Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 22-23

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 22:
Remove from me reproach and contempt,
for after Thy testimonies have I sought.

This is a prayer for the Lord to remove from them the reproach and contempt of people of the world, when it becomes an obstacle for them to follow the commandments.
And when it becomes such a burden, that passions and bad habits can arise again against us.

= …I’m afraid, lest I weaken and fall.
OR
Give me strength to be indifferent to it, and to act as if it did not exist.
page 59

But bearing this reproach also “delivers us from shame at the dread judgment”.
All the saints have walked on tis path, with the Lord ahead of them.
Reproach is also the best poultice against vainglory, self-importance, and pride.

VERSE 23:
For princes sat and they spake against me,
but Thy servant pondered on Thy statutes.

This is the third degree of hostile relations: after reproach and humiliations, we now have deliberate schemes and the gathering of slender, like the false witnesses against Christ.

What to do when we are thus threatened?
Just ignore it!

He goes about his own business, zealously meditates on God’s justifications in order better to fulfill them.
page 60

It could also be that God’s mercy has arranged this to happen as a cleansing.
And it’s also a call to love our enemies.

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