It is good to give thanks to the Lord
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning
and your truth in the watches of the night. (Ps 94)
“His love is his loyalty to the covenant, and his truth is his absolute faithfulness. Every word he utters is to be trusted.” (John Brook)
Repeat after me: “Every word he utters is to be trusted.” Think about what he has said to you in the past, what word of Scripture has deeply moved your heart as you read it. “Every word he utters is to be trusted.”
Bless the Lord, my soul!
Lord God, how great you are,
clothed in majesty and glory,
wrapped in light as in a robe!
You stretch out the heavens like a tent.
Above the rains you build your dwelling.
You make the clouds your chariot,
and walk on the wings of the wind;
you make the winds your messengers
and flashing fire your servants.
Storms. God’s own fireworks.
He made the darkness his covering,
the dark waters of the clouds, his tent.
A brightness shone out before him
with hailstones and flashes of fire.
The Lord thundered in the heavens;
the Most High let his voice be heard.
He shot his arrows, scattered the foe,
flashed his lightnings, and put them to flight.
Beautiful words from Psalm 18, one of the psalms from Morning Prayer this morning. But even more marvelous are the verses that follow:
From on high he reached down and seized me;
he drew me forth from the mighty waters.
He snatched me from my powerful foe,
from my enemies whose strength I could not match.
They assailed me in the day of my misfortune,
but the Lord was my support.
He brought me forth into freedom,
he saved me because he loved me.
In the midst of your storm, God is coming to you. He is coming to you to save you. Because He loves you. Be not afraid of the storm.
I don’t put my trust in the weather; I put my trust in God. All times are in His hands. We have had weeks of dryness, but even these speak to us of Him. This morning in Morning Prayer, we prayed these lines from Psalm 63: “My body pines for you like a dry, weary land without water.” May that be true of us; may we pine for Him, long for Him, like a dry, weary land without water.
Yet I took heart as we prayed the Canticle from Daniel this morning: “Cold and chill, bless the Lord. Dew and rain, bless the Lord.” All times are in His hands.
This morning I opened my Liturgy of the Hours to the Office of Readings for today (Tuesday, Week II, Ordinary Time). The first psalm to be prayed is Psalm 44. In the American Liturgy of the Hours, before each psalm there are two subheadings. The first is a summary of the psalm. The second is a Scripture verse or a saying of the Fathers that situates the psalm in the context of its New Testament fulfillment in Christ. “… the Fathers of the Church saw the whole psalter as a prophecy of Christ and the Church and explained it in this sense…” (Bl. John Paul II). I try to make it a habit of pausing before I pray each psalm to reflect on the two subheadings, especially so I can pray them remembering how they are fulfilled in Christ.
The first subheading for Psalm 44 is “The misfortune of God’s people”. An apt summary. The psalm describes national disaster and a search for God in the midst of it. “Awake, O Lord, why do you sleep? Why do you hide your face from us and forget our oppression and our misery?”
From that first subheading to the second, I have drawn an arrow in my book. The reason is to draw my attention to the wonderful news that we have in Christ. The second subheading is this from Romans 8.37: “We triumph over all these things through him who loved us.” What a wonderful word!