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
Listen to my cry for help, for I am brought very low
With my own voice I cry to the LORD;
with my own voice I beseech the LORD.
Before him I pour out my complaint,
tell of my distress in front of him.
When my spirit is faint within me,
you know my path.
As I go along this path,
they have hidden a trap for me.
I look to my right hand to seed
that there is no one willing to acknowledge me.
My escape has perished;
no one cares for me.
I cry out to you, LORD,
I say, You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.
Listen to my cry for help,
for I am brought very low.
Rescue me from my pursuers,
for they are too strong for me.
Lead my soul from prison,
that I may give thanks to your name.
Then the righteous shall gather around me
because you have been good to me.
A Prayer in time of trouble
In this lament the psalmist may have been someone who was in prison after being falsely accused, but “prison” could also be used as a metaphor for the distress of feeling completely alone and abandoned because of persecution.
But he feels confident that even if human help does not come, he can still rely on God to rescue him..
The remarkable thing here is that the psalmist does not pray for the destruction of his enemies, as one would expect in a psalm of lamentation.
In this psalm, Christians can very easily recognise the figure of Christ during the Passion.
Prayer: Lord, we humbly ask for your goodness. May you help us to hope in you, and give us a share with your chosen ones in the land of the living. (From The Prayer of the Church)