Wednesday, May 30, 2012

World's Best Use for $2

I just read about this marvellous project to give a complete library of great Catholic books to a seminarian in Africa for only $2. Watch this video, and DONATE! What a bargain for $2. 

Especially when you realize that some of these guys will be missionaries coming here someday.

Late Have I loved Thee... &Weekly Q&A

The Office of Readings makes no bones about letting us know that it's not Easter anymore. A few days ago we were in heaven with St. John, praising the Lamb who was slain with the heavenly choir, every tear wiped away.
By Monday--plunged down to earth, way down, sitting on the ash heap with poor Job as he scrapes his boils.

This is of the few times I really envy the folks who keep with the pre-Vatican II liturgy, because they are observing an Octave of Pentecost, lingering for a whole 'nother week to reflect on the joy of the Holy Spirit. Letting people down more gently into this vale of tears.

On the other hand, the second readings feature St. Augustine, who has plenty of consoling and encouraging things to say. Today, in fact, is just about the most beautiful passage written by an author known for beautiful passages. The creme de la creme of Augustinian beauty:

Late have I loved you, O beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you; now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

That passage moves anyone who has had a conversion, a reversion, a deepening of faith, a struggle with any particular sin, or a call to a vocation or path in life that was initially resisted. It's nice to see it in its full context in today's Office of Readings.

Okay...Any Q&A for me?
I have a big announcement coming up next week, by the way.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Post-Pentecostal Breviary Trauma and How to Avoid it

Once the grand finale of the Easter season, namely Pentecost, has passed us by this weekend, one might tend to think that things go "back to normal" in the liturgy. After all, we do call it "Ordinary Time", right?

But no, not exactly. For one thing, the term "ordinary" in  "Ordinary Time"  does not quite correspond to the,um ordinary definition: routine, normal, business-as-usual. It mostly refers to the fact that the Sundays and weeks are numbered, or "ordered". (Although we certainly can feel the contrast between the solemn events of the previous holy seasons as compared to ordinary time, so we're not entirely wrong to feel that Ordinary time is somewhat ordinary in the popular English sense of the word.)
For another thing, for those who use mostly  hard copy breviaries, rather than rely on breviary websites to do their work for them, the next week or so can be among the most confusing of the entire year. Although we enter Ordinary time as of Monday, there are no Sundays of Ordinary Time until the middle of June!  All this makes for plenty of head scratching as we flip here and there trying to figure things out.
So just keep an eye on your parish calendar if you forget what week we're in. Or print  this post and keep it in your book.

Monday starts the 8th week of ordinary time, using week IV of the Psalter. There is no 8th Sunday because of Pentecost.
Next Sunday is Trinity Sunday. (with its own special liturgy in the proper of Seasons. DON'T use the 9th Sunday. Continue with the 9th week (Psalter week I) on Monday.
The Sunday after (6/10) that is Corpus Christi (with its own special liturgy), so DON"T use the 10th Sunday of Ordinary time. Continue on Monday with the 10th week and week II of the Psalter.
The next Sunday, June 17th, we finally get a Sunday of Ordinary Time, the 11th. Now you are fully back in Ordinary Time. (Psalter week III)
Oops! Except that Sunday, June 24th, is the Solemnity of the birth of John the Baptist. So once again, a special liturgy, and back to the Psalter, week IV on Monday, as you continue with the 12th week in ordinary time.
Then we shall be back to nothing but Sundays in Ordinary time clear through until Christ the King in November.
Hope this is helpful.

PS. There was a great little bit in the Office of Readings today where a sixth century anonymous African answers the question, "Why don't Christians still have the gift of tongues nowadays is the Holy Spirit is still  with them?" I won't spoil it for you. Look it up in your book, or on ibreviary.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Holy Spirit to the Rescue When I don't know what I want

One of the recent readings for  evening prayer  had those wonderful verses from Romans 8, worth quoting in full, Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

What a relief!  If only I remembered this more often when I'm wondering whether I'm even asking for the right thing: should I pray for my son to stop dating a non-Catholic when he might, after all, be the means of her conversion?  Do I pray for this terminally  ill elderly person to be cured, or for his happy death? And then there's days that I know there are people who have asked me to pray for them but I can't remember who it was or what they wanted prayers for. Or at those times I'm so overcome with worry or sadness or fear or anger that I can barely formulate a coherent thought about anything, much less a prayer.

