Gradual of The Nativity of Our Lord - Midnight Mass

Psalm 109:3,1

With Thee is the principality in the day of Thy strength: in the brightness of the saints, from the womb before the day star I begot Thee. The Lord said to my Lord: Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thy enemies Thy footstool.


Verse 3. Principality. Christ says, All power is given to me. Matt. xxviii. and this he will display (H.) in the day of judgment. S. Chrys. — Arch is used in this sense by Xenophon, &c. (C.) as principium is by Suetonius, (in Aug.) yet it may also signify, This is the “origin,” or source of thy authority, from the womb," &c. S. Chrys. Bert. — The consubstantiality of the Son is hence manifest, and this ensures every perfection. H. — The Father and the Son are both principals. S. Jer. — Christ was in the beginning, (Jo. i.) and the very beginning. His eternal birth is here mentioned, though some have explained it of his temporal nativity, which took place before the rising of the day-star. C. — This, however, would seem a trivial circumstance, (Bert.) whereas the birth of Christ before the whole creation is of great consequence. — Saints. Or “holy places,” sanctorum. Heb. “In the beauties (behadre. H.) S. Jer. has read berri, in the mountains, (C.) of holiness, (Mont.) or of the sanctuary.” Christ will come to judge surrounded by his angels, (C.) and saints. H. S. Aug. — I begot thee. This expresses the sense more clearly (H.) than the Heb. tibi ros emissio (Heb. tal.) nativitatis tuæ. S. Jerom’s version must be deemed inaccurate, and the Heb. points, (Bert.) which render the modern versions so very different from ours, may be safely rejected. H. See Muis. Geneb. C. — Robertson mentions fourteen different translations of this text, and many more might be given. H. — But ours is clear, and beautiful. C. — Prot. “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness, from (Marg. more than) the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” H. — Thy offspring shall be very numerous, (Is. xlviii. 1. and xiv. 8.) and people shall willingly join thy banners, or rather come to offer victims in the sanctuary. C. — The eternal birth of Christ, (Mic. v. 2.) from his father’s substance, establishes his principality, so that he rises triumphant, &c. W. — The present Heb. text seems to be purposely rendered obscure, or unintelligible by the Jews, both in this verse, and in the following. D.

Verse 1. David. It is of faith that he wrote this psalm on the Messias. The Jews, in our Saviour’s time, were convinced of it, (Matt. xxii. 42.) so that their posterity (Bert.) in vain attempts to explain it of Abraham, David, Solomon, Ezechias, Zorobabel. S. Chrys. — Even some of the candidly own that it can relate to no other, (Thalmud.) and Christians are universally of this belief. C. — Lord. Heb. Jehova, (H.) the Father. M. — To my Lord. Heb. Ladoni, (H.) the Son incarnate, (M.) Lord of all, though the son of David. W. — Who else could be David’s superior? as Christ argues. H. — The title Adonoi is given to God, (v. 5. &c. C.) as my is never united with the ineffable name. — Hand. In equal power (Bert.) as God, and in the highest dignity as man, after the ascension. C. — This thought should encourage us to suffer patiently, (Col. iii. 1.) as Christ was to suffer, and thus to enter into his glory. The saints did not strive to divide him. But we would suffer nothing, and yet be glorified at the hour of our death! Bert. — Until. This word does not always mark the term of a thing. When all shall be subdued, then Christ will continue to it with greater majesty, (1 Cor. xv. 25. C.) for ever. W. Heb. x. 13. — Footstool. As was customary with conquerors. Jos. x. 24.


50 — The Trinity and the Incarnation

Fragment from epistle against the Tritheists and
Sabellians, about the year 260

But why should I treat further about these matters with you, man full of the Spirit, and especially who understand what absurdities follow from that opinion which asserts that the Son was made? It seems to me that the leaders of this belief did not consider these at all, and thus have completely strayed from the truth, when they explain differently from what the divine and prophetic Scripture wishes, the passage: “The Lord created man in the beginning of his ways” [Prov. 8:22: LXX]. Certainly there is not, as you know, only one meaning of the word “created.” For in this passage “created” is the same as “he set him over works made by Him,” made, I say, by the Son Himself.

But here “created” ought not to be understood exactly as “made.” For " to make" and “to create” differ from each other. “Is not he thy father that hast possessed thee, and made thee, and created thee?” [Dt. 32:6:LXX] said Moses in the great canticle of Deuteronomy. And so who can rightly refute them: O rash and inconsiderate men, was he then a made thing “the first born of every creature” [Col. 1:15], “begotten from the womb before the daystar” [Ps. 109:3:LXX] of whom as Wisdom says, “before all the hills he brought me forth”? [Prov. 8:25:LXX]. Finally anybody may read in many passages of the divine statements that the Son was “begotten,” but nowhere “made.” By reason of this they who dare to call His divine and inexplicable begetting a making, are clearly proved to speak falsely about the Lord’s generation.

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