Meditations on the Psalms, On Some Observances of the Church #7, by Monsignor Ronald Arbuthnott Knox

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

Psalm 44

My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my works to the king; My tongue is the pen of a scrivener that writeth swiftly. Thou art beautiful above the sons of men: grace is poured abroad in thy lips; therefore hath God blessed thee for ever. Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O thou most mighty. With thy comeliness and thy beauty set out, proceed prosperously, and reign. Because of truth and meekness and justice: and thy right hand shall conduct thee wonderfully.

Thy arrows are sharp: under thee shall people fall, into the hearts of the king’s enemies. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a sceptre of uprightness. Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. Myrrh and stacte and cassia perfume thy garments, from the ivory houses: out of which The daughters of kings have delighted thee in thy glory. The queen stood on thy right hand, in gilded clothing; surrounded with variety.

Hearken, O daughter, and see, and incline thy ear: and forget thy people and thy father’s house. And the king shall greatly desire thy beauty; for he is the Lord thy God, and him they shall adore. And the daughters of Tyre with gifts, yea, all the rich among the people, shall entreat thy countenance. All the glory of the king’s daughter is within in golden borders, Clothed round about with varieties. After her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbours shall be brought to thee.

They shall be brought with gladness and rejoicing: they shall be brought into the temple of the king. Instead of thy fathers, sons are born to thee: thou shalt make them princes over all the earth. They shall remember thy name throughout all generations. Therefore shall people praise thee for ever; yea, for ever and ever.

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The Praises of Mary

First Point. The glories of the Sacred Humanity. There is no subject which can so readily excite our praise and admiration as the exaltation of our human Nature in Jesus Christ. In his whole life a beauty shines forth which is not of this world, although he is truly Man and circumscribed by the necessary limitations of humanity. His words are the words of eternal life, the unaging message of God’s Revelation. Yet he comes to earth with a sword, for he divides the hearts of men according as they accept or reject his message. He is to reign as a King, full of love and of pardon, in the hearts of those who accept it; he enlightens them with his truth, inspires them with the example of his patience and humility, justifies them by His merits. But he is also a king in his condemnation of those who reject him, for his words are like sharp arrows, penetrating the conscience of his enemies, “that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed.” In this kingly capacity, justifying his servants and judging his enemies, the Son of Mary is to reign for ever, his manhood anointed beyond the possibilities of ordinary manhood by the unction which flows from its union with the Person of the Divine Word.

Second Point. The corresponding glories of the Mother of God. The garment of the king, that is, the sacred Humanity assumed by the Son of God, derives its incorruptible fragrance, its freedom, that is, from the corruption we inherit from Adam – from Mary, the Tower of Ivory, whose inexpugnable purity defied the assaults of sin. The first place, therefore, in the King’s court, must be given to his Mother, who, like the gold that derives its glory from the light which it reflects, won glory by her perfect determination to correspond with God’s Will for her: from this single shining quality depend all the other graces we admire in her, her purity, charity, unselfishness, humility, silence. Sprung from the royal house of Juda, the women of which were always proud of their motherhood, hoping that the Messiah would one day be descended from them, she forgets all this, silently making a vow of virginity to God. Therefore she is counted worthy, in default of human wedlock, to have a higher title as the Spouse of the Holy Ghost: she achieves a higher dignity, and from that time forth even the mightiest on earth bow down to entreat her intercession.

Third Point. Mary is the Queen of Virgins and the Mother of the Church. Mary’s perfect obedience is an interior quality, hidden from human gaze by her humble life and her love of silence, yet see the manifold praises it claims from the Church! This correspondence with grace, combined with this unselfish humility, must be shared to some extent by all who would find a vocation in God’s service; those who thus imitate her will be brought by her patronage to the eternal felicity of the heavenly Palace. What are the royal names of David’s line compared with the spiritual succession of those devout souls who, adorned by the imitation of her, sustained by her prayers, mystically united with her Son, have shewn forth the glory of God in all parts of the world, and by their willing tribute to the power of her prayers have helped to secure the fulfillment of the promise that all generations should call her blessed?

Acts – Congratulation with Mary on the glories of her Son and the graces bestowed on her; renunciation of all selfish ambition, as opposed to God’s glory; humility and desire of earthly obscurity.

Colloquy with Christ as the Spouse of the devout soul.