Psalm 119, The Hebrew Letter נ (Nun), And A Prayer

As Christians around the globe adopt the Arabic letter ن‎ (nun) as their profile pictures on social media, in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria, I was led to read Psalm 119.

Truth be told, it was unintentional. I had seen somewhere that Psalm 117 was the shortest of the psalms, and went to look it up in The Catholic Youth Bible.

A blurb on the page told me that the 119th psalm was the longest, and I thought since I was in the neighborhood, I should take a look at it too. [Read more...]

My Favorite Psalm

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King David and Joe Six-Pack have something in common. A number of things, actually. He was a soldier, while I was a Marine. He was a repentant sinner, and I am one still. He was a bit of an extrovert, and according to Myers-Briggs (all characters in the Bible took the test. No, really.), he and I share the same personality type. He wrote poems with verve, which are the kind of poems I like to read.

But the real reason I know we have a lot in common? That’s easy. Just take a look at Psalm 131. [Read more...]

Losing Our Religion? Or Have We Forgotten It? Thoughts on an NPR Series from the Crucifixion of Our Lord UPDATED

I don’t know if you listen to NPR but they’ve been doing a little series this week called “Losing Our Religion.” It is about the group of folks who when asked what their religion is, they state “none.” Noting that many people turn towards religion when they encounter difficulties and tragedies, this series has been about people who have often times done the exact opposite.

They’ve left their religions, but not necessarily their belief in God (though some have), for various reasons. [Read more...]

Quote of the Week

Everything depends on the unforseeable ways of God and his secret graces, together with human liberty, comprised as it is in his eternal plan. What is certain is that the Church will emerge from this crises wonderfully purified; error will not have got the better of her. —Jacques Maritain, The Peasant of the Garrone, 1966

True then, and true now. For as the Psalmist reminds us,

For the LORD will not forsake his people,

nor abandon his inheritance.

Judgment shall again be just,

and all the upright of heart will follow it.

Amen.

For Peace While Suffering (A Few Words for Wednesday)

From this mornings Office of Readings in the LOTH, there is the following Psalm of David. I have several family members who are elderly and ill, as you probably do too. Webster wrote recently of a friend who is suffering from an illness that is likely the door to her immortality.

But whether we depart suddenly or slowly, we will depart. Ponder then, these few words of David, where with hope and faith, the door leads us home, refreshed, and unto God.

Psalm 39
Dixi custodiam. A just man’s peace and patience in his sufferings; considering the vanity of the world, and the providence of God.

Unto the end, for Idithun himself, a canticle of David.

I said: I will take heed to my ways:
that I sin not with my tongue.
I have set a guard to my mouth,
when the sinner stood against me.

I was dumb, and was humbled,
and kept silence from good things:
and my sorrow was renewed.
My heart grew hot within me:
and in my meditation a fire shall flame out.
I spoke with my tongue:
O Lord, make me know my end.
And what is the number of my days:
that I may know what is wanting to me.

Behold you have made my days measurable
and my substance is as nothing before you.
And indeed all things are vanity: every man living.
Surely man passes as an image:
yea, and he is disquieted in vain.
He stores up: and he knows not for whom
he shall gather these things.

And now what is my hope?
Is it not the Lord?
And my substance is with you.
Deliver me from all my iniquities:
you have made me a reproach to the fool.
I was dumb, and I opened not my mouth,
because you have done it.

Remove your scourges from me.
The strength of your hand has made me faint in rebukes:
You have corrected man for iniquity.
And you have made his soul to waste away like a spider:
surely in vain is any man disquieted.

Hear my prayer, O Lord, and my supplication:
give ear to my tears.
Be not silent: for I am a stranger with you,
and a sojourner as all my fathers were.
O forgive me, that I may be refreshed,
before I go hence, and be no more.

Thoughts on the LOTH for Today

 

Replace Zion with the Church in Psalm 48 from today’s morning prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours (on-line version) and what do you get? You get down on your knees, I bet, and sing His praises.

Go round Zion, see it all, count every tower. Feel its strength, visit its palaces, So that you you can tell the next generation: Here is God, our God here he remains for ever; and forever he will lead us and guide us.

As St. Augustine writes in his commentary on this Psalm,

The title of this Psalm is, “A song of praise, to the sons of Korah, on the second day of the week.” Concerning this what the Lord deigns to grant receive ye like sons of the firmament. For on the second day of the week, that is, the day after the first which we call the Lord’s day, which also is called the second week-day, was made the firmament of Heaven. Genesis 1:6-8 …The second day of the week then we ought not to understand but of the Church of Christ: but the Church of Christ in the Saints, the Church of Christ in those who are written in Heaven, the Church of Christ in those who to this world’s temptations yield not.

For they are worthy of the name of “firmament.” The Church of Christ, then, in those who are strong, of whom says the Apostle, “We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak,” Romans 15:1 is called the firmament. Of this it is sung in this Psalm. Let us hear, acknowledge, associate, glory, reign. For Her called firmament, hear also in the Apostolic Epistles, “the pillar and firmament of the truth.” 1 Timothy 3:15

And then, in the short reading from Isaiah 45:8, the mission of the Church Militant: To save souls and bring them to the King—

Send victory like the dew, you heavens, and let the clouds rain it down. Let the earth open up for salvation to spring up. Let deliverence, too bud forth which I, the Lord, shall create.

Aye, aye, Sir, and Amen!

Semper Fidelis


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