I thank you for the wonder of my being.
O Lord, you search me and you know me,
you know my resting and my rising,
you discern my purpose from afar.
You mark when I walk or lie down,
all my ways lie open to you.
For it was you who created my being,
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I thank you for the wonder of my being,
for the wonders of all your creation.
Already you knew my soul,
my body held no secret from you
when I was being fashioned in secret
and moulded in the depths of the earth.
Psalm for the Solemnity of the Nativity of St John the Baptist
We are invited to know something of the Mystery of God through our awareness of the beatitude that surrounds us, that give us life, and sustains us in life and gives us purpose in life.
To contemplate God’s goodness to us is a powerful way of becoming more aware of the greatness of that goodness, and becoming both more grateful for it, and enabled to cooperate with it even more.
However God is, of course, good not only to me and us but also to ‘them’.
Many of us (most of us?) have a strong awareness of some people not being like us, but being less than us. We account for their lack in all sorts of ways – sex and gender, race and colour, class and wealth, education,, the position they hold or lack… Sometimes the way we distinguish is more pronounced, sometimes less, but always it runs the risk of obscuring what they have in common with us, and especially of helping us to ignore that they are beloved children of God, equal with us in his sight…
If we usually experience the psalm above as an affirmation of our dignity before God, we can also use it as a test of conscience and consciousness with regard to others. Just change the first person pronouns to third person; then think of him, or her, or those for whom you have least love; and then pray the psalm again….
Symbols of victims of the Holocaust. Holcaust Museum, Berlin. (c) 2014, Allen Morris