UP Catholic 07 14 2017 E Edition Page 5

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC COMMENTARY July 14, 2017 5 Among the world's pleasures, praise is the most beautiful of all. Ps. 147:1 I t is always good to refresh our- selves and our prayer. It is easy to get so immersed in intercessory prayer that we tend to treat God as a vending machine put in a prayer and get a favor. The Psalms bring us back to the purpose and heart of prayer as praise and thanksgiving. Yes, we bring our cares and needs to God but we do so knowing that God is all-wise and all-loving and we trust that God will choose what is best for us. This is a form of praise! Any book or com- mentary on the Psalms will tell us the Psalms cover all of our human condi- tions and emotions. Of course, no one Psalm will contain everything but together they are complete for helping our conversation with God. Sometimes we feel at a loss about which Psalm to use. It takes time to feel at home with them. If you are new to them, or if it has been a while since you have prayed them, I suggest that you think of them as a buffet. When I go to a buffet I like to walk the entire length of the offerings to see what is there, and make my choices accordingly. So, too, with the Psalms. It is helpful to keep a small notebook and when you find a phrase or line that captures your atten- tion make a note of it. You can come back to it over and over until the words become part of your mindset. While it is possible to start with Ps 1 and work through all 150 it may not be the best way for you. It is okay to pick and choose. Above all, don't try to pray a Psalm a day because they are uneven in length. Ps 117 has only 2 verses; Ps 119 has 176 verses! Pay particular attention to Psalms of praise and thanksgiving. Note those which address your heart's sorrow. The Psalms address feeling of fear and give assurance of God's presence and strength. The Psalms address feelings of anger. I heard a rabbi explain that the psalmist had these feelings and by praying, put them into the hands of God for God to take care of. Some Psalms ask God to bash our enemies. For a long time I had a problem with these Psalms, until I began to think of the enemies within me! We all have those tendencies to anger, self-absorption, want- ing revenge, etc. We all have addictions, some of which are obvious and others more subtle. Every addiction goes deep and we need help to keep them under control. In addition to the Psalms in your regular Bible you may want a copy that is only the Psalms. One edition I recommend is the Grail paperback version. It is handy and takes highlighting and marking very well. My favorite version is The Complete Psalms: The Book of Prayer Songs in a New Translation by Pamela Greenberg. She is a Jewish poet and Hebrew scholar. Her knack of putting the words into fresh lan- guage is helpful in getting past any phras- es that may have become overused and too familiar. On one occasion, when I was feeling very lonely and desolate I came to these words in Psalm 31: I have become invisible as the dead-hearted, like a lost vessel no one bothers to look for. I no longer felt alone but had the sense that, yes, there is One who truly understands what is going on inside me now. One who prays this version quickly notes how many synonyms she uses for God. I counted at least 90 - and each one is a fresh entry into God-conversation. I like to take the Psalm from daily Mass and refer to it in this edition. This practice adds a deep and perhaps new perspective. Often the verse just before the Gospel gains freshness. Consider the songs in our hymnal. When there is a song you particularly like check at the end of the song to see if it is based on a Psalm. In such cases go to your Bible or Psaltery and reflect on how these words touch your life today! All scripture, not only the Psalms, must intersect with what is happening within us today! Let the joy and exuberance of the Psalms fill you. We are told to sing, shout, clap our hands, to dance, to be joyful. We are called to wonder at the beauty of sunrise and trees and the birds of the air, to exalt in the trees of the forest. The heavens are telling the glories of God Finally, remember that the Psalms are the prayers which Jesus prayed. We can't do much better than that, can we? Editors note: Greenberg has an M.F.A. in creative writing and masters degree in Jewish studies. She also spent a year in rabbinical school. Library Journal calls her book, A clear and moving but not definitive translation of the Psalms for modern readers. Growing to serve you in 5 locations! MANISTIQUE, MI 735 E. Lakeshore Dr. Food for Le$$ 200 Deer Street MARINETTE, WI 1507 Cleveland Ave. 2301 Roosevelt Rd. MENOMINEE, MI M & M Plaza ALTARED COMETH! Does your organization or business want to reach teens & young adults? Advertise with us! 1-866-452-5112 & upc@new.rr.com Praying the Psalms: Jesus' prayers and ours REFLECTIONS FROM NORTHSTAR Regis Walling THE PSALMS BRING US BACK TO THE PURPOSE AND HEART OF PRAYER AS PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING. Rvbmjuz gvsojuvsf bu xipmftbmf qsjdft A Catholic family owned & operated company since 1979 Members of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan Ejojoh Sppn Pggjdf Gvsojuvsf Nbuusfttft Vqipmtufsfe Tfut Ljudifo Dbcjofut Cbuisppn Dbcjofut Cfesppn Mjwjoh Sppn Cretens Furniture Factory & Showroom Qfsljot Spbe Qfsljot NJ xxx dsfufotgvsojuvsf dpn N G Tbu Mpehf Dbnq boe Dpuubhf tuzmf gvsojtijoht

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