Thought of the day
Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday of the Twentieth week in Ordinary Time

“Happy the man… (who) delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.” (Ps 1:1-2)

Commentary of the day 
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross [Edith Stein] (1891-1942), Carmelite, martyr, co-patron of Europe 
The History and Spirit of Carmel
“Happy the man… (who) delights in the law of the Lord and meditates on his law day and night.” (Ps 1:1-2)

        What does “the law of the Lord” mean? Psalm 118 [119] … is filled with the desire of knowing the law of the Lord and letting oneself by guided by it during one’s entire life. It is very possible the psalmist was thinking there of the Law of the Old Covenant. Getting to know it really did demand life-long study, and fulfilling it demanded an effort of the will that also lasted one’s whole life. But the Lord has freed us from the yoke of this Law. We can consider the law of the New Covenant to be the great commandment of love, which includes all of the Law and the prophets, as he said. Perfect love of God and of neighbor would certainly be an object worthy to be studied over a whole lifetime. 

      But better still, we understand the law of the New Covenant to be the Lord Jesus himself, since his life is for us the model of the life we are to live. Thus we fulfill our Rule if we constantly keep before our eyes the image of the Lord Jesus so as to become like him. The Gospel is the book we will never have finished studying. But we don’t find the Lord only in the accounts of those who witnessed his life. He is present to us in the most Blessed Sacrament and in the hours of adoration before the supreme Good, attentive listening to the voice of the God of the Eucharist are both “meditation on the law of the Lord” and a “vigil in prayer”. However, the highest degree is reached when “the law dwells within our hearts” (Ps 40:11).