Offertory of Ninth Sunday After Pentecost

Psalm 18:9-12

The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments sweeter than honey and the honeycomb: for thy servant keepeth them.


Verse 9. Justices. The law displays what is just, and renders those who observe it agreeable to God, (S. Greg. Naz.) filling their hearts with joy, by the testimony of a good conscience, and the prospect of felicity. C. Prov. vi. 23.

Verse 10. Fear; or “the law accompanied with fear;” of which he is speaking. This fear is filial and pure, such as a child must have of displeasing his father. Bert. — Yet even servile fear, which restrains us from committing sin, lest we incur punishment, is a gift of God, and prepares the way for charity. Trid. Sess. xiv. 4. But we must not stop here, like Achab and Antiochus. If we understand by fear, the moral law, it will subsist as long as there shall be men. — Themselves. Sept. epi to wto, “by that very thing,” that they are the judgments of the Lord, (H.) who cannot do wrong. Dan. ii. 27. C. — Heb. “truth itself, is justified altogether.” H. — Infidels acknowledge that the morality of the Gospel is excellent, but they reject the dogmatical part. Would He, who has prescribed such noble rules of conduct, lead our understanding astray, by requiring us to believe what is false? Bert.

Verse 11. Stones. So S. Jerom renders the Heb. Prot. “than gold; yea, than much fine gold.” Paz (H.) denotes the finest gold of Uphan, or of the Phison; which is probably the river Phasis. Gen. ii. 11. C. — Yet many explain this word of the topaz or chrysolite, which is of a golden colour. The Vulg. expresses topaz, (Ps. cxviii. 127.) where the Sept. have, “a precious stone.” — Honeycomb, as the English and German versions have it, though the Heb. signify, “the dropping of the honeycombs;” which is the most excellent honey. Bert. — This interpretation is inserted in the Prot. margin, and answers to S. Jerom’s favum redundantem. Nothing can be more delicious, or more magnificent. H.

Verse 12. For. I speak from experience. C. — If I had no other inducement, I would observe this law for the consolation, (H.) and repeated advantages which I have derived from it. Theod. — Those who keep the same, and content not themselves with reading or hearing only, may feel the same impressions. — Reward: on which account the prophet declares that he observed the justifications; (Ps. cxviii. 112.) though that passage is corrupted in the Prot. version. W. — Heb. “wherefore thy servant shall teach them;” (S. Jer.) or rather, “is instructed by them, and convinced that in keeping them there are frequent falls. Who,” &c. 13. C. — Hekeb may indeed signify “a fall,” or tripping up the heels. But it is more commonly rendered “a reward,” (as Prot. Mont. &c. here agree) or end, as 1 Peter (i. 9.) has it. H. — The instruction, which the observer of the laws obtains, arises from that observance, inasmuch as “he is attentive to them.” Sept. fulassei auta. This must therefore be understood, and is well expressed by Custodit. Taste, and see that the Lord is sweet. Ps. xxxiii. 9. Berthier.


336: Holding to the traditions

HADRIAN II 867-872
Ecumenical VIII (against Photius)
Canons against Photius

(Text of Anastasius:) Canon I–We, wishing to advance without offense through the just and regal way of divine justice, ought to retain the definitions and opinions of the Holy Fathers who live according to God as lamps always burning and illuminating our steps. Therefore, judging and believing these as favorable words according to the great and very wise Dienysius, likewise regarding these with the divine David we most readily sing: “The Command of the Lord is a light illumining our eyes” [Ps. 18:9], and, “Thy light [law] is a lamp to my feet and a light to my ways” [Ps. 118:105], and with the writer of Proverbs we say: “Thy command is a light and Thy law is a light” [Prov. 6:23]; and with a loud voice with Isaias we cry to the Lord God: “Thy precepts are a light upon the earth” [Is. 26:9: LXX]. For to the light truly have been assimilated the exhortations and dissuasions of the divine canons, according as that which is better is discerned from that which is worse, and the expedient and profitable from that which is recognized as not expedient but even harmful. Therefore we profess to keep and guard the rules, which have been handed down for the holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church by the holy, noted apostles as well as by the universal and also the local Councils of the orthodox or even by any Father or teacher of the Church speaking the word of God; guiding by these both our own life and morals and also the whole group of priests, but also all those who are known by the name Christian, resolving to submit canonically to these punishments and condemnations and on the other hand, to the receptions and justifications which through these have been brought forth and defined; Paul, the great apostle, openly gave warning to hold indeed the traditions which we have received either through the word or through the epistle [2 Thess. 2:14] of the Saints who have previously been distinguished.

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