Recently Pope Benedict XVI, while considering the Book of Psalms in a series of catechesis on prayer, said:
“The Psalms are given to us so that we may learn to address God, to communicate with him, to speak to him of ourselves with his words, to find a language for the encounter with God. And through those words, it will also be possible to know and to accept the criteria of his action, to draw closer to the mystery of his thoughts and ways (cf. Is 55:8-9), so as to grow constantly in faith and in love.”
We continue with Psalm 3:
Threatened but Trusting
How many are my foes, LORD!
How many rise against me!
How many say of me,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
But you, LORD, are a shield around me;
my glory, you keep my head high.
With my own voice I will call out to the LORD,
and he will answer me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and I fall asleep,
I will wake up, for the LORD sustains me.
I do not fear, then, thousands of people
arrayed against me on every side.
Arise, LORD! Save me, my God!
For you strike the cheekbone of all my foes;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation is from the LORD!
May your blessing be upon your people!
Trust and Consolation
Psalm 3 presents us with a prayer full of trust and consolation. In praying this psalm, we can make the psalmist's sentiments our own. The psalmist is a figure of the just man who is persecuted, and who finds his fulfilment in Jesus. In suffering, in danger, in the bitterness of misunderstanding and offense, the psalmist's words open our hearts to the comforting certainty of faith.
God is always near - even in difficulties, in problems, in the darkness of life - He listens, He responds and He saves according to His ways. But we need to know how to recognize His presence and to accept His ways, like David in his crushing escape from Absalom his son; like the just man who is persecuted in the Book of Wisdom; and finally and fully, like the Lord Jesus on Golgotha. And, when to the eyes of the impious, God seems not to intervene and the Son dies, precisely then is true glory and salvation's definitive realization manifested to all who believe.
May the Lord grant us faith; may He come to the help of our weakness; and may He enable us to believe and to pray in every anxiety, in the painful nights of doubt and in the long days of suffering, by trustfully abandoning ourselves to Him who is our "shield" and our "glory." Pope Benedict XVI