Psalm 78 Deus, venerunt
Heathen atrocities in Jerusalem

This Psalm depicts one of the saddest episodes of Jewish history:  Jerusalem and the temple are destroyed, the Gentiles loot and kill, Israel is sunk in deepest shame―a punishment for the infidelity of the chosen people.

The destruction of the sanctuary is at the same time a reminder of the modern-day destruction of the modernists, with their man-oriented liturgies.  In the latter half of the Psalm we plead for the destruction of the enemies of the Church, not with any malice or thoughts of vengeance, but for the manifestation of God's divine justice upon those who would desecrate his holy places.

Finally, this destruction of the sanctuary can be seen as an image of Christ's death:  "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19).  We think about the temple of the soul, violated by sin, and in the Church's name we pray for the conversion of sinners.

Jerusalem desolate

Deus, venérunt Gentes in hereditátem tuam, polluérunt templum sanctum tuum: * posuérunt Jerúsalem in pomórum custódiam.
2  Posuérunt morticína servórum tuórum, escas volatílibus cæli: * carnes sanctórum tuórum béstiis terræ.
3  Effudérunt sánguinem eórum tamquam aquam in circúitu Jerúsalem: * et non erat qui sepelíret.
4  Facti sumus oppróbrium vicínis nostris: * subsannátio et illúsio his, qui in circúitu nostro sunt.

O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance, thy holy temple have they defiled, * and made Jerusalem a place to store fruit.
2  The dead bodies of thy servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the air, * and the flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the land.
3  Their blood have they shed like water on every side of Jerusalem, * and there was no man to bury them.
4  We are become a reproach to our neighbours, * a very scorn and derision unto them that are round about us.

Fervent plea for help

5  Usquequo, Dómine, irascéris in finem: * accendétur velut ignis zelus tuus?
6  Effúnde iram tuam in Gentes, quæ te non novérunt: * et in regna quæ nomen tuum non invocavérunt:
7  Quia comedérunt Jacob: * et locum ejus desolavérunt.
8  Ne memíneris iniquitátum nostrárum antiquárum, cito antícipent nos misericórdiæ tuæ: * quia páuperes facti sumus nimis.
9  Adjuva nos, Deus, salutáris noster: et propter glóriam nóminis tui, Dómine, líbera nos: * et propítius esto peccátis nostris, propter nomen tuum:

5  How long, O Lord, wilt thou be angry for ever? * shall thy zeal be kindled like fire?
6  Pour out thy wrath upon the nations that have not known thee; * and upon the kingdoms that have not called upon thy Name.
7  For they have devoured Jacob, * and laid waste his dwelling-place.
8  O remember not our sins of old, but let thy mercies speedily prevent us, * for we are become exceeding poor.
9  Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy Name, O Lord, deliver us, * and forgive us our our sins, for thy Name's sake.

Plea for punishment of enemies

10  Ne forte dicant in Géntibus: Ubi est Deus eórum? * et innotéscat in natiónibus coram óculis nostris.
11  Ultio sánguinis servórum tuórum, qui effúsus est: * intróeat in conspéctu tuo gémitus compeditórum.
12  Secúndum magnitúdinem bráchii tui, * pósside fílios mortificatórum.
13  Et redde vicínis nostris séptuplum in sinu eórum: * impropérium ipsórum, quod exprobravérunt tibi, Dómine.

10  Lest they should say among the heathen: Where is now their God? * and let him be openly shewed upon the nations, in our sight.
11  By the vengeance of thy servants' blood that is shed, * O let the sorrowful sighing of the prisoners come before thee.
12  According to the greatness of thine arm, * take possession of the children of them that have been put to death.
13  And render unto our neighbours seven-fold in their bosom : * the reproach wherewith they have blasphemed thee, O Lord.

Promise of thanksgiving

14  Nos autem pópulus tuus, et oves páscuæ tuæ, * confitébimur tibi in sæculum.
15  In generatiónem et generatiónem * annuntiábimus laudem tuam.

14  But we are thy people, and the sheep of thy pasture, * we shall give thee thanks for ever.
15  From generation to generation * we will alway be shewing forth thy praise.