A few things struck me while I was praying the Psalms.
First, the use of repetition is often used in the Psalms (or at least, it sticks out in my head). Usually, I think to myself “Argh, more repetition. Half this psalm is the same thing repeated over and over again! I’ve got better things to do than trudge through yet another phrase.” (Never mind that the saints and angels in heaven acclaim with one voice ‘holy holy holy’… and that time spent in prayer and worship of God is much better than 90% of the things I do…) But this morning, it wasn’t a tedious thing to pray. The phrase in question was from Psalm 117 – “His love has no end.”
Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, * for his love has no end.
Let the sons of Israel say: * “His love has no end.”
Let the sons of Aaron say: * “His love has no end.”
Let those who fear the Lord say: * “His love has no end.”
That psalm then ends with “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; * for his love has no end.” It is a good reminder for us, as we enter further into the Septuagesima season and prepare for Lent that God’s love has no end.
Second, I was a big fan of the antiphon for the first psalm. “In your compassion, Lord, blot out my offence.” How often do we commit some act of transgression? How often do we offend the Lord in some way? But, how often do we beg for God’s forgiveness? How often do we seek out the healing given to us by God through his priests in confession? God won’t merely forgive us through confession, but rather He will “blot out” our offenses! (So, go to confession!)
Third, and this one made my thoughts hearken to the entry at Vultus Christi some time ago (which I also covered here), a further reflection from Psalm 117 (it is just chock full of stuff). I was flipping through the television stations in hopes of finding something useful on it (ha, false hopes indeed!), and all I was rewarded with were talking heads going on incessantly about the Iowa caucus and the 2016 presidential race. The Psalmist prays: “It is better to take refuge in the Lord * than to trust in men. It is better to take refuge in the Lord * than to trust in princes.” Let us remember that excerpt as we go forward into the election season. It will not be “The Donald” or some political candidate that we should trust, but rather Our Lord Jesus Christ.