All I really have to do in these situations is to say, "Holy Spirit, you know how and what I should be praying. Please sort this out and pray in me according the will of God."

I'm not sure which of the 7 gifts this falls under. Maybe it is something separate. But it seems to me to be the greatest of all the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives.

Q&A & Welcome- Pentecost Edition

Welcome, new followers Christian and Donna! I hope this blog fuels your enthusiasm for the official prayer of the whole people of God. Feel free to ask any questions you have about the Liturgy of the Hours.

There's an interesting discussion over at Catholic Answers Forums where people discuss which breviary--pre or post-Vatican II, they prefer, and why. For most part, there are very few snarky comments alleging the inferiority of one compared to another, something that is rare in discussions on the internet between those with traditionalist leanings and those who prefer ordinary, post-Vatican II forms of liturgy. One particular comment near the end of the list (as of 5/22), shows how, depending on which options in the General Insturction one uses, the modern Liturgy of the Hours can be done in a way that is quite in sync with longstanding. monastic tradition. I haven't put my own two cents in there yet, because I've forgotten my username and password for Catholic answers.

I hope you are all enjoying the Holy Ghostliness of this weeks' Office, especially Office of Readings and Evening Prayer.

Monday, May 21, 2012

It's Spirit Week at the Office

re-running an old post.. no need to reinvent the wheel.

 This week's Divine Office prepares us for Pentecost.  Do you often remark to yourself or to others that you tend to think of God almost exclusively as God the Son or God the Father, and neglect the Holy Spirit? Here is your chance to correct that, by being faithful to the hours of the liturgy this week.

Morning prayer and Day time prayer  readings still focus on the resurrection, of Jesus, and baptism as our path to receive the salvation He won for us. But each Evening prayer readings are all about the Holy Spirit's role in our lives:
Monday: the Spirit of adoption through whom we cry "Abba!"
Tuesday: the Spirit who prays for us and in us.
Wednesday: the Spirit of Wisdom who reveals the mysteries of God to us.
Thursday: our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit
Friday: the fruits of the Holy Spirit
Sunday Vigil: the Spirit Who will raise our bodies to life

These readings are all from St. Paul's epistles. The Magnificat antiphons, Sunday thru Thursday, each quote what Jesus Himself said about the Holy Spirit.

For a more indepth catechesis on the Holy Spirit, try not to leave out the Office of Readings this week. If you don't have a full breviary, get it on,, or  The first readings are from the first letter of John, all about God's Love in the Holy Spirit. The second readings, from St. Cyril, St. Basil the Great, St. Hilary, and the Second Vatican Council, and  a holy unknown "sixth century African writer"  all contemplate and explicate the Third Person of the Trinity.  You will have many never-thought-of-it-that-way-before moments as you go through these readings.

Unlike last year, this year I am on the ball with my Pentecost novena, no thanks to my own piety or memory. is doing all the work for me.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pentecost Novena Starts today.

Oh no! I forgot to sign up for Pray More Novenas!

Just a reminder that we can pray in the spirit of the disciples these next nine days, asking that the Holy Spirit set our hearts on fire with love and zeal the Pentecost. (And for any other intentions as well.)

Just sign up here for the Pray More Novenas service, and novena guru John Paul Deddens will make sure the prayers are emailed you every day. No more forgetting to say a novena. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ascension, Ipod, Soundtracks and Prayer

I'm writing another article for Catholic Digest, this time about how the internet and all related gadgets can help our prayer life (e.g. online breviaries) or hinder it (we spend so much time on the internet surfing good catholic websites that we don't have time to pray).

I'd love your comments on this. How has living on the "digital continent" helped you? Or does it keep you from prayer at times? If the latter, what is the solution? A digital fast?(how often and  for how long?) Do online prayer aids help give you quality prayer time, or does making prayer one more chunk of time spent  screen-staring leave you feeling something isn't quite right with it?

Your thoughts please!  I assume permission to publish them, by the way. I'll use just your first name, or make up a pseudonym for anyone with  usernames that don't sound like ordinary names.

