January 17, 2019

Our Master and Our Mistress

As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he has mercy upon us.
Ps. 123:2 

The words of today's psalm are beautiful, but it's difficult for the 21st century mind to grasp the full meaning of them. So I'm going to leave it to a fourth century mind to do the commentary:

We are both servants, and a handmaiden: He is both our Master and our Mistress. What do these words mean? What do these similitudes mean? It is not wonderful if we are servants, and he our Master; but it is wonderful if we are a maiden, and he our Mistress. But not even our being a maiden is wonderful; for we are the church. Nor is it wonderful that he is our Mistress; for he is the Power and the Wisdom of God. When therefore thou hearest Christ, lift up thine eyes to the hands of thy Master; when thou hearest the Power of God and the Wisdom of God, lift up thine eyes to the hands of thy Mistress; for thou art both servant and handmaiden; servant, for thou art a people; handmaiden, for thou art the church. But this maiden hath found great dignity with God; she hath been made a wife. But until she come unto those spiritual embraces, where she may without apprehension enjoy him whom she hath loved, and for whom she hath sighed in this tedious pilgrimage, she is betrothed: and hath received a mighty pledge, the blood of the Spouse for whom she sigheth without fear. Nor is it said unto her, Do not love; as it is sometimes said to any betrothed virgin, not as yet married—and is justly said, Do not love; when thou hast become a wife, then love. It is rightly said, because it is a precipitate and preposterous thing, and not a chaste desire, to love one whom she knoweth not whether she shall marry. For it may happen that one man may be betrothed to her, and another man marry her. But as there is no one else who can be preferred to Christ, let her love without apprehension: and before she is joined unto him, let her love, and sigh from a distance and from her far pilgrimage.
 Augustine of Hippo 

I am an unworthy servant of the Most High—indeed I am but a child of the servant church. And yet I dare lift my eyes to you, O God, with the confidence that you will guide me and protect me and save me, in the Name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, who taught me to dare address you as...

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