Dash Thy Little Ones Against the Rock!

Recently, I had a little exegetical epiphany while meditating on the Vulgate Psalms in Latin. Previously I’ve been troubled by Psalm 136{137}:9, which reads, “Blessed be he that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock.” Being blessed for infanticide? Huh?

However, the Clementine Vulgate version opens itself to a very beautiful allegorical reading: “beatus qui tenebit et adlidet parvulos tuos ad petram.”

We are encouraged to dash the infants of our enemies “ad petram.”

Now couple this with the Vulgate version of Matthew 16:18

“et ego dico tibi quia tu es Petrus et super hanc petram aedificabo ecclesiam meam et portae inferi non praevalebunt adversum eam.”

To read it allegorically, we should be asking that the infants of our enemies be dashed against Peter and the foundation of the Catholic Church! For example, see the photo at that top of this post–that’s Pope Benedict’s hand baptizing an infant.

It’s edifying (nerdy Latin Vulgate pun intended) to pray Psalm 136 with Mt 16:18 in mind, and then intend that the children of our enemies (secularists, terrorists, haters of the Church, those who have hurt us) be thrown against Peter and the Church…that they be baptized, saved, and remain within the barque of Peter…

The Psalms are so rich. It’s too bad that Psalm 136:9 has been removed from the Liturgy of the Hours. A true pity.

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  • Ty

    I recently read a paper on this verse by a Protestant writer–he treated it excellently, and I too am sad that this verse is not included in LoH. Remember that we are also called to dash our sins against Christ the Rock (1st or 2nd Corinthians), the cornerstone (Don’t know the verses), and so on. But then we would dash the infants against Life, not death. It’s also important to remember that joy over the fall of Babylon is a New Testament given, so this isn’t an instance of supposed “rupture” between the New and Old Testaments. I’ll have to come back and cite the paper…
    In any case, my question is thus: If 136:9 is not in the LoH, could someone with a canonical obligation to pray LoH pray the verse when Ps. 136 comes up? If Ps. 136 as presented in LoH is required for an hour, would adding the extra verse still fulfill the obligation?
    Thanks
    Ty