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 February 2nd, 2013

This Week’s Posts: Sunday, February 3-Sunday, February 10, 2013

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 2, 2013

Dominica in Sexagesima ~ II. classis

RESOURCES FOR SUNDAY MASS (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms).

Last Week’s Posts: Sunday, Jan. 27-Sunday, Feb. 3.

S. Andreae Corsini Episcopi et Confessoris ~ III. classis
Tempora: Feria II infra Hebdomadam Sexagesimae


  • Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 31.


S. Agathae Virginis et Martyris ~ III. classis
Tempora: Feria III infra Hebdomadam Sexagesimae


  • Pending: Father Boylan’s Commentary on Psalm 22.


S. Titi Episc. et Confessoris ~ III. classis
Tempora: Feria IV infra Hebdomadam Sexagesimae


  • Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 103.


S. Romualdi Abbatis ~ III. classis
Tempora: Feria V infra Hebdomadam Sexagesimae


  • Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 48.


S. S. Joannis de Matha Confessoris ~ III. classis
Tempora: Feria VI infra Hebdomadam Sexagesimae


  • Pending: Father Boylan’s Introduction to Psalm 27.





Dominica in Quinquagesima ~ II. classis

RESOURCES FOR TODAY’S MASS (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). Usually posted on Wednesday evenings, sometimes on Tues. or Thurs. evenings.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Bernardin de Piconio’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 2, 2013

26. For you see your calling, brethren, that not many are wise according to the flesh, not many are powerful, not many noble:
27. but the foolish of the world God has chosen to confound the wise: and the weakness of the world God has chosen to confound the strong:
28. and the ignoble things of the world, and contemptible, God has chosen, and the things that are not, to destroy the things that are:
29. that no flesh may boast in His sight.
30. And of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and justice, and sanctification, and redemption:
31.  that as it is written: who glories, in the Lord let him glory.

22-31.  This is not what the world expected.  The Jews ask for miracles, the Greeks require a system of philosophy.  The Cross of Christ, which we preach, is to the Jews a scandal, because they do not understand humility; folly to the Gentiles, who are sensible of no greater evils than suffering and death.  But those whom the grace of God calls to faith, can perceive the power of God, greater than miracles, all the wisdom of God, far transcending the limited view of human philosophy, is centered in the Crucified.  The sun itself is darkness to the blind, says Theodoret; but it gives light to those who see.  This, which the Greeks call folly, has done what all their systems of philosophy could never do: it has conquered the minds of men.  That which seemed to them feeble and helpless, has subdued the empires of the world.  Look at those whom God has selected to be the bearers of this message of salvation to mankind.  How few of them are men whom the world regards as wise and eloquent; how few are men of position and influence; how few men of noble or princely birth!  he does not say absolutely none; there were, for instance, St Dionysius the Areopagite, Paulus the governor of Cyprus, Nicodemus, Saint Paul himself, and Apollo.

But these were exceptions.  For the most part, the early preachers of the Gospel of Christ, and their converts, were men whom the world, in its pride and ignorance, regarded as foolish, feeble, contemptible, and ignoble, as nothing.  Yet in the end they put the old systems of philosophy to shame, subdued empires and governments to the faith of Christ, brought to nothing all that the world, before their time, most admired, believed, reverenced, trusted in.  He, who made all things of nothing, has restored all things by those who were as nothing.  The fools have taught the wise men.  The feeble have conquered kings and emperors.  The humble and lowly have brought to the feet of Christ the excellence and grandeur of the world.  Nothing that is in this world can glory before God; its wisdom, its nobility, its power, are nothing in His sight.  We must also learn to despise these things if we would have the regard of God.  Christ has given us wisdom, deeper than the systems of philosophy can teach; justice, or remission of sin, more complete than either Judaic or pagan sacrifices could confer; sanctity, which philosophers talked of, but could never realize; redemption from the miseries of life, in hope complete, in great degree in present realization also, by virtue of that hope.  In this we may glory, but in nothing that is of this world.  Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise glory in his strength, and let not the rich glory in his riches.  But in this, let him glory, who glorieth, that he knows me, because I am the Lord, who shows mercy and judgment and justice in the earth; for these are the things that please me, saith the Lord” (Jer 9:23-24).

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Corinthians, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

St Thomas Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 48 (47 in Vulgate and LXX)

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 2, 2013

Due to a different numbering of the Psalms, what was designated as Psalm 47 in Aquinas’ day is identified as Psalm 48 today. The following post contains (side by side) both the Latin and English text of Aquinas’ Lecture on Psalm 48 (47). The text appears here courtesy of the Aquinas Translation Project and in accordance with their copyright policy. The translation was done by Stephen Loughlin.

