“My soul clings closely behind You, Your right hand has upheld me” (Psalm 63:8 LXX)

«ἐκολλήθη ἡ ψυχή μου ὀπίσω σου, ἐμοῦ δὲ ἀντελάβετο ἡ δεξιά σου»

King David in this verse describes the natural longing within the human soul to know, follow and be in communion with God. St Augustine at the beginning of his ‘Confessions’ writes: You move us to delight in praising You, for you have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in You…For those who seek the Lord will find Him, and those who find Him shall praise Him.

The words ‘behind’ and ‘right hand’ in this verse are paralleled in Exodus 33:22-23 (NKJV) when God speaks to Moses:

“So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

Elder Aimilianos of Simonopetra Monastery, Mt Athos, writes in his commentary on Psalm 63:8:“I am attached to You, my God. I follow You. I never want to be separated or apart from You.” This is the expression of a common life lived together over a long period of time, an expression of unity, identity, and mutual assimilation.“You and I, together forever, so closely united that we could never live apart from each other, for we are one. My “I” has been submerged and lost in the boundless depths of You. And this is because Your right hand has upheld me. Your power and Your grace continually help me.” For our spiritual lives to bear fruit, two things are necessary: the exercise of our free will, which is expressed in the first part of this verse, and divine grace, which is expressed in the second.


Source: August-September 2014 Lychnos Edition