08 October 2009

The Lord is Mindful of Us

Perhaps no Psalm is more popular and more familiar to Christian hearts and souls than Psalm 23 (Psalm 22 in the Latin Vulgate). Below is the Latin version, followed up by a reflection on that Psalm by Saint Augustine.

Dominus regit me, et nihil mihi deerit:
in loco pascuæ, ibi me collocavit.
Super aquam refectionis educavit me;
animam meam convertit.
Deduxit me super semitas justitiæ
propter nomen suum.
Nam etsi ambulavero in medio umbræ mortis,
non timebo mala, quoniam tu mecum es.
Virga tua, et baculus tuus,
ipsa me consolata sunt.
Parasti in conspectu meo mensam
adversus eos qui tribulant me;
impinguasti in oleo caput meum:
et calix meus inebrians, quam præclarus est!
Et misericordia tua subsequetur me
omnibus diebus vitæ meæ;
et ut inhabitem in domo Domini
in longitudinem dierum.

The Church speaks to Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is my Shepherd, and I shall lack nothing.

In a place of fresh pasture, leading me to faith, there has He placed me to be nourished. By the water of baptism, whereby they are refreshed who have lost health and strength, has He brought me up.

He has brought me forth in the narrow ways, wherein few walk, of His righteousness; not for my merit’s sake, but for His Name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk in the midst of this life, which is the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You dwell in my heart by faith; and You are now with me, that after the shadow of death I too may be with You. Your discipline, like a rod for a flock of sheep, and like a staff for children of some size, and growing out of the natural into spiritual life, they have not been grievous to me; rather have they comforted me; because You are mindful of me.

Now after the rod, whereby, whilst a little one, and living the natural life, I was brought up among the flock in the pastures; after that rod, I say, when I began to be under the staff, You have prepared a table in my sight, that I should no more be fed as a babe with milk, but being older should take meat, strengthened against them that trouble me. And Your cup yielding forgetfulness of former vain delights, how excellent is it!

And Your mercy shall follow me all the days of my life -- that is, as long as I live in this mortal life, not Yours, but mine. Now Your mercy shall follow me not here only, but also that I may dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.