Psalm 47 

a. [Cantici filii core secunda sabbati] Magnus Dominus et laudabilis nimis: in civitate Dei nostri, in monte sancto eius. [of the song of the daughters of Cor (for) the second sabbath] Great is the Lord, and exceedingly to be praised in the city of our God, on his holy mountain.
b. Fundatur exultatione universae terrae, mons Sion, latera Aquilonis, civitas regis magni. Deus in domibus eius cognoscetur, cum suscipiet eam. Mount Sion is founded with the joy of the whole earth, on the sides of the north, the city of the great king. God shall be known in her houses, when he shall receive her.
c. Quoniam ecce reges terrae congregati sunt, convenerunt in unum; ipsi videntes admirati sunt, conturbati sunt, commoti sunt, tremor apprehendit eos. Ibi dolores, ut parturientis: in spiritu vehementi conteres naves Tharsis. For behold the kings of the earth are assembled, have gathered together. When they saw, they wondered, were disturbed and roused – trembling took hold of them. There were pains as of a woman in labour: with a vehement wind, you shall break in pieces the ships of Tharsis.
d. Sicut audivimus, sic vidimus in civitate Domini virtutum, in civitate Dei nostri: Deus fundavit eam in aeternum. As we have heard, so we have seen in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God: God has founded her for ever.
e. Suscepimus Deus misericordiam tuam, in medio templi tui. Secundum nomen tuum Deus, sic et laus tua in fines terrae; iustitia plena est dextera tua. Laetetur mons Sion, et exultent filiae Iudae, propter iudicia tua Domine. We have received your mercy, O God, in the midst of your temple. According to your name, O God, so also is your praise to the ends of the earth; your right hand is full of justice. Let mount Sion rejoice, and the daughters of Juda be glad, because of your judgments, O Lord.
f. Circumdate Sion, et complectimini eam: narrate in turribus eius. Ponite corda vestra in virtute eius: et distribuite domos eius ut enarretis in progenie altera. Quoniam hic est Deus, Deus noster in aeternum, et in saeculum saeculi: ipse reget nos in saecula. Surround Sion, and encompass her: tell in her towers. Set your hearts on her strength, and distribute her houses that you may relate it to another generation. For this is God, our God in eternity, and for ever and ever: he shall rule us for evermore.
a. Supra Psalmista invitavit gentes ad psallendum Deo de beneficiis Dei; hic autem describit magnam populi, vel civitatis exultationem. In the previous psalm, the psalmist invited the nations to sing praises to God concerning his beneficies. Here, however, he describes the great joy of the people or the city.
Titulus, Psalmus laus cantici filii Core pro secunda Sabbati. The title of the psalm is A praise psalm of the song of the daughters of Cor for the second sabbath.
Apud Iudaeos sabbatum solemnissimum habebatur: et omnes ferias a sabbato vocabant; ita quod dies Dominica vocabatur prima sabbati; dies lunae vocabatur secunda sabbati; et sic de aliis diebus. Dicit ergo, Pro secunda Sabbati: quia Gen. 1. prima die dixit Deus, Fiat lux; secunda die dixit, Fiat firmamentum. Per lucem intelligitur Christus; per firmamentum Ecclesia designatur. Quia ergo agit hic de magnificentia ecclesiae, ideo convenienter dicitur pro secunda sabbati. In Hebraeo tamen, nec in Hieronymo non est pro secunda sabbati. Among the Jews, a most solemn sabbath used to be observed, and all the weekdays were named from the sabbath. So, the Lord’s day used to be called the first sabbath, the next day, the second sabbath, and so on with the other days. Thus, he says, For the second sabbath, because in Genesis 1, God said on the first day, Let there be light, and on the second, he said, Let there be a firmament. By “light” in understood Christ, by “firmament”, the Church is designated. Thus, because he treats here of the magnificence of the Church, this psalm is suitably called “for the second sabbath”. In the Hebrew version, however, but not in Jerome’s, there is no ‘for the second sabath.’
Dividitur ergo iste in duas partes. Primo enim describit magnificentiam civitatis. Secundo subdit gratiarum actionem, ibi, Suscepimus Deus. Circa primum duo facit. Primo describit magnificentiam civitatis. Secundo inducit testimonium, ibi, Quoniam ecce. The psalm is divided into two parts. The first describes the magnificence of the city, and the second speaks of the action of graces, at, We have received your mercy, O God. Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he describes the magnificence of the city, and second, he introduces his evidence, at, For behold.
Dignitas civitatis dependet a Domino eius: et ideo primo commendat Dominum. Secundo civitatem, ibi, Fundatur. Dominum describit ex propria dignitate, et ex suis operibus. The dignity of a city derives from her Lord. And so, he first commends the Lord, and secondly, the city, at, (It) is founded. He describes the Lord with respect to his own dignity and works.
Ex dignitate, quia, Magnus Dominus: Ps. 85. Quis Deus magnus etc. Et magnitudo eius est immensitas eius bonitatis. Augustinus: In his quae non mole magna sunt, idem est magnum quod bonum esse. On account of his dignity, because, Great is the Lord – Psalm 76: Who is great like our God. And his greatness is the immensity of his goodness. Augustine states: In those things which are great not in bulk, greatness is the same as goodness.
Ex operibus, quia, Laudabilis nimis. Laus proprie respicit opera. Et dicit, Nimis, quia quantumcumque laudes eum, adhuc deficis a laude eius: Eccl. 43. Glorificantes Deum quantumcumque potestis, praevalebit adhuc: et hoc licet in tota creatura pateat, spiritualiter tamen apparet in beneficiis gratiae quibus constituta est ecclesia. Et ideo dicit, In civitate Dei nostri, scilicet ecclesiae: Apoc. 21. Vidi civitatem sanctam Hierusalem etc. Et haec civitas, scilicet ecclesia, sita est, In monte sancto eius. Hic mons est Christus: Isa. 2. Erit mons domus Domini. De hac civitate dicitur Matth. 5. Non potest civitas abscondi supra montem posita. On account of his works, because, (he is) exceedingly to be praised. Praise properly regards works. And he says, Exceedingly, because however you praise him, you still fall short in praising him – Ecclesiasticus 43: Glorifying God as much as ever you can, he will still far exceed. And although he is manifest in all his creatures, nevertheless he spiritually appears in the benifices of grace by which the Church was established. And so he says, In the city of our God, namely the Church – Apoc. 21: I saw the holy city Jerusalem etc. And this city, namely the Church, is situated, On his holy mountain. This mountain is Christ – Isaiah 2: (And is the last days) the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be (prepared on the top of mountains). Of this city it is said at Matthew 5: A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.
b. Fundatur. Hic commendat civitatem tripliciter. Primo ex amplitudine, vel iucunditate. Secundo ex dispositione. Tertio ex sapientia civium. (Mount Sion) is founded. At this point, he commends the city in a three-fold way. First, on account of its size or pleasantness, second, its condition, and third, the widsom of its citizens.
Dicit ergo, Fundatur exultatione universae terrae; quasi dicat, Fundata est in monte, idest Christo. Sed numquid haec fundatio pertinet ad unam terram tantum? Non, sed redundat in gaudium universae terrae, quia omnes percipiunt gaudium huius fundationis: Ps. 65. Iubilate Deo omnis terra, psalmum dicite etc. Isa. 51. Venient in Sion laudantes; Thre. 1. Haecine est urbs perfecti decoris? Therefore, he says, (Mount Sion) is founded with the joy of the whole earth; it is as if he were saying, It has been founded on the mountain, that is, on Christ. But does not this foundation pertain to one land only? No, rather it overflows in joy to all lands, because all are aware of the joy of its foundation – Psalm 65: Shout with joy to God all the earth, sing a psalm etc.; Isaiah 51: They will come into Sion singing praise; Lamentations 2: Is this the city of perfect beauty?
Alia litera habet, Fundator; quasi dicat, Magnus Dominus. Et dico Dominus, qui est fundator huius civitatis. Et hoc, In exultatione. Another version has, The founder, as if he were saying, Great is the Lord. And I say the Lord, who is the founder of this city. And this, with joy.
Mons Sion latera aquilonis, idest deposita in latere montis Sion ad aquilonem. Sion signat Iudaeos, aquilo vero signat gentiles idolatras. Haec ergo civitas est composita ex Iudaeis et Gentilibus. Mount Sion…on the sides of the north, that is situated on the side of Mount Sion to the north. “Sion” signifies the Jews, but “north” signifies the idolatrous gentiles. Therefore, this city is made up of Jews and Gentiles.
