to the Father. Seest thou how wherever the Son is glorified, the Father is also glorified? Thus too when the Son is dishonored, the Father is dishonored also. If this be so with us, where the difference is great between fathers and sons, much more in respect of God, where there is no difference, doth honor and insult pass on to Him. If the world be subjected to the Son, this is glory to the Father. And so when we say that He is perfect, wanting nothing, and not inferior to the Father, this is glory to the Father, that he begat such a one. This is a great proof of His power also, and goodness, and wisdom, that He begat one no whit inferior, neither in wisdom nor in goodness. When I say that He is wise as the Father, and no whit inferior, this is a proof of the great wisdom of the Father; when I say that He is powerful as the Father, this is a proof of the Father’s power. When I say that He is good as the Father, this is the greatest evidence of His goodness, that He begat such (a Son), in no whir less or inferior to Himself. When I say that He begat Him not inferior in substance but equal, and not of another substance, in this I again wonder at God, His power, and goodness, and wisdom, that He hath manifested to us another, of Himself, such as Himself, except in His not being the Father. Thus whatsoever great things I say of the Son, pass on to the Father. Now if this small and light matter (for it is but a light thing to God’s glory that the world should worship Him) is to the glory of God, how much more so are all those other things?

Let us then believe to His glory, let us live to His glory, for one is no use without the other; when we glorify Him rightly, but live not rightly, then do we especially insult Him, because we are enrolled under Him as a Master and Teacher, and yet despise Him, and stand in no dread of that fearful judgment seat. It is no wonder that the heathen live impurely; this merits not such condemnation. But that Christians, who partake in such great mysteries, who enjoy so great glory, that they should live thus impurely, this is worst of all, and unbearable. For tell me; He was obedient to the uttermost, wherefore He received the honor which is on high. He became a servant, wherefore He is Lord of all, both of Angels, and of all other. Let us too not suppose then that we descend from what is our due, when we humble ourselves. For thus may we be more highly exalted; and with reason; then do we especially become admirable. For that the lofty man is really low, and that the lowly man is exalted, the sentence of Christ sufficiently declares. Let us however examine the matter itself. What is it to be humbled? Is it not to be blamed, to be accused, and calumniated? What is it to be exalted? It is to be honored, to be praised, to be glorified. Well. Let us see how the matter is. Satan was an angel, he exalted himself. What then? was he not humbled beyond all other? has he not the earth as his place? is he not condemned and accused by all? Paul was a man, and humbled himself. What then? is he not admired? is he not praised? is he not lauded? is he not the friend of Christ? Wrought he not greater things than Christ? did he not ofttimes command the devil as a captive slave? did he not carry him about as an executioner? did he not hold him up to scorn? held he not his head bruised under his feet? did he not with much boldness beg of God that others too might do the same? Why am I saying? Absalom exalted himself, David humbled himself; which of the twain was raised up, which became glorious? For what could be a more evident proof of humility than these words which that blessed Prophet spoke of Shimei, “Let him curse, for the Lord hath bidden him.” (2S 16,11). And if you please, we will examine the very cases themselves. The Publican humbled himself, although the case can hardly be called humility; but how? He answered in a right-minded manner. The Pharisee exalted himself. What then? let us also examine the matters. Let there be two men, both rich, and highly honored, and elevated by wisdom and power, and other worldly advantages; then let one of them seek honor from all, let him be angry if he receive it not, let him require more than is due and exalt himself; let the other despise the whole matter, bear himself unkindly towards no one on this account, and evade honor when offered to him. For it is not possible to obtain glory any other way than by fleeing from glory, for as long as we pursue it, it flies from us, but when we flee from it, then it pursues us. If thou wouldest be glorious, do not desire glory. If thou wouldest be lofty, do not make thyself lofty. And further, all honor him who does not grasp at honor, but spurn him who seeks it. For the human race somehow or other is fond of contention, and leans to contrary feeling. Let us therefore despise glory, for thus we shall be enabled to become lowly, or rather to become exalted. Exalt not thyself, that thou mayest be exalted by another; he that is exalted by himself is not exalted by others, he who is humbled by himself is not humbled by others. Haughtiness is a great evil, it is better to be a fool than haughty; for in the one case, the folly is only a perversion of intellect, but in the other case it is still worse, and is folly joined with madness: the fool is an evil to himself; but the haughty man is a plague to others too. This misery comes of senselessness. One cannot be haughty-minded without being a fool; and he that is brimfull of folly is haughty.

Listen to the Wise Man, who says, “I saw a man wise in his own conceit; there is more hope of a fool than of him.” (Pr 26,12). Seest thou how it was not without reason I said that the evil of which I am speaking is worse than that of folly, for it is written, “There is more hope of a fool than of him”? Wherefore, Paul too said, “Be not wise in your own conceits.” (Rm 12,16). Tell me what description of bodies do we say are in good health, those which are much inflated, and are inwardly full of much air and water, or those which are kept low, and have their surface such as marks restraint? It is manifest that we should choose the latter. So, too with the soul, that which is puffed up has a worse disease than dropsy, whilst that which is under restraint is freed from all evil.

How great then are the good things which lowliness of mind bringeth to us! What wouldest thou have? Forbearance? freedom from anger? love to our fellow-men? soberness? attentiveness? All these good things spring from lowly-mindedness, and their contraries from haughtiness: the haughty man must needs be also insolent, a brawler, wrathful, bitter, sullen, a beast rather than a man. Art thou strong, and proud thereat? Thou shouldest rather be humble on this account. Why art thou proud for a thing of nought? For even a lion is bolder than thou, a wild boar is stronger, and thou art not even as a fly in comparison with them. Robbers too, and violaters of tombs, and gladiators, and even thine own slaves, and those perchance who are more stupid still, are stronger than thou. Is this then a fit subject for praise? Art thou proud of such a matter? Bury thyself for shame!

