Meditations on the Psalms, On The Interior Life #9, by Monsignor Ronald Arbuthnott Knox

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

Psalm 114, 115

I have loved, because the Lord will hear the voice of my prayer. Because he hath inclined his ear unto me: and in my days I will call upon him. The sorrows of death have encompassed me: and the perils of hell have found me. I met with trouble and sorrow: And I called upon the name of the Lord. O Lord, deliver my soul. The Lord is merciful and just, and our God sheweth mercy.

The Lord is the keeper of little ones: I was little and he delivered me. Turn, O my soul, into thy rest: for the Lord hath been bountiful to thee. For he hath delivered my soul from death: my eyes from tears, my feet from falling. I will please the Lord in the land of the living.

I have believed, therefore have I spoken; but I have been humbled exceedingly. I said in my excess: Every man is a liar. What shall I render to the Lord, for all the things he hath rendered unto me? I will take the chalice of salvation; and I will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord before all his people:

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. O Lord, for I am thy servant: I am thy servant, and the son of thy handmaid. Thou hast broken my bonds: I will sacrifice to thee the sacrifice of praise, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows to the Lord in the sight of all his people: In the courts of the house of the Lord, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.

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Easter: Mortification Our Debt to the Risen Christ

First Point. Christ has conquered death for us. In my days that is, in the days of this earthly life, which seems so short and uncertain, I can still turn lovingly to God and claim his attention. The circumstances of mortality all around may well terrify me, still more the thought of what lies after death; the many miseries of our present position teach the same lesson. Yet the Christian knows that in life or death his soul is in the hands of a faithful and merciful Creator; humbly, because we know our own helplessness, we turn to him for our final deliverance. Cease, my soul, to fret and to be alarmed over the troubles of this life; repose joyfully upon God’s promise; for in his mercy (made known to us by his Resurrection) he takes away the sting of death by the assurance of immortality, the pang of sorrow by the thought of future rewards, the tyranny of sin by the grace he won for us in the Passion. In this earthly life, then, which is the only space given to us for our probation, let us strive to please God who alone is the source of all life.

Second Point. In return, he asks for our mortification. It is only our faith in the risen Christ which makes it possible for us to explain life as we find it; if we look to any human comfort or support, how illusory it all is how even the best of friends may fail us! Christ has given back to us our whole interest in life, what then do we owe him in return? He asks us to accept the Cup of Salvation he holds to our lips. But the Cup of Salvation is also the Cup of suffering – the Cup he drained in Gethsemane, and invited his Apostles, James and John, to share with him. This cup I will take, calling upon him to help me in enduring it, and giving thanks for the honour he thus does me: for the God whose chief friends and courtiers are the Martyrs and Confessors clearly attaches a special value to the endurance of suffering, such as he may demand of me.

Third Point. This claim, which he makes on our gratitude, he might have made on our obedience. Man’s soul is the slave of God; his slave, because made by him out of nothing, and therefore destitute of all personal rights as against him; his slave, because a member of Eve’s family, and having both inherited and repeated the sin of his first parents, thus outlawing himself from grace; his slave, because bought back from the captivity of sin by the ransom of the Precious Blood. Then let me make my whole life a holocaust of praise to God: in my life and in my death, in my trials and in my blessings, may his holy name be praised everywhere. Let me pay my vows, that is, acknowledge myself eternally his debtor, in the sight of all his saints and Angels this day.

Acts – Faith in the fact and the power of the Resurrection; gratitude for it; offering to God of present and future mortifications.

Colloquy with Christ who has broken our bonds.