Friday, July 25, 2008


I am very much committed to attending the next WYD, to be held in Madrid from the 15th to the 21st of August in 2011. Of course, my plan is to again join the Juventutem pilgrim group, and have spoken with Fr Rowe about setting up a W.A. Juventutem chapter.

In any case, the daily prayer recommended to all Juventutem members is the well-known Psalm 42, with antiphon Introibo, as said at the start of the Traditional Mass, and reproduced here:

Introibo ad altare Dei.
Ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.

Judica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab homine iniquo, et doloso erue me.
Quia tu es, Deus, fortitudo mea: quare me reppulisti, et quare tristis incedo, dum affligit me inimicus?
Emitte lucem tuam, et veritatem tuam: ipsa me deduxerunt, et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernacula tua.
Et introibo ad altare Dei: ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.
Confitebor tibi in cithara, Deus, Deus meus: quare tristis es, anima mea, et quare conturbas me?
Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: salutare vultus mei, et Deus meus.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto.
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper: et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.

Introibo ad altare Dei.
Ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.

Now of course the interesting detail is that the Vulgate, or rather the Gallican Psalter (being Jerome's revision of the older Roman Psalter), follows the Septuagint (πρὸς τὸν θεὸν τὸν εὐφραίνοντα τὴν νεότητά μου) in speaking of the psalmist approaching "to God Who giveth joy to my youth"; whereas all other versions follow the Masoretic Text in speaking of God Who is one's joy of jubilation. Apparently - says the late lamented John Paul II - the Greek translators had recourse to Aramaic when rendering the phrase, and this explains the happy difference. St Augustine comments thus, alluding to how Scripture represents the old sinful Adam in us as transformed by Christ into the new man of grace:

Juventus novitatem significat: tamquam diceret: Ad Deum qui lætificat novitatem meam. Lætificat novitatem meam, qui contristavit vetustatem meam. Incedo enim modo tristis in vetustate, tunc autem stabo gaudens in novitate.

(Youth signifies newness: it is as if it were said: To God Who giveth joy to my newness. He giveth joy to my newness, Who hath made sad my oldness. For I go about sorrowful in oldness, but will stand rejoicing in newness.)

Dom Guéranger gives an apposite paraphrase of this psalm in his commentary on the Mass (as recapitalized):

I unite myself, O my God, with Thy holy Church, who thrills with joy at the approach of Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who is the true Altar.
Like her, I beseech Thee to defend me against the malice of the enemies of my salvation.
It is in Thee that I have put my hope, yet do I feel sad and troubled at being in the midst of the snares which are set for me.
Send me, then, Him Who is Light and Truth; it is He Who will open the way to Thy holy mount, to Thy heavenly tabernacle.
He is the Mediator, and the living Altar; I will draw nigh to Him, and be filled with joy.
When He shall have come, I will sing in my gladness. Be not sad, O my soul! why wouldst thou be longer troubled?
Hope in Him, Who will soon show Himself unto thee, as thy Saviour, and thy God.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
I am to go to the altar of God, and feel the presence of Him who desires to give me a new life!

The sacred liturgy also uses portions of this psalm:

Introit of Passion Sunday (Ps 42:1-2a, 3) [NB The Introit is from the Roman Psalter, while the Psalm Verse from the Gallican Psalter.]

Judica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta: ab homine iniquo et doloso eripe me: quia tu es Deus meus, et fortitudo mea.
Emitte lucem tuam, et veritatem tuam: ipsa me deduxerunt, et adduxerunt in montem sanctum tuum, et in tabernacula tua.

Communion of Sexagesima Sunday (Ps 42:4ab)

Introibo ad altare Dei, ad Deum qui lætificat juventutem meam.

7th Antiphon of Corpus Christi Matins (cf. Ps 42:4ab)

Introibo ad altare Dei, sumam Christum, qui renovat juventutem meam. *

Tuesday Lauds I, Antiphon 2 (Ps 42:5d)

Salutare vultus mei, Deus meus.

Tuesday Lauds II, Antiphon 2 (Ps 42:1a)

Discerne, Deus, causam meam de gente non sancta.

(*Note the fine allusion in the Corpus Christi antiphon to another Psalm as well - Ps 102:5 qui... renovabitur... juventus tua.)

Finally, from those dreadful Protestants, comes this metrical version (C.M. - contained in the Scottish Psalter of 1650:

Judge me, O God, and plead my cause
against th’ ungodly nation;
From the unjust and crafty man,
O be thou my salvation.

For thou the God art of my strength;
why thrusts thou me thee fro’?
For th’ enemy’s oppression
why do I mourning go?

O send thy light forth and thy truth;
let them be guides to me,
And bring me to thine holy hill,
ev’n where thy dwellings be.

Then will I to God’s altar go,
to God my chiefest joy:
Yea, God, my God, thy name to praise
my harp I will employ.

Why art thou then cast down, my soul?
what should discourage thee?
And why with vexing thoughts art thou
disquieted in me?

Still trust in God; for him to praise
good cause I yet shall have:
He of my count’nance is the health,
my God that doth me save.

No comments: