Principium Rigans montesWatering the MountainsRigans montes de superioribus suis; de fructu operum tuorum satiabitur terra.Watering the mountains from your upper rooms; the earth shall be filled with the fruit of your works.Psalmus 103:13Psalm 103:13ProoemiumPrefaceRex caelorum et dominus hanc legem ab aeterno instituit, ut providentiae suae dona ad infima per media pervenirent. Unde Dionysius, quinto capitulo ecclesiasticae hierarchiae dicit: lex divinitatis sacratissima est, ut per prima media adducantur ad sui divinissimam lucem.The King and Lord of the heavens instituted this law from eternity, that the gifts of his providence would come to lower things through mediators. Hence, Dionysius says, in On the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy, 5: the most sacred divine law is such that by first things the middle things should be led to his most divine light.Quae quidem lex, non solum in spiritualibus, sed etiam in corporalibus invenitur. Unde Augustinus III de Trinitate: quemadmodum igitur crassiora et infirmiora per corpora subtiliora et potentiora quodam ordine reguntur, ita omnia corpora per spiritum vitae rationalem. Et ideo Psalmo praedictam legem in communicatione spiritualis sapientiae observatam sub metaphora corporalium rerum proposuit dominus: rigans montes, et cetera. Videmus autem ad sensum, a superioribus nubium imbres effluere, quibus montes rigati flumina de se emittunt, quibus terra satiata fecundatur. Similiter, de supernis divinae sapientiae rigantur mentes doctorum, qui per montes significantur, quorum ministerio lumen divinae sapientiae usque ad mentes audientium derivatur.This law is found not only in spiritual things but also in bodily things. Hence Augustine says, in On the Trinity, 3: therefore, in the way that the most base and lowly are ruled by more subtle and powerful in rank, so also all bodies are ruled by the rational spirit of life. And, so, in this Psalm the Lord proposed a law observed for imparting spiritual wisdom under metaphors of bodily things: watering the mountains, etc. We even see by our senses that rains flows from the highest clouds by which the mountains and rivers are watered and send themselves on by which the nourished earth becomes fruitful. In the same way, from the heights of divine wisdom the minds of teachers, signified by the mountains, are watered, by whose ministry the light of divine wisdom comes to the minds of those who hear them.Sic igitur in verbo proposito quattuor possumus considerare, scilicet: spiritualis doctrinae altitudinem; doctorum eius dignitatem; auditorum conditionem; et communicandi ordinem.Therefore, this passage provides four items that should be considered, namely, the heights of spiritual teaching, the dignity of its teachers, the condition of those who listen, and the order of communication.Caput 1Chapter 1Altitudo ista ostenditur in hoc quod dicit: de superioribus suis. Glossa: de altioribus archanis. Habet enim sacra doctrina altitudinem ex tribus.The heights are shown in the words: from thy upper rooms. The Gloss reads: from high hidden chambers. In fact, sacred teaching has its height from three things.Primo, ex origine: haec enim est sapientia quae de sursum esse describitur. Iac. III et Eccli. I: fons sapientiae verbum Dei in excelsis.First, from its origin. For this is the wisdom described as being from the heights: the word of God on high is the fountain of wisdom (Sir 1:5; Jas 3:15).Secundo, ex subtilitate materiae, Eccli. XXIV: ego in altissimis habitavi. Sunt enim quaedam alta divinae sapientiae, ad quae omnes perveniunt, etsi imperfecte, quia cognitio existendi Deum naturaliter omnibus est inserta, ut dicit Damascenus, et quantum ad hoc dicitur, Iob XXXVI: omnes homines vident eum unusquisque intuetur procul. Quaedam vero sunt altiora, ad quae sola sapientum ingenia pervenerunt, rationis tantum ductu, de quibus, Rom. I: quod enim notum est Dei, manifestum est in illis. Quaedam autem sunt altissima, quae omnem humanam rationem transcendunt; et quantum ad hoc dicitur, Iob XXVIII: abscondita est sapientia ab oculis omnium viventium; et in Psalmo: posuit tenebras latibulum suum. Sed hoc per spiritum sanctum qui scrutatur etiam profunda Dei, I Cor. II, sacri doctores edocti tradiderunt in textu sacrae Scripturae; et ista sunt altissima, in quibus haec sapientia dicitur habitare.Second, from the subtlety of its content: I dwelt in the highest places (Sir 24:7). Now, there are some heights of divine wisdom to which all come, although imperfectly, because the knowledge of the existence of God is naturally placed in everyone, as Damascene says, and in the same way it is said in Job: all men see him, every one beholdeth afar off (Job 36:25). Truly, other things are higher, which come only