The Covenant

Belonging to God

Psalm 62
Peace in God
May God, the source of our hope, fill your hearts with peace as you believe in him (Romans 15:13).

In God alone is my soul at rest;
my help comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
my fortress; I stand firm.

How long will you all attack one man
to break him down,
as though he were a tottering wall,
or a tumbling fence?

Their plan is only to destroy;
they take pleasure in lies.
With their mouth they utter blessing
but in their heart they curse.

In God alone be at rest, my soul;
for my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
my fortress; I stand firm.

In God is my safety and glory,
the rock of my strength.
Take refuge in God, all you people.
Trust him at all times.
Pour out your hearts before him
for God is our refuge.

Common folk are only a breath,
great men an illusion.
Placed in the scales, they rise;
they weigh less than a breath.

Do not put your trust in oppression
nor vain hopes on plunder.
Do not set your heart on riches
even when they increase.

For God has said only one thing;
only two do I know:
that to God alone belongs power
and to you, Lord, love;
and that you repay each man
according to his deeds.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
— as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

REFLECTIONS

In God alone is my soul at rest;
my help comes from him.
He alone is my rock, my stronghold,
my fortress; I stand firm.

Living in the World, or the Profane, as Mircea Eliade would term it, is caustic to the spirit. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Mircea-Eliade

I used to think of Original Sin as committing a bunch of acts which God did not like but which I did not understand. It is more than that. OS is also a condition into which we find ourselves, like breathing oxygen. We need to live in the Profane because that is our only framework of existence, but we must struggle against its influence if we are to live in the spiritual universe.

What would happen if you were to live under the ocean, like the fishes? You would need to breathe oxygen, for one thing, needing special equipment to last more than a minute. The oxygen of the spirit is God, as the Psalm says: In God alone is my soul at rest. Original Sin is like the ocean. It is not just a series of actions that are wrong, but the ability for us to fulfill our human destiny, to claim our inheritance as sons and daughters of the Father. Again, my help comes from him. Why would I need help to move beyond just the physical and mental universes? Humans can’t do that without help from God. He alone is my rock, my stronghold, my fortress; I stand firm. The word “alone” is critical for the Psalmist. The Profane World cannot save us from the toxicity of being human. Humanity corrupts. Death is the ultimate corruption: the body gets old, dies, becomes dust. Ideas last a bit longer, carried on from family to family, or in the case of the Church Universe, from each age. God alone is able to sustain us, beginning in this lifetime, to prepare us to live in the next life with God. We are meant to know God in this lifetime so that we can carry that love to begin living Heaven right now. We do that by loving others (service) as God loves us. This is the struggle of Original Sin.

Trust him at all times. Pour out your hearts before him for God is our refuge, says the Psalmist. This is how we survive the struggle of Original Sin and keep ourselves from being consumed by the allurements of the World. The World is what Christ came to save us from, but also to be our strength as we journey through life.

We don’t walk our path of life’s experiences alone. We are always part of something bigger than our individual self, although it is through that personal journey that we find salvation.

We need others to move forward with our spiritual growth, but we need to be careful whom we trust for help. The Psalmist challenges us to be careful.
Do not put your trust in oppression
nor vain hopes on plunder.
Do not set your heart on riches
even when they increase.  

Our trust should be in God as our rock.

In conclusion, the Psalmist writes:
For God has said only one thing;
only two do I know:
that to God alone belongs power
and to you, Lord, love;
and that you repay each man
according to his deeds.

This is a gentle reminder to us that, if we want to survive anything in this life, most especially death or sickness, we should remember that God is God and we are just human. What we do to bring us to living out our salvation in the next life is due to the deeds. These deeds, the Psalmist reminds us, come from God, not us. There are only three kinds of works: good works, bad works, and no works. We are repaid according to how we have tried to have in us the mind of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)

That in all things, may God be glorified. –St. Benedict

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