Hieronymus aliter habet, et competit mysterio sponsae, Germinet gaudio universae terrae montis Sion, in lateribus aquilonis civitatulae regis magni. Et exponitur secundum mysterium. Haec civitas laudatur ex civilitate quam colit, et ex humanitate Christi quam assumpsit. Dico, quod est magna; et hoc est ex ipso specioso germine, idest Christo. Et hoc est gaudium universae terrae. Jerome has a different version, and it corresponds to the mystery of the spouse – Let him produce with joy for the whole world mount Sion, on the sides of the north of the great king’s town. And he explains according to the mystery. This city is praised on account of its government which he tends, and on account of Christ’s humanity which he accepted. I say that she (the city) is great, and this is on account of her own splendid fruit, namely Christ. And this is joy for the whole world.
In Hebraeo habetur, Decorus nimis exultationis, scilicet Christus, et hoc est in monte Sion. In the Hebrew version is found, Exceedingly suitable of joy, namely Christ, and this is on mount Sion.
Deus in domibus eius cognoscetur. Hic commendat civitatem a sapientia civium: vera namque sapientia consistit in Dei cognitione: Hier. 9. In hoc glorietur qui gloriatur, scire, et nosse me. Et ideo commendat eam ex hoc, quod Deus in ea cognoscitur, et dicit, Deus in domibus eius cognoscetur. God shall be known in her houses. At this point, he commends the city on account of the wisdom of her citizens. For true wisdom consists in the knowledge of God – Jeremiah 9: Let him that glories, glory in this, that he understand and know me. And thus he commends her (the city) for this reason, that God is known in her, and he says, God shall be known in her houses.
Est autem triplex cognitio Dei, quia hoc potest referri ad statum civitatis Hierusalem, et ad ecclesiam, et ad futuram gloriam. There is, however, a three-fold knowledge of God, since this can be referred to the condition of the city of Jerusalem, to the Church and to (her) future glory.
Una ergo cognitio de Deo est figuralis, et obscura; et haec cognitio fuit in veteri testamento, et talis cognitio fuit in civitate illa, scilicet Hierusalem, et in populo Iudaico: Ps. 75. Notus in Iudaea Deus etc. Et secundum hoc dicitur, Deus in domibus eius cognoscetur. Therefore, there is a knowledge of God which is figurative and obscure. And this knowledge is found in the Old Testament. It is that sort of knowledge which was found in that city, namely Jerusalem, and in the Jewish people – Psalm 75: God is known in Judea etc. And according to this, it is said that God shall be known in her houses.
Hieronymus habet, Deus agnitus est etc. scilicet non in uno loco, sed omnibus domibus, et civitatibus. Jerome has, God has been understood, that is, not in one place, but in every house and city.
Et dicit, In domibus: nam apud Athenas cognoscebatur Deus: Act. 17. In ipso vivimus, movemur, et sumus: Ad Rom. 1. Invisibilia Dei etc. Sed non cognoscebatur in domibus, sed in scholis apud aliquos, sed in gente illa omnes cognoscebant Deum. And he says, In houses: for God was known among the Athenians – Acts 17: In whom we live, move and have our being; Romans 1: The invisible things of God etc. But he was not known in the houses, but rather among those in the academies. But in that nation, all knew God.
Alia est cognitio realis, sed obscura, et imperfecta; et haec est cognitio qua Deus cognoscitur per fidem: 1. Cor. 13. Videmus nunc per speculum etc. et sic Deus in domibus cognoscitur cognitione reali, sed fidei: 2. Cor. 3. Nos autem revelata facie gloriam Domini contemplantes. There is another knowledge of God which is real, but obscure and incomplete. And this is knowledge by which God is known through faith- 1 Cor. 13: We see now through a glass darkly etc. And thus, God is known in the houses with a real knowledge, but in faith – 2 Cor. 3: But we beholding the glory of the Lord with open face etc.
Et dicit, In domibus: quia tota universalis ecclesia continet sub se multas ecclesias, et multa collegia, quarum quaelibet domus dicitur habere cognitionem Dei: Hier. 31. Me omnes cognoscent a minimo usque ad maximum. And he says, In houses: for the entire universal Church contains under itself many churches, and many assemblies, of which every house is said to have a knowledge of God – Jeremiah 31: They all shall know me from the least of them even to the greatest.
Alia est realis, quae est cognitio perfecta, et aperta: 1. Cor. 13. Tunc cognoscam, sicut et cognitus sum in domibus caelestis Hierusalem. Finally, there is that knowledge of God which is real, complete and clear – 1 Cor. 13: Then I shall know, even as I am known in the houses of the heavenly Jerusalem.
Et dicuntur plures domus diversi ordines sanctorum, scilicet apostolorum, martyrum, confessorum, et virginum etc. Ioan. 4. In domo Patris mei mansiones multae sunt. Et secundum hoc dicitur in Psalterio Romano: Deus in gradibus eius cognoscetur: quia non omnes aequaliter cognoscent, sed erunt diversi gradus cognitionis secundum quosdam: 1. Cor. 15. Stella differt a stella in claritiate. The several houses are said of the diverse orders of the holy, namely, of the apostles, the martyrs, the confessors, the virgins, and so on – John 4: In my Father’s house there are many mansions. And in relation to this, it is said in the Roman Psalter that God will be known in his degrees: for not everyone will know equally, but, with respect to some, there will be diverse grades of knowing – 1 Cor. 15: For star differs from star in clarity.
Sed hoc erit, cum suscipiet eam, ad adiuvandum: quia ipse est susceptor, et auxiliator noster. But this will be, When he shall receive her, to help her. For he himself is our guardian and helper.
Alia autem litera habet, in auxiliando. However, another version has, in helping.
c. Quoniam. Hic probat dignitatem civitatis per testimonium. Et primo inducit testes. Secundo eorum probitatem. Tertio ipsorum confessionem. For. At this point, he shows the dignity of the city through evidence. He first introduces witnesses, then their honesty, and finally their actual acknowledgement.
Ad hoc quod testimonium sit credibile, tria sunt necessaria, scilicet dignitas testium, ut sint testes auctoritatis: quia si sint leves, eorum testimonium non debet approbari. For evidence to be credible, three things are necessary. First, the dignity of one’s witnesses, that they be authoritative. For if they are capricious, their evidence ought not to be accepted.
Item numerositas, et concordia; et haec tria sunt in istis testibus, quia sunt magnae dignitatis: quia, Reges terrae, unus fuit Constantinus, alius fuit Iustinianus, et Carolus Magnus qui ecclesiam firmaverunt privilegiis. Second, their great number, and third, their concordance. And these three things are in these very witnesses, because they are of great dignity, The kings of the earth; one was Constantine, another Justinian, and the third was Charlemagne, all of whom strengthened the Church in its privileges.
Item multi fuerunt, quia congregati sunt de diversis nationibus, et temporibus. Possunt etiam per reges intelligi sapientes, et iusti, qui testimonium perhibuerunt ecclesiae conversi ad fidem: Ps. 46. Prinicipes populorum. Again, they were many, because they were assembled from different nations, and times. Also, by “kings” can be understood wise and just men who, having converted to the faith, bore witness to the Church – Psalm 46: The princes of the peoples.
Item sunt concordes, Convenerunt in unum, scilicet testimonium et sententiam: Ps. 108. In conveniendo populos in unum, et reges etc. Again, they are concordant, They have gathered together, namely in witness and opinion – Psalm 101: When the people assemble together, and kings etc.
Potest iterum aliter exponi; tamen prima expositio est literalis, quia in Hieronymo habetur, Testati sunt. Again, this can be explained in other ways; but the first exposition is literal, because The have borne witness is in Jerome’s version.
In graeco habetur, Suscipient eam, scilicet ad defendendum. Et hoc necessarium est, Quoniam ecce reges terrae congregati sunt, convenerunt in unum, scilicet contra ecclesiam. Et isti qui aliquando testimonium perhibent, aliquando contra ecclesiam fuerunt, et aliquando persecuti sunt eam: postea eam firmaverunt. The greek version has, They will help her, namely so as to defend (her). And this is necessary, For behold the kings of the earth are assembled, have gathered together, namely against the Church. And these are the very ones who will at some point bear witness – at some time they were against the Church, and at other times they persecuted her: thereafter, they strengthened her.
