In doubt and despair
Fourth enemy of the kingdom: doubt
This somewhat difficult Psalm rises from inner
conflicts and doubts of faith, surmounts the apparent contradictions of
nature and the world, and arrives at a belief in the justice of heaven that
sets all things aright. It is from this point of vantage that the
psalmist takes every trial upon himself and prays for all his sufferings to
be turned away. This Psalm we pray for our Gethsemane, for everyone's
Restraint in grief
vias meas: * ut non delínquam in lingua mea.
2 Pósui ori meo custódiam, * cum consísteret peccátor advérsum
3 Obmútui, et humiliátus sum, et sílui a bonis: * et dolor meus
4 Concáluit cor meum intra me: * et in meditatióne mea exardéscet
I said, I will
take heed to my ways, * that I offend not in my tongue.
2 I have set a guard to my mouth, * while the
ungodly stood against me.
3 I held my tongue, and was brought low, and spake nothing even
from good things: * and my sorrow was renewed.
4 My heart was hot within me: * and while I was thus musing the
Contingency of human existence
5 Locútus sum in lingua mea: * Notum fac mihi, Dómine, finem meum.
6 Et númerum diérum meórum quis est: * ut sciam quid desit mihi.
7 Ecce mensurábiles posuísti dies meos: * et substántia mea tamquam
níhilum ante te.
8 Verúmtamen univérsa vánitas, * omnis homo vivens.
9 Verúmtamen in imágine pertránsit homo: * sed et frustra
10 Thesaurízat: * et ignórat cui congregábit ea.
5 I spake with my tongue : * Lord, let me know mine end.
6 And what is the number of my days; * that
I may know what is wanting to me.
7 Behold, thou hast made my days to be measured, * and
my substance is even as nothing before thee.
8 And verily all things are vanity, * every man living.
9 For man surely passeth as a vain shadow, * yea, and he disquieteth himself in
10 He heapeth up riches, * and cannot tell for whom he shall gather them.
Confession of sin
11 Et nunc quæ est exspectátio
mea? Nonne Dóminus? * Et substántia mea apud te est.
12 Ab ómnibus iniquitátibus meis érue me: * oppróbrium insipiénti
13 Obmútui, et non apérui os meum, quóniam tu fecísti: * ámove a me
14 A fortitúdine manus tuæ ego
deféci in increpatiónibus: * propter iniquitátem corripuísti hóminem.
15 Et tabéscere fecísti sicut aráneam ánimam ejus: * verúmtamen
vane conturbátur omnis homo.
11 And now what is my hope? Is it not the Lord? * truly my
substance is even with thee.
12 Deliver me from all mine offences; * thou hast made me a rebuke
unto the foolish.
13 I became dumb, and opened not my mouth, for it was thy doing
: * take thy plague away from me.
14 The strength of thy hand hath made me faint in rebukes : * thou
hast chastened man for iniquity.
15 Thou hast made
his soul to consume away, like as it were a spider : *
in truth every man is confounded in vain.
Plea for mercy
16 Exáudi oratiónem meam, Dómine, et deprecatiónem meam: * áuribus
pércipe lácrimas meas.
17 Ne síleas: quóniam ádvena ego sum apud te, et peregrínus, *
sicut omnes patres mei.
18 Remítte mihi, ut refrígerer priúsquam ábeam, * et ámplius non ero.
16 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and my supplication : * give ear to my tears.
17 Be thou not silent: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, * as all my
18 O spare me, that I may be refreshed, *
before I go hence, and be seen no more.