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The Seven Penitential Psalms – Psalm 37

February 28th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

Today’s Penitential Psalm is that of one who prays for a removal of anger from one’s life and actions. Psalm 37 focuses on our need to be humble before God, for our anger leads us into sin, sin which in turn angers Our Lord. For what angers God more than seeing his Creation succumbing to aggression, unjust war, terrorism, and violence?

Stabant omnes noti eius a longe
(Lc 23:49)
All his acquaintances stood away from him.
(Luke 23:49)
2 DOMINE, ne in furore tuo arguas me, * neque in ira tua corripias me, 2 O LORD, rebuke me not in Thy furor; * nor chastise me in Thy wrath.
3 quoniam sagittae tuae infixae sunt mihi, * et confirmasti super me manum tuam. 3 For Thy arrows are fastened in me: * and Thy hand hath descended upon me.
4 Non est sanitas in carne mea, a facie irae tuae; * non est pax ossibus meis a facie peccatorum meorum. 4 There is no health in my flesh in the face of Thy wrath: * there is no peace for my bones in the face of my sins.
5 Quoniam iniquitates meae supergressae sunt caput meum * et sicut onus grave gravatae sunt super me. 5 For my iniquities are gone over my head: * and are a heavy burden too heavy to bear.
6 Putruerunt et corrupti sunt cicatrices meae * a facie insipientiae meae. 6 My wounds are putrid and corrupt, * in the face of my foolishness.
7 Miser factus sum et curvatus sum usque in finem; * tota die contristatus ingrediebar. 7 I am miserable and am bowed down: * all the day long I walked in sadness .
8 Quoniam lumbi mei impleti sunt illusionibus, * et non est sanitas in carne mea. 8 For my insides are filled with mocking; * and there is no health in my flesh.
9 Afflictus sum et humiliatus sum nimis, * rugiebam a gemitu cordis mei. 9 Greatly am I afflicted and humbled: * I roared with the groaning of my heart.
10 Domine, ante te omne desiderium meum, * et gemitus meus a te non est absconditus. 10 Lord, before Thee are all my desires, * and my groaning is not hidden from Thee.
11 Cor meum conturbatum est, dereliquit me virtus mea, * et lumen oculorum meorum, et ipsum non est mecum. 11 My heart is troubled, my strength hath left me, * and the light of my eyes themselves is not with me.
12 Amici mei et proximi mei * adversum me appropinquaverunt et steterunt; 12 My friends and my neighbors * have drawn near me and stood against me.
et qui iuxta me erant, de longe steterunt, * et vim faciebant qui quaerebant animam meam. And those who were near me stood afar: * They laid snares, those who sought my soul.
13 Et, qui inquirebant mala mihi, locuti sunt vanitates * et dolos tota die meditabantur. 13 And they that sought evil for me said wicked things, * all day long they planned deceitful things.
14 Ego autem tamquam surdus non audiebam * et sicut mutus non aperiens os suum; 14 But I, as a deaf man, heard not: * and as a dumb man not opening his mouth.
15 et factus sum sicut homo non audiens * et non habens in ore suo redargutiones. 15 And I became like one that heareth not: * and that hath no reproofs in his mouth.
16 Quoniam in te, Domine, speravi, * tu exaudies, Domine Deus meus. 16 For in Thee, O Lord, have I hoped: * Thou wilt hear me, O Lord my God.
17 Quia dixi: <>. 17 For I said, “May my enemies never rejoice over me: * when my feet stumble, they speak great things against me.”
18 Quoniam ego in flagella paratus sum, * et dolor meus in conspectu meo semper. 18 For I am ready for the whip: * and my sorrow is continually before me.
19 Quoniam iniquitatem meam annuntiabo * et cogitabo pro peccato meo. 19 For I will declare my inequity: * and I will be sorry for my sin.
20 Inimici autem mei vivunt et confirmati sunt super me, * et multiplicati sunt, qui oderunt me inique. 20 But my enemies live, and are stronger that I, * and they that hate me wrongfully multiply.
21 Qui retribuunt mala pro bonis detrahebant mihi * quoniam sequebar bonitatem. 21 They that render evil for good, have humiliated me, * because I followed goodness.
22 Ne derelinquas me, Domine; * Deus meus, ne discesseris a me. 22 Forsake me not, O Lord, * my God, depart not from me.
23 Intende in adiutorium meum, * Domine, Deus salutis meae. 23 Hasten unto my help, * O Lord, God of my salvation.

And now the accompanying prayer against anger:

Oratio contra iram
Prayer against anger
Homo homini reservat iram; et a Deo quaerit medelam? In hominem similem sibi non habet misericordiam, et de peccatis sui deprecatur? Quis exorabit pro delictis illius? (Eccli 28:3-5) His verbis mihi, Domine Deus, loqueris per servum tuum filium Sirach. Et ego post hac iram aut odium contra quemquam fovere audeam? Parce, Domine, parce malitiae et pertinaciae meae, in qua hucusque perseveravi. Ex animo nunc ignosco et remitto, quidquid ullus unquam in me peccavit; supplexque oro, Domine, ne in furore tuo arguas me, neque in ira tua corripias me; utinam tamquam surdus in posterum non audiam, et sicut mutus non aperiam os meum; quando inimici mei contra me insurgunt et vim faciunt, qui quaerunt animam meam. Ne derelinquas me, Domine Deus meus, ne discesseris a me: quoniam tu es patientia mea. (Ps 70:5) Should man reserveth anger for his fellow man and yet seek remedy from God? Should he that hath no mercy on one like himself entreat God for his own sins? Who shall obtain pardon for his sins? (Sir 28:3-5) By these words Thou hast spoken to me though Thy servant Sirach, O Lord God. And after this
dare I foster anger and hate against anyone? Spare me, O Lord, spare me of my malice and stubbornness in which I have persevered even unto now. From my soul I now overlook and forgive whatever anyone has done against me. I humbly beg Thee, O Lord, do not rebuke me in Thy anger. O how would that I be like the deaf who does not hear and the mute who does not speak whenever my enemies rise up in force against me, those who seek my soul. Do not forsake me, O lord my God, do not depart from me, for Thou are my patience. (Ps 70:5)

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