Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Order of the Psalms

From Vultus Christi:
The rabbis of old referred to the Torah, the Law, as “the way, the truth, and the life”. When the Our Lord applied these three words to Himself, saying, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), He was, in effect, revealing Himself as the true Torah, the fulfillment of the Law and of the Prophets. For us, Psalm 118 becomes a litany of love addressed to the Word, a long contemplation of the Face of Christ, a confession of His holiness, His beauty, His goodness, and His mercy. Blessed Paul Giustiniani writes somewhere of the Body of Jesus as the New Torah Scroll written in blood; rolled open and fixed with nails to the wood of the Cross, the five wounds of Jesus are the new pentateuch in which the love of the Father is revealed. “For the law was given by Moses; grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17).

There is a fresh spiritual joy in the weekly return of Psalm 118. It is an integral part of the Day of the Lord, spilling over into the feria secunda, the second day of the week. Of all the psalms, it is the one that I can pray most directly to Christ, offering Him verse after verse in adoration and in love. Saint Benedict begins the weekly psalter with Psalm 1 on Monday at Prime; he assigns the Gradual Psalms or Psalms of Ascent to the Little Hours of Tuesday through Friday. Thus do we pass from the psalm that begins, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord” (Psalm 118:1) to walking all the way to the heavenly Jerusalem. “I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 121:1).(Read more.)

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