Tag: Psalms

Church Abandoned?

Church Abandoned? posted in Eleison Comments on June 4, 2016

As day by day the chaos increases in almost everything and everybody around us, and inside the Church it seems as though everybody is against everybody, it is certainly reassuring to find that the Psalmist of maybe 3,000 years ago cried out to God to come to the aid of his people, in similar distress from his enemies. Then as now they rose up in their pride against him, their pride “ascends continually,” they have done their best to wreck his Temple and his religion, and he has allowed them much success. Here is Psalm 73 (74), with minimal notes of explanation in italics:—

A. How can God be allowing the triumph of His enemies against His own Church? [1] O God, why hast Thou cast us off unto the end: why is Thy wrath enkindled against the sheep of Thy pasture? [2] Remember Thy congregation ( Catholic Church), which Thou hast possessed from the beginning. The sceptre of Thy inheritance which Thou hast redeemed: Mount Sion (Catholic Church) in which Thou hast dwelt. [3] Lift up Thy hands against their (God’s enemies) pride unto the end; see what things the enemy hath done wickedly in the sanctuary. [4] And they that hate Thee have made their boasts, in the midst of Thy solemnity. They have set up their ensigns for signs, [5] and they knew not (the holiness of God) both in the going out and on the highest top ( Temple gates and summit). As with axes in a wood of trees, [6] they have cut down at once the gates thereof, with axe and hatchet (Vatican II) they have brought it down. [7] They have set fire to Thy sanctuary: they have defiled the dwelling place of Thy name (Catholic Church) on the earth. [8] They said in their heart, the whole kindred of them together: Let us abolish all the festival days of God (Catholic liturgy) from the land. [9] Our signs we have not seen, there is now no prophet: and He will know us no more (God has given up. We are on our own.) [10] How long, O God, shall the enemy reproach: is the adversary to provoke thy name for ever? [11] Why dost thou turn away Thy hand: and Thy right hand out of the midst of thy bosom for ever?

B. But God is the Master of salvation, of history and of all Nature. [12] But God is our king before ages: he hath wrought salvation in the midst of the earth. [13] Thou by Thy strength didst make the sea (Red Sea crossing) firm: Thou didst crush the heads of the dragons (Egyptians) in the waters. [14] Thou hast broken the heads of the dragon (Egyptian king): thou hast given him to be meat for the people of the Ethiopians. [15] Thou hast broken up the fountains and the torrents: Thou hast dried up the Ethan (running strongly, e.g. Jos. III) rivers. [16] Thine is the day, and Thine is the night: Thou hast made the morning light and the sun. [17] Thou hast made all the borders of the earth: the summer and the spring were formed by Thee.

C. O God, forget not your own humble people, and crush your proud enemies. [18] Remember this, the enemy hath reproached the Lord: and a foolish people hath provoked Thy name. [19] Deliver not up to beasts the souls that confess to Thee: and forget not to the end the souls of Thy poor. [20] Have regard to Thy covenant (New Testament): for they that are the obscure of the earth have been filled with dwellings of iniquity. [21] Let not the humble be turned away with confusion: the poor and needy shall praise Thy name. [22] Arise, O God, judge thy own cause: remember Thy reproaches with which the foolish man hath reproached Thee all the day. [23] Forget not the voices of Thy enemies: the pride of them that hate Thee ascendeth continually.

Kyrie eleison.

Psalmist’s Perspective

Psalmist’s Perspective posted in Eleison Comments on January 2, 2010

Another year begins. What does it bring? If a global disaster in finance and economics is on its way, it has certainly not yet hit with full force. Will it hit in 2010? In any case it will draw closer. As the pressure mounts, it will become more and more important to see in that pressure the hand of God and not just the machinations of men. Here, with comments for the 21st century, is one of the 150 Psalms to help us see things as a soul close to God sees them. Psalm 27 has only nine verses:—! “Unto thee will I cry, O Lord” (and not to the media or governments): “O my God, be not thou silent to me: lest if thou be silent to me, I become like them that go down into the pit”

A powerful soft current is pulling all souls today towards the pit of eternal hellfire. God can easily help me, and he longs to do so, but I must turn to him and beg his help. The Psalmist will beg –

2 “Hear, O Lord, the voice of my supplication, when I pray to thee; when I lift up my hands to thy holy temple.

3 Draw me not away together with the wicked; and with the workers of iniquity destroy me not: who speak peace with their neighbour, but evils are in their hearts.”

The Psalmist is not a silly soft liberal who pretends that all men are nice and mean well. He knows that in many sweet-talking men God has wicked enemies who are powerful enough to have set up a whole environment, such as we have in 2010, that threatens to drag him down to Hell (verse 1). To deal with them, it is to God that the Psalmist will turn –

4 “Give them according to their works, and according to the wickedness of their inventions. According to the works of their hands give thou to them: render to them their reward.

