If you haven’t taken a look at the post on the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne yet, have a look at the psalm of David, from which the responsorial psalm is derived from in today’s Mass readings, in full below. Written by David over 3000 years ago, are you as amazed as I am at how current and relevant the words of this prayer are for us today?
Reading this makes me think that the Martyrs of Compiegne were praying this prayer when they stood accused of being “enemies of the people” a mere 216 years ago. Think about that for a second. That was just a few seconds ago on the timeline of history. Because whether 3000 years ago, 216 years ago, or even right up to today, the historical evidence of revolution far outweighs the historical evidence of human evolution. To my small mind anyway.
Why, Lord, do you stand at a distance
and pay no heed to these troubled times?
Arrogant scoundrels pursue the poor;
they trap them by their cunning schemes.
The wicked even boast of their greed;
these robbers curse and scorn the Lord.
In their insolence the wicked boast:
“God doesn’t care, doesn’t even exist.”
Yet their affairs always succeed;
they ignore your judgment on high;
they sneer at all who oppose them.
They say in their hearts, “We will never fall;
never will we see misfortune.”
Their mouths are full of oaths, violence, and lies;
discord and evil are under their tongues.
They wait in ambush near towns;
their eyes watch for the helpless,
to murder the innocent in secret.
They lurk in ambush like lions in a thicket,
hide there to trap the poor,
snare them and close the net.
The helpless are crushed, laid low;
they fall into the power of the wicked,
Who say in their hearts, “God pays no attention,
shows no concern, never bothers to look.”
Rise up, Lord God! Raise your arm!
Do not forget the poor!
Why should the wicked scorn God,
say in their hearts, “God doesn’t care”?
But you do see;
you do observe this misery and sorrow;
you take the matter in hand.
To you the helpless can entrust their cause;
you are the defender of orphans.
Break the arms of the wicked and depraved;
make them account for their crimes;
let none of them survive.
The Lord is king forever;
the nations have vanished from God’s land.
You listen, Lord, to the needs of the poor;
you encourage them and hear their prayers.
You win justice for the orphaned and oppressed;
no one on earth will cause terror again.