Monday, November 07, 2005
Psalms and more psalms
I love the psalms.
Can I just say that? I love their humaness. I love their adoration and crankytude and even their spiteful calls for revenge. I love their poetry. I love that when I read them I relate to them so well. I, too, feel full of awe for God. Yeah, I feel invinceable sometimes. Other times I, too, feel like he has abandoned me, hidden himself from me. I feel showered with love and beat up on. It's all there. And advice... cryptic, dig, look- deeply- between-the-lines-and-you-will-figure-out-how-to-relate-to-God advice. I love that.
An online friend reccomended that I pray the psalms since I have been feeling so adrift. It was good advice. My priest/advisor/friend gave me a great plainsong psalter a couple of months ago. It is a vintage book with a gorgeous blue cloth cover. It smells slightly musty, as it was in a basement for awhile, but the language and the paper and the musical notes for each psalm are so beautiful. And it is a book unto itself, which I like, too. It follows the Anglican prayer cycle, which is a twice daily prayer. You get through the entire book of psalms in 30 days. (A more drawn out schedule than praying the hours, which takes you through in 7 days. I am going to try that during Lent this year, I think...)
So every morning and every night, I read a few pages of the psalms. I don't sing them, but I do read them out loud, as a kind of chant. I try and pause where the book says to pause. I try and listen to the words as I am saying them. I look for clues that God might be offering to me. I chant in love and adoration. Sometimes I actually laugh out loud because a passage seems like a wink and a nod from the Big Guy. Or a gentle slap on the wrist. Or God pointing at something that I missed before.
Beloved, I find you in these wonderful songs!
I sing them in the morning and at night and think of them in between times. I sing them to you, Oh Lord. As they have been sung to you, morning, noon and night, for thousands of years.
Next, I might have to buy a Hebrew psalter. And Latin.
My soul shall make her boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.
O praise the Lord with me
And let us magnify his name
The Daily Office
Litrugy of the hours
St. Dunstan's Plainsong Psalter