Wednesday, 10 October 2012

A psalm for the conversion of souls (including our own!)

Continuing my series of psalms to pray for the conversion of souls, today's psalm, Psalm 77 (78) is a reminder that the lapse of the current generation into apostasy is nothing new: rather it is a pattern that has recurred throughout salvation history.  Nor should we think that we ourselves are not guilty of the same sin!

Psalm 77, though a great psalm well worth reading in full, is very long (as it reviews a lot of salvation history), and the Benedictine Office actually splits it in two in the context of Thursday Matins.  Accordingly, I've made a selection of verses from it.

And by way of an antiphon to go with it, I'm suggesting one of my favourite psalm verses (though whether I've actually fully accepted its teaching into my own life is a different matter!).  It's from Psalm 31 (32), that urges us to use the intellect God gave us and accept his instruction, rather than having to be dragged kicking and screaming by means of bit and bridle...

Antiphon: Do not become like the horse and the mule, who have no understanding.

1. Attend, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2 I will open my mouth in parables: I will utter propositions from the beginning.
3 How great things have we heard and known, and our fathers have told us.
4 They have not been hidden from their children, in another generation. Declaring the praises of the Lord, and his powers, and his wonders which he has done.
5 And he set up a testimony in Jacob: and made a law in Israel. How great things he commanded our fathers, that they should make the same known to their children:
6 That another generation might know them. The children that should be born and should rise up, and declare them to their children.
7 That they may put their hope in God and may not forget the works of God: and may seek his commandments.
8 That they may not become like their fathers, a perverse and exasperating generation. A generation that set not their heart aright: and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
36 And they loved him with their mouth, and with their tongue they lied unto him:
37 But their heart was not right with him: nor were they counted faithful in his covenant.
38 But he is merciful, and will forgive their sins: and will not destroy them. And many a time did he turn away his anger: and did not kindle all his wrath.
39 And he remembered that they are flesh: a wind that goes and returns not.
52 And he took away his own people as sheep: and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53 And he brought them out in hope and they feared not: and the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54 And he brought them into the mountain of his sanctuary: the mountain which his right hand had purchased. And he cast out the Gentiles before them: and by lot divided to them their land by a line of distribution.
55 And he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tabernacles.
56 Yet they tempted, and provoked the most high God: and they kept not his testimonies.
57 And they turned away, and kept not the covenant: even like their fathers they were turned aside as a crooked bow.
58 They provoked him to anger on their hills: and moved him to jealousy with their graven things. 67 And he rejected the tabernacle of Joseph: and chose not the tribe of Ephraim:
68 But he chose the tribe of Juda, mount Sion which he loved.
69 And he built his sanctuary as of unicorns, in the land which he founded for ever.
70 And he chose his servant David, and took him from the flocks of sheep: he brought him from following the ewes great with young,
71 to feed Jacob his servant and Israel his inheritance.

72 And he fed them in the innocence of his heart: and conducted them by the skilfulness of his hands

Antiphon: Do not become like the horse and the mule, who have no understanding.

And here is the Latin:

Antiphon: Nolite fieri sicut equus et mulus, quibus non est intellectus.   1 Attendite, popule meus, legem meam; inclinate aurem vestram in verba oris mei.
2 Aperiam in parabolis os meum; loquar propositiones ab initio.
3 Quanta audivimus, et cognovimus ea, et patres nostri narraverunt nobis.
4 Non sunt occultata a filiis eorum in generatione altera, narrantes laudes Domini et virtutes ejus, et mirabilia ejus quæ fecit.
5 Et suscitavit testimonium in Jacob, et legem posuit in Israël, quanta mandavit patribus nostris nota facere ea filiis suis:
6 ut cognoscat generatio altera : filii qui nascentur et exsurgent, et narrabunt filiis suis,
7 ut ponant in Deo spem suam, et non obliviscantur operum Dei, et mandata ejus exquirant:
8 ne fiant, sicut patres eorum, generatio prava et exasperans; generatio quæ non direxit cor suum, et non est creditus cum Deo spiritus ejus.
36 Et dilexerunt eum in ore suo, et lingua sua mentiti sunt ei;
37 cor autem eorum non erat rectum cum eo, nec fideles habiti sunt in testamento ejus.
38 Ipse autem est misericors, et propitius fiet peccatis eorum, et non disperdet eos. Et abundavit ut averteret iram suam, et non accendit omnem iram suam.
39 Et recordatus est quia caro sunt, spiritus vadens et non rediens.
52 et abstulit sicut oves populum suum, et perduxit eos tamquam gregem in deserto:
53 et deduxit eos in spe, et non timuerunt, et inimicos eorum operuit mare.
54 Et induxit eos in montem sanctificationis suæ, montem quem acquisivit dextera ejus; et ejecit a facie eorum gentes, et sorte divisit eis terram in funiculo distributionis;
55 et habitare fecit in tabernaculis eorum tribus Israël.
56 Et tentaverunt, et exacerbaverunt Deum excelsum, et testimonia ejus non custodierunt.
57 Et averterunt se, et non servaverunt pactum : quemadmodum patres eorum, conversi sunt in arcum pravum.
58 In iram concitaverunt eum in collibus suis, et in sculptilibus suis ad æmulationem eum provocaverunt.
67 Et repulit tabernaculum Joseph, et tribum Ephraim non elegit:
68 sed elegit tribum Juda, montem Sion, quem dilexit.
69 Et ædificavit sicut unicornium sanctificium suum, in terra quam fundavit in sæcula.
70 Et elegit David, servum suum, et sustulit eum de gregibus ovium; de post fœtantes accepit eum:
71 pascere Jacob servum suum, et Israël hæreditatem suam.
72 Et pavit eos in innocentia cordis sui, et in intellectibus manuum suarum deduxit eos.

Antiphon: Nolite fieri sicut equus et mulus, quibus non est intellectus.

No comments: