Cassiodorus On The INTROIT Psalms Of The Mass For The 2nd Sunday After Pentecost

BOTTICELLI, Sandro 
Crucifixion 
c. 1497
INTROIT Ps. 17:19,20,2,3  
The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because He was well pleased with me. (Psalm) I will love Thee, O Lord my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory be to the Father, The Lord….
19. They prevented me in the day of my affliction: and the Lord became my protector.

The first words refer to the time when false apostles sought to forestall the true preachers, and tried to subvert the hearts of simple people. Next comes: In the day of my affliction, when the martyrdom of Christians won renown. And the Lord became my protector because men assailed her; both proceedings so dissimilar to each other, momentary onslaught and eternal protection, occurred simultaneously.

20. And he extended me in breath: he saved me because he wanted me.

No member of the Catholic Church is unaware that it is regular for the faithful to extend the boundaries of the faith, as the saying goes, according as pressure of persecution increases. It is then that through God’s grace spirits rise unconquered, and then that the fire of charity blazes forth. They form a column, and gladly rush upon hostile swords because they long for the rewards of eternal life. So the Church was extended in breath since the number of her faithful is know to have swollen through the savagery of persecutors. In the phrase. He saved me the fact that the Church is described as masculine need not trouble us; the male designation does not seem ridiculous because she is composed of men. So this column of the blessed is right to say with joy that they have been saved, because they have deserved to attain the heights of the Christian faith. Because he wanted me, in other words, because He who calls all men without seeking any return chose me. He does not obtain a benefice before deigning to bestow one; as He Himself says in the gospel: You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.

2. I will love thee, O Lord my strength.

He loves the lord, for he obeys His commands devotedly. As Christ says in the gospel: He that heareth my commandments and kept them, he it is that liveth me. Dialog (I love) derives from de omnibus elite (I select from all). Note that the love promised for the future is such as is seen never to have failed. My strength: the prophet is freed from his foes, and rightly proclaims the Lord as His strength, for by His gift he was made to appear stronger to his enemies. This is the twelfth, type of definition, announces God’s nature in individual and varying words: now strength, now firmament, now horn of salvation. All these terms beautifully denote what the Lord is.

3. The Lord is my firmament, my refuge, and my deliverer: my God is my helper.

He justly calls the Lord his firmament, for He enabled him to stand firm in the line against his enemies, and to fight with lively spirit. And my refuge. Precisely so, for when he needed advice he took refuge in the Scriptures, and found what could help him through the prompting of the Godhead. He rightly proclaims the Lord as his Liberator, for he freed him from the anger of Saul the most savage king as if from the mouth of hell. My God is my helper: charmed by the sweetness of what has been granted him, he repeats in summary the earlier things he has said, for God was everywhere at hand, and guarded him with the protection of His strength. But note that he runs through all the epithets in such a way as not to presume that gifts have been bestowed on his own deserving spirit.

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