Psalm 41  Quemadmodum

Homesick for God

This Psalm, a jewel of biblical poetry, was sung by the Jews of the captivity to express their intense longing for their homeland and the temple.  Since the fall, earth has become a land of exile for us, and we look and long for our heavenly home.  The sinner also suffers this nostalgia for true joy, his home and union with God.

Longing for God's sanctuary

Quemádmodum desíderat cervus ad fontes aquárum: * ita desíderat ánima mea ad te, Deus.
2  Sitívit ánima mea ad Deum fortem vivum: * quando véniam, et apparébo ante fáciem Dei?
3  Fuérunt mihi lácrimæ meæ panes die ac nocte: * dum dícitur mihi quotídie: Ubi est Deus tuus?
4  Hæc recordátus sum, et effúdi in me ánimam meam: * quóniam transíbo in locum tabernáculi admirábilis, usque ad domum Dei.
5  In voce exsultatiónis, et confessiónis: * sonus epulántis.
6  Quare tristis es, ánima mea? * et quare contúrbas me?
7  Spera in Deo, quóniam adhuc confitébor illi: * salutáre vultus mei, et Deus meus.

Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, * so longeth my soul after thee, O God.
2  My soul is athirst for God, yea, even for the strong, living God: * when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
 My tears have been my meat day and night, * while they daily say unto me, Where is now thy God?
4  These things I remembered, and poured out my soul within me; * for I shall go over into the place of the wondrous tabernacle, even unto the house of God.
5  In the voice of praise and thanksgiving, * the sound of one keeping holy-day.
6  Why art thou sad, O my soul? * and why dost thou trouble me?
7  O put thy trust in God, for I will yet praise him, * the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

Overcome with suffering

8  Ad meípsum ánima mea conturbáta est : * proptérea memor ero tui de terra Jordánis, et Hermóniim a monte módico.
9  Abyssus abyssum ínvocat, * in voce cataractárum tuárum.
10  Omnia excélsa tua, et fluctus tui * super me transiérunt.
11  In die mandávit Dóminus misericórdiam suam : * et nocte cánticum ejus.
12  Apud me orátio Deo vitæ meæ, * dicam Deo : Suscéptor meus es.
13  Quare oblítus es mei? * et quare contristátus incédo, dum afflígit me inimícus?
14  Dum confringúntur ossa mea, * exprobravérunt mihi qui tríbulant me inimíci mei.
15  Dum dicunt mihi per síngulos dies : Ubi est Deus tuus? * quare tristis es, ánima mea? et quare contúrbas me?
16  Spera in Deo, quóniam adhuc confitébor illi : * salutáre vultus mei, et Deus meus.

8  My soul is vexed within me; * therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, from Hermon and the little hill.
9  The deep calleth on the deep, * at the noise of thy water-floods.
10  All thy waves and storms * are gone over me.
11  The Lord hath commanded his mercy in the daytime; * and a canticle to him in the night season.
12  The prayer to the God of my life is with me, * I will say unto God : Thou dost uphold me.
13  Why hast thou forgotten me? * and why go I mourning, whilst the enemy oppresseth me?
14  Whilst my bones are smitten asunder, * mine enemies that trouble me have reproached me.
15  While they say daily unto me: Where is now thy God? * why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou trouble me?
16  O put thy trust in God, for I will yet praise him, * the salvation of my countenance, and my God.