Ipsi videntes. Hic describit eorum probitatem, ubi septem fuerunt. Primum visio, idest cognitio fidei; unde dicit, Ipsi videntes, idest cognoscentes per fidem miracula quae Christus, et apostoli faciebant: Isa. 62. Videbunt gentes iustum tuum, et cuncti reges inclytum tuum. When they saw. Here, their honesty is described in seven ways. First, there is vision, that is, the understanding of (or brought about by) faith. Thus he says, When they saw, that is, when they understood through faith the miracles which Christ and the apostles performed – Isaiah 62: The gentiles will see your just one, and all kings your glorious one.
Secundum est admiratio in his quae videntur, quia sunt supra sensum, et rationem humanam: Isa. 60. Videbis, et afflues, et mirabitur, et dilatabitur cor tuum: Ps. 138. Mirabilia opera tua. Second, there is wonder in those things which were seen, because they are above human sense and reason – Isaiah 60: (Then) shall you see, and abound, and your heart shall wonder and be enlarged; Psalm 138: Wonderful are your works.
Tertium est conturbatio pro peccatis. Propter secundum, Admirati sunt. Propter tertium, Conturbati sunt: Ps. 59. Commovisti terram, et conturbasti eam. Third, there is disturbance on account of sins. Because of the second, They wondered. Because of the third, They were disturbed – Psalm 59: You have shaken the ground, and have disturbed it.
Quartum est commotio. Aliquando quis conturbatur de peccato, et labitur in desperationem, vel persistit in malo; sed isti commoti sunt ad poenitentiam: Isa. 24. Commotione commovebitur terra. Fourth, there is a rousing (or stirring). At times, one is disturbed by sin, and then falls into despair, or persists in evil. But these people (those of the city) are roused to repentance – Isaiah 24: With trembling the earth shall be moved.
Quintum est, quia haec commotio debet esse cum timore Dei, ut non attribuat sibi quod per se moveatur ad bonum, sed Deo; et ideo dicit, Tremor apprehendit eos: Ps. 2 Servite Domino in timore. The fifth is that this rousing ought to take place accompanied by the fear of God, so that the person being roused does not attribute to himself that he is moved to the good by himself, but rather by God. And so, he says, Trembling took hold of them – Psalm 2: Serve the Lord with fear.
Hic dolor, et tremor est fructuosus; unde dicit, Ibi dolores ut parturientis, qui convertuntur in gaudium propter spem prolis, et fructus: Isa. 26. A timore tuo Domine concepimus, et peperimus spiritum salutis (Vulgate has “sic facti sumus a facie tua Domine. Concepimus et quasi parturivimus est peperimus spiritum. Salutes non fecimus in terra). Et hoc est sextum. This pain and trembling are fruitful. Thus he says, There were pains as of a woman in labour, which are turned into joy on account of the hope and fruit of offspring – Isaiah 26: From fear from you, O Lord, we have conceived, and have brought forth the spirit of deliverance. And this is the sixth.
Septimum est, In spiritu vehementi conteres naves Tharsis, idest mare universaliter, et sic conteres naves maris. The seventh is, With a vehement wind, you shall break in pieces the ships of Tharsis, that is, the sea in general. And so, you shall break in pieces the ships of the sea.
Vel dicendum, quod ibi est una provincia quae Cilicia vocatur, et Tharsis est metropolis eius, ubi natus est Paulus, et ex illa civitate tota regio nominatur Tharsis, et ibi sunt multae naves: vel sicut in mari mediterraneo primi navigantes fecerunt Carthaginem, et isti simul pugnantes cum Tyriis praevaluerunt. Et ideo Tharsis vocatur totum mare mundi. Or it ought to be said that there is a province which is called Cilicia, and Tharsis (where Paul was born) is its capital. On account of that city, the whole region is called Tharsis and there were many ships there. Or, again, as the first sailors on the Mediterranean Sea, they (the people of Cilicia) built Carthage and, fighting together with the Tyrians, enjoyed great power. And thus, Tharsis is called the world’s entire sea.
Per naves quae ad negotiandum vadunt, signatur cupiditas, et hoc est abundantia rerum mundi. Et sicut naves fluctuant in mari, ita divites fluctuant in rebus mundi. By “ships”, which they were eager to trade, is signified “greediness”, and this is an abundance of the things of the world. And as ships swell upon the sea, so too do the rich in worldly things.
Sed quando convertitur homo ad poenitentiam, tunc naves, idest cupiditates huius mundi, conteruntur. Sed in spiritu vehementi, scilicet in Spiritu sancto: Abdiae 1. Iuxta est dies Domini super gentes: Isa. 23. Ululate naves maris. But when a man is turned to repentance, then the ships, that is, the desires of this world, are wrecked. But with a vehement wind, namely with the Holy Spirit – Abdias 1: For the day of the Lord is at hand upon the nations; Isaiah 23: Howl, ye ships of the sea.
Sed secundum Cassiodorum per hoc designatur totum tempus incarnationis Christi. Deus cognoscetur in domibus eius cum suscipiet eam, idest humanam naturam in unitate personae: Isa. 52. Propter hoc sciet populus nomen meum. Et quare? Quoniam ecce reges terrae congregati sunt: convenerunt in unum. But according to Cassiodorus, by this is designated the entire time of Christ’s incarnation. God is known in his homes when he receives it, that is, human nature into the unity of (his) person – Isaiah 52: On account of this the people shall know my name. And why? Because behold the kings of the earth are assembled, have gathered together.
Reges, scilicet principes Iudaeorum et scribae populi congregati sunt ab Herode sciscitante ab eis ubi Christus nasceretur, Et convenerunt in unum, scilicet quod natus erat in Bethlehem. The kings, namely the leaders of the Jews and the scribes of the people, are assembled by Herod asking them where Christ was born, and have gathered together, namely that he had been born in Bethlehem.
Et videntes sic, sicut prophetae dixerunt, Admirati sunt, commoti sunt, quia Herodes turbatus est, et omnis Hierosolyma cum eo, Matth. 3. And those seeing in this manner, wondered and were disturbed (as the prophets had said), because Herod was troubled, and all of Jerusalem with him – Matthew 3.
Et commoti sunt, aliqui ad fidem. Et tantus fuit pavor ut corpus tremeret, Tremor apprehendit eos: et, Ibi fuerunt dolores, ut parturientis, propter necem infantium occisorum ab Herode: Et in spiritu vehementi, quia in furore mittens occidit omnes pueros a bimatu et infra, idest a duobus annis, et infra. And they were disturbed, some towards faith. And the dread was so great that the body trembled – Trembling took hold of them – and, There were pains as of a woman in labour, on account of the slaughter of the innocents killed by Herod. With a vehement wind, because ordering in anger, he killed all the boys two years of age and younger.
Et in furore fecit comburi omnes naves Tharsis, idest in Tharso Ciliciae, quas credebat magos per aliam viam revertentes portasse in patriam suam. Propterea dicit, In spiritu vehementi. And in his anger, he ordered all the ships of Tharsis to be burned, that is, in Tharsis of Cilicia, which ships he believed had borne the Magi (returning by another route) to their homeland. Therefore he says, With a vehement wind.
d. Sicut audivimus. Hic ponitur confessio, et testimonium testium. Et primo confitentur veritatem eius quod audierunt. As we have heard. Here, he sets forth their acknowledgment and the testimony of the witnesses. And first, they acknowledge his truth which they have heard.
Sicut audivimus, per praedicationem apostolorum: Ita et vidimus, idest percepimus verum esse. Hoc dixerunt quando conversi sunt ad Christum. As we have heard, through the declaration of the apostles; So we have seen, that is, we have understood (it) to be true. They said this when they had turned to Christ.
Vel ut sit conversio Iudaeorum: Nos audivimus per prophetas, et ecce iam vidimus. Sed contingit aliquando quod aliquis audit aliquid magnum, et non credit sic esse, donec experiatur: et hoc Iacob dixit Gen. 28. Vere locus iste sanctus est etc. 2. Reg. 10. Regina Saba quae venit experiri sicut audierat, non tamen credebat tantam sapientiam Salomonis: quae plura incredibilia vidit in eo quam audisset. Et sic sunt isti qui vident plura, quam audiant antequam ad fidem veniant. Or, as it is the acknowledgement of the Jews: We ourselves have heard through the prophets, and, behold, we now see. However, it sometimes happens that one hears something great, and does not believe it to be so, until it is experienced. Jacob says this at Genesis 28: Truly this very place is holy etc.; 3 Kings 10: The Queen of Saba, who came to experience as she had heard, did not yet believe the entire wisdom of Solomon, who saw more incredible things in him than the things that she had heard. And so there are those who see more things than they have heard before they have come to faith.
