Meditations on the Psalms, On Some Observances of the Church #5, by Monsignor Ronald Arbuthnott Knox

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

Psalm 145

Praise the Lord, O my soul, in my life I will praise the Lord: I will sing to my God as long as I shall be. Put not your trust in princes: In the children of men, in whom there is no salvation. His spirit shall go forth, and he shall return into his earth: in that day all their thoughts shall perish. Blessed is he who hath the God of Jacob for his helper, whose hope is in the Lord his God:

Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all things that are in them. Who keepeth truth for ever: who executeth judgment for them that suffer wrong: who giveth food to the hungry. The Lord looseth them that are fettered: The Lord enlighteneth the blind. The Lord lifteth up them that are cast down: the Lord loveth the just. The Lord keepeth the strangers, he will support the fatherless and the widow: and the ways of sinners he will destroy. The Lord shall reign for ever: thy God, O Sion, unto generation and generation.

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All Saints

First Point. Earthly compared with heavenly patronage. How wise is he who, in this earthly life, makes it his first business to do honour, not to earthly dignities, but to God who is Lord both of this world and of the next! It seems natural and profitable to make friends of those in high worldly position, and flatter ourselves on the number or the exalted station of our acquaintances. And yet those who so lay their plans may be defeated suddenly by the death of a powerful patron, who is scarcely laid in his coffin before his memory is for gotten and his policy reversed. And we, too, have death to face, and a judgment at which we must appear; what safety shall we find then in great names and proud titles? How we shall wish then that we had learnt to rely more on the chosen sons of God, the princes of his court, the patrons at his judgment seat the blessed company of Saints!

Second Point. The Saints themselves centred their hopes in Heaven. Truly we may call them blessed now, who did not regard at all the world’s smiles and frowns, knowing that God was their protector. He, who in his omnipotence had made heaven and earth and sea, and in his omniscience had ordered, to the minutest detail, the furniture of each would he neglect them? Would not the Providence that cared for the sparrows protect the interests of their more precious souls? So they argued, and God rewarded their confidence. He, who never fails to keep faith with his servants, stood by his Apostles and Martyrs before earthly tribunals, and gave them strength to overcome in the hour of their death, or, if he saw fit, provided (sometimes miraculously) means for their escape. And when his holy Confessors, hungering and thirsting only after his love, despised the world and neglected their own worldly interests, he provided them with food and raiment and all their corporal wants, and fed them besides, past all our imagining, with the hidden sweetness of Divine Love.

Third Point. We must learn, then, to glorify God in his Saints, who owed and attributed all their sanctity to him. God did not choose his Saints from among those who had the greatest of worldly opportunities. Some of them Saint Francis for example had great opposition to overcome, and God over came it for them: some, like Blessed John Vianney, were poor and ignorant, and God enlightened them miraculously: some, like Saint Mary Magdalen, were sunk in the depths of sin, and he lifted them on to their feet to serve him. What loving care, then, does he bestow on those who earnestly seek for him! They are strangers and pilgrims in this world of shadows it is he who refreshes their pilgrimage: they are defenseless against their oppressors it is He who judges their cause; they sacrifice, for His sake, earthly loves and attachments He more than repays them with celestial delights. It is the sinners who trust in worldly prosperity who find, sooner or later, that even this world fails them. Let us then adore God on his eternal throne, joining our praise with that of his heavenly Courtiers, while we implore their patronage.

Acts – Contempt of the world; confidence in God’s Providence; congratulation with his Saints.

Colloquy with God who protects the weak and exalts the humble.