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 November 4th, 2012

Cornelius a Lapide’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 4, 2012

1Co 3:9c. You are God’s building.

He inculcates the same truth by another illustration from building and architecture.  The first architect is God; the secondary minister is Paul; the building is the Church and every Christian soul.  So Anselm.

1Co 3:10  According to the grace of God that is given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation: and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

According to the grace of God that is given to me, as a wise architect, I have laid the foundation. Not mine is this building, not mine the works; for although I, as the first architect, laid the foundations, by my preaching, of the Church at Corinth, yet whatever I did, and brought to perfection there, was done, not by my strength, but by the grace of God. Let, then, this building of God’s Church be attributed to His grace, not to my efforts.

1Co 3:11  For other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid: which is Christ Jesus.

For other foundation no man can lay. I have laid the foundation of your Church: let Apollos and others see what superstructure they raise upon, but not endeavour to lay a new foundation. For no other foundation can be laid, for it is Jesus Christ Himself. The foundation, then, of the Church, and of each individual soul in it, is Jesus Christ, i.e., faith in Him as our Saviour, and especially that faith which is quickened by charity, on which I have built you. So Anselm, and S. Gregory (lib. vii. epist. 47).

In this sense Christ alone is the foundation of the Church, and the foundation of the foundations, as S. Augustine says (Ps. lxxxvii. 1), because He rests on Himself alone, and bears up all others, even Peter. In another sense Peter is the foundation of the Church, viz., a secondary one, because from his firmness in the faith he cannot publicly teach error, but always confirms others in it, and gives them light. This is laid down by S. Thomas and all Catholic theologians. In a similar sense, not only Peter, but all the Apostles, are called the foundations of the Church (Ps 87:1; Rev 21:19).

1Co 3:16  Know you not that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

Know you not that you are the temple of God? This is a return to the image of ver. 9: “Ye are God’s building,” and therefore not a heathen temple, but the temple of God, in which by faith, grace, charity, and His gifts He dwells. So Anselm and others. For a fuller exposition if this, see the notes to 2 Cor 6:16.

How the soul may be dedicated as a temple to God is declared at length by S. Bernard (Serm. 1 de Dedic. Eccl.). He says that there are five things observed in a dedication: the sprinkling, the marking with the cross, the anointing, the illumination, and the benediction; and all these take place also in the dedication of the soul.

Observe that up to the present S. Paul has been dealing with those teachers and those of the faithful who build up the holy edifice of the Church. He now turns to those who undermine it.

1Co 3:17  But if any man violate the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which you are.

If any one, through the fatal pride that is born of human wisdom, through novel, erroneous, and pestilential teaching, or through schisms such as are found among you, O Corinthians, says Anselm; or if any one in any other way corrupt the Church, or any individual soul in it—him shall God destroy. The Apostle is speaking mainly of the corruption that comes through the teaching of false doctrine, through pride, through envy, or the fomenting of schism. For as he began, so does he finish this chapter with warnings to false teachers. It appears, too, from the next words where he says that any such defiler shall not be saved, so as by fire, but shall be consumed in everlasting fire.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on 1 Corinthians, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | 2 Comments »

Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 46

Posted by Dim Bulb on November 4, 2012

Text in red are my additions.


THIS is one of the most striking documents of Israelite trust in God. Enemies may bring armies against Jerusalem, the city of God, but they will ever be destroyed as they have always been destroyed. The Lord dwells in His Sanctuary and, therefore, it is inviolable. The latest enemy attack on Jerusalem the Lord has completely frustrated: He has re-established peace in the land, and destroyed all the weapons of war.

The presence of the refrain in verses 8, 12, and its probable presence following verse 4, suggests that the psalm was meant to be sung antiphonally. The general body of worshippers sings the refrain,  while the choir of special singers chants the remainder. (Verse numbering here follows the NAB).

The central idea of the psalm—that Jerusalem is inviolable, as being the special Sanctuary of God, is also the dominant idea in the policy of Isaiah at the time of the Syro-Ephraimite war (735-734 B.C., cf. Isaiah 7; 2 Kings 16). The prophet’s proud confidence in the protecting love and power of Immanuel is echoed here. Probably, therefore, it is not rash to assume with several authorities, that this psalm has arisen out of the defeat of the Kings of Israel and Aram, when they advanced against Jerusalem (see note below). Another possibility, still more widely accepted, is that the poem commemorates the failure of Sanherib’s attack on the Holy City (701 B.C.). The psalm seems to be, at all events, very close in time to the so-called ” Immanuel period” of Isaiah (Vid. Isaiah 7-11). The thrice (?) repeated “Yahweh of Hosts is with us” reminds one inevitably of the name which Isaias gives to the Messiah, “Immanuel,” “El (God) is with us” (Isa 7:1414, and, particularly, Isa 8:8).

It should be remembered that the Kingdom of David split in two because of Solomon’s sins (1 Kings 11-13). Ten tribes in the northern part of the Holy Land broke away and formed a new kingdom under the leadership of the non-davidic Jeroboam, son of Nebat. This kingdom retained the name of Israel. The two tribes in the south of the Holy Land (Judah and Benjamin), remained under the dynasty of David and became known as the Kingdom of Judah. The two kingdoms were often hostile towards one another and the animosity reached its zenith during the Syro-Ephramite war, when the king Syria (also called Aram or Damascus) conspired with the king of Israel (often called Ephraim, after the name of the largest tribe) to remove the king of Judah from his throne and place a puppet king upon it (see 2 Kings 16:1-9).

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