The Greatest Ambition: Jerome on Psalm 84

Another gem from Jerome’s Homilies on the Psalms, this time Psalm 84 (from here):

“How lovely are your tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!” The sole ambition of some people is to possess property; others long to be enriched with the wealth of the world; still others wish to hold prominent places at conventions and be esteemed among men. But for me, there is only one longing: to see Your eternal dwelling places. To me, those are the lovely dwelling places where the virtuous and not the vicious congre­gate. “My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord.” This is my one desire, this my only love, that I may see Your courts. Notice the order. First, he longs for the taber­nacles, tents without a foundation and easily portable. A tent, moreover, is always on the move, folded up and carried hither and thither. Courts, on the other hand, although certainly not houses, do have a kind of foundation, and from the court we enter the house. Our psalmist, therefore, at first longs for a tabernacle, and then afterwards pines and yearns with love to see Your courts; and when he is in Your court, then he cries out: “Happy they who dwell in your house!”

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