Friday, January 6, 2017

Why Must God Be Praised?

Essential to understanding and appreciation of the Liturgy (both holy Mass and Divine Office) is knowing the whys and wherefores of praise, aka adoration or giving glory to God. We've discussed that at various times on this blog and there's a section devoted to it in my book.  But it's always good to revisit this topic. Here's a fresh voice from one of my Facebook friends. Harold O. Koenig is a former deputy sheriff, third order Dominican, freelance sheep-shearer, and, in a former, non-catholic life, an Episcopalian priest.  Note that the following was just an informal Facebook post. I'm thinking I'd like to ask him to do some longer and polished-er stuff for this blog in the future. 

They ask us, "Why do you praise God?"
They scoff, "How insecure must a deity be who always demands such praise?"
I answer thus: The sunset does not need you to praise it. YOU need to praise it.
My color vision is defective. Some sunsets leave me unmoved. The sunset does not lose thereby. I am the loser.
When someone calls me to admire a sunset, he wants to share a wonder. He invites me to praise the Good. The Good does not profit by my praise, nor suffer loss if I do not praise. I profit. Or I am deprived.
Therefore, when we speak of prayer and praise as a matter of justice, we ought not to take too ... financial a point of view. We ask of Lay Dominicans that they pray the office not to lay a burden on them but to offer them the gift of doing what is just, of doing something even better than praising the sunset.
Suppose we made a rule that every day you must look west at sunset and see what you can see.I imagine that on rainy or cold days you might wonder what was the point. You might grumble as you rose from your chair and put on your coat.
But what do YOU think would happen over time? I suspect your joy and appreciation would increase.
Who is it that benefits when you do justice? You do.


  1. Praise is what God brings forth from within the heart of one who has surrendered wholly to Him. Whether or not the sun shines or the rains fall, the awakened heart remains ever aware of this indwelling. Praise then is simply one's more outward response to this ever-present delight, when reminded of it by gazing upon some daily wonder of creation... the rain, a tree, or even a harsh wind.


    An article of interest. Msgr. Pope has some great writing.

    1. John, I missed this, thanks. I believe it was a big mistake to leave out or censor 120 verses from the psalms.

    2. Hear, hear! Good for Msgr Pope to have spoken out boldly and intelligently on this.

      There's a lot to like about the reformed Liturgy of the Hours, but the butchered, abridged Psalter is not one of them.

      It strikes me as the ultimate form of "clericalism" (that the post-conciliar Church was alleged to have gotten beyond) to condescendingly assume that the laity isn't "psychologically capable" of handling the Word of God in its integrity.

  3. Wonderful reflection! Thanks for sharing, Daria.

  4. Hi Daria, I was looking back at your post of Dec 29, and I was wondering how your dear mother and brother were doing? Could you give us some feedback?

    1. Thank you for asking, Norman. Mom is still with us. Without going into private details, my brother's prognosis does not look too good, so more prayers would be appreciated.