Friday, May 16, 2008

Contemplating with joy the things of Christ alone

Athanasius on the Psalms:
"To those who really study it the Psalter yields especial treasure. ...the Psalter is a garden which, besides its special fruit, grows also some those of all the rest. ...You see, then, that all the subjects mentioned in the historical books are mentioned also in one Psalm or another; but when we come to the matters of which the Prophets speak we find that these occur in almost all. Of the coming of the Saviour and how, althought He is God, He yet should dwell among us... Having thus shown that Christ should come in human form, the Psalter goes on to show that He can suffer in the flesh He has assumed... For He did not die as being Himself liable to death: He suffered for us, and bore in Himself the wrath that was the penalty of our transgression... Nor is this all. The Psalter further indicates beforehand the bodily Ascension of the Saviour into heaven ...in the Psalter, besides all these things, you learn about yourself. You find depicted in it all the movements of your soul, all its changes, its ups and downs, its failures and recoveries ...Holy Scripture is not designed to tickle the aesthetic palate, and it is rather for the soul's own profit that the Psalms are sung. ...a soul rightly ordered by chanting the sacred words forgets its own afflictions and contemplates with joy the things of Christ alone."
ht: Jim Hamilton

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