Saint Augustine on Psalm 10

St. Augustin: Exposition on the Book of Psalms

Author(s): Augustine, St.

Schaff, Philip (1819-1893) (Editor)

Sursa: www.ccel.org

Psalm 10

A PSALM OF DAVID HIMSELF.

fericitulaugustin31. This title does not require a fresh consideration: for the meaning of, “to the end,” has already been sufficiently handled. Let us then look to the text itself of the Psalm, which to me appears to be sung against the heretics, who, by rehearsing and exaggerating the sins of many in the Church, as if either all or the majority among themselves were righteous, strive to turn and snatch us away from the breasts of the one True Mother Church: affirming that Christ is with them, and warning us as if with piety and earnestness, that by passing over to them we may go over to Christ, whom they falsely declare they have. Now it is known that in prophecy Christ, among the many names in which notice of Him is conveyed in allegory, is also called a mountain. We must accordingly answer these people, and say, “I trust in the Lord: how say ye to my soul, Remove into the mountains as a sparrow?” (ver. 1). I keep to one mountain wherein I trust, how say ye that I should pass over to you, as if there were many Christs? Or if through pride you say that you are mountains, I had indeed need to be a sparrow winged with the powers and commandments of God: but these very things hinder my flying to these mountains, and placing my trust in proud men. I have a house where I may rest, in that I trust in the Lord. For even “the sparrow hath found her a house,” and, “The Lord hath become a refuge to the poor.” Let us say then with all confidence, lest while we seek Christ among heretics we lose Him, In the Lord I trust: how say ye to my soul, Remove into the mountains as a sparrow?”

2. “For, lo, sinners have bent the bow, they have prepared their arrows in the quiver, that they may in the obscure moon shoot at the upright in heart” (ver. 2). These be the terrors of those who threaten us as touching sinners, that we may pass over to them as the righteous. “Lo,” they say, “the sinners have bent the bow:” the Scriptures, I suppose, by carnal interpretation of which they emit envenomed sentences from them. “They have prepared their arrows in the quiver:” the same words, that is, which they will shoot out on the authority of Scripture, they have prepared in the secret place of the heart. “That they may in the obscure moon shoot at the upright in heart:” that when they see, from the Church’s light being obscured by the multitude of the unlearned and the carnal, that they cannot be convicted, they may corrupt good manners by evil communications. But against all these terrors we must say, “In the Lord I trust.”

3. Now I remember that I promised to consider in this Psalm with what suitableness the moon signifies the Church. There are two probable opinions concerning the moon: but of these which is the true, I suppose it either impossible or very difficult for a man to decide. For when we ask whence the moon has her light, some say that it is her own, but that of her globe half is bright, and half dark: and when she revolves in her own orbit, that part wherein she is bright gradually turns towards the earth, so as that it may be seen by us; and that therefore at first her appearance is as if she were horned.…According to this opinion the moon in allegory signifies the Church, because in its spiritual part the Church is bright, but in its carnal part is dark: and sometimes the spiritual part is seen by good works, but sometimes it lies hid in the conscience, and is known to God alone, since in the body alone is it seen by men.…But according to the other opinion also the moon is understood to be the Church, because she has no light of her own, but is lighted by the only-begotten Son of God, who in many places of holy Scripture is allegorically called the Sun. Whom certain heretics being ignorant of, and not able to discern Him, endeavour to turn away the minds of the simple to this corporeal and visible sun, which is the common light of the flesh of men and flies, and some they do pervert, who as long as they cannot behold with the mind the inner light of truth, will not be content with the simple Catholic faith; which is the only safety to babes, and by which milk alone they can arrive in assured strength at the firm support of more solid food. Whichever then of these two opinions be the true, the moon in allegory is fitly understood as the Church. Or if in such difficulties as these, troublesome rather than edifying, there be either no satisfaction or no leisure to exercise the mind, or if the mind itself be not capable of it, it is sufficient to regard the moon with ordinary eyes, and not to seek out obscure causes, but with all men to perceive her increasings and fulnesses and wanings; and if she wanes to the end that she may be renewed, even to this rude multitude she sets forth the image of the Church, in which the resurrection of the dead is believed.

Anunțuri

~ de Petre pe Martie 16, 2009.

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