Psalm 113: Over All the Earth

Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time

October 12, 2020


Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 113, a prayer of praise and thanksgiving, focusing our praise on the Name of the Lord.

Praise, you servants of the LORD,
praise the name of the LORD.
Blessed be the name of the LORD
both now and forever.

Psalm 113:1-2

A particularly beautiful dynamic emerges in the following verse:

From the rising to the setting of the sun
is the Name of the LORD to be praised.
High above all nations is the LORD;
above the heavens is his glory.

Psalm 113:3-4

Praying this verse, we might picture the sun slowly lighting and darkening the contrapuntal curves of the earth.

Within that inverse yet complementary rhythm, the morning and evening prayers of believers encircle the globe. The whole Church, the Communion of Saints, each takes up its part in the prayerful caress of our world.

As I go to sleep at night, I know someone is waking on the other side of the world with the Holy Name on her lips. When I rise in the morning, I lift that song from the semi-darkness to offer my part to the Great Embrace.

Each morning and evening, I pray for my blog followers, thinking of their moment in this universal prayer. I imagine that prayer dawning near St. Barbara Catholic School in Guam, then drifting westward to Australia, Uzbekistan, Rome, and the little village of Hampstead Norreys, England.

I see it reach the shores of the Americas, deepening as it resounds in various languages through Rio de Janeiro, Haiti, Guyana, and Chulucanas, Peru.

I feel the warm healing of God’s Name prayed over my own country from Silver Spring, MD to McAllen, TX; from Dubuque, IA to Sacramento, then on again over the Pacific.

As each of us joins this global song of praise, let us be aware of the Infinite Power Who holds us all within the Divine Song – beyond time, beyond borders, beyond space, beyond any comprehension but Love.

Praise the Lord,
the Unnamable, the All-Perfect, the Inconceivable, 
who, higher than the highest heavens, 
stoops to the lowest of the low, 
who raises the poor from the dunghill 
and lifts the wretched from the dust, 
who grants them an infinite abundance 
and showers them with all good things.

from A Book of Psalm Selections Adapted from the Hebrew by Stephen Mitchell

Music:  Praise the Lord, Psalm 113 – Blanca Vega and Roby Duke

Psalm 113: Awesome!

Wednesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

August 12, 2020

Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, we pray with Psalm 113, a magnificent hymn praising God in the heavens. 

The psalm is commonly used at Vespers, the evening prayer of the Church – and no wonder. How often in the evening do we look to the glorious skies, emblazoned with the setting sun, and turn our minds to God!

Who is like the LORD, our God, who is enthroned on high,
and looks upon the heavens and the earth below?


It is in contemplating the sky’s immensity that we begin to appreciate the Divine Infinity.


Last night, I FaceTimed with my niece and her toddler boy, a joy she frequently offers me. During the call, my grandnephew carried his little tablet to the window, opened his “SkyView” app, and began exploring the heavens. Even the youngest “pueri” (Latin for “boys, children, servants”) spontaneously offer our Vespers in answer to God’s Beauty!


As we pray this psalm, at whatever time of day, we can let ourselves rest in silent awe, aware of God’s majesty – that Majesty which deigns to create, love and eternally sustain each one of us beloved “pueri”.


Poetry: Stars by Majorie Pickthall

Photo by Ruvim on Pexels.com
Now in the West the slender moon lies low, 
And now Orion glimmers through the trees, 
Clearing the earth with even pace and slow, 
And now the stately-moving Pleiades, 
In that soft infinite darkness overhead 
Hang jewel-wise upon a silver thread. 
And all the lonelier stars that have their place, 
Calm lamps within the distant southern sky, 
And planet-dust upon the edge of space, 
Look down upon the fretful world, and I 
Look up to outer vastness unafraid 
And see the stars which sang when earth was made. 

Music: Laudate Pueri – Claudio Monteverdi

Laudate, pueri, Dominum; 
laudate nomen Domini.
Sit nomen Domini benedictum 
ex hoc nunc et usque in saeculum.
A solis ortu usque ad occasum 
laudabile nomen Domini.
Excelsus super omnes gentes Dominus, 
et super caelos gloria ejus.
Quis sicut Dominus Deus noster, 
qui in altis habitat, 
et humilia respicit in caelo et in terra?
Suscitans a terra inopem, 
et de stercore erigens pauperem:
ut collocet eum cum principibus, 
cum principibus populi sui.
Qui habitare facit sterilem in domo, 
matrem filiorum laetantem.