Category Archives: Tools – 2017

Podcasts of Tools of the Spiritual Life which were published for the Liturgical Year 2017 A.D.

T06 – Plsalm 119 – A Guide to the Lenten Journey

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This is the 6th in a series of podcasts examining Psalm 119 through the perspective of Holy Orthodox and Catholic Church. It is based on John Mason Neale’ s four volume work, A Commentary on the Psalms. A pdf file of the transcript is available on the Transcript Channel.

T06 – Psalm 119 – A Guide to the Lenten Journey

This is the 6th in a series of podcasts examining Psalm 119 through the perspective of Holy Orthodox and Catholic Church. It is based on John Mason Neale’ s four volume work, A Commentary on the Psalms. A pdf file of the transcript is available on the Transcript Channel.

T05 – Psalm 119 – A Guide for the Lenten Journey

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This is the 5th in a series of podcasts examining Psalm 119 through the perspective of Holy Orthodox and Catholic Church. It is based on John Mason Neale’ s four volume work, A Commentary on the Psalms. A pdf file of the transcript is available on the Transcript Channel.

T04 – Psalm 119 – A Tool for the Lenten Journey

This is the 4th in a series of podcasts examining Psalm 119 through the perspective of Holy Orthodox and Catholic Church. It is based on John Mason Neale’ s four volume work, A Commentary on the Psalms. A pdf file of the transcript is available on the Transcript Channel.

T05 – Psalm 119 – A Guide for the Lenten Journey

This is the 5th in a series of podcasts examining Psalm 119 through the perspective of Holy Orthodox and Catholic Church. It is based on John Mason Neale’ s four volume work, A Commentary on the Psalms. A pdf file of the transcript is available on the Transcript Channel.

T04 – Psalm 119 – A Tool for the Lenten Journey

Read

This is the 4th in a series of podcasts examining Psalm 119 through the perspective of Holy Orthodox and Catholic Church. It is based on John Mason Neale’ s four volume work, A Commentary on the Psalms. A pdf file of the transcript is available on the Transcript Channel.

T03 – Psalm 119 – A Tool for the Lenten Journey

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Psalm 119  A Tool for the Lenten Journey

             Welcome once again to The Spiritual Workshop. Today’s podcast is the 3rd in the series on Psalm 119 as a guide to our spiritual growth or theosis. Today we will consider the next three sections of Psalm 119, that is verses 33 to 56. As we do so, let me remind you that I am basing my commentary on John Mason Neale & R. F. Littledale, A Commentary on the Psalms: from Primitive and Midaeval Writers. Vol. 4. 4 vols. London: Joseph Masters & Co., 1833. I’m very much aware that, as it were, I stand on the shoulders of giants. I use their Commentary primarily for their excellent description of the use of each letter of the Hebrew alphabet at the beginning of each 8 verse section.

     Psalm 119:33-40 starts with the letter HE, the 5th letter of the alphabet. There is some uncertain about the meaning of this letter, but it probably means a fissure or window. These meanings seem appropriate in the context of this section which is a prayer for the light of grace and for guidance of the eyes (ver. 37). The eyes are the windows through which the soul looks out upon the world. In a more allegorical manner, it may be understood as to be signifying the Prophets of the Old Testament, who are windows or fissures in the wall of the Law, giving glimpses of Christ, Whom that Law hides altogether under type and shadow. Also, our own powers of understanding are windows to let spiritual light in on our souls – all of these concepts find their place in this section.[1]

     Psalm 119:41-48 begins with Vau, the sixth letter of the Hebrew alphabet which signifies a nail or hook. The fathers agree that this section is an eager cry for the coming of the Messiah. Perhaps the best illustration of this is seen in Isaiah 22:21-24: “He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.”[2]

     Psalm 119:49-56: The seventh letter, Zain, means a dart or
missile weapon. This has a threefold mystical signification in Holy Scripture. If referred to God, or those acting in His Name, it denotes Divine chastisement for sin, as in the command for setting bounds about Mount Sinai, “If so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be thrust through with a dart;” and as in the punishment of Zimri and Cozbi, when Phinehas thrust them through with a javelin. If we refer this meaning to the Saints, the meaning is that of defence by prayer, “ejaculations,” javelin-throwings of the soul, wherefore we read of Hezekiah (“Strength of the Lord”) that he not only fortified the Holy City, but made “darts and shields in abundance.” Then if we consider this meaning in relation to evil spirits, it means the piercing of the soul by sin, “till a dart strike through the liver;” or in the classical passage, “all the fiery darts of the wicked,” it stands for temptations and afflictions of any kind. The key-note of this section takes in all three meanings, for the judgments of God are hinted at in verse 53, as threatening the ungodly; the nature of our defence in dangers appears in vv. 49 and 50, and the shafts of the wicked are implied in verse 51. And [the Fathers] note that whereas this is the seventh section of the Psalm, so there are seven godly resolutions found in it.[3]

[1] (John Mason Neale 1833), Vol IV, pp. 28-29.

[2] (John Mason Neale 1833), Vol IV, p. 35.

[3] (John Mason Neale 1833), Vol IV, pp. 41-42.

Click this link if you wish to download a PDF file of the complete notes for this podcast.

T02 – Psalm 119 – A Tool for the Lenten Journey

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Psalm 119:1-32

Important information about change in format about to take place. The Spiritual Workshop website will be unchanged and will have all of the podcasts available. Users will have the option of subscribing to different series of podcasts at iTunes and elsewhere.

Subject matter of this talk is the first four sections of Psalm 119, verses 1 to 32.

Click here to download a transcript of this talk.

Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.

13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.

26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.

27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.

30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame.

32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

 

 

T01 – Psalm 119 – A Tool for the Lenten Journey

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For this series, I have excerpted from the Manual of Plainsong Psalm 119 complete, along with the plainsong tones for each of the 22 parts. Download this by clicking Download File. Be patient, as it is rather long. This is the only English plainsong version I have found which has the text fully pointed for chanting. The text itself is from the Book of Common Prayer.

Also, we will occasionally talk about the letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Here is a table showing them, arranged in order left to right, top to bottom.

Through these talks, reference will be made from time to time to the four different senses or levels of Holy Scripture. Click Download File to download a short PDF file which sets out what these are.

A transcript of the talk is available here: PDF file for download