Saturday, August 27, 2011

Praying the Psalms

"The revelation of your words sheds light, gives understanding to the simple." (Psalm 119:130)
I used to think the psalms were rather boring. I cringe inside to hear myself say that. But other than the responsorial psalms at Mass, I paid little attention to them.
Then I went to Pecos Monastery in New Mexico to take their Spiritual Direction class. The monks there prayed the Liturgy of the Hours 4 times a day and I prayed with them. I chanted the psalms with them everyday, day after day, for a month.
And something inside of me changed.
I began to really listen to the words. Soon I was not just saying words, I was truly praying them. Verses would stay in my thoughts and heart and I would pray them for days. I truly fell in love with the psalms.
Every feeling I can think of is expressed in some way in one or more of the psalms. There is pain and anger and fear and love and praise and gratitude and loneliness and sadness and joy.
Loving the psalms led me to read the Word of God with a different eye and hear it with a different ear.
It was like I had been sitting in the dark and God turned the light on.
Thank you and praise you, Lord, for revealing yourself to me through Your Word. Help me to understand it and learn from it and share its Light with others. Amen.


  1. Colleen,
    Whenever I feel the need to go to Scripture but don't know where, I go to the Psalms. As you said, there is every feeling expressed there.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on one of my favorite books in Scripture.
    Hugs & Blessings!

  2. The Lord is my Shepherd is a favorite of many.

    It really says it all!

    God bless.

  3. Karinann, you are welcome! I can always find consolation in the psalms. Hugs back!

    Victor, I agree! One of my favorites for sure. God bless!

  4. The Psalms are a wonderful place to find solace and joy. it is such a freeing feeling to really hear the words and not just repeat them, something I strive to do even when distractions come :) Blessings.

  5. Colleen,
    I love the psalms, too. I think I turn to the Psalms more than any other book in the Bible - especially when I'm upset or hurting. The Psalms dig deep into my soul. God bless!

  6. I love these two lines especially:
    And something inside of me changed.
    It was like I had been sitting in the dark and God turned the light on.

  7. I am currently going through the same realization Colleen. I used to cringe at the psalms ... mainly because I'm just not smart enough to appreciate poetic beauty like that.

    But slowly I am really starting to see the light ...

    God Bless.

  8. Jade, I agree!

    Mary, I went to the Psalms when I was going through a really rough time and I agree!

    Colleen, thank you! That is what it felt like!

    Michael, I had a hard time with the poetry myself. But when I began to see the feelings in them and how they especially helped when I was depressed and hurting, it all changed for me. I now turn to them to find comfort when I need it.

    Blessings to all!

  9. Colleen, what an inspiring and unique experience you had praying with the monks! I can't imagine how transforming that must have been for you!

  10. It was a life changing experience for me and I will never forget it. I became a Benedictine Oblate and am associated with that abbey.