The antiphon appointed is 'Let not man prevail'. In more familiar translations of the Bible, such as the Authorised Version, verse 19 is translated, 'Arise, O LORD; let not man prevail: let the heathen be judged in thy sight', which variation is obviously the origin of the antiphon.11Sing ye to the Lord, who dwelleth in Sion: declare his ways among the Gentiles:12For requiring their blood he hath remembered the: he hath not forgotten the cry of the poor.13Have mercy on me, O Lord: see my humiliation which I suffer from my enemies.14Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death, that I may declare all thy praises in the gates of the daughter of Sion.15I will rejoice in thy salvation: the Gentiles have stuck fast in the destruction which they have prepared. Their foot hath been taken in the very snare which they hid.16The Lord shall be known when he executeth judgments: the sinner hath been caught in the works of his own hands.17The wicked shall be turned into hell, all the nations that forget God.18For the poor man shall not be forgotten to the end: the patience of the poor shall not perish for ever.19Arise, O Lord, let not man be strengthened: let the Gentiles be judged in thy sight.20Appoint, O Lord, a lawgiver over them: that the Gentiles may know themselves to be but men.
For some reason, as I was anticipating Matins earlier this evening, as I read the antiphon I was reminded of a work I had read in my younger, stupider days as a socialist.
In 1960, Erich Fromm, a cultural Marxist and an early member of the infamous 'Frankfurt School', published a book, really little more than a pamphlet called Let Man Prevail: A Socialist Manifesto and Program.
As I read the antiphon I was distracted from prayer with the thought, 'What hubris!' To deliberately mutilate a Scripture verse as the title of a socialist tract. Is there any doubt of the deep underlying hatred of the left for Christianity? This is why Pope Pius XI said, 'Socialism, if it remains truly Socialism, even after it has yielded to truth and justice on the points which we have mentioned, cannot be reconciled with the teachings of the Catholic Church because its concept of society itself is utterly foreign to Christian truth', and further and more to the point, '[Socialism] is based nevertheless on a theory of human society peculiar to itself and irreconcilable with true Christianity. Religious socialism, Christian socialism, are contradictory terms; no one can be at the same time a good Catholic and a true socialist.' (my emphasis)