Alleluia, alleluia. Thou preparest a table for me, thou anointest my head with oil, my cup brims over. Alleluia.
Verse 5. Thou. Here the allegory of a shepherd seems less discernible, though it may allude to the provisions for winter; (Bert.) or rather it ceases, as feasts are made for men; (M.) and the second allegory of a guest here commences. H. — The enemy had reduced me to the greatest misery. C. — But God has admitted me to his table. M. — This may be explained of the sacred mysteries received in the Church, (S. Amb.) or of the Scriptures, which nourish our souls. S. Jer. — No mention is made of the ancient sacrifices; and as this psalm must be understood in the spiritual sense, the prophet speaks of the blessed Eucharist, which imparts the unction of grace, &c. The enemy strives to make us keep at a distance from it. Bert. — Christ has himself prepared this table (S. Cyp. ep. 63. Euthym.) against all spiritual adversaries. — Oil. Christians are also strengthened by the sacraments of confirmation, penance, holy orders, matrimony, and extreme unction. W. — Three of these are administered with oil. H. — It was customary to anoint the head of guests with perfumes, (Matt. xxvi. 6. Lu. vii. 46.) both among the Jews and Gentiles. But the Fathers explain this text of chrism, used in confirmation. S. Athan. Theod. C. — Chalice. The blessed sacrament and sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood. W. — Inebriateth. Heb. “overflowing;” being constantly replenished (Cant. vii. 2. Iliad iv.) with wine; as people are not inebriated with water. This term, however, only means to take as much as is requisite. Gen. xliii. 34. “Thy chalice inebriating me,” occurs in most copies of the Sept. in Sixtus V. &c. But the more correct editions of the Sept. and all the Greek interpreters, (S. Jer. ep. ad Sun.) agree with the Heb. and Vulg. — How, &c. is added by way of explanation; or rather, the Sept. have taken two words from the following verse, ac tob, verumtamen bonum. C. — Prot. “surely goodness and mercy,” &c. H. — Theodotion and Sym. were not acquainted with this division, which seems less accurate, though the sense be much the same. Bert.
Verse 6. Follow me, like provisions from the king’s table. 2 K. xi. 8. C. — “The grace of God prevents the unwilling to make him willing; and it follows the person who is in good dispositions, that they may not be in vain.” S. Aug. Ench. 32. — Prævenit per fidem, subsequitur in custodiendo mandata Dei. S. Jer. Continual and final perseverance is a special grace of God. W. — And that. Heb. “and I shall.” The Vulg. expresses the effect of worthy participation of God’s table, which leads to a happy eternity. Bert. — This is particularly applicable to priests, both of the old and of the new law. C. — Only those who remain in the house of God, in his church on earth, can expect felicity. H. — Days, in eternal life. W. — David always desired to be near the ark, (Ps. xxvi. and lxxxiii. M.) as the figure of heaven. H.
200b: Confirmation of the Council of Orange II
BONIFACE II 530-532 From the letter "Per filium nostrum" to Caesarius of Arles, January 25, 531
And therefore, since many Fathers, and above all Bishop Augustine of blessed memory, but also our former high priests of the Apostolic See are proved to have discussed this with such detailed reasoning that there should be no further doubt in anyone that faith itself also comes to us from grace, we have thought that we should desist from a complex response, especially since according to these statements from the Apostle which you have arranged, in which he says: I have obtained mercy, that I may be faithful [1 Cor. 7:25], and elsewhere: It has been given to you, for Christ, not only that you may believe in Him, but also that you may suffer for Him [Phil. 1:29], it clearly appears that the faith by which we believe in Christ, just as all blessings, comes to each man from the gift of supernal grace, not from the power of human nature. And this, too, we rejoice that your Fraternity, after holding a meeting with certain priests of the Gauls, understood according to the Catholic faith, namely in these matters in which with one accord, as you have indicated, they explained that the faith, by which we believe in Christ, is conferred by the preceding grace of God; adding also that there is no good at all according to God, that anyone can will, or begin, or accomplish without the grace of God, since our Savior Himself says: Without Me you can do nothing" [John 15:5]. For it is certain and Catholic that in all blessings of which the chief is faith, though we do not will it, the mercy of God precedes us, that we may be steadfast in faith, just as David the prophet says: “My God, his mercy will prevent me” [Ps. 58:11]; and again: My mercy is with him [Ps. 88:25]; and elsewhere: His mercy follows me [Ps. 22:6]. And similarly blessed Paul says: Or did anyone first give to him, and will he be rewarded by him? Since from him, and through him, and in him are all things [Rom. 11:35 f.]. So we marvel very much that those, who believe the contrary, are oppressed by the remains of an ancient error even to the point that they do not believe that we come to Christ by the favor of God, but by that of nature, and say that the good of that very nature, which is known to have been perverted by Adam’s sin, is the author of our faith rather than Christ; and do not perceive that they contradict the statement of the master who said: No one comes to me, except it be given to him by my Father [John 6:44]; but they also oppose blessed Paul likewise, who exclaims to the Hebrews:Let us run in the contest proposed to us, looking uponthe author and finisher of faith, Jesus Christ [Heb. 2:1 f.]. Since this is so, we cannot discover what they impute to the human will without the grace of God for belief in Christ, since Christ is the author and consummator of faith.