But art thou handsome and beautiful? This is the boast of crows! Thou art not fairer than the peacock, as regards either its color or its plumage; the bird beats thee in plumage, it far surpasseth thee in its feathers and in its color. The swan too is passing fair, and many other birds, with whom if thou art compared thou wilt see that thou art nought. Often too worthless boys, and unmarried girls, and harlots, and effeminate men have had this boast; is this then a cause for haughtiness? But art thou rich? Whence so? what hast thou? Gold, silver, precious stones! This is the boast of robbers also, of man-slayers, of those who work in the mines. That which is the labor of criminals becomes to thee a boast! But dost thou adorn and deck thyself out? Well, we may see horses also decked out, and among the Persians camels too, and as for men, all those who are about the stage. Art thou not ashamed to boast thyself of these things, if unreasoning animals, and slaves, and man-slayers, and effeminate, and robbers, and violaters of tombs, share with thee? Dost thou build splendid palaces? and what of this? Many jackdaws dwell in more splendid houses, and have more noble retreats. Dost thou not see how many, who were mad after money, have built houses in fields and desert places, that are retreats for jackdaws? But art thou proud on account of thy voice. Thou canst by no means sing with clearer and sweeter tones than the swan or the nightingale. Is it for thy varied knowledge of arts? But what is wiser than the bee in this; what embroiderer, what painter, what geometrician, can imitate her works? Is it for the fineness of thy apparel? But here the spiders beat thee. Is it for the swiftness of thy feet? Again the first prize is with unreasoning animals, the hare, and the gazelle, and all the beasts which are not wanting in swiftness of foot. Hast thou traveled much? Not more than the birds; their transit is more easily made, they have no need of provisions for the way, nor beasts of burden, for their wings are all-sufficient for them; this is their vessel, this their beast of burden, this their car, this is even their wind, in short, all that a man can name. But art thou clear sighted? Not as the gazelle; not as the eagle. Art thou quick of hearing? the ass is more so. Of scent? the hound suffers thee not to surpass him. Art thou a good provider? yet thou art inferior to the ant. Dost thou gather gold? Yet not as the Indian ants. Art thou proud because of thy health? Unreasoning creatures are far better than we both in habit of body, and in independence; they fear no poverty. “Behold the birds of the heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns.” (Mt 6,26). “And surely,” He means, “God has not created the irrational animals superior to ourselves.” Dost thou mark what want of consideration is here? Dost thou observe the lack of all investigation? Dost thou observe the great advantage which we derive from an investigation of the points? He, whose mind is lifted up above all men, is found to be even lower than the irrational creatures.

But we will have pity upon him, and not follow his example; nor because the limits of our mortal nature are too narrow for his conceit of himself, will we proceed to lower him to the level of the beasts that are without reason, but will lift him up from thence, not for his own sake, for he deserves no better fate, but that we may set forth the lovingkindness of God, and the honor which He has vouchsafed us. For there are things, yes, there are things wherein the irrational animals have no participation with us. And of what sort are these? Piety, and a life based on virtue. Here thou canst never speak of fornicators, nor of effeminate persons, nor of murderers, for from them we have been severed. And what then is this which is found here? We know God, His Providence we acknowledge, and are embued with true philosophy concerning immortality. Here let the irrational animals give place. They cannot contend with us in these points. We live in self-command. Here the irrational animals have nothing in common with us. For, while coming behind all of them, we exercise dominion over them; for herein lies the superiority of our dominion, that, while coming behind them, we yet reign over them: that thou mightest be instructed that the cause of these things is, not thyself, but God who made thee, and gave thee reason. We set nets and toils for them, we drive them in, and they are at our mercy.

Self-command, a compliant temper, mildness, contempt of money, are prerogatives of our race; but since thou who art one o those blinded by presumption hast none of these, thou doest well in entertaining notions either above the level of mankind, or beneath the very irrational creatures. For this is the nature of folly and of audacity; it is either unduly elevated, or on the other hand it is equally depressed, never observing a proper proportion. We are equal to angels in this respect, that we have a Kingdom pledged to us, the choir, unto which Christ is joined. He that is a man may be scourged, yet does he not succumb. A man laughs at death, is a stranger to fear and trembling, he does not covet more than he has. So that they all who are not like this are beneath the irrational animals. For when in the things of the body thou wouldest have the advantage, but hast no advantage in the things that concern the soul, how art thou aught else than inferior to the irrational animals? For bring forward one of the vicious and unthinking, of those that are living in excess and to self. The horse surpasses him in warlike spirit, the boar in strength, the hare in swiftness, the peacock in grace, the swan in fineness of voice, the elephant in size, the eagle in keenness of sight, all birds in wealth. Whence then dost thou derive thy title to rule the irrational creatures? from reason? But thou hast it not? For whosoever ceases to make a due use of it, is again inferior to them; for whenthough possessing reason he is more irrational than they, it had been better if he had never from the first become capable of exercising reason. For it is not the same thing after having received dominion to betray the trust, as to let pass the season to receive it. That sovereign, who is below the level of his guards, had better never have had on the purple. And it is the very self-same thing in this case. Knowing then that without virtue we are inferior to the very irrational animals, let us exercise ourselves therein, that we may become men, yea rather angels, and that we may enjoy the promised blessings, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, &c).

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St John Chrysostom’s Homily #1 On Phil 2:6-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 23, 2010

St John Chrysostom preached at least two homilies on the Philippians Hymn.  The first, posted here, is very lengthy (over 6,000 words) and focuses on its doctrinal teaching concerning the Person of Christ in opposition to a number of heresies.  The subject matter, in other words, is Christology.  Those not familiar with the subject might wish to skip this first sermon for the second one, which is more of a moral exegesis of the text.

