“My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God” (Ps 84:3)

«ἡ καρδία μου καὶ ἡ σάρξ μου ἠγαλλιάσαντο ἐπὶ Θεὸν ζῶντα» (Ψαλμ. ΠΓ᾽ 3) “My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God” (Ps 84:3) It is said that David composed this Psalm in the desert beyond the Jordan. He was there because he was being pursued by his son Absalom after having been betrayed by his counsellor Ahithophel. We therefore have David searching for God in the desert. It was adopted later by pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem, so it has become the par excellence Psalm of pilgrimage. The Psalm speaks of an immediate relationship with the Lord. [...]

By |2017-06-19T16:57:49+10:00April 19th, 2017|Comments Off on “My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God” (Ps 84:3)

Psalm 135

Psalm 135 Ἐξομολογεῖσθε τῷ Κυρίῳ Give Thanks to the Lord Because the line “for His mercy endured forever” appears in each of its twenty-six verses, this Psalm, along with Psalm 134, is known in Orthodox worship as the polyeleion or “manifold mercy”. It starts with three introductory verses, as St Jerome states: 'Give thanks to the Lord of lords' refers to the Son. The 'God of Gods' to the Father. We give thanks, therefore to the Father and to the Son.’ After these verses that call for the praise of God, one may distinguish three stanzas in this Psalm. Stanza [...]

By |2017-03-19T20:32:01+10:00December 19th, 2016|Comments Off on Psalm 135

Psalm 118 (119 in Greek)

Psalm 118 (119 in Greek)   The longest of all the Psalms is Psalm 118, consisting of twenty-two stanzas of eight lines each. Every verse in each stanza begins with the same letter of the alphabet. There is a tradition that King David used this Psalm to teach his young son Solomon the alphabet - but not just the alphabet for writing letters: the alphabet of the spiritual life. The Psalm comprises an entire Kathisma (division of the Psalter) in Orthodox liturgical practice. In Orthodox monasteries it is read daily at the Midnight Office: “At midnight I arose to give [...]

By |2017-03-06T10:58:07+10:00October 6th, 2016|Comments Off on Psalm 118 (119 in Greek)

Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Ps 139:7)

Ποῦ πορευθῶ ἀπὸ τοῦ πνεύματός σου, καὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ προσώπου σου ποῦ φύγω;(Ψαλμ. ΡΛΗ (138):7) Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Ps 139:7) In Psalm 139, King David expresses the fact that there is nowhere he can go to escape the presence of the Lord. Whether in “heaven” or “hell” or the “uttermost parts of the sea”, God is always there. Although this shows us that God is omnipresent, there is a deeper message that can be taken from this verse. In all aspects of our lives, God is always looking over [...]

By |2017-02-28T16:34:47+10:00August 28th, 2016|Comments Off on Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? (Ps 139:7)

God is Wonderful in His Saints (Ps. 68:36)

Θαυμαστὸς ὁ Θεὸς ἐν τοῖς Αγίοις Αὐτοῦ (Ψαλμ ΞΖ᾽ 36) God is Wonderful in His Saints (Ps. 68:36) This verse is used as the Prokeimenon, which precedes that Epistle reading on the feast days of our Saints. The Orthodox Church places a special emphasis on the Saints, teaching us that they are our brethren, who dwelling near us, are ever ready to help us by the Grace of God. St John of Kronstadt explains how we live with the Saints in the same house of our Heavenly Father. We live in the earthly, while they live in the heavenly half, [...]

By |2017-02-21T11:14:41+10:00June 21st, 2016|Comments Off on God is Wonderful in His Saints (Ps. 68:36)