The Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours
The Book of the Psalms is a great gift God has given us to facilitate an intimate relationship of love He is expecting of us.
The psalms have been a source of prayer, consolation and inspiration for all Christian people throughout the centuries. Tomas Merton, a Trappist monk, well known for his spiritual writings, once said that our identity is hidden in the psalms. The psalms express the variety of our sentiments of fear, misery, abandonment, loss and sinfulness, but also sentiments of trust, joy, hope and the deepest longing of our hearts. Pope Benedict XVI
In the morning let me hear of your mercy, for in you I trust
LORD, hear my prayer;
in your faithfulness listen to my pleading;
answer me in your righteousness.
Do not enter into judgment with your servant;
before you no one can be just.
The enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground.
He has made me dwell in darkness
like those long dead.
My spirit is faint within me;
my heart despairs.
I remember the days of old;
I ponder all your deeds;
the works of your hands I recall.
I stretch out my hands toward you,
my soul to you like a parched land.
Hasten to answer me, LORD;
for my spirit fails me.
Do not hide your face from me,
lest I become like those descending to the pit.
In the morning let me hear of your mercy,
for in you I trust.
Show me the path I should walk,
for I entrust my life to you.
Rescue me, LORD, from my foes,
for I seek refuge in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God.
May your kind spirit guide me
on ground that is level.
For your name’s sake, LORD, give me life;
in your righteousness lead my soul out of distress.
In your mercy put an end to my foes;
all those who are oppressing my soul,
for I am your servant.
A Prayer of the poor in distress
This is the last of the seven Penitential psalms (Pss 6; 32; 38; 51; 102; 130; 143) This psalm comes from the soul of a deeply spiritual person who has a deep knowledge of himself and of God. The psalmist, aware of his own sinfulness, prays for mercy rather than strict justice. His prayer is based entirely on God’s faithfulness shown by what he has done for his people in the past.
In praying the psalm a Christian, also aware of his/her sinfulness, will recall the Father’s love in the parable of the prodigal son (Lk 15: 11-32) as well as Paul’s teaching that our justification is not based on human merit but on the work of Christ (cf. Rom 3: 20. 24. 28; 5: 1; Gal 2: 16; 3:11)
Prayer: Lord Jesus, early in the morning of your resurrection, you made your love known and brought the first light of dawn to those who dwelt in darkness. Your death has opened a path for us. Do not enter into judgment with your own servants; let your holy spirit guide us together into the land of justice. (From The Prayer of the Church)