Saturday, March 20, 2010

What are the Psalms?

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

In the Scriptures there is a book which is distinguished from all other books of the Bible by the fact that it contains only prayers. The book is the Psalms. We can learn true prayer only from Jesus Christ, from the word of the son of God, who lives with us men, to God the Father who lives in eternity.
Not what we want to pray is important, but what God wants us to pray. The richness of the Word of God ought to determine our prayer, not the poverty of our heart. The Psalms are given to us to this end, so we may learn to pray them in the name of Jesus Christ.
The Psalms is a prayer of the Christian Church which belongs to the Lord’s Prayer.
There are some Psalms, which calmly and happily communicate the whole atmosphere of a life of perfect submission to God.

Many of the Psalms are most appropriate for times of suffering and trial. In our sufferings and perils, we find ourselves united with the Mysterious Companion who stays by our side, or within the depths of our souls, as we recite the Psalms.

Other Psalms enter more deeply into the mystery of interior and spiritual trial. It is the joy of a soul that knows how to hope in the hour that would otherwise seem nothing but despair.
Psalms can be applied to most of the world of our time.

There are many Psalms, particularly the penitential Psalms which express heartbroken sorrow for having offended God.

There are Psalms of praise and adoration of God. We are happy to serve him not only because he gives us good things, but also because praising his goodness is itself our highest joy. Joy in praising God is the pure essence of the spirit and it is the reward of a soul that knows how to penetrate fully by faith, love and perfect submission to God, into the deepest meaning of the Psalter.

The most moving of all the Psalms, for a Christian, are those Messianic poems in which the sufferings and triumph of Christ are brought before the eyes of our soul with an incomparable vividness.

Finally, the great eschatological Psalms, open our eyes to the future, and fill our hearts with the sober and awestruck joy which the Church feels as she contemplates the second coming of Christ.

There is no aspect of the interior life, no kind of religious experience, no spiritual need of man that is not depicted and lived out in the Psalms.

If you are having trouble praying and finding the right words to say to God, look in the book of the psalms. There you will find a prayer that will speak to your soul and express your deepest feelings to God.

Peace and Love,

"Be still and know that I am God"(Psalm 46:10)

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