Easter Thursday: Psalm 8

April 8, 2021

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 8 – “a unique hymn of praise of God as Creator”, according to scripture scholar Roland Murphy, O.Carm.

Murphy goes on to explain:

Normally a hymn calls upon people to praise God, but not here. A communal refrain forms an inclusio (vv.2,10) for an individual hymn of admiration (vv.3-9)

(“Inclusio” is biblical theology jargon. It means a literary device based on a concentric principle, also known as bracketing or an envelope structure, which consists of creating a frame by placing similar material at the beginning and end of a section)

We might like to use the idea of an “inclusio” in our own prayer – 

  • just taking that one phrase from the psalm which strikes our heart
  • beginning our prayer time with its rhythm
  • repeating it gently and continuously
  • letting it speak to us without further words
  • letting its images blossom in our prayer
  • letting it take us deeper into God’s heartbeat
  • closing our prayer time and entering our day with its cadence informing our spirit.

Prose: from William Butler Yeats

The purpose of rhythm …
is to prolong the moment of contemplation
– the moment when we are both asleep and awake,
which is the one moment of creation
— by hushing us with an alluring monotony,
while it holds us waking by variety…

Music: Heartbeat – Shankar Esaan Loy

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