Benedictine Oblates Reflect on the Rule
There is no shortage of ways to be in dialogue with God. Prayers like “please,” and “thank you,” simple as they are, count. Being present to the Divine while taking a walk or meditating counts. And reading Scripture – especially the Psalms – counts. In fact, the Psalms provide such a rich source of spiritual nourishment that those who know them often turn to them daily. Here are the thoughts of some Oblates who pray them regularly.
Madeleine Callahan: One of the most important contemporary ways of doing sacred reading of the Psalms is to hold the Psalm in one hand and the newspaper in the other hand. This Lent I decided to read the Psalms of Lauds while imagining that I was a Christian in Iraq. I know those ancient laments are amazingly true in our days! I believe people are choosing to say that God’s compassion and “hesed” (the Hebrew word for "lovingkindness") overcome all evil. The Psalms are very current and important for us to study and to pray in a serious manner.
Deacon Tim Granet: Actually being songs themselves, the Psalms often lift my heart and soul in songful prayer. Even the penitential Psalms are comforting in their humble crying out to a loving and merciful God. The fact the Jesus himself prayed the Psalms means something to me as well. Praying the Psalms ties me to generations of faith-filled people standing humbly before our God. There is power in that kind of prayer, I think. I can’t imagine my prayer life without the Psalms.
Amy Carr: The Psalms help me walk with the wildness of the many-sided human heart - my own, and that of all others. There are different degrees and textures to prayer with a psalm on any given day. One good kind of prayer with a psalm occurs when a line or image from the psalm intersects with a raw honest prayer arising in oneself. But less earnest-feeling days with a psalm can simply involve the habit of turning one’s attention in another direction and letting oneself be shaped by something from the psalm. This gesture can trigger a space in which to place or bear everything else going on within or without one at that moment.