Book Notes: Theophan’s Commentary on Psalm 118: verses 76-77

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

by Saint John of Kronstadt Press, 2014

Let now Thy mercy be my comfort,
according to Thy saying unto Thy servant.

According to Thy saying:
may I not fall into the delusion that I can find comfort through my own wisdom

Connection with previous verses?
After God has humbled him (v.75), the first comfort offered is His mercy.
Or: the psalmist is asking, “Change the circumstances which humble me from sorrowful to comforting“. If it pleases You. “If it will be salvific for me”.

Saint Ambrose understands this just as praying for comfort, but not for changing circumstances, as the psalmist realizes they are good for the perfection of his soul.

But according to Theophan, he also prays for outward comfort, as is shown in the following verses.

The point is to pray to have the support to do God’s will to the end.

Let Thy compassions come upon me and I shall live,
for Thy law is my meditation.

“the prophet, having lost God’s favor, considers himself dead; he therefore entreats that he be brought back to life again in God’s loving kindness towards men.”

“because the object of my constant meditation and concern is Thy law, and not any of the benefits of this world.”

Compassion: “mercy or generosity that grants a blessing”

For Thy law is my meditation:
“All my thoughts are about Thy law, he says; the only thing with which I am busy is how best to carry it out.
This sounds like the perfect mind schedule, at the minimum during Great Lent

Any reflection on these quotes?

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