Friday, February 17, 2017

"For with the LORD is [loving]kindness"

As a penance I was directed by my confessor to read and reflect on Psalm 130. I have to say, it was most fruitful:

Psalm 130
Prayer for Pardon and Mercy

1. Out of the depths, I cry to you, O LORD;
      Lord, hear my voice!
2. Let your ears be attentive
    to my voice in supplication:

3. If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
      LORD, who can stand?
4. But with you is forgiveness.
    that you may be revered.

5. I trust in the LORD;
6. My soul waits for the LORD
      more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

More than sentinels wait for the dawn,
7.     let Israel wait for the LORD,
For with the LORD is kindness
      and with him is plenteous redemption;
8. And he will redeem Israel
     from all their iniquities.

The word "kindness" in verse seven is a translation of the Hebrew word that is usually transliterated as hesed. It means loving-kindness. It is a kindness lovingly expressed that isn't deserved by the one on whom God lavishes it. God is kind. God is merciful. God loves me. During this week's Wednesday Angelus address, Pope Francis, as he does so beautifully, reminded us of the heart of the Gospel, the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
We know that even in the most difficult and shocking times, the mercy and goodness of the Lord are greater than anything, and nothing will tear us from His hands and communion with Him. Also in this bad time? "God loves me." And if I have done a terrible and ugly thing? "God loves me." This security is not taken away from anyone. We must repeat it as a prayer: "God loves me," "I am sure that God loves me," "I am sure that God loves me"
Penance that is truly penance seeks for the penitent to experience God's mercy.

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