Augustine. Exposition on the Book of Psalms. Schaff, Philip (editor). New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co, 1886. Nicene and Post-Nicene Church Fathers: Series 1: Volume VIII. Re-published 2014, Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle electronic edition, ISBN-13: 978-1-78379-372-3.
Augustine finds that Psalm 141:1 speaks to the trials we all face. We cry out to the Lord and we want Him to hear us. Christ also calls out in this way when he prays in the garden (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342077, par. 2). Here Christ prays with all the martyrs. Again, as Christ was on the cross, his prayer (v. 2) was to arise before God as the evening sacrifice (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342087, par. 3).
Verse three speaks of "a door of restraint around my lips." Augustine considers it important that the image is a door rather than a barrier, since a door can be opened and closed. One can speak when appropriate and remain silent when it would not be appropriate to speak (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342097, par .4). This separates the elect of God from those elect of themselves, who may well speak at any occasion.
Augustine continues describing times when it is and is not appropriate to speak (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342013, par. 5). The difference is especially apparent in those who try to justify themselves as compared with those who come to God, confessing their sins. Augustine is particularly hostile toward those who attempt to justify themselves. In contrast are those who, in accord with verse five, are convicted of sin rather than those who try to convict God of sin (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342123, par. 7). Verse six warns that they will be "swallowed up beside the Rock," a reference to Christ's judgment. Augustine compares Christ's work to that of the pagan philosophers, who pale in comparison (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342153, par. 8). God's words prevail, while the words of the philosophers will eventually fail.
Verse seven goes on to speak of "our bones . . . scattered beside the pit." Augustine takes this to refer to the worthy death of the martyrs (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342173, par. 10). Augustine sees this as a means by which the world is made a more fertile place, as the earth is enriched by the death of the saints.
For this reason, in verse eight, we turn our eyes toward the Lord (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342183, par. 11). The traps set by persecutors in order to entice God's people into love for this world must fail. God rescues his people from evil (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342193, par. 12), while "sinners shll fall into his nets" (v. 10). Love for this life is the downfall of the sinful man. Augustine sees this entire Psalm then pointing to the difference God has made in His Passover. Those who look to God in hope receive God's rescue (Augustine Psalms, loc. 342208, par. 14).