Offertory of Third Sunday in Lent

Psalm 18:9,10,11,12

The justices of the Lord are right, rejoicing hearts, and His judgments are 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.

Ver. 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.


900: Confession

Council of Trent
Session XIII
Decree on the Most Holy Eucharist

But it is also impious to say that a confession, which is ordered to be made in this manner [can. 8] is impossible, or to call it a torture of conscience; for it is clear that in the Church nothing else is exacted of the penitents than that each one, after he has carefully examined himself and searched all the nooks and recesses of his conscience, confess those sins by which he recalls that he has mortally offended his Lord and God; moreover, the other sins which do not occur to him after diligent thought, are understood to be included in a general way in the same confession; for these sins we trustingly say with the Prophet: “From my hidden sins cleanse me, O Lord” [Ps. 18:13]. But, truly, the difficulty of such confession and the shame of disclosing the sins might appear a burdensome matter indeed, if it were not alleviated by so many and such great advantages and consolations which are most certainly bestowed by absolution upon all those who approach this sacrament worthily.

⇦ Back to Third Sunday in Lent