Meditations on the Psalms, On The Interior Life #10, by Monsignor Ronald Arbuthnott Knox

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

Psalm 2

Why have the Gentiles raged, and the people devised vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord and against his Christ. Let us break their bonds asunder: and let us cast away their yoke from us. He that dwelleth in heaven shall laugh at them: and the Lord shall deride them. Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his rage.

But I am appointed king by him over Sion his holy mountain, preaching his commandment. The Lord hath said to me: Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt rule them with a rod of iron, and shalt break them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. And now, O ye kings, understand: receive instruction, you that judge the earth.

Serve ye the Lord with fear: and rejoice unto him with trembling. Embrace discipline, lest at any time the Lord be angry, and you perish from the just way. When his wrath shall be kindled in a short time, blessed are all they that trust in him.

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The Triumph of The Cross

First Point. Christ calls upon you to resist the tyranny of his enemies. The crowd is making a dull, confused noise round Calvary: behind the crowd is a small and malignant conspiracy of the great ones of the earth. The murmur of the crowd is the roaring of the world about your ears, deafening you to heavenly sounds, while the evil spirits or those bad companions or temptations which have so much power in this world conspire to enslave you.

“Let us break their bonds,” etc.: see the condescension with which Christ invites you to share in the work of emancipating your soul. We must shake off their yoke, and take up Christ’s, carry the cross; we must break their chains, and allow ourselves to be bound to a cross by the chains of love. In spite of their noise and their numbers, God can very easily give us the victory if we accept this invitation; nay, he will visit with terrible punishment the tempters and those who suffer themselves to fall into temptation.

Second Point. Christ on the Cross is the revelation of the Divine Nature. Christ reigns from the Cross, Jerusalem rises over the plain, Calvary over Jerusalem, the Cross over Calvary. The Crucifixion takes place on God’s favourite, chosen mountain he came to his own, and his own received him not. “Preaching his commandment” – what commandment? “This is my precept, that ye love one another”; this second Sermon on the Mount preaches the law of LOVE, wherein God manifests his own Nature to us. “Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee”; “today” because the generation of the Son is outside time; the phrase “thou art my Son” is used when Christ is manifested as specially pleasing the Father at his Baptism, his Transfiguration, surely also at his Crucifixion “Begotten thee” in a special sense; Christ suffers as the Head of Creation.

Third Point. Christ on the Cross draws all men to him. “Ask of me” – the Father is still speaking; by the Sacrifice of the Cross Christ is able to claim our redemption; his desire is that he may reign in the hearts of all men. He wants to break our hearts with true contrition, to rule and guide them with the iron rod of mortification. Each of us has his soul for a kingdom, we can only govern it by understanding the lesson just given us. From the reference to God’s wrath we must learn to fear his punishments; from the sufferings of the Crucified we must learn to mortify ourselves. There is an end even of God’s patience with sinners: what if we should set our feet on the wrong road, the road to Hell? God’s judgments in time are sometimes very sudden, and when they happen, blessed are all they that trust in him let us learn betimes to put our trust in him who alone can save us in the hour of such visitations.

Acts – Desire of mortification, desire for final perseverance, fear, confidence in God.

Colloquy with Christ throned on Calvary.