This Sunday in the liturgical year, our remembrance was the Holy Family.
Jesus, Mary, Joseph, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death.
The Church encourages us to pray such short aspirations; such ejaculations bringing our minds and hearts toward God, towards, heaven, towards eternity.
We remember the Holy Family; we pray and ask for intercession; we see a model of family and family roles; we give thanks that Our Lord became flesh and dwelt among us.
In my own life, the troubles and the upsets, the criticism I receive and , yes, the love and the humour, the joy of Christmas, the connections and the wrenches, I can pray, ponder the Holy Family …and I can store up these things in my heart and humbly ponder their meaning, waiting for God’s light and wisdom and healing touch to arrive.
During Mass, during thanksgiving after Communion, I read some psalms. From a book of psalms. A Christmas present.
O God, thou knowest my rash doings,
no fault of mine is hidden from Thy sight.
Deus, tu scis insipientiam meam,
et delicta mea te non latent
This is strangely comforting for me. Maybe because of the truth it contains. That others, the psalmist, have felt the same as I.
Gotta love this Christmas season, the liturgy, the prayers. And gifts like this book of Psalms.
St Athanasius wrote ~
In the Psalter you learn about yourself. You find depicted in it all the movements of your soul, all its changes, its ups and downs, its failures and recoveries. Moreover, whatever your particular need or trouble, from this same book you can select a form of words to fit it, so that you do not merely hear and then pass on, but learn the way to remedy your ill. Prohibitions of evildoing are plentiful in Scripture, but only the Psalter tells you how to obey these orders and refrain from sin.
But the marvel with the Psalter is that, barring those prophecies about the Savior and some about the Gentiles, the reader takes all its words upon his lips as though they were his own, written for his special benefit, and takes them and recites them, not as though someone else were speaking or another person’s feelings being described, but as himself speaking of himself, offering the words to God as his own heart’s utterance, just as though he himself had made them up.
It is possible for us, therefore to find in the Psalter not only the reflection of our own soul’s state, together with precept and example for all possible conditions, but also a fit form of words wherewith to please the Lord on each of life’s occasions, words both of repentance and of thankfulness, so that we fall not into sin; for it is not for our actions only that we must give account before the Judge, but also for our every idle word.
Let me add, not only give account for our idle words..but for our idle texts ..and emails..and Facebook entries..