Psalm 101.  Domine, exaudi

Consolation in exile

Psalm 101, which constitutes the entire Psalm part of this Hour, is a stirring elegy with strong emotions:  the bitter distress and abandonment of the Jews in exile and their burning homesickness for Jerusalem.

For the Christian, exile is the banishment from God through sin, from which he wants to free himself.  And his fatherland is friendship and union with God through grace and glory.  He longs for this with the most intense longing.  The Psalm covers the whole road that leads from a state of sin (exile) through contrition, hope, longing, up to the final homecoming of union with God.  As we read it, we can repent our own sins, or pray in the name of the Church for the final homecoming of all sinners; we can also feel in this prayer the tender longing for union with Christ, a homesickness for heaven.

Plea

Dómine, exáudi oratiónem meam: * et clamor meus ad te véniat.
2  Non avértas fáciem tuam a me: * in quacúmque die tríbulor, inclína ad me aurem tuam.
3  In quacúmque die invocávero te: * velóciter exáudi me.

O Lord, hear my prayer, * and let my cry come unto thee.
2  Turn not away thy face from me : * in the time of my trouble, incline thine ear unto me.
3  In what day soever I shall call upon thee, * O hear me, and that right soon.

The misery of exile

4  Quia defecérunt sicut fumus dies mei: * et ossa mea sicut crémium aruérunt.
5  Percússus sum ut fœnum, et áruit cor meum: * quia oblítus sum comédere panem meum.
6  A voce gémitus mei: * adhæsit os meum carni meæ.
7  Símilis factus sum pellicáno solitúdinis: * factus sum sicut nyctícorax in domicílio.
8  Vigilávi, * et factus sum sicut passer solitárius in tecto.
9  Tota die exprobrábant mihi inimíci mei: * et qui laudábant me, advérsum me jurábant.
10  Quia cínerem tamquam panem manducábam, * et potum meum cum fletu miscébam.
11  A fácie iræ et indignatiónis tuæ: * quia élevans allisísti me.
12  Dies mei sicut umbra declinavérunt: * et ego sicut fœnum árui.
13  Tu autem, Dómine, in ætérnum pérmanes: * et memoriále tuum in generatiónem et generatiónem.

4  For my days are consumed away like smoke, * and my bones are grown dry like as fuel for the fire.
5  I am smitten like grass, and my heart is withered; * so that I forget to eat my bread.
6  For the voice of my groaning, * my bones will scarce cleave to my flesh.
7  I am become like a pelican in the wilderness, * yea, I am like a night raven that is in the house.
8  I have watched, * and am even as it were a sparrow, that sitteth alone upon the housetop.
9  Mine enemies reviled me all the day long; * and they that are praised me are sworn together against me.
10  For I have eaten ashes as it were bread, * and mingled my drink with weeping.
11  Because of thy wrath and indignation; * for thou hast taken me up, and cast me down.
12  My days have declined like a shadow, * and I am withered like grass.
13  But thou, O Lord, shalt endure for ever, * and thy remembrance throughout all generations.

Longing

14  Tu exsúrgens miseréberis Sion: * quia tempus miseréndi ejus, quia venit tempus.
15  Quóniam placuérunt servis tuis lápides ejus: * et terræ ejus miserebúntur.
16  Et timébunt gentes nomen tuum, Dómine: * et omnes reges terræ glóriam tuam.
17  Quia ædificávit Dóminus Sion: * et vidébitur in glória sua.
18  Respéxit in oratiónem humílium: * et non sprevit precem eórum.

14  Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Sion; * for it is time that thou have mercy upon her, yea, the time is come.
15  For the stones thereof have pleased thy servants : * and they shall have pity on the earth thereof.
16  The nations shall fear thy Name, O Lord; * and all the kings of the earth thy glory.
17  For the Lord hath built up Sion, * and he shall be seen in his glory.
18  He hath turned him unto the prayer of the humble, * and hath despised not their petition.

Confident of being heard

19  Scribántur hæc in generatióne áltera: * et pópulus qui creábitur, laudábit Dóminum.
20  Quia prospéxit de excélso sancto suo: * Dóminus de cælo in terram aspéxit:
21  Ut audíret gémitus compeditórum: * ut sólveret fílios interemptórum.
22  Ut annúntient in Sion nomen Dómini: * et laudem ejus in Jerúsalem.
23  In conveniéndo pópulos in unum: * et reges ut sérviant Dómino.

19  Let these things be written for another generation, * and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.
20  For he hath looked down from his high sanctuary; * out of the heaven did the Lord behold the earth;
21  That he might hear the groans of such as are in fetters, * and release the children of the slain.
22  That they may declare the Name of the Lord in Sion, * and his worship at Jerusalem;
23  When the peoples are gathered together, * and the kings also, to serve the Lord.

Home

24  Respóndit ei in via virtútis suæ: * Paucitátem diérum meórum núntia mihi.
25  Ne révoces me in dimídio diérum meórum: * in generatiónem et generatiónem anni tui.
26  Inítio tu, Dómine, terram fundásti: * et ópera mánuum tuárum sunt cæli.
27  Ipsi peribunt, tu autem pérmanes: * et omnes sicut vestiméntum veteráscent.
28  Et sicut opertórium mutábis eos, et mutabúntur: * tu autem idem ipse es, et anni tui non defícient.
29  Fílii servórum tuórum habitábunt: * et semen eórum in sæculum dirigétur.

24  He answered him in the way of his strength, * Declare unto me the fewness of my days.
25  Call me not away in the midst of my days; * thy years endure throughout all generations.
26  Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, * and the heavens are the work of thy hands.
27  They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: * and they all shall wax old like a garment;
28  And as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; * but thou art always the same, and thy years shall not fail.
29  The children of thy servants shall continue, * and their seed shall be directed for ever.