Have this mind in you which was also in Christ Jesus who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient even unto death, yea, the death of the cross. (+Ph 2,5-9)

601  Our Lord Jesus Christ, when exhorting His disciples to great actions, places before them Himself, and the Father, and the Prophets, as examples; as when He says, “For thus they did unto the Prophets which were before you” (Mt 5,12 Lc 6,23).; and again, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (Jn 15,20).; and, “Learn of me, for I am meek” (Mt 11,29).; and again, “Be ye merciful, as your Father which is in heaven is merciful.” (Lc 6,36). This too the blessed Paul did; in exhorting them to humility, he brought forward Christ. And he does so not here only, but also when he discourses of love towards the poor, he speaks in this wise. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor.” (2Co 8,9). Nothing rouses a great and philosophic soul to the performance of good works, so much as learning that in this it is likened to God. What encouragement is equal to this? None. This Paul well knowing, when he would exhort them to humility, first beseeches and supplicates them, then to awe them he says, “That ye stand fast in one Spirit”; he says also, that it “is for them an evident token of perdition, but of your salvation.” (Ph 1,27-28). And last of all he says this, “Have this mind in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking upon Him the form of a servant.” (Ph 2,5-7). Attend, I entreat you, and rouse yourselves. For as a sharp two-edged sword, wheresoever it falls, though it be among ten thousand phalanxes, easily cuts through and destroys, because it is sharp on every side, and nought can bear its edge; so are the words of the Spirit. (He 4,12 Ap 1,16). For by these words he has laid low the followers of Arius of Alexandria, of Paul of Samosata, of Marcellus the Galatian, of Sabellius the Libyan, of Marcion that was of Pontus, of Valentinus, of Manes, of Apollinarius of Laodicea, of Photinus, of Sophronius, and, in one word, all the heresies. Rouse yourselves then to behold so great a spectacle, so many armies falling by one stroke, lest the pleasure of such a sight should escape you. For if when chariots contend in the horse race there is nothing so pleasing as when one of them dashes against and overthrows whole chariots with their drivers, and after throwing down many with the charioteers that stood thereon, drives by alone towards the goal, and the end of the course, and amid the applause and clamor which rises on all sides to heaven, with coursers winged as it were by that joy and that applause, sweeps over the whole ground; how much greater will the pleasure be here, when by the grace of God we overthrow at once and in a body the combinations and devilish machinations of all these heresies together with their charioteers?

And if it seem good to you, we will first arrange the heresies themselves in order. Would you have them in the order of their impiety, or of their dates? In the order of time, for it is difficult to judge of the order of their impiety. First then let Sabellius the Libyan come forward. What does he assert? that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are mere names given to one Person. Marcion of Pontus says, that God the Creator of all things is not good, nor the Father of the good Christ, but another righteous one, and that he did not take flesh for us. Marcellus, and Photinus, and Sophronius assert, that the Word is an energy, and that it was this energy that dwelt in Him who was of the seed of David, and not a personal substance.

Arius confesses indeed the Son, but only in word; he says that He is a creature, and much inferior to the Father. And others say that He has not a soul. Seest thou the chariots standing? See then their fall, how he overthrows them all together, and with a single stroke. How? “Have the same mind in you,” he says, “which was in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God.” And Paul of Samosata has fallen, and Marcellus, and Sabellius. For he says, “Being in the form of God.” If “in the form” how sayest thou, O wicked one, that He took His origin from Mary, and was not before? and how dost thou say that He was an energy? For it is written, “The form of God took the form of a servant.” “The form of a servant,” is it the energy of a servant, or the nature of a servant? By all means, I fancy, the nature of a servant. Thus too the form of God, is the nature of God, and therefore not an energy. Behold also Marcellus of Galatia, Sophronius and Photinus have fallen.

602  Behold Sabellius too. It is written, “He counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God.” Now equality is not predicated, where there is but one person, for that which is equal hath somewhat to which it is equal. Seest thou not the substance of two Persons, and not empty names without things? Hearest thou not the eternal pre-existence of the Only-begotten?

Lastly, What shall we say against Arius, who asserts the Son is of a different substance? Tell me now, what means, “He took the form of a servant”? It means, He became man. Wherefore “being in the form of God,” He was God. For one “form” and another “form” is named; if the one be true, the other is also. “The form of a servant” means, Man by nature, wherefore “the form of God” means, God by nature. And he not only bears record of this, but of His equality too, as Jn also doth, that he is no way inferior to the Father, for he saith, “He thought it not a thing to seize, to be equal with God.” Now what is their wise reasoning? Nay, say they, he proves the very contrary; for he says, that, “being in the form of God, He seized not equality with God.” How if He were God, how was He able “to seize upon it”? and is not this without meaning? Who would say that one, being a man, seized not on being a man? for how would any one seize on that which he is? No, say they, but he means that being a little God, He seized not upon being equal to the great God, Who was greater than He. Is there a great and a little God? And do ye bring in the doctrines of the Greeks upon those of the Church? With them there is a great and a little God. If it be so with you, I know not. For you will find it nowhere in the Scriptures: there you will find a great God throughout, a little one nowhere. If He were little, how would he also be God? If man is not little and great, but one nature, and if that which is not of this one nature is not man, how can there be a little God and a great one?

(He who is not of that nature is not God. For He is everywhere called great in Scripture; “Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised.” (Ps 48,1). This is said of the Son also, for it always calls Him Lord. “Thou art great, and doest wondrous things. Thou art God alone.” (Ps 86,10). And again, “Great is our Lord, and great is His power, and of His greatness there is no end.” (Ps 145,3).

But the Son, he says, is little. But it is thou that sayest this, for the Scripture says the contrary: as of the Father, so it speaks of the Son; for listen to Paul, saying, “Looking for the blessed hope, and appearing of the glory of our great God.” (Tt 2,13). But can he have said “appearing” of the Father? Nay, that he may the more convince you, he has added with reference to the appearing “of the great God.” Is it then not said of the Father? By no means. For the sequel suffers it not which says, “The appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” See, the Son is great also. How then speakest thou of small and great?

