Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
February 5, 2021
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 27, a song of intimate relationship with God. The psalmist is suffused with God’s Presence in the way morning light permeates the shadows.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;Psalm 27:1
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
Because of this deeply abiding Love, the psalmist fears nothing – not armies, nor any other threat to peace and grace-filled confidence.
Though an army encamp against me,Psalm 27:3
my heart will not fear;
Though war be waged upon me,
even then will I trust.
We have little, or maybe big, wars at times, don’t we? Armies of pain, or sadness, struggle or confusion standing at the border of our hearts? In such times, Psalm 27 invites to remember and trust:
For God will hide me in the holy abode
in the day of trouble;
will conceal me in the shelter of God’s tent,
will set me high upon a rock.
With the psalmist, we pray with longing – we implore God to show us this comforting, protective love.
Your presence, O LORD, I seek.
Hide not your face from me;
do not in anger repel your servant.
You are my helper: cast me not off.
Poetry: from The Spiritual Canticle – John of the Cross
Oh, then, soul,
most beautiful among all creatures,
so anxious to know
the dwelling place of your Beloved
so you may go in search of him
and be united with him,
now we are telling you that
you yourself are his dwelling
and his secret inner room and hiding place.
There is reason for you to be elated
and joyful in seeing that all your good and hope
is so close as to be within you,
or better, that you cannot be without him.
Behold, exclaims the Bridegroom,
the kingdom of God is within you.
Music: Unchained Melody – sung by Susan Boyle
Psalm 27 reminds me of this modern classic which, no doubt, was written about a different kind of love. But listening to the song as a prayer, a holy longing can be unchained in our spirits.