Psalm 51: I Desire Mercy

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

March 13, 2021

Hosea’s Warning

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 51 which, together with our other readings, tests the depths and sincerity of our prayer.

A clean heart create for me, God;
renew within me a steadfast spirit.

Psalm 51:12

Our readings today put this consideration before us:

What is prayer really,
and what is the quality of my prayer?

Hosea tells us

For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice,
    and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Luke tells us

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.

And our psalm tells us

For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
    should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
    a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

To sum up our readings, here’s what prayer is NOT:

  • It is not a roll call of our sacrifices and righteousness.
  • It is not fasting, or paying tithes, or even keeping the commandments.

Then what is it?

Prayer is an intimate exchange with God
with whom we are humble, honest,
open, generous and grateful
– with Whom we are safe, confident and in love.

Prayer is our response to God
who desires our merciful hearts.
… so
Let us Pray.

Poetry: A Prayer from Teresa of Avila 

May today there be peace within.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, 
and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones, 
and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Music: Peaceful Moments – Regi Stone

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