5 Because they have not understood the works of the Lord, and the operations of his hands: thou shalt destroy them and not build them up.”

We need never worry that God will not deal with his (and our) enemies, even in our 21st century, when they may seem to have triumphed. They do not deceive him, nor will they escape him. What is more, God certainly looks after souls that turn to him –

6 “Blessed be the Lord, for he hath heard the voice of my supplication.

7 The Lord is my helper: in him hath my heart confided, and I have been helped. And my flesh hath flourished again, and with my will I will give praise to him.”

Note that the Psalmist is neither an idiotic angelist, pretending he is too perfect to have bodily interests – God has looked after him, “heart” and “flesh.” Nor is he a self-centred individualist, as is shown by his prayer for all of God’s people –

8 “The Lord is the strength of his people, and the protector of the salvation of his anointed (meaning, ever since the death of Our Lord upon the Cross, souls anointed with the Catholic sacraments). 9 “Save, O Lord, thy people, and bless thy inheritance: and rule them and exalt them for ever.”

Today we would say, save, O Lord, thy Catholic Church.

Kyrie eleison.

Extrarchal Cogitation

Extrarchal Cogitation posted in Eleison Comments on December 13, 2008

“Archa, archae” is the Latin for “box.” Thinking outside the box is not a popular activity – who wants to be shaken out of their comfortable mental routine? – but circumstances may soon force it upon all of us. It may not be a bad idea to get a little used to it sooner rather than later. Here are some considerations of an American, James Kunstler, who is not afraid to cogitate extrarchally!

The recent succession of massive bailouts by the USA government of mega-banks and mega-corporations TBTF (too big to fail), he says, is no better than injections of embalming fluid into the walking dead. Worse, the corresponding fabrication of trillions of dollars out of nothing virtually guarantees hyper-inflation in anything from six to eighteen months. But if the dollar is destroyed, how will the USA pay for imported oil? And without oil, what happens to our whole oil-based way of life?

Moreover, with the collapse of the debt pyramid, what happens to the whole fantasyland, built like most everybody’s houses and cars, on credit and debt? People will have to get back to real as opposed to virtual activity. Back to the distribution of property and growing of food as before the arrival of petro-agriculture. Back to the land, or social chaos! We must start thinking – outside the box – of alternate energies in place of oil, of production instead of consumerism, of localism in place of globalism.

Mr. Kunstler recognizes that a “zombie disease” has “eaten away our brains,” but he still puts his hope in a young generation of Americans realizing what an opportunity to rebuild is offered to us all by this meltdown, and he hopes that a revived American people will set its shoulder to the wheel. I wish I shared his hope, but the whole question is religious, and the closest that he gets to mentioning the Lord God is when he comments that “the meltdown is building straight into the Christmas holidays”!

Yet as the Psalmist says, to build the city without God is to build in vain (Ps. CXXVI). And, as Our Lord says, “He that gathereth not with me, scattereth” (Mt. XII, 30). All the suffering that lies in wait for us next year will be allowed by God for one supreme purpose, to help us to save our souls for eternity. If the collapse of our gimcrack paradise on earth merely makes us want to build a solid paradise on earth, he may have to increase the dose of suffering until we get the point.

Kyrie eleison.

La-La Landslide – I

La-La Landslide – I posted in Eleison Comments on August 2, 2008

Who said politics have nothing to do with religion, and religion has nothing to do with politics? The Lord God does not agree! There are few better places to find out what he thinks than in the Psalms of the Old Testament! Here is an official translation (Douay Rheims) of Psalm 81:

1. God hath stood in the congregation of gods: and being in the midst of them he judgeth gods. 2. How long will you judge unjustly: and accept the persons of the wicked? 3. Judge for the needy and fatherless: do justice to the humble and the poor. 4. Rescue the poor; and deliver the needy out of the hand of the sinner. 5. They have not known nor understood: they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth shall be moved. 6. I have said: You are gods and all of you the sons of the most High. 7. But you like men shall die: and shall fall like one of the princes. 8. Arise, O God, judge thou the earth: for thou shalt inherit among all the nations.

And here is how the Psalm might be rendered today:—

The Lord God stands right in the middle of the politicians, banksters and Lodges, and he stands in judgment upon all their doings! “How long are the pack of you going to go on misleading the world, and looking primarily after your own interests? Look after the poor, and stop designing and applying laws to destroy the family and create the fatherless! Stop just looking after the rich, and cancel the vile money system by which you have enslaved the world!” But the banksters paid no attention, and the politicians went on their blind way. Their whole system is going to collapse! I the Lord God have reminded them: “I gave you your high responsibilities, and I am your Father, but you will nevertheless die (to be judged by me), like even the mightiest of men!”

O Lord, enough of our poor world’s madness and wickedness! Step in, and reclaim your rightful heritage as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Kyrie eleison.