As we wind down the feast of the Ascension of the Lord,( or head toward  it depending on what diocese you live in)  I'll share my digital prayer experience this evening. I am now using my new ipod touch, rather than the Kindle, for the Liturgy of the Hours. I realized today  that my music playlist will keep going while I use other apps, so...tonight I said Evening Prayer II for  Ascension Thursday with the theme music for the 1961 biblical epic King of Kings as a background. This particular piece of music always moves me. It helps me to "see" Jesus better than almost any other piece of music, with the possible exception of Handel's Messiah. This is a slightly embarrassing admission, because I was trained in classical music, and therefore should have the good  taste to get my religious/emotional highs from the works of Bach, Palestrina, Gregorian chant, etc. But somehow, nothing sends me to the foyer of heaven quite as well as this piece of Hollywood bravura. Here's a bit from YouTube. The music is easier to hear starting around 00:44. The actual movie is somewhat less inspiring to me than the music, except for evoking childhood nostalgia. But the footage below is appropriate for today's feast:

Augustine does it Again

Augustine made me happy again today. How about you?

Today our Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven; let our hearts ascend with him. Listen to the words of the Apostle: If you have risen with Christ, set your hearts on the things that are above where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God; seek the things that are above, not the things that are on earth. For just as he remained with us even after his ascension, so we too are already in heaven with him, even though what is promised us has not yet been fulfilled in our bodies.

Christ is now exalted above the heavens, but he still suffers on earth all the pain that we, the members of his body, have to bear. He showed this when he cried out from above: Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? and when he said: I was hungry and you gave me food.

Why do we on earth not strive to find rest with him in heaven even now, through the faith, hope and love that unites us to him? While in heaven he is also with us; and we while on earth are with him. He is here with us by his divinity, his power and his love. We cannot be in heaven, as he is on earth, by divinity, but in him, we can be there by love.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome& Weekly Q&A- Ascension Vigil Edition

Welcome to new follower Lora, who joined us several days ago.
I'm preparing to record a Podcast with Catholic Vitamins around noon today, and will spend this morning going over the proposed discussion questions that host Deacon Tom Fox has sent me. It's a chance to reach more Catholics with the good news of the Liturgy of the Hours, so say a prayer for me that whatever I say will make the Hours sound intriguing and attractive to whomever eventually listens to the podcast. (not sure when the podcast will actually be available. I'll let you know when I find out.)  Pray specifically that I don't talk too fast, that being my greatest flaw as a speaker!
Don't forget to use Evening Prayer I of the feast of the Ascension tonight. Unless, of course, your diocese commemorates this feast on Sunday. Lots of people--myself among them--like the holydays to be celebrated on the traditional day rather than on he nearest Sunday, but I also understand the reasoning for the transfers to Sundays. More light was shed on this concept of the church's authority to switch up our observance times when my son, who will soon go to a new Navy assignment in Bahrain, told me that in many Muslim-ruled nations, the mass of every Sunday is celebrated on Friday.   This is when Catholics in those countries are able to fulfill their "Sunday" obligation. Friday, the day of sabbath for Muslims, is the only day of the week when most workplaces are closed. Few Catholics in these countries would be able to attend Sunday mass because they would be working. I'm not sure why the Saturday night vigil option is not an adequate solution, but there must be good reasons for the switch to Friday.

Anyway, if the Church can allow  Sunday's liturgy on a Friday, year round, I guess switching Ascension Thursday to Sunday, as is done in many diocese here, is not big deal.

Now off to my podcast prep. Submit your questions or comments below!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Augustine: Lent and Easter as Metaphors for Life

Whenever the Office of Readings includes anything from St.Augustine's commentaries and discourses on the Psalms, I start (inwardly) cheering. He reminds us of why we should stick  with the Liturgy of the Hours year after year. He increases our knowledge and appreciation of what we are doing when we pray the hours.

Today's second reading begins with the number one reason for spending lots of time praising God: because it is in praising God that we shall rejoice for ever in the life to come; and no one can be ready for the next life unless he trains himself for it now. My take on this: it's not so much  that we have  to learn to (emotionally) enjoy reciting God's praises five times a day. We just have to do it so much that it becomes second nature to do so. Like breathing. The athlete who has trained for weeks has developed his lungs and muscles --not necessarily a fun things while he's doing it--so that when it's time to complete, he will do with effortless grace, and will enjoy the victory very much!  In heaven, the praise of God will be,I imagine, like breathing out and breathing in. We'll want to build healthy lungs for that sweet, rarefied air.

But what I really wanted to share from Augustine is what he says further down.

