The early church Fathers on the Scriptures

The Psalms: Voice of the Church and Medicine for Hearts
Commentary on Psalm 1, by Basil the Great, 4th century

Any part of the Scriptures you like to choose is inspired by God. The Holy Spirit
composed the Scriptures so that in them, as in a pharmacy open to all souls, we
might each of us be able to find the medicine suited to our own particular illness.

Thus, the teaching of the Prophets is one thing, and that of the historical books is
another. And, again, the Law has one meaning, and the advice we read in the Book
of Proverbs has a different one.

But the Book of Psalms contains everything useful that the others have. It predicts
the future, it recalls the past, it gives directions for living, it suggests the right
behavior to adopt. It is, in short, a jewel case in which have been collected all the
valid teachings in such a way that individuals find remedies just right for their

It heals the old wounds of the soul and gives relief to recent ones. It cures the
illnesses and preserves the health of the soul.

Every Psalm brings peace, soothes the internal conflicts, calms the rough waves of
evil thoughts, dissolves anger, corrects and moderates profligacy.

Every Psalm preserves friendship and reconciles those who are separated. Who
could actually regard as an enemy the person beside whom they have raised a song to the one God?

Every Psalm anticipates the anguish of the night and gives rest after the efforts of
the day.  it is safety for babes, beauty for the young, comfort for the aged,
adornment for women.

 Every Psalm is the voice of the Church.

(Translation by Thomas Spidlik, Drinking from the Hidden Fountain: A Patristic Breviary, Cistercian Publications, Kalamazoo, MI - Spencer, MASS, 1994)

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