Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It Is Fitting That We Praise Him

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence, Italy
Praise the Lᴏʀᴅ!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens!
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!  (Ps 150:1-2)

We must carefully observe the pleasurable sweetness with which this book of psalms ends, and how it looks back to its beginning.  The prophet says that now that the saints have been received in the heavenly Jerusalem, it is right to praise the Lord, that is, it is right for those whom He has revealed the shape of right behavior.  Earlier it was said of Him: Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, and the rest; for the saints are those who by His generosity have deserved to imitate Him.  There is a fitting explanation of the kind of reverence owed to the saints.  It is the Lord who is to be praised because they are justified, and not they themselves, for His glory should be hymned first since He permits the deeds which are to be acclaimed.  Veneration is however to be accorded to the just, because they have received divine gifts.… The strength of His power lies in the fact that He endured destruction for the salvation of all, and by virtue of His power overcame death itself, together with its most wicked founder.  He sundered the bars of hell, and led strong believers to the kingdom of heaven.

Cassiodorus, Explanation of the Psalms

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