Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

Tag Archive for ‘Psalms’

St. Benedict Knew How to Beat the Blues

A while back, for whatever reason, I was most uncharacteristically doing battle with the devilish little megrim that is acedia. Actually, “doing battle” sounds romantic and pro-active. It would be more accurate to say I have been whining, and sitting before my oratory with nothing but a keening emptiness in my heart and mind and […]

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Psalm 51(50): Have mercy on me, O God!

1. For the fourth time during our reflections on the Liturgy of Lauds, we hear proclaimed Psalm 51[50], the famous Miserere. Indeed, it is presented anew to us on the Friday of every week, so that it may become an oasis of meditation in which we can discover the evil that lurks in the conscience and beg the Lord […]

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Psalms 141(140) and 142(141)

With this evening liturgy, we begin the itinerary of a new liturgical year, entering into the first of its seasons: Advent. In the biblical reading that we have just heard, taken from the First Letter to the Thessalonians, the Apostle Paul uses precisely this word: “coming”, which in Greek is parusia andadventus in Latin (1 Thes 5: 23). According […]

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Psalm 142(141): “I cry with my voice to the Lord!”

On the evening of 3 October 1226, St Francis of Assisi lay dying: his last prayer was, precisely, the recitation of Psalm 142[141] that we have just heard. St Bonaventure recalls that Francis “burst out with the exclamation of the Psalm: “I cry with my voice to the Lord, with my voice I make supplication to […]

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Psalm 51(50): Where sin abounded, grace was more abundant!

1. Every week, in the Liturgy of Lauds for Friday, we pray Psalm 50, the Miserere, the pentitential Psalm, that is so much beloved, sung and meditated upon. It is a hymn raised to the merciful God by the repentant sinner. We have already had the chance in a previous catechesis to give a general overview of this great […]

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Psalm 51(50): Take not your Holy Spirit from me

1. Every week the Liturgy of Lauds repeats Psalm 50[51], the famous Miserere. We have already reflected on sections of it on other occasions. Now also, we will reflect in a particular way on a section of this grandiose plea for forgiveness:  verses 12-16. First of all, it is important to note that in the original Hebrew the word […]

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Psalm 141(140): “Prayer in danger”

1. In previous catecheses, we gave an overall look at the structure and value of the Liturgy of Vespers, the great ecclesiastical prayer of the evening. We now journey into its interior. It will be like making a pilgrimage to that “holy land” made up of the Psalms and Canticles. One by one we will reflect on each […]

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Psalm 51(50): God’s Spirit Purifies

Psalm 51 in which the Psalmist, repentant after his serious sin, implores God’s mercy and asks the Lord: “Do not deprive me of your holy spirit” (v. 13). The Psalm is the Miserere, a very well-known psalm which is often repeated in the liturgy, as well as in the devotion and penitential practices of Christian […]

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Psalm 110(109) God himself enthrones the king of glory

Today I would like to end my catechesis on the prayer of the Book of Psalms by meditating on one of the most famous of the “royal Psalms”, a Psalm that Jesus himself cited and that the New Testament authors referred to extensively and interpreted as referring to the Messiah, to Christ. It is Psalm […]

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Psalm 51(50): Against you alone have I sinned

1. We have just heard the Miserere, one of the most famous prayers of the Psalter, the most intense and commonly used penitential psalm, the hymn of sin and pardon, a profound meditation on guilt and grace. The Liturgy of the Hours makes us pray it at Lauds every Friday. For centuries the prayer has risen to heaven […]

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