Listen to the Prophet too, calling him “The Messenger of great counsel.” (Is 9,6). “The Messenger of great counsel,” is He not great Himself? “The mighty God,” is He small and not great? What mean then these shameless and reckless men when they say, that being little He is a God? I repeat ofttimes what they say, that ye may the more avoid them. He being a lesser God seized not for Himself to be like the greater God! Tell me now (but think not that these words are mine), if he were little, as they say, and far inferior to the Father in power, how could He possibly have seized to Himself equality with God? For an inferior nature could not seize for himself admission into that which is great; for example, a man could not seize on becoming equal to an angel in nature; a horse could not, though he wished it, seize on being equal to a man in nature. But besides all that, I will say this too. What does Paul wish to establish by this example? Surely, to lead the Philippians to humility. To what purpose then did he bring forward this example? For no one who would exhort to humility speaks thus; “Be thou humble, and think less of thyself than of thine equals in honor, for such an one who is a slave has not risen against his master; do thou imitate him.” This, any one would say, is not humility, but arrogance. Learn ye what humility is, ye who have a devilish pride! What then is humility? To be lowly minded. And he is lowly minded who humbles himself, not he who is lowly by necessity. To explain what I say; and do ye attend; he who is lowly minded, when he has it in his power to be high minded, is humble, but he who is so because he is not able to be high minded, is no longer humble. For instance, If a King subjects himself to his own officer, he is humble, for he descends from his high estate; but if an officer does so, he will not be lowly minded; for how? he has not humbled himself from any high estate. It is not possible to show humble-mindedness except it be in our power to do otherwise. For if it is necessary for us to be humble even against our will, that excellency comes not from the spirit or the will, but from necessity. This virtue is called humble-mindedness, because it is the humbling of the mind.

603  If he who has it not in his power to snatch at another’s goods, continues in the possession of his own; should we praise him, think you, for his justice? I trow not, and why? The praise of free choice is taken away by the necessity. If he, who has it not in his power to usurp and be a king, remains a private citizen, should we praise him for his quietness? I trow not. The same rule applies here. For praise, O ye most senseless ones, is not given for abstaining from these things, but for the performance of good deeds; for the former is free indeed from blame, but partakes not yet of praise, while eulogy of the other is meet. Observe accordingly that Christ gives praise on this principle, when He says, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, and ye gave Me meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave Me drink.” (Mt 25,34 Mt 25,35). He did not say, Because ye have not been covetous, because ye have not robbed; these are slight things; but because “ye saw Me an hungered, and fed Me.” Who ever praised either his friends or his enemies in this sort? No one ever praised even Paul. Why say Paul? no one ever praised even a common man, as thou dost praise Christ, because he did not take that rule which was not his due. To admire for such things as this, is to give evidence of much evil. And why? because with evil men this is a matter of praise, as of one that stealeth, if he steal no more; but it is otherwise among good men. (Ep 4,28). Because a man has not seized on a rule and an honor which was not his due, is he praiseworthy? What folly is this?

Attend, I entreat you, for the reasoning is long. Again, who would ever exhort to humility from such grounds as this? Examples ought to be much greater than the subject, to which we are exhorting, for no one will be moved by what is foreign to the subject. For instance, when Christ would lead us to do good to our enemies, He brought a great example, even that of His Father, “For He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.” (Mt 5,45). When He would lead to endurance of wrong He brought an example, “Learn of Me, for I am meek and lowly in heart.” (Mt 11,29). And again, “If I your Lord and Master do these things, how much more should ye”? (Jn 13,14). Seest thou how these examples are not distant, for there is no need they should be so distant, for indeed we also do these things, especially as in this case the example is not even near. And how? If He be a servant, He is inferior, and subject to Him that is greater; but this is not lowliness of mind. It was requisite to show the contrary, namely, that the greater person subjected himself to the lesser. But since he found not this distinction in the case of God, between greater and lesser, he made at least an equality. Now if the Son were inferior, this were not a sufficient example to lead us to humility. And why? because it is not humility, for the lesser not to rise against the greater, not to snatch at rule, and to be “obedient unto death.”

Again, consider what he says after the example, “In lowliness of mind, each counting other better than themselves.” (Ph 2,3). He says, “counting,” for as ye are one in substance, and in the honor which cometh of God, it follows that the matter is one of estimation. Now in the case of those who are greater and lesser, he would not have said “counting,” but honor them that are better than yourselves, as he says in another place, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them.” (He 13,17). In that instance subjection is the result of the nature of the case, in this of our own judgment. “In lowliness of mind,” he says, “each counting other better than themselves,” as Christ also did.

Thus are their explanations overthrown. It remains that I speak of our own after I have first spoken of theirs summarily. When exhorting to lowliness of mind, Paul would never have brought forward a lesser one, as obedient to a greater. If he were exhorting servants to obey their masters, he might have done so with propriety, but when exhorting the free to obey the free, to what purpose could he bring forward the subjection of a servant to a master? of a lesser to a greater? He says not, “Let the lesser be subject to the greater,” but ye who are of equal honor with each other be ye subject, “each counting other better than themselves.” Why then did he not bring forward even the obedience of the wife, and say, As the wife obeys her husband, so do ye also obey. Now if he did not bring forward that state in which there is equality and liberty, since in that the subjection is but slight, how much less would he have brought forward the subjection of a slave? I said above, that no one so praises a man for abstaining from evil, nor even mentions him at all; no one who desires to praise a man for continence would say, he has not committed adultery, but, he has abstained from his own wife; for we do not consider abstinence from evil as a matter of praise at all, it would be ridiculous.

I said that the “form of a servant” was a true form, and nothing less. Therefore “the form of God” also is perfect, and no less. Why says he not, “being made in the form of God,” but “being in the form of God”? This is the same as the saying, “I am that I am.” (Ex 3,14). “Form” implies unchangeableness, so far as it is form. It is not possible that things of one substance should have the form of another, as no man has the form of an angel, neither has a beast the form of a man. How then should the Son?

Now in our own case, since we men are of a compound nature, form pertains to the body, but in the case of a simple and altogether uncompounded nature it is of the substance. But if thou contendest that he speaks not of the Father, because the word is used without the article, in many places this is meant, though the word be used without the article. Why say I, in many places? for in this very place he says, “He counted it not a prize to be on an equality with God,” using the word without the article, though speaking of God the Father.

I would add our own explanation, but I fear that I shall overwhelm your minds. Meanwhile remember what has been said for their refutation; meanwhile let us root out the thorns, and then we will scatter the good seed after that the thorns have been rooted out, and a little rest has been given to the land; that when rid of all the evil thence contracted, it may receive the divine seed with full virtue.