Et ubi videmus? In civitate Domini virtutum, scilicet coelestium. Ubi ostendit quod potest re illuc perducere. Et ne credatur quod sit altus ne tu possis ire ad eum, dicit, In civitate Dei nostri; quasi dicat, Sic est Deus virtutum, quod tamen est Deus noster. And where will we see? In the city of the Lord of hosts, namely, of the heavenly hosts. Where he shows that in reality He (God) can lead (one) to that place. And lest one believe that he is lofty and that you cannot go to him, he says, In the city of our God, as if to say, Thus is the God of hosts, who nevertheless is our God.
Et iste fundavit eam, scilicet civitatem istam non ad tempus, sed in aeternum: Eccl. 26. Fundamenta aeterna super petram solidam. And he has founded her, namely this very city, not in time, but in eternity – Eccl. 26: As everlasting foundations upon a solid rock.
e. Suscepimus. Supra posuit Psalmista magnalia civitatis; hic autem ponit gratiarum actionem: et circa hoc duo facit. Primo ponitur gratiarum actio. Secundo invitantur homines ad considerandum adhuc magnalia istius civitatis, ibi, Circumdate. We have received. Previously, the Psalmist described the great things of the city. Here, he describes the action of graces. And concerning this, he does two things. First, he determines the action of graces, and second, people are invited to consider once again the great things of the city, at, Surround.
Sicut dicitur alibi: Universae viae Domini misericordia, et veritas. Unde gratiarum actio pertinet primo ad effectus divinae misericordiae. Secundo pertinet ad effectus iustitiae, ibi, Iustitia plena est dextera. Circa primum duo facit. Primo proponit perfectionem divinae misericordiae. Secundo effectum huius perfectionis, ibi, Secundum nomen tuum. Just as it is said elsewhere, The ways of the Lord taken all together are mercy and truth. Hence, the action of graces pertains first to the effect of divine mercy, and second, to the effect of justice, at, Your right hand is full of justice. Concerning the first, he does two things. First, he presents the perfection of divine mercy, and second, the effect of this perfection, at, According to your name.
Hoc secundum superficiem literae legitur ex persona non Iudaeorum, sed admirantium et dicentium, Sicut audivimus etc. With respect to the surface meaning of this text, it is read not according to the persona of the Jews, but of one wondering and saying, As we have heard etc.
Suscepimus Deus misericordiam tuam. Hoc similiter potest legi ex persona Iudaeorum. We have received your mercy O God. This likewise can be read according to the persona of the Jews.
Sed dicit, Suscepimus etc. Misericordia Domini tripliciter accipitur, scilicet effectus gratiae, qui effectus confertur in sacramentis Christi: Tim. 3. Secundum suam misericordiam salvos nos fecit per lavacrum regenerationis etc. Et in ecclesia omnes communiter suscipiunt misericordiam, sed boni cum sacramentis suscipiunt misericordiam, idest gratiam et effectum sacrificii; mali autem suscipiunt tantum sacramentum. Dicunt ergo boni: Nos, Suscepimus misericordiam, idest gratiam tuam, In medio templi tui, in templo, in extremo sunt peccatores, in medio templi sunt virtuosi et iusti. But he says, We have received etc. The mercy of the Lord can be understood in a three-fold way. First, the effect of grace, which effect is conferred in the sacraments of Christ – Titus 3: According to his mercy he saved us by the laver of regeneration etc. And in the Church, everyone in general receives mercy, but the good receive mercy with the sacraments, that is, the grace and effect of the sacrifice. However, the bad receive only the sacrament. Thus, the good say, We ourselves, Have received mercy, that is, your grace, In the midst of your temple; in the temple, sinners are on the outside, the virtuous and the just, in its midst.
Alio modo misericordia est ipse Christus, qui datus est nobis ex Dei misericordia: Quoniam venit tempus miserendi eius. The Lord’s mercy can be understood, secondly, as Christ himself, who was given to us because of God’s mercy – For the time of his giving mercy has come.
Et sic potest exponi hoc de duplici templo, et de duplici susceptione, scilicet corporalis; et sic haec verba sunt Simeonis iusti. O Deus susceptimus misericordiam tuam, scilicet Christum in ulnas nostras in medio templi tui, scilicet materialis. And so, this can be explained with respect to the two-fold aspect of the temple and of reception, namely of the body. Consequently, these words are of Simeon the just. O God, we have received your mercy, namely Christ, in our arms in the midst of your temple, namely materially.
Item de susceptione fidei; et sic est sensus. O Deus nos suscepimus Christum misericorditer datum per fidem: Iac. 1. In mansuetudine suscipite insitum verbum. Third, the Lord’s mercy can be understood with respect to the reception of the faith; and its sense is thus: O God, we ourselves have received Christ, mercifully given through the faith – James 1: With meekness receive the ingrafted word.
In medio templi, idest in consensu ecclesiae, quia qui non suscipiunt communem doctrinam ecclesiae, non suscipiunt hanc misericordiam: Eccl. 15. In medio ecclesiae aperuit os eius. In the midst of your temple, that is, in agreement with the Church. For those who do not accept the general teaching of the Church do not receive this mercy – Eccl. 15: In the midst of the Chruch she shall open his mouth.
Secundum nomen tuum Deus. Hic ponitur effectus huius susceptionis; quasi dicat, Per hoc quod nos nomen tuum suscepimus, laus tua diffusa est in omnem terram. Et hoc, Secundum nomen tuum Deus, qui est essentialiter bonus. Et quicumque cognoscit Deum secundum illam mensuram, laudat eum secundum quod cognoscit eum: et ideo dicit, Secundum nomen tuum Deus, idest secundum cognitionem quam habet de te: Sic et laus tua. Et quia ubique est notus, ratio dicit, In fines terrae: Mal. 1. A solis ortu usque ad occasum, magnum est nomen meum in gentibus. According to your name O God. Here, he sets down the effect of this reception. It is as if he were saying, On account of the fact that we have received your name, your praise has been spread out over the whole world. And this, According to your name O God, who is essentially good. And whoever knows God in that measure, praises him as he knows him. And so he says, According to your name O God, that is, according to the knowledge which he has of you – So also is your praise. And because he is known everywhere, this is the reason he says, To the ends of the earth – Malachi 1: From the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is great among the nations.
Vel, In fines terrae, idest in tota ecclesia, quae ubique diffusa est. Or, To the ends of the earth, that is, in the entire Church, which has been spread out everywhere.
Vel quia laus tua vera non est nisi in sanctis qui vere te laudant, quia vere te cognoscunt: Io. 7. Scio eum. Or, because your praise is not genuine except among the holy who truly praise you, because they truly know you – John 7: I know him.
Iustitia plena est dextera tua. Hic commendat iustitiam. Et primo ponit commendationem iustitiae. Secundo ponit eius effectum. You right hand is full of justice. Here, he commends justice. First, he sets forth the commendation of justice, and second, its effect.
Dico ergo quod, Suscepimus misericordiam tuam: et hoc non sine iustitia. Immo, Iustitia plena est dextera tua. Manu Dei dicitur virtus eius operativa. Et Deus habet duas manus, scilicet dexteram qua remunerat bonos, et sinistram qua punit malos: Matt. 25. Statuit oves a dextris etc. In utraque manu est iustitia; sed in sinistra non est plena iustitia, quia punit citra condignum; sed in dextera est plena iustitia, quia abundanter remunerat: Luc. 6. Mensuram bonam etc.; Rom. 8. Existimo quod non sunt condignae passiones etc. And so I say that We have received your mercy, but not without justice. Assuredly, Your right hand is full of justice. By the hand of God is meant his active power. And God has two hands, his right by which he rewards the good, and his left by which he punishes the evil – Matthew 25: he shall set the sheep on his right hand etc. In each hand, there is justice; but in his left hand there is not full justice, because he punishes on the side of the worthy; in his right hand, however, there is full justice, because he rewards abundantly – Luke 6: good measure (and pressed down and shaken together); Romans 8: For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy (to be compared with the glory to come).
