Speak Lord: and hear us

Madeleine Church. Beziers

The psalm set for singing on the first Sunday of Lent is a song of great confidence and trust. But we hear it alongside a free confession of the psalmist’s/our distress

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
and abides in the shade of the Almighty
says to the Lord: ‘My refuge,
my stronghold, my God in whom I trust!’

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

Upon you no evil shall fall,
no plague approach where you dwell.
For you has he commanded his angels,
to keep you in all your ways.

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

They shall bear you upon their hands
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
On the lion and the viper you will tread
and trample the young lion and the dragon.

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

His love he set on me, so I will rescue him;
protect him for he knows my name.
When he calls I shall answer: ‘I am with you,’
I will save him in distress and give him glory.

Be with me, O Lord, in my distress.

Psalm 90:1-2,10-15

What is our distress?

Sometimes it may be my particular distress or yours but in our praying of the psalm together the application need not be so precise. When we pray, even the possessive pronoun first person singular, ‘my’, can be astonishingly inclusive.

We can pray in our own voice or that of a refugee, or a pressed worker, or prisoner, or one who is hungry or afraid, sick or dying.

  • Who do you know who suffers now? How might you assist them?
  • At Mass, how important is it to you that you are praying with others.
  • At Mass do you pray for yourself, or for others, or both? Which parts are more personal for you? Which more open to the needs of others?

Madeleine Church. Beziers

 

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