Wednesday, September 7, 2011
How Many Are My Foes, O Lord
This is the lament of King David in Psalm 3 which was the focus of the Holy Father's continuing instruction on prayer. When the Pope began this instruction some months ago, he called the Book of Psalms "the book of prayer par excellence." The Holy Father goes on to give us the background for this psalm and lament of David's; it comes at a crucial time in David's life after he is usurped from the throne by his son Absalom. David faces an enemy right in his own family. With this, David faces a grave temptation against his faith; this incident could very well lead him to lose his faith, but as the psalm continues we see that David does not give in to the temptation, but remains steadfast in his faith. He remembers that God is a shield around him and has answered him whenever David has cried out to him.
I have often written that I love the psalms because they reflect every possible human emotion in the light of faith. We may never find ourselves usurped from a throne, but we may have at one time or another, experienced betrayal by a family member or close friend~ someone we trusted. It is at that point we may, like David find our faith tested. The psalms, as well as many other places in Scripture, can give us comfort in reminding us of God's faithfulness, providence and perseverance all throughout salvation history, and in our own lives today.
As Pope Benedict told his Wednesday audience: “God is always close, even in times of difficulty, problems and darkness,” the Pope taught. “He listens, responds and saves.”
Full text of Pope Benedict XVI's Wednesday General Audeience
Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.
Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.
Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.