Dextera tua, idest gloria futura, Est plena iustitia, quia ibi nullus est nisi iustus: Isa. 60. Populus tuus omnes iusti. Your right hand, that is, future glory, is full of justice, because there is no one there except the just – Isaiah 60: Your people shall be all just.
Laetetur mons Sion. Hic ponitur effectus iustitiae quem fecit sinistra, et est gemitus; sed effectus iustitiae quem fecit dextera, est laetitia: Ps. 18. Iustitiae Domini rectae laetificantes corda. Supra dixit, quod effectus misericordiae se extendit usque ad fines terrae, hic autem attribuit effectum iustitiae monti Sion, et filiis Iudae. Hoc etiam Apostolus dicit Rom. 23. Dico autem Christum Iesum ministrum fuisse circumcisionis etc. Quia ergo promissus fuit filiae Sion Zach. 9. Exulta satis filia Sion etc. Let Mount Sion rejoice. Here, he sets down the effect of justice which his left hand did, and this is lamentation. But the effect of justice which his right hand accomplished is joy – Psalm 18: The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts. It was said earlier that the effect of mercy extends itself to the ends of the earth. But here he attributes the effect of justice to Mount Sion and to the daughters of Juda. The Apostle also says this at Romans 15: For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision etc. Thus, because he has promissed the daughters of Sion – Zacharia 9: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion etc.
Laetetur mons Sion, quia iustitiae est quod promissio servetur ei. Sed quia non fuit facta promissio gentibus, misericordia fuit quod daretur. Potest tamen dici quod mons Sion dicitur tota Hierusalem. Let Mount Sion rejoice, because it is of justice which promise is kept for her. But since the promise was not made to the nations, mercy was that which was given. However, it can be said that Mount Sion signifies the whole of Jerusalem.
Et exultent filiae Iudae, idest confessionis, idest totus populus Iudaeorum, Exultent. Et hoc faciant, Propter iudicia tua Domine, quia recta sunt. And the daughters of Juda be glad, that is, of acknowledgement, that is, all the people of the Jews, Be glad. And let them do this Because of your judgments O Lord, since they are right.
f. Circumdate. Hic inducit ad diligentiorem considerationem, ut intelligatur quod reges iam aliquando viderunt magnalia; sed tamen David invitat omnes ut plus considerent. Et primo invitat ad hoc. Secundo addit causam invitationis. Surround. Here, he impells us to a more diligent consideration so that it may be understood that the kings have now, by length, seen great things; but nevertheless, David invites all so that they might consider (these things) further. First, he invites them to do this, and second, he adds the cause of the invitation.
Dicit ergo, Circumdate, scilicet ecclesiam militantem, vel triumphantem oculo contemplationis: Cant. 3. Surgam, et circuibo etc. Aliqui circumdant iniquo oculo ecclesiam ad impugnandum, sed nos circumdamus eam ad amandum; et ideo dicit, Complectimini eam, scilicet diligendo: Ps. 25. Domine dilexi decorem domus tuae. Hieronymus habet, Circuite, quasi ite extra, et circuite per vicos, et Narrate in turribus eius. Therefore, he says, Surround, namely the Church militant, or the Church, triumphant with the eye of contemplation – Song of Songs 3: I will rise, and will go about the city etc. Some surround the Church with a wicked eye so as to attack her. But we surround her so as to love her. And thus he says, And encompass her, namely with loving – Psalm 25: I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of they house. Jerome’s version has Travel around, go outside as it were, and travel around through the towns, and Tell in her towers.
Hic inducit ad considerationem in spirituali. In civitate sunt tria magnifica, scilicet turris, muri, et plateae. At this point, he impells us to a consideration in spiritual terms. There are three eminent things in the city, namely its towers, walls and streets.
Quantum ad primum dicit, Narrate in turribus eius. Hieronymus habet, Mirate turres eius. Turres sunt ad videndum a longe. Turres ergo ecclesiae sunt praelati, et fuerunt Apostoli; quasi dicat, Mirate Apostolos, et praelatos. With respect to the first, he says, Tell in her towers. Jerome has Wonder at her towers. Towers are for seeing at a distance. Thus the towers of the Church are her prelates, and were her Apostles; it is as if he were saying, Wonder at the Apostles and prelates.
Vel, Narrate, idest doctores secundum doctrinam Apostolorum, et doctorum. Or, Tell, that is doctors according to the teachings of the Apostles and of the learned.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Ponite corda vestra in virtute eius. Hieronymus, Ponite cor vestrum in manibus eius. Et hoc est virtus Spiritus sancti, qui protegit hanc civitatem: Luc. ult. Sedete in civitate donec induamini virtute. Haec virtus est dilectio: Cant. 3. Fortis est ut mors dilectio. With respect to the second he says, Set your hearts on her strength. Jerome has, Set your heart in his hands. And this is the power of the Holy Spirit, who defends this city – Luke 24: But stay you in the city till you be endued with power. This power is love – Song of Songs 8: For love is strong as death.
Quantum ad tertium dicit, Et distribuite domos eius. Hieronymus habet, Separate domos eius, distinguite palatia eius. Distinguite, scilicet per rectum iudicium. Sunt enim aliqui qui propter aliquos malos volunt totam ecclesiam damnare. Dicit ergo, Distribuite, idest non debetis bonos propter malos damnare: Gen. 18. Absit a te Domine ut perdas iustum cum impio. With respect to the third he says, And distribute her houses. Jerome has, Separate her houses, distinguish her palaces. Distinguish, namely through right judgment. For there are some who, because of some evil men, want to condemn the entire Church. Thus, he says, Distribute, that is, you ought not to condemn the good because of the bad – Genesis 18: Far be it from you, O Lord, to slay the just with the wicked.
Vel, Distribuite domos eius, scilicet dispensando diversas ecclesias diversis ministris, ut non sit confusio in ecclesia, sicut Paulus fuit Apostolus gentium, et Petrus fuit minister circumcisionis, idest Apostolus Iudaeorum. Or, Distribute her houses, namely by managing different churches with different ministers, so that there is not confusion in the Church, just as Paul was the Apostle of the gentiles, and Peter was the minister of the circumcision, that is, the Apostle of the Jews.
Alia litera habet, Gradus eius, idest ordines diversos: quosdam subdiacones, quosdam diacones, et quosdam sacerdotes: Eph. 4. Et ipse dedit quosdam quidem Apostolos etc. Another version has, Her degrees, that is, her different orders: subdeacons, deacons and priests – Ephesians 4: And he gave some Apostles, etc.
Finis huius considerationis est laus Dei. Et primo ponit quibus nuntietur laus Dei. Secundo, quare nuntietur. Dicit ergo, Ut enarretis, scilicet quae audistis: Isa. 21. Quae audivi a Domino exercituum Deo Israel, nuntiavi vobis: quia quod accepit unus, debet alii communicare: In progenie altera, scilicet peccatoribus. The purpose of this consideration is the praise of God. And first, he sets down to whom the praise of God will be announced, and second, why it will be announced. And so, he says, That you may relate it, namely what you have heard – Isaiah 21: That which I have heard of the Lord of hosts the God of Israel, I have declared unto you: because what one has accepted, ought to be communicated to others, To another generation, namely to sinners.
Vel, Altera, idest futura. Et quid enarretis? Duo: quia omnis praedicatio ad duo debet ordinari, scilicet ad ostendendam Dei magnificentiam, sicut quando praedicat fidem, vel ad annuntiandum beneficia Dei, ut accendatur charitas in eorum cordibus. Or, Another, that is, a future generation. And what will you announce? Two things, since every proclamation should be ordered to two things, namely to show the magnificence of God, just as when he proclaims the faith, or to announce the kindnesses of God, so that charity be inflamed in their hearts.
Quantum ad primum dicit, Quoniam hic est Deus Deus noster: Baruch 3. Hic est Deus noster. Et post haec in terris etc. Hebr. ult. Christus Iesus heri, et hodie, ipse et in saecul. With respect to the first, he says, For this is God, our God – Baruch 3: This is our God…Afterwards he was seen upon earth; Hebrews 13: Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today, and the same forever.
Quantum ad secundum dicit, Ipse reget nos in saecula: Matth. ult. Ecce ego vobiscum sum etc. Ps. 22. Dominus regit me, et nihil etc. With respect to the second, he says, He shall rule us forever more – Matthew 28: Behold I am with you always etc; Psalm 22: The Lord ruleth me: and I shall want for nothing.

