Saturday, June 15, 2013

St. Ambrose says: Pray the Psalms!

In the book of psalms there is profit for all, with healing power for our salvation. There is instruction from history, teaching from the law, prediction from prophecy, chastisement from denunciation, persuasion from oral preaching. All who read it may find the cure for their own individual failings.  All with eyes to see can discover in it a complete gymnasium for the soul, a stadium for all the virtues, equipped for every kind of exercise; it is for each to choose the kind he judges best to help him gain the prize...

A psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people a hymn in praise of God...It is a source of security at night, a lesson in wisdom by day. It is a shield wen we are afraid, a celebration o holiness, a vision of serenity, a promise of peace and harmony. a confession of faith in song. It soothes the temper, distracts from care, lightens the burden of sorrow. 

In a psalm instruction vies with beauty...what experience is not covered by a reading of the psalms? 
-from St. Ambrose's Explanation of the Psalms,
Office of Readings, Friday and Saturday of 10th week in ordinary time

9 comments:

  1. Might I suggest that all of us who pray the Psalms do a little "cut and paste" and put a copy of these wonderful and wise words somewhere in the front of our Breviary, lest we sometime forget what it's all about.

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  2. I am bringing this tomorrow to my Secular Franciscan meeting!
    Our topic for ongoing formation: Liturgy of the Hours, presented by yours truly. We have 3 inquirers who need to get the hang of it. I'm using your book, and I'm going to go through a whole tutorial as we do Evening Prayer. We're also going to place a bulk order for your book!

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    1. If you want more good quotes, check out the OOR on August 21. St. Piis X.

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    2. And now that I'm back at the computer, rather than pecking at an ipod touch, wanted to add a Thank you for making the book known to your group. I think it could be helpful to lots of third order groups as a formation tool. Do you have an address for someone "higher up" the ladder to whom I could send a review copy?

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    3. And then there's Augustine on Wednesday of the 5th week of Lent. Although the excerpt of the reading does not mention the psalms by name, it is taken from his Commentary on the Psalms, so the psalter must be what he is referring to when he says all that amazing stuff about Jesus: "He prays for us as our priest, he prays in us as our head, he is the object of our prayers as our God....We pray to him as God, he prays for us as a servant. ..we pray then to him, through him, in him, and we speak along with him and he along with us."
      Hope I am now overwhelming you with material.

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  3. We definitely want to use this book as a formation tool. LOTH should not be an obstacle to someone who wants to live a Secular Franciscan life.
    I'll see what I can find out about who "up the chain" would be appropriate for you to contact. We also have a national newsletter that comes out quarterly--I might be able to get a book review published there.

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  4. I'm off topic but didn't see a "contact" button. I just bought your book and look forward to having it on vacation next month. Will your book tell me how to find the right page in "Christian Prayer" without the little paper guidebook from CBP?

    Peter Brennan

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    1. The book does actually go into how to do that! I just went over that topic today in a presentation I gave based on the information in this book.
      (Pardon my jumping in)

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    2. Pete, the rule here is use any available post for comments or questions, although I usually have a weekly "Q&A" post as well. Never be afraid of being off topic, since this blog only has one topic: the Divine Office.
      Barb is right, the book explains the principles you need to find your place without relying on the St. Joseph's guide. All you need is your parish calendar or bulletin to tell you what week in the Church year it is.

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