the talent of the wise, whose reasoning is great enough to lead to it. Hence: that which is known of God is manifest in them (Rom 1:19). Others are so high that they transcend all human reason, and these are spoken of in Job: wisdom is hidden from the eyes of all the living (Job 28:21), and in the Psalm: he put on darkness as his covert (Ps 17:12). But holy teachers were taught by the Holy Spirit who searches even the deep things of God (1 Cor 2:10) and handed it on in the text of Sacred Scripture; and these are the highest, in which this wisdom is said to live.Tertio, ex finis sublimitate: finem enim habet altissimum, scilicet vitam aeternam, Ioan. XX: haec autem scripta sunt ut credatis quia Iesus est Christus filius Dei; et ut credentes vitam habeatis in nomine eius. Col. III: quae sursum sunt quaerite ubi Christus est in dextera Dei sedens; quae sursum sunt sapite, non quae super terram.Third, from the sublimity of its end: because it has the highest of ends, namely, eternal life: but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name (John 20:31); and: seek the things that are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God; mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth (Col 3:1-2).Caput 2Chapter 2Ratione enim altitudinis huius doctrinae et in doctoribus eius requiritur dignitas; unde per montes significantur, cum dicitur: rigans montes; et hoc propter tria, scilicet:On account of the height of this doctrine, dignity is required of its teachers; hence, they are signified by the mountains, when it is said: watering the mountains, and this on account of three things, namely:primo, propter montium altitudinem. Sunt enim a terra elevati et caelo vicini. Sic enim sacri doctores terrena contemnendo solis caelestibus inhiant, Philipp. III: nostra autem conversatio in caelis est, unde de ipso doctore doctorum, scilicet Christo, dicitur, Isai. II: elevabitur super colles et fluent ad eum omnes gentes.first, on account of the height of the mountains, because they are raised about the earth and neighbor the sky. Hence, the holy teachers despise earthly things and desire only heavenly things: but our conversation is in heaven (Phil 3:20). Hence, about the teacher of teachers, namely Christ, it is said: it shall be lifted upon the hills and all nations shall flow into it (Isa 2:2).Secundo, propter splendorem. Primo enim montes radiis illustrantur. Et similiter sacri doctores mentium splendorem primo recipiunt. Sicut montes enim doctores primitus radiis divinae sapientiae illuminantur, Psal.: illuminans tu mirabiliter a montibus aeternis turbati sunt omnes insipientes corde; id est a doctoribus qui sunt in participatione aeternitatis, Philipp. II: inter quos lucetis sicut luminaria in mundo.Second, on account of their brilliance. First, because the mountains are lit by rays. And, similarly, the minds of the holy teachers are the first recipients of brilliance. For the sacred teachers are illuminated like mountains by the first rays of divine wisdom: you enlighten wonderfully from the everlasting hills; all the foolish in heart were troubled (Ps 75:5-6); that is, by teachers who are participating in eternity: among whom you shine as lights in the world (Phil 2:15).Tertio, propter montium munitionem, quia per montes terra ab hostibus defenditur. Ita et doctores Ecclesiae in defensionem fidei debent esse contra errores. Filii Israel non in lancea, nec in sagitta confidunt, sed montes defendunt illos. Et ideo quibusdam improperatur, Ezech. XIII: non ascendistis ex adverso neque opposuistis murum pro domo Israel, ut staretis in praelio in die domini.Third, on account of the fortification of the mountains, because by mountains a country is defended from enemies. And in this way the teachers of the Church must defend the faith against errors. The sons of Israel do not trust in spear or arrow, but the mountains defend them. For that reason one is blamed: you have not gone up to face the enemy, nor have you set up a wall for the house of Israel, to stand in battle in the day of the Lord (Ezek 13:5).Omnes igitur doctores sacrae Scripturae esse debent alti per vitae eminentiam, ut sint idonei ad efficaciter praedicandum; quia, ut dicit Gregorius in pastorali: cuius vita despicitur, necesse est ut eius praedicatio contemnatur. Eccle. XII: verba sapientum quasi stimuli et quasi clavi in altum defixi. Non enim cor stimulari potest aut configi in timore Dei, nisi in vitae altitudine defigatur.Therefore, all teachers of Sacred Scripture should be lifted up by the eminence of their lives so that they may be fit to preach effectively; because as Gregory says in Pastoral Care: he whose life is despised, his preaching is likewise necessarily despised. And: the words of the wise are as goads, and