© Stephen Loughlin

The Aquinas Translation Project

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:18-19, 21-24

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 2, 2013

This post includes (in purple text) the Bishop’s paraphrasing of the verses he is commenting on.

18. For you are not come to a mountain that might be touched, and a burning fire, and a whirlwind, and darkness, and storm.

(Your sanctity should be greater, as the religion which you profess is the more holy and exalted); for, you have not approached the material tangible
mountain (Sinai), nor the fire kindled on its summit, nor the impetuous winds, nor the dense clouds, nor the storm of rain, thunder, and lightning;

Some Commentators say, that the object of the Apostle, in contrasting here the New with the Old Testament, was, to anticipate or answer an objection which the Hebrews might make against the New Law, on the ground, that its promulgation was not attended with the splendid phenomena, which ushered in the Old. The Apostle, according to their view, admits the many distinguished marks of divine sanction which characterised the Old Testament; but still, he shows the New was marked by still greater (verse 22). Others, more probably, maintain, that the comparison between both laws was instituted for the purpose of showing the heinousness of desertion from the New Law; for, if the violators of a less perfect law were punished so severely, how much more so will be the apostates from Christianity? which is the conclusion drawn (verse 25). “Approached the mountain which could be touched.” “Approach,” is a term signifying religious worship generally (v.g. 11:6); here, it signifies embracing a religion. The two laws are designated by two mountains, Sinai and Sion. “Which could be touched,” i.e., the material and corporeal, or tangible mountain, as opposed to the incorporeal and spiritual one (verse 22). All the solemnities which accompanied the promulgation of the Old Law are mentioned (Exodus, chap 29.) “And a burning fire.” Sinai “appeared hke a furnace” (Exodus 29.) “To a whirlwind, and darkness, and storm” (Exodus 29., and Deut 4.)

19. And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which they that heard excused themselves, that the word might not be spoken to them.

Nor the sound of a trumpet through which were uttered the words of the angel, which the Jews hearing, exclaimed: “Let not the Lord speak to us, but
Moses, lest we die.”—(Exodus 20:19).

“And the sound of a trumpet, and (i.e.), the voice of words,” since it was by a trumpet the angel spoke. “Which they that heard excused themselves,” saying, “speak thou to us let not the Lord speak to us, lest we die.”—(Exodus 20:19).

21.  And so terrible was that which was seen, Moses said: I am frighted, and tremble.

And so terrible was the entire appearance, that Moses himself, though accustomed to long and familiar converse with God, said, I as seized with fright and trembling.

And so terrible was the entire scene, all that was seen and heard, that Moses himself, though accustomed to long converge with God, said, “I am frighted and tremble.” In the narration of Exodus, we have no record that Moses uttered these words; hence, the Apostle must have learned them from tradition or inspiration, the same way in which he learned the names of the Egyptian magicians.—(2 Timothy 3)

22. But you are come to mount Sion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to the company of many thousands of angels,

But you have approached the spiritual Mount Sion, or the Church of Christ founded on Sion, and the city of the living God. the heavenly Jerusalem,
and the joyous assemblage of many thousands of angels, not arrayed in terror, like the angels of Sinai, but celebratmg an eternal festival of joy;

“They are come to Mount Sion,” i.e., they embraced the religion or Church of Christ, founded on Mount Sion. This refers to the Church militant. “And to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem,” which refers to the Church triumphant, whereof the earthly Jerusalem was a figure. The Apostle, then, alludes, in this verse, to the entire Church, militant and triumphant, regarded here, as one by him; the Church militant here below, is the entrance to the Church triumphant in heaven, which it continually peoples with blessed spirits, between whom and us. here on earth, there is a constant, unceasing communion. They communicate their merits to us, and present our petitions to God, and act as our intercessors with him in heaven.

23. And to the church of the first-born, who are written in the heavens, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the just made perfect.

And to the Church of the first-born, i.e., of the Apostles, Martyrs, and primitive faitiful, who, having been hist regenerated in Christ, and having received the first fruits and abundance of the spirit, are now enrolled as citizens of heaven, in which they reign with Christ, and to God the Judge of all, who will reward your fidelity and punish your persecutors; and to the spirits of the just of the Old Testament, who now, after performing prodigies of faith, are possessed of consummate felicity, in the enjoyment of the beatific vision of God;

He here, more fully and in detail, points out the inhabitants of the heavenly
Jerusalem, with whom we are associated. “To the Church of the first-born,” who are enrolled as citizens of heaven, (vide Paraphrase). In the Greek -πανηγυρει και εκκλησια  (panēguris kai ekklesia)-to the general assembly and church of the first-born. Others, by “first-born,” understand all the elect, selected out of the mass of creation; and chosen, as the sons of God, to the inheritance of the first-born, “(God the Judge of all.” This is said to console them, because God will reward them, and, as is just, will punish their persecutors (2 Thess 1:6). “And to the spirits of the just made perfect.” This is, more commonly understood of the just of old, who, having performed glorious works, were still not perfected until now, when Christ opened the gates of heaven—(chap 11:40).

24. And to Jesus the mediator of the new testament, and to the sprinkling of blood which speaketh better than that of Abel.

And to Jesus, the Mediator of the New Testament (on the part of God promising eternal rewards to such as observe the conditions of the testament, and on the part of men, enabling them by the grace which he has merited, to observe the law), and to the sprinkling of the blood of Christ (typified by the sprinkling of the blood of the legal victims), speaking better than that of Abel (the blood of Abel cried aloud for vengeance, that of Christ, for peace and mercy).

Jesus is the Mediator of the New Testament, because he holds out promises on the part of God; and on the part of man, merits the graces necessary for fulfilling the conditions of the promises, that is to say, the proper observance of the law. The Apostle makes a similar allusion to the mystical signification of Sinai and Jerusalem, in his Epistle to the Galatians (4:24).

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 2, 2013

I’ve included the Bishop’s summary analysis of the entire chapter to help provide some context. I’ve also included (in purple) the Bishop’s interpretive paraphrasing of the verses he is commenting on. Finally,  I’ve added some notes of my own; these are in red.

Analysis: In this chapter, the Apostle points out the practical instruction which the Hebrews should derivef rom the examples of the illustrious heroes of faith, who served at the same time as witnesses of its great efficacy. It is this; that they should, like them, enter on the spiritual struggle, with patience and alacrity (1). He also animates them by the prospect of the rewards, which Jesus holds out for them (2), and by the example of suffering which lie set them (3). He adduces the testimony of the Holy Ghost, wherein is set forth the advantage of affliction, in order to console them under persecution and suffering (5-8). He itistitutes a comparison between the correction administered to us by our earthly parents, and that administered by God, and the effects of both (8-10). He shows that the effect of our present affliction, although bitter atpresent, shall be, in the end, most sweet and agreeable (11).

From the foregoing, he exhorts them to advance straightforward with courage and vigour in the path of Christian perfection (12, 13), to cultivate peace and purity of heart (14), to correspond with God’s grace, and by prudent vigilance and circumspection, to see that there be found amongst them neither impure nor impious men, who may, like Esau, be reprobated and lose their eternal inheritance (15-17).

He institutes a comparison between the New and the Old Testatnents, with a vieiv of exhorting them to purity of life and morals, corresponding with the dignity of the better and more perfect covenafit to which they belonged; or, perhaps, as appears from verse, 25, with a view of deterring them from apostasy, by shunning the grievousncss of that crime, and the heavy punishment in store for such transgressions (18-25).  He points out view the same view, the rigours of future Judgment (29).

Heb 12:4 For you have not resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

For, while he has poured out the last drop of his sacred blood, you have not yet shed a single drop in the spiritual contests, in which you have been engaged against sin.

The confiscation of property and the ignominious treatment which they had hitherto endured, were comparatively light trials. They did not yet pour out their blood, in their resistance to sin. By “sin,” some understand, sinners, the abstract, for the concrete. Others, more probably, think that the word “sin,” is personified as an adversary, with whom they are contending (for, the agonistic metaphor referred to, verse 1, is here again introduced); and, then, this adversary, “sin,” refers to the temptation and allurements, held out to them by the false doctrines and pernicious examples of apostates.

