Monday, January 5, 2015

My Song or His Song?

File:Deer Drinking Drawing.jpg

Morning  Prayer today (Psalter, Monday, week II) included one of my top favorite psalms, 42. Usually my nature-loving little heart gets off on the deer that years for running streams, or else on "deep is calling on deep...your billows and all your waves swept over me" since  this is  such a mighty image of how confused and helpless and overpowered we can feel in the midst of suffering, even when we are fully aware that God's will is always done.

But today,the verse that jumped out was #8, because of its different translations. Our USA  breviary (Grail Psalms) says, by day the Lord will send his loving kindness; by night I will sing  to him, praise the God of my life.

While my African breviary (Revised Grail Psalms, which is eventually what we'll get when a revised American  breviary is approved), has by day the Lord decrees his merciful love; by night his song is with me, prayer to the God of my life.   The Revised Standard Version and the Douay-Rheims also go with "his song".   Commentator notes in the Navarre Bible says that either interpretation of the Hebrew is possible.

My decidedly  non-scholarly preference is "his song".  This speaks to me of our beloved Divine Office, wherein we pray the psalms,which is God's word in inspired songs. As the Church tells us, Christ prays in us and we pray in Him in this eternal hymn of praise to the Father that is the Liturgy of the Hours.

Are you a Psalm 42 fan?  Share your thoughts on a favorite verse or this psalm as a whole. 


  1. How extraordinary you would mention this specific psalm today, Daria! It is definitely one of my favorites also and I even looked it up in my copy of my Navarre edition on the Psalms this morning.
    The refrain especially resonates with me and I much prefer the soul "groaning" within me, rather than being "disquieted". It is that groaning which pushes me to "Hope in the Lord" and declare I will "praise Him still" (rather than "praise him again").
    This psalm just really sings to me and I am moved every single time I hear it.

  2. As I pray this psalm, the second last stanza hits home to me..".saying to me all the day long, "Where is your God?" What with all the news that deals with the perceived negative aspects of faith and religion, and some of the angry vitriolic made against organized religion of all shapes (some of it warranted), my soul does get burdened and heavy.
    But the last stanza is so beautifully put, so truly re-anchors me in the conviction and assurance of God's abiding presence, especially amidst those turbulent waves of indignation.
    I always hope to be able to engage in dialogue those who are some embittered, but as words so often fail me, I pray that the actions of the faithful, dressed in mercy, compassion, and true care, will speak louder than any.
    Just a few thoughts this snowy southern Ontario morning - in frigid conditions.

    And Daria, "merci" for the book recommendations from before Christmas...They made a very nice gift from my wife to myself (HAHA)

    1. Tom, yes, that "Where is Your God?" strikes me in exactly the same way as well. You are in S. Ontario? We might have some mutual friends, since my daughter is married to a Canadian and until recently lived in St. Catharines and belonged to the cathedral parish.

  3. I live in Welland, about 20km south of St. Catharines and close to Niagara Falls. We are in the Diocese of St. Catharines.

  4. Hello. This has nothing to do with the Psalm, but I just finished your book and it says we can email you at your blog, so here goes.

    I've been doing the Hours since November, sometimes bungling a day but I'm getting the hang of it. I started adding in Readings about a week ago and ran into a snag. I'm a night owl, and get more out of Readings in the evening than the morning, but on Saturdays and before Solemnities it looks like the day changes at Evening Prayer 1. On a normal day, I pray EP after work, Readings in the evening, and NP before bed. Is there any guidance as to whether I ought to reverse those on Saturdays and before solemnities? I know whatever way works for me is "okay," but as long as I'm still forming habts, might as well try to form good ones.


    1. This is a good question and it has several answers! I think I'm going to carry it over to my next blog post because that way more people will see it and benefit.

    2. Patrick, the Ordo for the LOTH allows a day's OORs to be prayed the evening before. I'll have to look up the paragraph #

  5. I thought that I had posted this remark, but I'll try again:

    I love #42. The Psalmist is up in the northern terra sancta and is far from Jerusalem. I know the feeling.

  6. Psalm 42 is -- along with 84 and 104 -- one of my most dearly-beloved psalms. They all have nature imagery, come to think of it... huh!

    I'm very much attached to this one because of Palestrina's "Sicut cervus". It is the most sublime beauty in music.

    Talking about translation: the last line should read "the salvation of my countenance and my God", not "my saviour and my God". I still prefer Grail to the Revision, though. :)