Psalm 147: Count Your Blessings

Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

March 10, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 147, a poem filled with reasons to love and praise God. Today’s selected verses mention just a few of those reasons.

The blessings of security and family:

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion,
who has strengthened the bars of your gates, 
who has blessed your children within you.

Psalm 147: 12-13

The blessings of diverse Creation:

The Lord sends out a command to the earth, 
and this word runs very swiftly.
The Lord gives snow like wool 
and scatters hoarfrost like ashes

Psalm 147: 15-16

The blessings of faith and religious heritage:

The Lord declares the word to Jacob, 
statutes and judgements to Israel.
The Lord has not done so to any other nation; 
to them these judgements have not been revealed.

Psalm 147: 19-20

Sometimes we spend a lot of energy praying over the things we think we need rather than recognizing all that we have.

This morning as I prayed, a personal thanksgiving psalm unfolded in my heart:

  • Hundreds of snow geese followed their yearly flight path right over my home, honking a symphony of hope.
  • The sun rose warm, tugging a clear promise of spring up over the horizon.
  • The Psalms lay open in my lap, a rich gift of the ages to my sometimes thin prayer.
  • My beloved communities slowly awakened and blossomed around me – my Mercy sisters, the toddlers in the daycare below me, the daily hum of the Motherhouse across the path outside my window, the buses carrying children to our Mercy schools
  • My family texting from their faraway homes.
  • I imagined myself as a small part of the magnificent communities described by beloved Pope Francis in Laudato Sí and Fratelli Tutti.
  • I felt those communities slowly beginning to recover from this past year’s devastation.
  • I prayed my sense of blessing into those still so deeply broken by global suffering, begging for their healing.

Gratitude for my blessings overwhelmed me, as it did our psalmist in #147:

How good to sing praise to our God;
how pleasant to give fitting praise.

Psalm 147:1

Poem: God Moves in a Mysterious Way – William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way,
    His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
    And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
    Of never failing skill;
He treasures up his bright designs,
    And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints fresh courage take,
    The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
    In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
    But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
    He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
    Unfolding ev'ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
    But sweet will be the flow'r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
    And scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter,
    And he will make it plain.

Music: The Snow Goose – John Ritchie

Speaking of geese this morning, one of my all time favorite stories is “The Snow Goose” by Paul Gallico. I hope many of you have read it. It’s beautiful. I found a website that talks all about it, even with a Richard Harris movie included! For those who might be interested in a literary excursion 😀:

2 thoughts on “Psalm 147: Count Your Blessings

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