as nails deeply fastened in (Eccl 12:11). For the heart cannot be goaded or fastened in fear of God if it is not focused on elevation of life.Debent esse illuminati, ut idonee doceant legendo, Ephes. III: mihi autem omnium sanctorum minimo data est gratia haec, in gentibus evangelizare investigabiles divitias Christi, et illuminare omnes, quae sit dispensatio sacramenti absconditi a saeculis in Deo.They should be illuminated so that they may teach well by reading: to me, the least of all the saints, is given this grace, to preach among the gentiles, the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to enlighten all men, that they may see what is the dispensation of the mystery which hath been hidden from eternity in God (Eph 3:8-9).Muniti, ut errores confutent disputando, Luc. XXI: ego dabo vobis os et sapientiam, cui non poterunt resistere et contradicere omnes adversarii vestri.They are armed so that they may refute errors by argument: for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay (Luke 21:15).Et de his tribus officiis, scilicet praedicandi, legendi et disputandi, dicitur, Tit. I: ut sit potens exhortari, quantum ad praedicationem; in doctrina sana, quantum ad lectionem; et contradicentes revincere, quantum ad disputationem.And, of these three offices, namely, to preach, to teach, and to argue, it is said: that he may be able to exhort, by way of preaching, in sound doctrine, by way of teaching, and to convince the gainsayers, by way of argument (Titus 1:9).Caput 3Chapter 3Tertio, auditorum conditionem, quae sub terrae similitudine figuratur; unde dicit: satiabitur terra. Et hoc quia terra infima est, Prov. XXV: caelum sursum et terra deorsum. Item stabilis et firma, Eccle. I: terra autem in aeternum stat. Item fecunda, Gen. I: germinet terra herbam virentem, et facientem semen, et lignum pomiferum faciens fructum iuxta genus suum.Third, the condition of those who listen, who are shown under the likeness of earth; hence, it says: the earth shall be filled. And this because the earth is lowest, as the Proverb says: the heaven above, and the earth beneath (Prov 25:3). Likewise, it is stable and firm: but the earth stands forever (Eccl 1:4). Again, it is fruitful: let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind (Gen 1:11).Similiter, debent ad similitudinem terrae esse infimi per humilitatem, Prov. XI: ubi humilitas, ibi sapientia. Item, firmi per sensus rectitudinem, Ephes. IV: ut non sitis parvuli sensibus. Item fecundi, ut percepta sapientiae verba in eis fructificent, Luc. VIII: quod autem cecidit in terram bonam hi sunt qui in corde bono et optimo audientes verbum retinent, et fructum afferunt in patientia.Similarly, they must be low like the earth in humility: where humility is, there also is wisdom (Prov 11:2). Again, firm with a sense of rectitude: that henceforth we be no more children tossed to and fro (Eph 4:14). Again, fruitful, so that the words of wisdom they receive may bear fruit in them: but that which fell on the good ground are they who in a good and perfect heart, hearing the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit in patience (Luke 8:15).Humilitas ergo in eis requiritur quantum ad disciplinam quae est per auditum, Eccli. VI: si inclinaveris aurem tuam excipies doctrinam; et si dilexeris audire, sapiens eris. Rectitudo autem sensus, quantum ad iudicium auditorum, Iob XII: nonne auris verba diiudicat? Sed fecunditas quantum ad inventionem, per quam ex paucis auditis multa bonus auditor annuntiet, Prov. IX: da occasionem sapienti, et addetur ei sapientia.Therefore, humility is required of them with regard to the teaching that comes from hearing: if you will incline your ear, you will receive instruction; and if you love to hear, you will be wise (Sir 6:34). Again, rectitude of the senses, with regard to the judgment of what is heard: does not the ear discern words? (Job 12:11). But fruitfulness with regard to discovery, by which from only a little heard the good listener reports much: give an occasion to a wise man, and wisdom will be added to him (Prov 9:9).Caput 4Chapter 4Ordo autem generationis tangitur hic quantum ad tria, scilicet, quantum ad communicandi ordinem; et quantum ad quantitatem et qualitatem doni accepti.The order of its generation is mentioned here according to three things, namely, according to the order of communication, and according to the quantity and quality of the gift received.Primo quantum ad communicandi ordinem: quia non totum quod in divina sapientia continetur, mentes doctorum capere possunt. Unde non dicit: superiora montibus influens, sed: de superioribus rigans; Iob XXVI: ecce haec ex parte dicta sunt. Similiter etiam, nec totum quod doctores capiunt, auditoribus effundunt, II Cor. XII: audivit