604  Let us give thanks to God for what has been spoken; let us entreat Him to grant us the guarding and safe keeping thereof, that both we and ye may rejoice, and the heretics may be put to shame. Let us beseech Him to open our mouth for what follows, that we may with the same earnestness lay down our own views. Let us supplicate Him to vouchsafe us a life worthy of the faith, that we may live to His glory, and that His name may not be blasphemed through us. For, “woe unto you,” it is written, “through whom the name of God is blasphemed.” (Is 52,5), LXX. nearly). For if, when we have a son, (and what is there more our own than a son,) if therefore when we have a son, and are blasphemed through him, we publicly renounce him, turn away from him, and will not receive him; how much more will God, when He has ungrateful servants who blaspheme and insult Him, turn away from them and hate them? And who will take up him whom God hates and turns away from, but the Devil and the demons? And whomsoever the demons take, what hope of salvation is left for him? what consolation in life?

As long as we are in the hand of God, “no one is able to pluck us out” (Jn 10,28)., for that hand is strong; but when we fall away from that hand and that help, then are we lost, then are we exposed, ready to be snatched away, as a “bowing wall, and a tottering fence” (Ps 62,3).; when the wall is weak, it will be easy for all to surmount. Think not this which I am about to say refers to Jerusalem alone, but to all men. And what was spoken of Jerusalem? “Now will I sing to my well-beloved a song of my beloved touching His vineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill, and I made a fence about it, and surrounded it with a dike, and planted it with the vine of Sorech, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also dug a wine press in it, and I looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth thorns. And now, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, judge between Me and My vineyard. What should have been done to My vineyard, that I have not done to it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth thorns? Now therefore I will tell you what I will do to My vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be for a prey, and I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down. And I will leave My vineyard, and it shall not be pruned or digged, but thorns shall come up upon it, as upon a desert land. I will also command the clouds, that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of Sabaoth is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His pleasant plant. I looked that it should do judgment, but it did iniquity, and a cry instead of righteousness.” (Is 5,1-7), LXX). This is spoken also of every soul. For when God who loveth man hath done all that is needful and man then bringeth forth thorns instead of grapes, He will take away the fence, and break down the wall, and we shall be for a prey. For hear what another prophet speaks in his lamentations: “Why hast thou broken down her fences, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? The boar out of the wood doth ravage it, and the wild beasts of the field feed on it.” (Ps 80,12-13). In the former place He speaks of the Mede and the Babylonian, here nought is said of them, but “the boar,” and “the solitary beast” is the Devil and all his host, because of the ferocity and impurity of his disposition. For when it would show us his rapacity, it saith, “As a roaring lion he walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1P 5,8).: when his poisonous, his deadly, his destructive nature, it calleth him a snake, and a scorpion; “For tread,” saith He, “upon serpents and scorpions, and upon all the power of the enemy” (Lc 10,19).: when it would represent his strength as well as his venom, it calleth him a dragon; as when it says, This dragon “whom thou hast formed to take his pastime therein.” (Ps 104,26). Scripture everywhere calleth him a dragon, and a crooked serpent, and an adder (Ps 74,13 Ps 74,14).; he is a beast of many folds, and varied in his devices, and his strength is great, he moves all things, he disturbs all things, he turns all things up and down. (Is 27,1 Is 51,9 Ez 29,3 Ez 32,2). But fear not, neither be afraid; watch only, and he will be as a sparrow; “for,” saith He, “tread upon serpents and scorpions.” If we will, He causes him to be trodden down under our feet.

See now what scorn is it, yea, what misery, to see him standing over our heads, who has been given to us to tread down. And whence is this? it is of ourselves. If we choose, he becomes great; and if we choose, he becomes of small power. If we take heed to ourselves, and take up our stand with Him who is our King, he draws himself in, and will be no better than a little child in his warfare against us. Whensoever we stand apart from Him, he puffeth himself up greatly, he uttereth terrible sounds, he grindeth his teeth, because he finds us without our greatest help. For he will not approach to us, except God permit him; for if he dared not to enter into the herd of swine, except by God’s permission, how much less into men’s souls. But God does permit him, either chastening or punishing us, or making us more approved, as in the case of Jb Seest thou that he came not to him, neither dared to be near him, but trembled and quaked? Why speak I of Job? When he leaped upon Judas, he dared not to seize on him wholly, and to enter into him, until Christ had severed him from the sacred band. He attacked him indeed from without, but he dared not enter in, but when he saw him cut off from that holy flock, he leaped upon him with more than wolfish vehemence, and left him not till he had slain him with a double death.

These things are written for our admonition. What gain have we from knowing that one of the twelve was a traitor? what profit? what advantage? Much. For, when we know whence it was that he arrived at this deadly counsel, we are on our guard that we too suffer not the like. Whence came he to this? From the love of money. He was a thief. For thirty pieces of silver he betrayed his Lord. So drunken was he with the passion, he betrayed the Lord of the world for thirty pieces of silver. What can be worse than this madness? Him to whom nothing is equivalent, nothing is equal, “before whom the nations are as nothing” (Is 40,15)., Him did he betray for thirty pieces of silver. A grievous tyrant indeed is the love of gold, and terrible in putting the soul beside itself. A man is not so beside himself through drunkenness as through love of money, not so much from madness and insanity as from love of money.

