Reflections on Lamentations 1:1-3

Interlinear Glosses

1 Aleph. How doth the citya sit solitaryb that was full of people!c how is the mistress of the Gentiles become as a widow: the princes of provinces made tributary!

a the church; b devoid of the faith; c full of the faith.

2 Beth. Weeping she hath wept in the night,a and her tears are on her cheeks: there is none to comfort her among all them that were dear to her: all her friends have despised her, and are become her enemies.

a during the crucifixion of the mystical body of Christ

3 Ghimel. Juda hath removed her dwelling place because of her affliction, and the greatness of her bondage: she hath dwelta among the nations,b and she hath found no rest:c all her persecutors have taken her in the midst of straits.

a adopted the practices; b the secular world; C grace.

Marginal Glosses

  1. Literally, the prophet Jeremiah laments the state of the City of Jerusalem, which was left nearly desolate after the Babylonian captivity. He likewise laments the tributary status to which the leaders of Israel had been reduced. Allegorically, this may refer to the church militant, which is likened to a city set on a hill, (cf. Matthew 5:14) and like Jerusalem, sits desolate, having weakened the proclamation of the message of Christ and allowed Satan to take many of its followers captive. Morally, this may refer to the state of the soul that once lived a faithful life but gave in to sin. The state of such a soul can be said to be desolate, having had shallow soil or distracted by the worries of life (cf. Matthew 13:5, 21-22.) and acquiesced to evil.
  2. Literally, the prophet speaks of the friends of Jerusalem, namely, the nations with which she had an alliance. These nations are said to despise her by abandoning her during her captivity. Allegorically, this may refer to the alliances the church has made with the secular world, who have no true interest in her well-being and have abandoned her during her mystical crucifixion. Morally, this may refer to the individual Christian, who makes an alliance with demons when engaging in grave sin, yet is left abandoned by them in a state of mortal sin.
  3. Literally, Judah is said to have dwelt among the nations by seeking refuge in them. Allegorically, the church militant has sought refuge in the world by confirming herself to the image of the world rather than the image of Christ. Consequently, she has found not rest, which can mean she has found no grace or blessing in adopting the ways of the world. Morally, the individual Christian dwells among the nations and finds no rest when he adopts sinful practices and finds no grace in them.

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