Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs
September 16, 2022
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 17, a confident prayer calling on God’s intervention.
The psalmist tenders a plea:
Hear, O LORD, a just suit;
attend to my outcry;
hearken to my prayer
from lips without deceit. Psalm 17:1
But before reiterating that plea, the pray-er convinces God that she is worthy of an answer:
You have tested my heart,
searched it in the night.
You have tried me by fire,
but find no malice in me.
My mouth has not transgressed
as others often do.
As your lips have instructed me,
I have kept from the way of the lawless.Psalm 17: 3-4
It sounds a little boastful but it really isn’t. The one who prays this psalm is very familiar with God and God with her. There are no secrets between them. She knows that she is infinitely loved and protected, not despite her vulnerability but because of it.
The psalmist, from long experience, is confident asking for help, as we would be asking a friend to turn and listen to us:
I call upon you; answer me, O God.
Turn your ear to me; hear my speech.Psalm 17: 7
Have you ever been asked for prayers because you are “a good prayer”?
It happens to nuns all the time.
But no one’s prayer is more powerful than another. We say “Of course” to such requests because it is our intention to join our prayer with that of the requester.
Show your wonderful mercy,
you who deliver with your right arm
those who seek refuge from their foes.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me in the shadow of your wingsPsalm 17: 8-9
Each of us is God’s “eye-apple”. Each of us, when we give ourselves to a long familiarity with God, will be wrapped in the confidence of one whose prayer is always answered.
( In a second posting, I’ll be sending on an extra meditation on The Eye of God by Macrina Wiederkehr – beautifully profound.)
Poetry: As Kingfishers Catch Fire – Gerard Manley Hopkins
As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves — goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I dó is me: for that I came.
I say móre: the just man justices;
Keeps grace: thát keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is —
Chríst — for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.
Music: The Apple of My Eye by Umb-5 and Sam Carter
Sometimes a non-spiritual song captures a spiritual meaning in a beautiful way. Let God sing to you with this lovely song.