For tell me, why didst thou betray Him? He called thee, when a man unmarked and unknown. He made thee one of the twelve, He gave thee a share in His teaching, He promised thee ten thousand good things, He caused thee to work wonders, thou wert sharer of the same table, the same journeys, the same company, the same intercourse, as the rest. And were not these things sufficient to restrain thee? For what reason didst thou betray Him? What hadst thou to charge Him with, O wicked one? Rather, what good didst thou not receive at His hands? He knew thy mind, and ceased not to do His part. He often said, “One of you shall betray Me.” (Mt 26,21). He often marked thee, and yet spared thee, and though He knew thee to be such an one, yet cast thee not out of the band. He still bore with thee, He still honored thee, and loved thee, as a true disciple, and as one of the twelve, and last of all (oh, for thy vileness!), He took a towel, and with His own unsullied hands He washed thy polluted feet, and even this did not keep thee back. Thou didst steal the things of the poor, and that thou mightest not go on to greater sin, He bore this too. Nothing persuaded thee. Hadst thou been a beast, or a stone, wouldest thou not have been changed by these kindnesses towards thee, by these wonders, by these teachings? Though thou wast thus brutalized, yet still He called thee, and by wondrous works He drew thee, thou wast more senseless than a stone, to Himself. Yet for none of these things didst thou become better.

Ye wonder perhaps at such folly of the traitor; dread therefore that which wounded him. He became such from avarice, from the love of money. Cut out this passion, for to these diseases does it give birth; it makes us impious, and causes us to be ignorant of God, though we have received ten thousand benefits at His hands. Cut it out, I entreat you, it is no common disease, it knoweth how to give birth to a thousand destructive deaths. We have seen his tragedy. Let us fear lest we too fall into the same snares. For this is it written, that we too should not suffer the same things. Hence did all the Evangelists relate it, that they might restrain us. Flee then far from it. Covetousness consisteth not alone in the love of much money, but in loving money at all. It is grievous avarice to desire more than we need. Was it talents of gold that persuaded the traitor? For thirty pieces of silver he betrayed his Lord. Do ye not remember what I said before, that covetousness is not shown in receiving much, but rather in receiving little things? See how great a crime he committed for a little gold, rather not for gold, but for pieces of silver.

606  It cannot, it cannot be that an avaricious man should ever see the face of Christ! This is one of the things which are impossible. It is a root of evils, and if he that possesses one evil thing, falls from that glory, where shall he stand who bears with him the root? He who is the servant of money cannot be a true servant of Christ. Christ Himself hath declared that the thing is impossible. “Ye cannot,” He says, “serve God and Mammon,” and, “No man can serve two masters” (Mt 6,24)., for they lay upon us contrary orders. Christ says, “Spare the poor”; Mammon says, “Even from the naked strip off the things they have.” Christ says, “Empty thyself of what thou hast”; Mammon says, “Take also what thou hast not.” Seest thou the opposition, seest thou the strife? How is it that a man cannot easily obey both, but must despise one? Nay, does it need proof? How so? Do we not see in very deed, that Christ is despised, and Mammon honored? Perceive ye not how that the very words are painful? How much more then the thing itself? But it does not appear so painful in reality, because we are possessed with the disease. Now if the soul be but a little cleansed of the disease, as long as it remains here, it can judge right; but when it departs elsewhere, and is seized by the fever, and is engaged in the pleasure of the thing, it hath not its perception clear, it hath not its tribunal uncorrupt. Christ says, “Whosoever he be of you that renounceth not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple” (Lc 14,33).; Mammon says, “Take the bread from the hungry.” Christ says, “Cover the naked” (Is 58,7).; the other says, “Strip the naked.” Christ says, “Thou shalt not hide thyself from thine own flesh,” (Is 58,7). and those of thine own house; Mammon says, “Thou shall not pity those of thine own seed; though thou seest thy mother or thy father in want, despise them.” Why say I father or mother? “Even thine own soul,” he says, “destroy it also.” And he is obeyed! Alas! he who commands us cruel, and mad, and brutal things, is listened to rather than He who bids us gentle and healthful things! For this is hell appointed; for this, fire; for this, a river of fire; for this, a worm that dieth not.

I know that many hear me say these things with pain, and indeed it is not without pain I say them. But why need I say these things? I could wish the things concerning the kingdom to be ever my discourse, of the rest, of the waters of rest, of the green pastures, as the Scripture says, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters” (Ps 23,2)., there He maketh me to dwell. I could wish to speak of the place, whence “sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Is 51,11).

I could wish to discourse of the pleasures of being with Christ, though they pass all expression and all understanding. Yet would I speak of these things according to my power. But what shall I do? it is not possible to speak concerning a kingdom to one that is diseased and in fever; then we must needs speak of health. It is not possible to speak of honor to one that is brought to trial, for at that time his desire is that he be freed from judgment, and penalty, and punishment. If this be not effected, how shall the other be? It is for this cause that I am continually speaking of these things, that we may the sooner pass over to those other. For this cause does God threaten hell, that none may fall into hell, that we all may obtain the kingdom; for this cause we too make mention continually of hell, that we may thrust you onward towards the kingdom, that when we have softened your minds by fear, we may bring you to act worthily of the kingdom. Be not then displeased at the heaviness of our words, for the heaviness of these words lightens our souls from sin. Iron is heavy, and the hammer is heavy, but it forms vessels fit for use, both of gold and silver, and straightens things which are crooked; and if it were not heavy, it would have no power to straighten the distorted substance. Thus too our heavy speech has power to bring the soul into its proper tone. Let us not then flee from heaviness of speech, nor the strokes it gives; the stroke is nor given that it may break in pieces or tear the soul, but to straighten it. We knowhow we strike, how by the grace of God we inflict the stroke, so as not to crush the vessel, but to polish it, to render it straight, and meet for the Master’s use, to offer it glittering in soundness, skillfully wrought against that Day of the river of fire, to offer it having no need of that burning pile. For if we expose not ourselves to fire here, we must needs be burned there, it cannot be otherwise; “For the day ofthe Lord is revealed by fire.” (1Co 3,13). Better is it that ye be burned for a little space by our words, than for ever in that flame. That this will indeed be so, is plain, and I have ofttimes given you reasons which cannot be gainsaid. We ought truly to be persuaded from the Scriptures, but forasmuch as some are contentious, we have also brought forward many arguments from reason. Nothing hinders that I now mention them, and what were they? God is just. We all acknowledge this, both Greeks and Jews, and Heretics, and Christians. But many sinners have had their departure without punishment, many righteous men have had their departure after suffering ten thousand grievous things. If then God be just, where will He reward their good to the one, and their punishment to the other, if there be no hell, if there be no resurrection? This reason then do ye constantly repeat to them and to yourselves, and it will not suffer you to disbelieve the resurrection, and whoso disbelieves not the resurrection will take care to live with all heed so as to obtain eternal happiness, of which may we all be counted worthy, by the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ, with whom, &c.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Dogmatic Theology, fathers of the church, liturgy, Notes on Philippians, Quotes, St John Chrysostom | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Bernard de Picquigny’s Notes On Phil 2:6-11

Posted by Dim Bulb on March 23, 2010

In this chapter the Apostle earnestly exhorts the Philippians to mutual charity, humility, and fear. He then proceeds to a warm commendation of St. Timothy and Epaphroditus, both of whom he was about to send to Philippi, though not at the same time.