Because there are these two periods of time—the one that now is, beset with the trials and troubles of this life, and the other yet to come, a life of everlasting serenity and joy—we are given two liturgical seasons, one before Easter and the other after. The season before Easter signifies the troubles in which we live here and now, while the time after Easter which we are celebrating at present signifies the happiness that will be ours in the future. What we commemorate before Easter is what we experience in this life; what we celebrate after Easter points to something we do not yet possess. This is why we keep the first season with fasting and prayer; but now the fast is over and we devote the present season to praise. Such is the meaning of the Alleluia we sing.

Both these periods are represented and demonstrated for us in Christ our head. The Lord’s passion depicts for us our present life of trial—shows how we must suffer and be afflicted and finally die. The Lord’s resurrection and glorification show us the life that will be given to us in the future.

Just one more of those Augustine-isms that makes you say, Hey! I'd never thought of it that way before!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Weekly Q&A, Joann and David edition

Welcome to new followers JoAnn and David. Glad to have you. This is the place where you may ask questions about the Liturgy of the Hours. Just stick them in the comments section, and I'll get back to you within a day or so.

Other than a quick post earlier today about a fabulous Office of Readings selection, I haven't been posting as frequently as usual. I've been conquering a pile of paperwork ("it compassed me about like bees, it blazed like a fire among thorns, in the Lord's name I crushed it!") and sorting through a mess of old records, books, and assorted junk in the barn (haven't crushed that yet, but it's getting better). I've also been learning more than I ever cared to know about the Book of Revelation thanks to brilliant and scholarly readers who gave me lots of Catholic study resources in last week's q&a post. And trying to get one of our two non-functioning tractor mowers repaired (husband is away on business and the grass on our 4 acres ain't getting any shorter!)

So, keeping busy. This weekend I'll have the privilege of conducting an an capella choir at a special mass where a lovely friend of mine will be taking vows in front of our bishop as a consecrated virgin and as a hermit. We'll be doing some traditional hymns, some Gregorian chant, and chanting the responsorial psalm using a tone from the Mundelein Psalter. Pray that I don't so something wrong, like cue my singers to launch into some part of the mass before it's the right time. I hate when that happens.

After This, Our Exile

“We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget.” 
― G.K. Chesterton

Yesterday's Morning Prayer included the canticle from Tobit, which included a favorite verse of mine: In the land of my exile, I will praise him.

Whether its a beautiful day when I'm loving the world I live in, or one of those mildly depressed days when I'm restless and very  aware that the world is not our true home, I always pause on any scripture verses that reference this world as a place of exile. Other such verses include 1 Peter 2:11--I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.; Levitiicus 25:23:The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me; and, from Psalm 119, your commands have become my song in the land of my exile.

Pondering the whole subject of "in the world but not of the world" has always fascinated me. It's a consoling thought to remember that we don't really belong here, that our true home lies elsewhere. The Chesterton quote above fits nicely here, along with all of what C.S. Lewis writes about joy and longing.
But the next question is this. Okay, we're exiles. This is not our true home. So how does that affect the time that we spend here, in the far colonies of the Kingdom of Heaven? Should lay people live in Amish-like withdrawal from the world? Or should they thoroughly "engage the culture" which they live in? Probably there is a balance to be struck, and this will vary from one individual, or one family, to another.

Today's Office of Readings includes a reading, "from a letter to Diognetus", that discusses the "living in exile" question. We don't know the author of this letter. Some think is was St. Justin, other, Ireneus. It might have been written any time between 170 and 300 A.D. It is perfectly relevant today. Here is the complete text,copied and pasted from ibreviary for you convenience:

Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.

Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Psalms and our Moods, plus Liturgy vs. Devotion

Perusing the General Instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours the other day, I came across this helpful passage. It answers two common questions.
First: What use is it for me to pray a happy psalm when I'm grieving or depressed, or a sad psalm when I'm feeling joyful?
Second: Isn't the Liturgy of the Hours only a "devotional" prayer (as opposed to a liturgical act)  when prayed by a layperson, without the presence of a priest or religious mandated by the Church to pray the hours?

108. Those who pray the psalms in the liturgy of the hours do so not so much in their own name as in the name of the entire Body of Christ. This consideration does away with the problem of a possible discrepancy between personal feelings and the sentiments a psalm is expressing: for example, when a person feels sad and the psalm is one of joy or when a person feels happy and the psalm is one of mourning. Such a problem is readily solved in private prayer, which allows for the choice of a psalm suited to personal feelings. The divine office, however, is not private; the cycle of psalms is public, in the name of the Church, even for those who may be reciting an hour alone.[emphasis mine.-D.S.] Those who pray the psalms in the name of the Church nevertheless can always find a reason for joy or sadness, for the saying of the Apostle applies in this case also: "Rejoice with the joyful and weep with those who weep" (Rom 12:15). In this way human frailty, wounded by self-love, is healed in proportion to the love that makes the heart match the voice that prays the psalms. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Welcome to New Folks / Q&A Time

After going on a short blogger's fast of NOT checking pageviews, followers, and other stats for a few weeks, I was delighted to notice that Coffee&Canticles has five new followers since the last time I checked.

