by Saint Theophan the Recluse
by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014
Since the days when I taught myself Biblical Hebrew, psalm 118, with its fascinating structure and use of key words (alas not clearly visible in translation) has been my favorite of all psalms.
So Father John recently offered me a commentary by Saint Theophan the Recluse. I have another book by him, but I was not aware of this book.
It is so well done: Theophan writes in a very accessible and concrete, yet deep and nourishing way. He highlights the alphabetical structure of the psalm, but also its spiritual logic, how one verse goes into another, and sees unity in a strophe. So slowly but surely, I have been nourishing myself with this gem.
I will share notes and passages that I find important here. Depending on the amount of content I plan to share, I may focus on one or several verses at a time. So this will be a long series, hopefully posted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Blessed are the blameless in the way,
who walk in the law of the Lord.
The way = life
blameless= avoiding every sin, doing every good they can.
Inner or outer blessedness? Inner blessedness is inseparable from a pure and God-pleasing life, now.
This is the way to our homeland. Why are we stopping on the way?
All desire happiness. We sin, hoping to find happiness in it. The psalm encourages us to follow the road that leads to happiness. This is a tough road. To achieve blamelessness, (=like lambs for sacrifice), we need to consider ourselves as dead, to withstand temptations.
Walk and walk, without stopping, paying no attention to anything, stopping at no obstruction, flowing like a mighty river till it reaches the open sea.
PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THESE NOTES
Have you read this book?
Any reflection on these quotes?