2:1. If therefore there is any consolation in Christ, if any solace of charity, if any association of spirit, if any bowels of mercy;
2:2. Fulfil my joy, that you think alike, having the same charity, unanimous, united in sentiment,

(verse 1) If therefore there in any consolation in Christ. If you desire to convey to me any consolation and encouragement in Christ’s name at this difficult crisis of my fortunes, when I am a prisoner, awaiting trial, doubtful of my life, expecting with natural anxiety and solicitude the task of pleading the cause of Christ in the presence of the emperor of the Romans ;—if your charity prompts you to do what is in your power to support and aid me by your sympathy; if there exists between us a bond which unites and associates us in spirit, though parted in the body; if you are capable even of the human, ordinary, and instinctive feeling of compassion which urges all mankind to stretch out a helping hand to their fellow-men when they are in peril, perplexity, anxiety;-

I will show you what you can do, which will afford me deeper joy than anything else in your power. Let me know that you all are agreed in the maintenance of the one, holy, Catholic faith, such as I communicated it to you; that you are bound together by the bond of mutual charity; that you are united and unanimous in language and opinion, sentiment and feeling, as in faith and charity. St. Paul does not say (in verse 2), give me joy, but fulfil my Joy. He had already great cause of rejoicing in the faith and charity of the Philippians, as he says in chapter 1, in the extension of the Christian faith in Rome, in the fair and reasonable prospect of victory and success in the arduous controversy in which he was engaged. This joy would be made perfect and complete if the Philippians remained united with him, and among themselves, in perfect unanimity and charity. The solemnity and earnestness with which he introduces this request is suited to the nature of it; he asks nothing for himself, but only for concord among his friends, seeking the good of others, not his own.

2:3. Nothing through contention, nothing through vain glory: but in humility, considering one another as your superiors,

Do nothing from rivalry, jealousy, the wish to excel or humiliate one another, or for the sake of the vain and empty glory of this world. And let everyone treat his neighbour, and consider him, as his superior, that is, in God’s sight better than himself; a supposition which is, at least, in all cases probable.

2:4. Not regarding each his own, but what is of others.

And let each one seek not only his own good, but also that of his neighbour. All solicitude for one’s own good is not wrong, but only that which is oblivious of, or injurious to, the welfare of others. In these suggestions the Apostle has noted four causes of discord, and four opposite causes of harmony and peace. The sources of disagreement are, 1, tenacity of opinion; 2, love of glory; 3, love of power; 4, undue solicitude for our own good. Opposed to these, as elements of concord and agreement, he places 1, humility of mind; 2, contempt of earthly glory; 3, love of dependence; 4, neglect of private interest. United in sentiment; doing nothing for empty glory; in humility considering others superior; not
regarding each his own. How far the Philippian Christians stood in need of these admonitions, we have no means of judging; but this is what the Apostle asks of them as the greatest happiness they could confer upon him, and as what was still remainmg to complete his joy. And he proceeds to enforce his lesson by the supreme Example of humility and of the reward with which God will crown it.

2:5.  For let this feeling be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.
2:6.  Who though he was in the form of God, not considering it rapine to be equal to God:

Let this feeling be in you. He says feeling, not intelligence.  No finite intelligence is capable of conceiving and comprehending the immensity of the humiliation of Deity which the Apostle describes in this wonderful passage, which has been selected by the Church, as is well known, for the Epistle at Mass on Palm Sunday.  But though we cannot comprehend this humiliation, we are not altogether incapable of feeling it.  St Paul says sentite, not intelligiteChrist Jesus was in the form of God, that is, as all the Fathers understand it, the nature of God.  This interpretation is especially and expressly insisted on by St Chrysostom and St Thomas.  The writer who assumes the name of St Ambrose understands the form of God to mean, not the nature of God, but the proof or indication of it which Christ offered in his miracles, and he is followed in this interpretation by Grotius and Erasmus.  But this is not the view taken by the other ecclesiastical writers, and by the tradition of the Church, the true interpreter of the Apostolic writings, all of which authorities understand the nature of God.  Being in the nature of God, Christ thought it no robbery, or undue assumption, to claim to be on an absolute equality with the Supreme Deity.  The word equal is expressed adverbially in the Greek    το εἶναι ἰσος θεός.  Such a claim advanced by any merely created being would be a rapine or robbery inconceivably presumptuous and sacrilegious.  (It was advanced by Simon Magus, a circumstance to which it is no impossible that the Apostle incidentally refers).  It was attempted by Lucifer, when he said, I will be like the highest (Isa 14:14).  But Christ was guilty of no rapine when he said I and my Father are one (Jn 10:30

2:7.  Yet emptied himself out, taking the form of a slave, made into the likeness of men, and was found in habit as man.

Yet he emptied himself out, (semetipsum exinanivit).  Not that he laid aside his divine nature and infinite perfections, but concealed it under the veil of the creature, which he assumed.  This must not be taken as implying that there was nay voluntary and intentional concealment of his divine character in the conduct or language of Christ.  There is not a word in the Gospels which favors such an idea, and on the contrary it was through his words, actions, gestures, and aspect, that his Divinity was revealed to his Apostles.  He always spoke and acted, if the expression be allowable, in character, and as God.  But only to faith and love could this be made manifest, and in the anger of Bethlehem, and in his daily life, he was to ordinary observers like other men.  He emptied himself out by assuming a created and inferior nature.  Taking the form of a slave, or servant, these two words not being distinguished either in the Greek or Latin.  Taking, that is, the nature of man, the lowest order of intelligent and rational beings, capable of knowing God.  He was made into the likeness and habit of man, in form, appearance, nature, aspect, reality of body and soul, like all other men, true man.

