Luther Quote of the Day

Thus in ancient times the church used to read psalms before Mass as an incentive. To the present day some verses remain in the Introit. And to the present day the church has the invitatory psalm in Matins, namely, “O come, let us sing to the Lord” (Ps. 95:1), whereby the people invite each other to praise God. And the psalm is rightly called “invitatory,” because the psalmist summoned not only himself but also others to praise God. This is what St. Ambrose did with a chant, by means of which he dispelled the sadness of the Milanese, so that they might bear the weariness of the time more lightly. But it can, not without sense, also be called “invitatory” for the reason that the Holy Spirit is invited in the same way. For when we are challenged, God is soon aroused also. And therefore we learn from these words that whoever wants to arouse himself to devotion should take up the Psalms. Thus Paul admonishes (Eph. 5:19): “Addressing one another in psalms and spiritual songs, singing to the Lord.” The Psalms have a unique power of stimulation because they were composed “for victory.”

On Psalm 4

Luther’s works, vol. 10: First Lectures I

Psalms 1-75

p 43-44

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