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
Psalm 144: 1-10
Blessed be the LORD, my rock,
who trains my hands for battle,
my fingers for war;
My safeguard and my fortress,
my stronghold, my deliverer,
My shield, in whom I take refuge,
who subdues peoples under me.
LORD, what is man that you take notice of him;
the son of man, that you think of him?
Man is but a breath,
his days are like a passing shadow.
LORD, incline your heavens and come down;
touch the mountains and make them smoke.
Flash forth lightning and scatter my foes;
shoot your arrows and rout them.
Reach out your hand from on high;
deliver me from the many waters;
rescue me from the hands of foreign foes.
Their mouths speak untruth;
their right hands are raised in lying oaths.
O God, a new song I will sing to you;
on a ten-stringed lyre I will play for you.
You give victory to kings;
you delivered David your servant.
From the menacing sword.
A Prayer for Victory and Peace
This is a royal psalm that may reflect a ceremony in which the king, as the military leader of the people, prays either before going to battle or on his return as he celebrates his victory. The influence of Ps 18 on the present psalm is apparent throughout, and the two may have been used for the same occasion.
The second part of the psalm expresses the king’s wish for prosperity and peace. After the end of the monarchy, the psalm would have been given a messianic meaning to express the future hopes of Israel.
For Christians, these hopes have already been fulfilled in Christ but we have the duty to work to make them a reality in our contemporary world for the spiritual and material welfare of everyone. By praying this psalm, the Holy Spirit offers us words of joy, trust and hope for the needs of our wold.
Prayer: Lord, God of strength, you gave your Son victory over death. Direct your Church’s fight against evil in the world. Clothe us with the weapons of light and unite us under the one banner of love, that we may receive our eternal reward after the battle of earthly life. (From The Prayer of the Church).