Thursday, August 24, 2006

"Gracious is the LORD and just; yes, our God is merciful"

I had the wonderful privilege this week to spend an afternoon with my spiritual director, who is a pastor living in another city in the Westeren U.S. Consequently, I receive a great deal of direction via correspondence of various kinds and over the phone. Nonetheless, I am so blessed to have a director who is also a close and dear personal friend, as well as my confessor. What he communicates so clearly to me is God's love, mercy, and deep desire to know and be known by me. At the end of my confession, part of my penance was to read, consider and meditate on Psalm 116:

1 I love that HaShem should hear my voice and my supplications.
2 Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, therefore will I call upon Him all my days.
3 The cords of death compassed me, and the straits of the nether-world got hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow.
4 But I called upon the name of HaShem: 'I beseech thee, O HaShem, deliver my soul.'
5 Gracious is HaShem, and righteous; yea, our G-d is compassionate.
6 HaShem preserveth the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
7 Return, O my soul, unto Thy rest; for HaShem hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.
9 I shall walk before HaShem in the lands of the living.
10 I trusted even when I spoke: 'I am greatly afflicted.'
11 I said in my haste: 'All men are liars.'
12 How can I repay unto HaShem all His bountiful dealings toward me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of HaShem.
14 My vows will I pay unto HaShem, yea, in the presence of all His people.
15 Precious in the sight of HaShem is the death of His saints.
16 I beseech Thee, O HaShem, for I am Thy servant; I am Thy servant, the son of Thy handmaid; Thou hast loosed my bands.
17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of HaShem.
18 I will pay my vows unto HaShem, yea, in the presence of all His people;
19 In the courts of HaShem'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah.

There is nothing I can add to this beautiful and inspired meditation on God's goodness and mercy. So, I encourage you, pray this psalm today, write it on your heart and recite it with your lips.

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