Welcome, Bienvenido!, Bienvenue!, Wilkomen! Karibu! Mabuhay! Yokoso!, Svagat! Dobro pozalovat!, and Salve! to Doug, Wayde, Bruce, Margaret, and Tom. (I just had fun finding translations for Welcome in the languages of the countries our readers live in. Minus the correct diacritical markings over some of the letters. And I ended with Latin since we all inhabit the Catholic Church. Unless I have some non-catholic readers, which is  possible, since the Liturgy of the Hours is starting to be noticed and used by Christians of other denominations.)

As old followers know and new follower may not, the Wednesday Q&A post is for any questions you may have about the Liturgy of the Hours. These might be on the woes of finding your place in the breviary,  wondering why this or that element occurs in the Hours, questions about group vs. individual recitation rules, or, well, just about anything.

I have a sort of question  this week, after wrestling with the Office of Readings' passages from the Book of Revelation. I always find this a difficult and mostly unrewarding part of the Bible to read. Yes, there are glimpses and hints of the eternal liturgy in heaven--I've heard the Scott Hahn lecture. But all the apocalyptic stuff: the miniature- horse stinging bugs with men's heads and other assorted signs,beasts, plagues, symbols, punishments, etc. It often sounds like St. John is trying to re-tell a bad dream, with one fantastical, crazy thing happening after another.   I've heard that some of it applies to things that have already happened, such as the destruction of Jerusalem and the persecution of the early Church, and that some applies to the end of the world. But which is which? I would just like to know what God is telling us and why the Church wants us to go over it all each year in the liturgy. Assuming the world is not ending in our  lifetime, what exactly is the point of all of this for us? I have a hard time even considering the hyper-literal "Left Behind" view of it all (even aside from the "Rapture" heresy), because God has never acted this way anywhere else in history.

In other word,  I need some good Catholic commentary on the Book of Revelation.  If any of you can recommend one, please let me know.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Theodicy and My "duh!" moment.

Here are my favorite verses from psalm 34, which appeared   in this past Saturday's Daytime Prayer:

The Lord is close to the broken hearted
those whose spirit is crushed he will save.
Many are the trials of the just man
but from them all the Lord will rescue him.

Theodicy is a fancy word for what C.S. Lewis called the problem of pain. How can a  loving God permit blah, blah, blah, to happen? Much ink has been spilled over this. The least unsatisfactory answers are: 1. God brings good out of evil and 2. We can't possibly comprehend God's plan for the universe, let alone for our lives. This, the answer the Lord gave to Job, is supplemented by the New Testament, which tells us that eventually, "every tear will be wiped away."

I have no great wisdom to add to this theological conundrum. In fact, I am embarrassed to admit it, but years ago  I was shocked, shocked! when some trials  entered my own life. Although I'd studied enough theology to know better, my reaction the first time my husband lost his job, was, "Wait! No! You have the wrong family, Lord.  We're the ones who keep the laws of the Church, who never use birth control and have generously accepted seven children into our lives. We homeschool! We pray as a family!"

So even though I knew on one level that God permitted people who were much holier than I to be imprisoned,martyred, suffer from horrible diseases, etc., on another level I had the odd notion that I would be rewarded with a minimally painful life, here in this world, if I maintained a certain level of comittment to faith and morals.   Quid pro quo. Silly, silly girl.

I'd never really gotten the message of psalm 34, despite having read it many times in my breviary over the years. But eventually, it dawned on me:

It doesn't say your heart will never be broken, but that He is close to you when it is.

 It doesn't say your spirit will never be crushed, but that he'll save you when it is.

It doesn't say the just man won't have trials, but that God will  rescue the just man from those trials. (And as we know, the rescue occurs according to God's schedule, not ours. That's the hard part.)

How on earth did I miss that for so many years?  That's why it's so good to pray the psalter year after year. Eventually, what our Father is trying to tell us starts to sink in.