Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 5-6

Psalm 118Psalm 118:
A Commentary
by Saint Theophan the Recluse

(1815-1894)
by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014
Goodreads
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VERSE 5:
Would that my ways were directed
to keep Thy statutes.

Would that = Help, O God! to receive the strength to do it.

My ways = all I do or intend to do

Directed = become straight, take the right direction

To keep Thy statutes = to absorb in my conscience and then implement

God’s grace + our efforts are inseparable; freedom and grace

VERSE 6:
Then shall I not be ashamed,
when I look on all Thy Commandments.

Ashamed of having stopped, with concessions to passionate suggestions and deeds.  Ashamed before our conscience, before God, the angels, the saints, and the faithful.

Breaking the Law leads to shame. Fulfilling the commandments leads to boldness.

Look on = strict attentiveness, concentrated attention. The opposite is forgetfulness, which leads to self-contentment and condemnation of others.
Looking into them as into a mirror, to see what we should be, as an ideal to follow.

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