Heb 12:5  And you have forgotten the consolation which speaketh to you, as unto children, saying: My son, neglect not the discipline of the Lord: neither be thou wearied whilst thou art rebuked by him.

Have you forgotten the consolatory exhortation which, in the Sacred Scriptures, God holds forth to you as to his own children, saying: My son, disregard not the disciplinary chastisement of the Lord, and be not disheartened, when corrected by him? (This is  sign of his fatherly benevolence towards thee).

“And you have forgotten,” &c. This is read interrogatively by some, and with great force, and have you forgotten? &c. The meaning is the same in both readings.

Heb 12:6  For whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth: and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

For whom the Lord loveth, him does he chastise by temporal afflictions, with a view of trying, instructing, and amending him; and he scourges every one who he has received into the adoption of sons-Proverbs 3:11.

6. “For whom the Lord loveth he chastiseth…every son whom he receiveth.” These words are quoted from the Book of Proverbs (chap 3.) according to the Septuagint version. They are introduced by the Apostle to encourage the Hebrews in their afflictions; since they show That crosses and afflictions, far from being evils, are, on the contrary, a mark of God’s special love and adoption. Thus “consolation” (verse 5) is in Greek, παρακλησεως, which  also means, exhortation. “Neglect not the discipline,” &c. “Discipline,” in the Greek, naunac, means, the chastisement of children.

Heb 12:7  Persevere under discipline. God dealeth with you as with his sons. For what son is there whom the father doth not correct?

Persevere under chastisement, since by inflicting it, God shows himself as a father, and treats you as children; for, what son is there, whom his father does not correct and chastise?

“Persevere under discipline,” &c In Greek, ει παιδειαν υπομενετε, if you patiently endure discipline. “God dealeth with you as with his sons.” “For what son is there whom the father does not correct?” and hence, as sons of God, they should not expect to be exempted from the common lot of all true children. The Greek reading derives  great probability from the antithesis, next verse. If you persevere under discipline, God, by sending it, treats you as children; “for, what son is there whom the father does not correct?”

Heb 12:11  Now all chastisement for the present indeed seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorrow: but afterwards it will yield to them that are exercised by it the most peaceable fruit of justice.

And if we look to the immediate effect of God’s chastisement, this would seem to be, while we are suffering under it, not joy, but sorrow; but those exercised in it will reap in abundance, hereafter the fruit of justice, which justice carries with it peace and consolation of soul.

The present effect of correction and suffering would appear to be, not joy, but sorrow, during the time we are enduring it. He says, “seemeth not to bring with it joy, but sorrow,” because it is commonly regarded in that light; however, in its effects, it is really “all joy.”—(St. James, i. 2). ‘The most peaceable fruit of justice,” According to the interpretation in the Paraphrase, by the “fruit of justice,” is meant, justice itself: thus we say, the virtue of humility, i.e., humility itself, &c., and “justice.” or, “the fruit of justice,” has the same meaning as “sanctification,”—verse, 10. Others understand the words to mean, that the patient endurance of affliction will
give the fruit of eternal peace, due to it as a matter of justice, or as the reward of strict merit. The former interpretation is the more probable; because the Apostle is not treating of the fruit which justice produces, but of the fruit which patience under affliction begets, and that is, justice.

Heb 12:12  Wherefore, lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees:

Wherefore, such being the good effects of suffering, shaking off all sloth, brace your nerves for further exertion, lift up the hands which hang down, and the tottering knees.

He continues the allusion to the agonistic exercises, from which he borrows
many illustrations of a Christian life. He exhorts them, leaving aside all indolence and remissness, to prepare themselves for the patient endurance of evil, in their struggles with adversity. Note: “agonistic exercises” originally referred to athletic competition in the ancient Greco-Roman world. By extension it refers to the various responses which take place when two opposing groups are associated or come together: aggression, appeasement, threat, avoidance, etc.  The Bishop has Christianized the idea; note the word ” exercised” (γυμνάζω, gumnazō = goom-nad’-zo) in verse 11.

St Paul, as he often does, has mixed his metaphors for a stronger effect. The Jewish Christians to whom he is writing are suffering at the hands of Gentiles and their former coreligionists,-both Jews and Jewish Christians who have apostatized- this is agonistic (i.e., confrontational), but they are to consider it as an agonistic exercise (hard training for the purpose of gaining discipline and endurance, see vss 5 & 7).  This is where the athletic imagery of verse 12 comes in: lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees. A wearied boxer begins to let his guard posture down by holding his hands lower, and a wearied runner’s stride becomes weak and less pronounced.  See St Paul’s mixing of boxing and running images in 12:1~laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us. the words “laying aside every weight and sin” suggests the image of taking off clothing; the Greek word for “exercised” which Paul used in verse 11 means, literally, “to practice naked,” which is how Greek athletes both trained and competed. St Paul has taken a practice which Jews and Christians found abhorrent and turned it into an effective image of spiritual struggle! The whole thing has been given a christological orientation in verses 2-3. I’ll finish by directing your attention to 1 Maccabees 1:11-15. Jewish apostates “built a gymnasium in Jerusalem according to the Gentile custom” (vs 14).  This fact is immediately followed by these words: “They covered over the mark of their circumcision…” (15), clearly suggesting that what went on in the gymnasium was done in the nude.

Heb 12:13  And make straight steps with your feet: that no one, halting, may go out of the way; but rather be healed.

And instead of staggering from the effects of persecution between Judaism and Christianity, walk straightforward in the way of the gospel , that no one halting in the right path, may turn aside from it, but rather may be healed.

And also to prepare themselves for the performance of good works, signified by “straight steps,” instead of “halting” in the path of Christian faith, and of inclining to turn aside and not persevere; they should “rather be healed,” i.e., be restored to Christian integrity, in case of departure from it.
“The figure is taken from a rough, uneven road, on which, if a man who is somewhat lame walk, his lameness is increased; while, by moderate exercise on a smooth road, an incipient lameness from paralysis might gradually disappear by the strengthening of the foot.—Kenrick, in hunc locum.

Note: a more plausible explanation of Paul’s words-so it seems to me-is that he is continuing the running metaphor here. And make straight steps with your feet: A distance runner can become so fatigued that he begins to drift back and forth from one side of the course to another. That no one, halting, may go out of the way: that no one stop his competing and leave the running course. But rather be healed: to use modern athletic jargon: “catch your second wind,” or, “second breathe.” Essentially, this repeats the meaning of the exhortation of the previous verse: lift up the hands which hang down and the feeble knees.

Heb 12:14  Follow peace with all men and holiness: without which no man shall see God.

Cultivate peace as far as possible, with all men, and that general purity of heart, without which no one shall see God.

“Follow peace,” &c. The (Greek word for “follow,” διωκετε contains an allusion to the eager pursuit of battle or the chase. It shows how earnestly the Apostle recommends them to cultivate peace.

Heb 12:15  Looking diligently, lest any man be wanting to the grace of God: lest any root of bitterness springing up do hinder and by it many be defiled:

Exercising also a prudent and charitable vigilance over others, seeing that no one amongst you be wanting to the great grace of faith and of his Christian calling, lest any root of bitterness (either in the shape of depraved example or false doctrine) springing up, should impede your onward straight course and prove the cause of spiritual defilement to many.

“Looking diligently,” &c., επισκοπουντες, i.e., not merely confining your attention, each one to his own spiritual concerns, but also exercising a charitable superintendence and vigilance, over the spiritual good of his neighbour. “The grace of God,” i.e., the grace of faith and of Christian vocation. “Lest any root of bitterness springing up.” This is the just designation which the Apostle gives the sin of apostasy and of bad example.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, liturgy, Notes on Hebrews, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: