Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 14-15

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

In the way of Thy testimonies have I found delight,
as much as in all riches.

Where is our source of consolation? In amusement parks?
Or in the ways of God’s testimonies? in devout occupations?
That’s our joy, our paradise.

As mush as in all riches = to stay in these occupations is as much gainful as to those who get all sorts of riches.

To give money to the needy is to put our wealth in God’s hands, forwarding it to Heaven.

I have tasted sweetness and am satisfied.
page 44

On Thy commandments will I ponder,
and I will understand Thy ways.

After finding delight, “they sit down to ponder and investigate the questions of life that arise in their relation to the commandments”. = meditation

For the nourishment of the spirit with godly contemplation – as soon as you find the time, sit down and delve into God’s truths, reading at that time either the Word of God or the writings of the holy fathers.
page 45

Do it morning and evening, with prayer.

On page 46, Theophan proposes a technique – those who say the Fathers are not concrete enough  in their advice should read this. Plus it shows basically how Theophan applied it himself to his mediation on Psalm 118.

  1. “Take a verse, dwell in it with all your attention, and subdivide it into possible meanings”
  2. Among the thoughts that arise, find aspects that might influence the heart and attract it
  3. then extract lessons for yourself and apply them

This is the only fruitful God-seeking meditation. Not hasty.

One verse will give so much light and warmth that it will comfort the spirit for many a days.
page 46

It is a way of gathering lessons of spiritual reason, seed by seed.


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