Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 41-42

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

Introduction to the 6th octave:

Vav = hook, anchor, image of hope
v.41-44: the foundation of hope:
– v.41-42: God’s promises
– v.43-44: God’s judgments, manifested in the pious and impious
v.44-48: activities revealing hope:
– v.45: freedom of action
-v.46: fearless proclamation of truth
-v.47: seeking the one thing needed, and lack of concern
-v.48: patience and goodness, despite obstacles.

Let Thy mercy come also upon me, O Lord,
even Thy salvation according to Thy word.

Asking for mercy, as a fulfilling of what is lacking.
Mercy = salvation

According to Thy word = as You promised in His Word.

Re-read God’s words and submit yourself to all its obligations with all your heart, and your hope will arise and you will walk again, bold as a lion.

So shall I give an answer to them that reproach me,
for I have hoped in Thy words.

Though I suffer and am in need, I do not stop keeping the commandments because I have such good hopes.
p.118 (Zigabenos)

It’s the Word of God that sustains martyrs and ascetics.
This hope gives us boldness.
Experiences of God’s mercy heighten our hope, but we need to be attentive to the ways of God’s Providence, and not think it a coincidence or the work of our doing.


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