As the hart pants after the water brooks, so pants my soul after you, O God.
Read Chapter 42
Augustine of Hippo
1. We have undertaken the exposition of a Psalm corresponding to your own "longings," on which we propose to speak to you. For the Psalm itself begins with a certain pious "longing;" and he who sings so, says, "Like as the hart desireth the water-brooks, so longeth my soul after Thee, O God" (ver. 1). Who is it then that saith this? It is ourselves, if we be but willing! And why ask, who it is other than thyself, when it is in thy power to be the thing which thou art asking about? It is not however one individual, but it is "One Body;" but "Christ's Body is the Church." Such "longing" indeed is not found in all who enter the Church: let all however who have "tasted" the sweetness "of the Lord," and who own in Christ that for which they have a relish, think that they are not the only ones; but that there are such seeds scattered throughout "the field" of the Lord, this whole earth: and that there is a certain Christian unity, whose voice thus speaks, "Like as the hart desireth the water...
Waters. This was sung at the baptism of Catechumens, (St. Augustine) teaching them to thirst after heaven. (Haydock)
The hart being infected with poison, thirsts exceedingly, as sinners must do for pardon. (Worthington)
Understanding. See Psalm xxxi. (Menochius)
Core, who composed, (Tirinus) or sung (Menochius) most of the psalms in this second part. (Tirinus)
Pieces of a joyful nature were generally assigned to them, according to the Jews and St. Jerome, Psalm lxxxiv. (Menochius)
They were descendants of the famous schismatic, the miraculous preservation of whose innocent children teaches us, that the good will not be punished with the guilty, and that we must be raised above this earth, lest hell devour us, Numbers xvi. 31., and xxvi. 10. (Worthington)
The sentiments of the captives, (Calmet) and of every sincere Christian, are here expressed. (St. Augustine)
David may have been the author, (Calmet) as it is generally believed. (Berthier)