It is Ordinary Time in the liturgical calendar. And it is true that today was a rare Sunday with no feasts or other special focus scheduled. Times of deep sorrow don’t feel ordinary, nor do times of joyful celebration. But today we discovered that psalms and the Psalms are timeless: they can be expressed and internalized, and promote healing in many different ways, for myriad reasons. They can touch and move us both personally and universally. We chanted and sang; we colored and wondered; we wrote our own; and we embodied words of gratitude and comfort.
This was the Psalm assigned to this Sunday’s readings:
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom then shall I fear?
the LORD is the strength of my life;
of whom then shall I be afraid?
When evildoers came upon me to eat up my flesh,
it was they, my foes and my adversaries, who stumbled and fell.
Though an army should encamp against me,
yet my heart shall not be afraid;
And though war should rise up against me,
yet will I put my trust in him.
One thing have I asked of the LORD; one thing I seek;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life;
To behold the fair beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
The Psalms, like music and visual art, can be heard and seen in many dimensions and perspectives. Creating a visual image while reflecting on the words and concepts of a psalm can take you deeper—inward and outward.
- Remembering Your Deeds: The Psalms and the Spiritual Exercises, a Jesuit guided contemplative practice covering twenty-four psalms—for teens to adults
- A template for writing your own psalm—for anyone who can write
- Another method for writing your own psalm—for all ages, best in pairs
- Psalm 23 by Signs of Praise, song and ASL
- Psalm 23 sung by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir
- We opened and closed our time together with Psalm 117, Taizé style.
Laudate omnes gentes. Laudate Dominum
Praise, O peoples; Praise the Lord.