Meditations on the Psalms, On Some Observances of the Church #1, by Monsignor Ronald Arbuthnott Knox

cover of the ebook 'Meditations on the Psalms, by Monsignor Ronald Arbuthnott Knox'

Psalm 109

The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou at my right hand: Until I make thy enemies thy footstool. The Lord will send forth the sceptre of thy power out of Sion: rule thou in the midst of thy enemies. With thee is the principality in the day of thy strength: in the brightness of the saints: from the womb before the day star I begot thee. The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedech. The Lord at thy right hand hath broken kings in the day of his wrath.

He shall judge among nations, he shall fill ruins: he shall crush the heads in the land of the many. He shall drink of the torrent in the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.

• • •

Christmas Day

First Point. The Hypostatic Union. God is, by his title of creation, the Lord of all things; but, for the sake of. fallen Man, he has earned afresh the title of “our Lord” by a more personal and intimate claim. There has been no time in history when the Divine Word was not seated at the Father’s right Hand, enjoying the full prerogatives of the Godhead. Yet, at a point in time, the Divine Word did condescend to take upon Him our flesh, that in the likeness of sinful man he might overthrow the dominion of the devil brought about by man’s sin. He is born of Juda, a member of the race that has been mysteriously set apart and prepared by God for the preservation of the true religion and for the advent of the Redeemer. Yet he comes to his own, and his own do not receive him. The Kingdom he comes to found is one which is to do continual battle amidst a world of sin; so he, its Founder, takes upon himself not merely a Human Nature but a despised and persecuted Human Nature, a sign everywhere spoken against.

Second Point. The Virgin birth. See how, at the mere whisper of Christ’s coming, his glory already begins to manifest itself in his chosen Saints: how John is miraculously born, Mary favoured with a heavenly visit; how the Forerunner, while yet in the womb, greets her who carries in her Womb the Lamb of God: how the holy Angels and the stars themselves cannot keep the secret, but proclaim it to the shepherds and the Kings, that they may come and adore. But the chief and the most central miracle of all is the conception of Christ by the operation of the Holy Spirit in the Womb of his immaculate Mother, and her virgin child-bearing. So Christ comes secretly where he is least expected; comes, too, at midnight, when silence holds all around, with all the circumstances of sanctity and of privacy due to such an Advent. For he who comes is “without father and without mother, having neither beginning of days nor end of life”; though truly Man, he is not brought into being at this birth, but has been from all eternity, begotten before the worlds by a mysterious Generation in the bosom of the Godhead.

Third Point. The Kingdom of Christ. And hardly is the Child born, before he has to be rescued by a wonderful Providence from the treacherous cruelty of an earthly king. Involuntarily, the wicked tyrant does tribute to the Kingship of Christ that has been revealed to the Wise Men. He is a King indeed, who is to judge and find wanting his ancient people, the Jews, and, disappointed of faith here, is to build up on the ruins of the old dispensation a new People, chosen from every nation under heaven: in that Kingdom, as he tells us, many that are last will be first, and the first last. Yet he does not come in the Kingly state that befits his divine Majesty, but as a viator, as Man in his state of humiliation, depending for his sustenance and preservation on the common resources of humanity: it is only in virtue of that humiliation that he is to receive, in his glorified human Nature, the Name that is above every name, that at the Name of Jesus, the little Child born in Bethlehem, every knee in Heaven and earth should bow.

Acts – Adoration of this great mystery; congratulation with the Blessed Virgin; humility in union with the humiliation of Christ.

Colloquy with the uncrowned King who comes to visit his own.