By Mary Sayad

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  • Lent - 2nd Lesson
    February 2005

    How are the Psalms of the Old Testament relevant to Lent and the New Testament? I'm so glad you asked because……

    Here's your chance to find excitement and mystery. Power, fame and deceit await while romance, jealousy, lust, victories and defeat rival any epic Hollywood film or T.V. soap opera. All these grand sins that audiences love to watch (or unfortunately live) for entertainment are contained in the Holy Bible. Watching the nightly news makes you wonder if anything has changed in the world for the better since the days of the Old Testament.

    Imagine, you can learn about other cultures and traditions, get an education in history and learn about God and His plan for mankind. It's as simple as relaxing in your favorite chair, opening your Holy Bible, and losing yourself to the wonderful world of the living - past, present and to come!

    Psalm 5 - Prayer For Divine Help - A Psalm of David
    I

    Hear my words, O Lord,
    Listen to my sighing.
    Hear my cry for help,
    My king, my God!

    To you I pray, O Lord
    At dawn you will hear my cry;
    At dawn I will plead before you and wait.

    II
    You are not a god who delights in evil;
    No wicked person finds refuge in you;
    The arrogant cannot stand before you.
    You hate all who do evil;
    You destroy all who speak falsely.
    Murderers and deceivers
    The Lord abhors/

    III
    But I can enter your house
    Because of your great love.
    I can worship in your holy temple
    Because of my reverence for you, Lord.
    Guide me in your justice because of my foes;
    Make straight your way before me.

    IV
    For there is no sincerity in their mouths;
    Their hearts are corrupt.
    Their throats are open graves;
    On their tongues are subtle lies.
    Declare them guilty, God;
    Make them fall by their own devices.
    Drive them out of their many sins;
    They have rebelled against you.

    V
    Then all who take refuge in you will be glad
    And forever shout for joy.
    Protect them that you may be the joy
    Of those who love your name.
    For you, Lord, bless the just;
    You surround them with favor like a shield.

    *************

    Beloved Friends,

    Bear in mind that the Bible also records history. In my previous message I suggested that you read I Samuel and 2 Samuel in the Old Testament. The people of the Bible were far from perfect and they struggled with the meaning of life as their belief of God clashed with the pagan influence surrounding them.

    Now, I would like you to ponder the above Psalm and discuss its meaning with your family and friends.

    Hint: The closeness of the Lord is comforting beyond words!

    *** "Because the Holy Spirit inspired the psalms, God Himself is teaching us how to pray them; for they were written under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The psalms are the vital presentation of God's inspiration and man's aspirations; they are ideal manifestations of man's hunger and thirst after God and of God's loving response to man. Of great age, they are ever new and appropriate. They are satisfying and stimulating to us of the twentieth century as they were to men before the birth of Christ and down through the Apostolic and Middle Ages."

    How to Pray the Psalms

    "We must make these psalms the expression of our own personal prayer-life. In the enemies of which David speaks so frequently, we can see our own spiritual enemies, Satan, sin and temptation. The deep love for Jerusalem expressed by the psalmist we can take over and apply to the Church, to Christ Himself."

    *** Taken from Jesus, Mary, Joseph Novena Manual by Father Stedman

    We live in a society where we are constantly in a race with time. I'm very aware that our daily chores and commitments allow us very few moments for our spiritual growth. Nevertheless, when we make an effort to open the Holy Bible and spend five or ten minutes on favorite chapters, we will gradually find the time and cultivate the habit of daily scriptural readings. Remember, "God helps those who help themselves".

    Continue to pray for peace, the conversion of sinners and for God's constant blessing on America. Thank you.

    Your companion in prayer,
    Mary

    Prayer For Lent

    Merciful God, you invite us to repentance so that we can find the happiness we are seeking. Help us to trust more deeply in the Good News of salvation so that we can turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel. This Lent, as we pray more devoutly and listen to your Word more attentively, may our hearts be transformed by the saving love of the cross. We ask these things in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen