August 31, 2015

St Augustine on Ps 149 Liturgy of the Hours

Always fascinating to note how the saints interpret Scripture, especially familiar prayers (btw, a Divine Office blog here):
"And swords sharpened on both sides in their hands." (Ps 149)...This sort of weapon contains a great mystical meaning, in that it is sharp on both sides. By swords sharpened on both sides, we understand the Word of the Lord: it is one sword, but therefore are they called many, because there are many mouths and many tongues of the saints. The Word of the Lord then is a two-edged sword. How is it two-edged? It speaks of things temporal, it speaks also of things eternal. In both cases it proveth what it saith, and him whom it strikes, it severeth from the world. Is not this the sword whereof the Lord said, I am not come to send peace upon earth, but a sword?...

Whatsoever is promised to us in this world belongeth to one side of the sword: whatever is promised for everlasting, belongeth to the other side. Thou hast hope for the future, comfort for the present; be not thou drawn back from Him Who would draw thee to Him; be it father, mother, sister, wife, friend, let him not draw thee back: so shall the sword sharpened on both sides profit thee... Our Lord then came bearing the sword sharpened on both sides, promising things of eternity, fulfilling those of this life. For therefore also are they called two Testaments. What then were the swords sharpened on both sides in their hands? Have the two Testaments to do with the swords sharpened on both sides? The Old Testament containeth temporal promises, the New, eternal. In both is found the Word of God, as a sword twice sharpened. - via here.

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