archana verba quae non licet homini loqui. Unde non dicit: fructum montium terrae tradens, sed: de fructu terram satians. Et hoc est quod dicit Gregorius in XVII Moralium exponens illud Iob XXVI: qui ligat aquas in nubibus suis, ut non erumpant pariter deorsum: praedicare non debet rudibus doctor quanta cognoscit, quia et ipse de divinis mysteriis cognoscere non valet quanta sunt.First, according to the order of communicating: because not everything that is contained in divine wisdom can be grasped by the minds of teachers. Hence, it does not say: flowing from higher mountains, but watering from your upper rooms. Behold, these things are said in part (Job 26:14). And, similarly, not everything that the teachers understand is passed on to their listeners: he heard secret words, which it is not granted to man to utter (2 Cor 12:4). Hence, it does not say: giving to the earth the fruit of the mountains, but the earth shall be filled with the fruit of your works. And this is what Gregory says in 17 Moralium to explain that passage of Job: he binds up the waters in his clouds, so that they break not out and fall down together (Job 26:8): the teacher should not preach to the simple all that he knows, because he himself cannot know how many divine mysteries there are. Secundo, tangitur ordo quantum ad modum habendi: quia sapientiam Deus habet per naturam. Unde superiora sua esse dicuntur illi, scilicet naturalia, Iob XII: apud ipsum scientia et fortitudo; ipse habet consilium et intelligentiam. Sed doctores scientiam participant ad copiam. Unde de superioribus rigari dicuntur, Eccli. XXIV: rigabo hortum plantationum, et inebriabo prati mei fructum. Sed auditores eam participant ad sufficientiam, et hoc significat terrae satietas, Psal.: satiabor cum apparuerit gloria tua.Second, the order according to the way in which it is possessed is mentioned: because God has wisdom naturally. Hence, his heights are said to be natural to him: with him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding (Job 12:13). But teachers share greatly in his knowledge. Hence, they are said to be watered from on high: I will water my garden of plants, and I will water abundantly the fruits of my meadow (Sir 24:42). But listeners participate in it sufficiently, and this is signified by the nourishment of the earth: I shall be satisfied when your glory shall appear (Ps 16:15).Tertio, quantum ad virtutem communicandi: quia Deus propria virtute sapientiam communicat. Unde per seipsum montes rigare dicitur. Sed doctores sapientiam non communicant nisi per ministerium. Unde fructus montium non ipsis, sed divinis operibus tribuitur. De fructu, inquit, operum tuorum. I Cor. III: quid igitur est Paulus? Et infra: ministri eius cui credidistis.Third, according to the power of the communicating: because God communicates wisdom by his own power. Hence, he is said to water the mountains by himself. But teachers do not communicate wisdom unless through ministry. Hence, the fruit of the mountains are not theirs, but are attributed to divine works. The fruit, it says, of your works. What then is Paul? And below: The minister of him whom you have believed (1 Cor 3:4-5).Sed ad haec quis tam idoneus? II Cor. II. Requirit enim Deus: ministros innocentes, Psal.: ambulans in via immaculata, hic mihi ministravit, intelligentes, Prov. XIV: acceptus est regi minister intelligens, ferventes, Psal.: qui facis Angelos tuos spiritus, et ministros tuos ignem urentem, item, obedientes, Psal.: ministri eius qui faciunt voluntatem eius.But who is worthy of this? (2 Cor 2:16). For God requires: innocent ministers: he that walks in the unstained way, he will serve me (Ps 100:6); those with understanding: a wise servant is acceptable to the king (Prov 14:35); those with zeal: you who make your angels spirits and your ministers a flaming fire (Ps 103:4); finally, those who are obedient: you ministers of his that do his will (Ps 102:21).Sed quamvis aliquis per se, ex seipso, non sit sufficiens ad tantum ministerium, sufficientiam tamen potest a Deo sperare, II Cor. III: non quod sufficientes simus cogitare aliquid ex nobis, quasi ex nobis; sed sufficientia nostra ex Deo est. Debet autem petere a Deo, Iac. I: si quis indiget sapientia postulet a Deo, qui dat omnibus affluenter et non improperat, et dabitur ei.But even though no one by himself, of himself, is sufficient for such ministry, he can hope to have sufficiency from God: not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God (2 Cor 3:5). But he should ask God: if any of you want wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men abundantly, and does not upbraid, and it will be given him (Jas 1:5).Oremus. Nobis Christus concedat. Amen.Let us pray. That Christ may grant it to us. Amen.