St Thomas observes, on the word exinanivit: empty is opposed to full.  It is of Deity to be all fullness.  Humanity and all that is created is merely dependent existence, and relatively nothing.  Divinity includes all good; humanity is a tabula rasa, in a sense empty.  Christ therefore emptied himself out; from full, became empty; from all, nothing; he hid from sight all his majesty, eternity, infinity, omnipotence, and became and was seen as an infant, a feeble and mortal man.

It is to be observed that exception might possibly be taken to the comprehensive nature of the precept given by the Apostle in verse 3, let each consider every other his superior.  There are incontestably some differences of gifts, endowments, disposition, education, and the like, which make some men superior to others, and which are real, and not assumed.  Are these not to be taken into account?  And if they are, how can the injunction of St Paul be carried out?  This objection, which the Apostle had foreseen, falls to the ground, crushed and annihilated, in presence of the supreme example of humility which he here adduces.  What is any earthly greatness, and limited superiority, in comparison with the greatness of him who was equal with God, and yet emptied himself out, fully and entirely, took the lowest place in his own rational creation, and was found in habit as man in the manger of the stable at Bethlehem?  After this, any fancied superiority was may arrogate to ourselves becomes entirely worthless and insignificant, absolutely beneath regard.  At last, St Augustine says, let man blush to be proud, for whom God made himself humble.  That pride is indeed incurable which the consideration of this humiliation will not cure.

2:8.  He humbled himself, being made obedient even to death, and the death of the cross.

Being made obedient even unto death.  Having given the great Example of humility in the preceding words, the Apostle now adds the Example of charity.  As in verse 3 he said, Consider each one a superior, so he had added in verse 4, regarding not only your own, but what is of others.  Christ was for the salvation of man obedient to the will of God; not as I will, but as Thou (Mt 26:39).  More than this, he condescended to be obedient also to man, into whose hands he surrendered himself, to be apprehended, tortured, condemned to death, and crucified; and this for the salvation of the lost race of man.  To this also is applicable the word used by the Apostle, sentite.  The mind cannot grasp this extent of charity, nor the tongue express it, but the heart can feel, in a degree, how great charity it was which led Almighty God to obey, to suffer and to die for man.  And to die the death of the cross, ordinarily reserved for criminals who were also slaves, or by their conduct had merited no better treatment.  This was the completion of humiliation, the completion of obedience, and the completion of charity.

2:9.  On which account also God exalted him, and gave him the name which is above every name;

On which account also God Exalted him.  On account of his obedience, God exalted, in the Greek superexalted, raised him to the highest place in the universe, above all creation.  The inference is that the highest advancement in the life to come will be assigned to those who have most closely imitated Christ in his humiliation, obedience, and charity.  It is to be understood that Christ is exalted as man, and in his human nature, for in his Divine nature, in which he is equal to the Father from all eternity, he cannot be exalted.  He is placed, as man, at the head of God’s creation.  And gave him the name which is above every name. That is, the name of God, in which he receives divine adoration from angels and from men, being one Person, though existing in two natures.  Mary’s Son is God forever.  God conferred this name upon him by making known his Deity to the world, by the preaching of the Apostles.  Some writers, however, not unreasonably suppose St Paul to refer to the name of Jesus, or the Savior.  This term is constantly used in the Hebrew idiom to signify a king, leader, or prince, whose direction of public affairs renders a nation safe from attack or invasion from outside.  They called upon the Lord, and he raised up for them a savior (Judges 3:9).  Thou didst give them saviors, (2 Esdras 9:27ff).  Thus the Savior, guardian, lord, and protector of all creation is the name which is above every name, because from him all other power and authority in heaven and earth is derived.

2:10.  That in the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of celestial, terrestrial, and infernal:

At the name of Jesus every knee shall bend.  The celestial, the angels of heaven, the terrestrial, man on earth, the infernal, all the souls in the limbus patrum, in purgatory, even the fallen spirits in hell, however reluctantly, all rational and intelligent creatures in the universe, bend the knee to the Man whose name is Jesus, adore Jesus, acknowledge Jesus as their God and Lord.  There is a reference to Isa 45:23-24.  I have sworn by myself, the word of justice shall come out of my mouth and not return, that to me every knee will bend, and every tongue will swear.  This is in part fulfilled even now, and will be fully accomplished at the last day.

2:11.  And every tongue confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

Every tongue must confess.  The meaning of the next words in the Greek appears to be, that Jesus Christ is Lord, in the glory of God the Father.  That he shares the same glory with God the Father, and is Lord of all creation, to all eternity.  This will be finally accomplished at the great day when Christ will come in the glory of his Father, and attended by the holy Angels (Mt 16:27).

The truth stated in this passage, that the attribute of humility is an integral and essential part of the nature of God, was entirely unknown to the pagan world, before the coming of Christ: nor indeed was it revealed even in the Scriptures of the Old Testament.  Even to the holy Angels it was not, until that time, made known in its full extent.  The pride of Lucifer was shocked by the partial revelation of it.  It is commonly thought that Satan refused to believe in the Incarnation of the Son of God, until convinced by the miracles of Christ.  It must always remain, when reflected on, a cause of wonder and astonishment.  Nevertheless some indication or confirmation of it may be gathered from the consideration of God’s providence in the care of creation, which descends to the minutest particulars, and provides continually for the wants and necessities of the least and humblest of his creatures.  The charity and humility of God are commensurate, both far transcending any mental powers we possess to fathom or comprehend.  Jesus Christ has given the proof and example equally of both; and by doing so earned and merited the inconceivable exaltation to which he is raised in glory, at the right hand of God.  And of that divine glory you, Philippians, will also be partakers, if you will become imitators of the humility and charity of Christ.

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