PODACzT 69: Augustine on Ps 103 & Benedictines can sing!

After a long hiatus, I am back with another PODCAzT.  Travelling, being tried, tired, and problems with teeth have quieted me at the microphone.  Even with this one, it was a bit of a chore. I also need to reacquaint myself with the tech stuff.

Today we delve into St. Augustine of Hippo’s 3rd Exposition of Ps. 103 (104).  He has three sermons on this psalm, preached in Carthage, probably in 411.  He uses an allegorical approach to interpreting the many elements.  This is a psalm often associated with Pentecost and the Holy Spirit, having as it does the lines: "Thou shalt send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created: and thou shalt renew the face of the earth."  So, we’ll drill into Augustine’s 103, 5-6. and hear the psalm 103 (104) as well.

I got into this psalm today because of the word caminus, which Augustine uses in the sermon.  This one of the words for chimney.  I just made an appointment for my chimney to be cleaned.  Also, he speaks of birds, which we view at the Sabine Farm, and he talks of onagers and rocks and heretics! 

By the way, in paragraph 4, just before this section Augustine in his allegorical approach interprets the wild asses in the psalm as being celibates, which his audience must have enjoyed enormously.

In Kansas City, Missouri recently I met the Benedictine Sisters of Mary, Queen of Apostles.  They are very fine group of young women, happy and dedicated to prayer for priests.  They have a CD of music, chant and their own compositions.  We will hear one I found on their website.  They sing as beautifully as they smile and bear their traditional habits.

Some of the tunes you will encounter along the way…

On the Air – Carrol Gibbons and the Savoy Hotel Orphaens
Emendemus in melius by Orlando de Lassus
Concerto for Oboe in D minor, Op. 9-2 – Adagio by Tomaso Albinoni
Ave Maria by the Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles
Wandering Along – Carrol Gibbons and the Savoy Hotel Orphaens


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RichR says:

    Finally! Another podcaZt! These beat all the others out there – including CAL. Can’t wait to listen to it while bathing the kiddos.

    Thanks FrZ!

  2. Maeana says:

    I’m so happy to see the Benedictines mentioned again! My sister left a professional symphony orchestra to join the order 5 years ago. She is now doing more with her music as a semi- contemplative nun than she was as a professional musician.

  3. mpm says:

    Fr. Z,

    This was an excellent edition, as usual.

    If you care to respond, I have a question. In the Treatises on the Gospel of John
    St. Augustine speaks about the Evangelists being “mountains” (montes) who are
    not themselves the light, but merely reflecting the Light they received to us.
    I think I have read him using that image in other places also, so…

    Was this an image that he developed, or was it part of the Catholic milieu of
    the time?

  4. mpm: Augustine does all sort of things with mountains. For example, today in Matins in the Roman Breviary me spoke about the Lord being on the mountain for His sermon on the mount. Don’t expect Augustine to have a consistent application of each sign or symbol.

    I am not sure if that image was a topos in ancient Christian writing.

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