Brother Thomas Paul’s Retreat notes.
Psalms – the Rhythm of Life.
In every season of our lives… everyday..in every action, the Holy Spirit guides us. We must condition ourselves to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and thus lead a fruitful life in accordance with God’s will.
For a long time, I used to compose songs in honour of the Lord inspired by the Holy Spirit and share it with the world. Then one day, the Holy Spirit told me to stop composing any more songs. The voice I heard was…’Why don’t you give tune to Psalms?’
The Holy Spirit had already decided the tune when it was written long ago. We worshipped the Lord, singing praises in tongues to guide us and we received the tune for every Psalm. We then started singing Psalms in all our retreats.
Jesus grew in wisdom listening to the Psalms. Mother Mary and St. Joseph used to sing Psalms as their prayer and so Psalms were Jesus’ daily prayer too.
A thousand years before the birth of Jesus, the Psalms that the Israelites prayed was about Jesus. The underlying message of each Psalm is about God’s salvific plan through his son, Jesus. The end times is also mentioned in Psalms.
…..(Psalm 45:13-15 )..”The people of wealth will seek us favour..All glorious is the princess within her chamber, her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments, she is led to the King”.
Who is this princess? The Lord’s bride. In the end times, the Church who is Christ’s bride will be ready and enrobed in the glory of resurrection and await the Lord’s coming. This is what it means. I became addicted to Psalms when I learnt about the hidden mysteries in Psalms. St. Augustine has left us an indepth interpretation of Psalms.
Psalm 22 used to be Jesus’ daily song. It is about the anguished cry of Jesus to the Father in the crucified state bearing all the sins of mankind in His body. This was recorded 1000 years before the birth of Jesus. When Jesus sang
Psalm 22, He knew it was about His imminent passion and death which was the Father’s divine plan of salvation for mankind. After everything that was written came to pass, Jesus said, “It is finished”. Today we can understand the significance and the Wisdom of God hidden in the book of Psalms.
There were no other prayers in those days. The people recited Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours ( The Seven Hours of Prayer) that is being followed even today. Psalm 55 speaks about the importance of the Liturgy of the Hours. These Psalms are chosen and sung/recited at different Hours for the Liturgy of the Hours according to the Liturgical seasons of the Church. Psalms are also read at Holy Mass as per the liturgical seaons of the Holy Church. These seasons represent the life of Jesus.
The Church Fathers and saints, especially St. Jerome declared that Psalms which was the rhythm of lives of the Israelites was the rhythm of his own life too. St. Jerome known for his ascetic life, lived in a cave for more than 25 years…he translated the Holy Bible in Latin.
The people in those days would sing Psalms as they went about doing their daily chores… To take an example..Psalm 65 reminds us of the harvest season. It symbolizes the kingdom of God. Our ancestors used to sing Psalms according to the situations/seasons of their lives hence it was rightly called the rhythm of their lives. When we make Psalms a part of our life, we will find a Psalm to pray to suit every situation in our lives too. God did not create us to live our lives in constant worry and anxiety. Most of us wake up in the morning worried about something or the other. When Psalms become a part of our lives..we will instinctively get the right Psalm to pray for the situation. Mother Mary was anxious about nothing. Mother Mary lived a life of total surrender and joy in the Lord. When we memorize Psalms, it will beautifully blend with our lives forever. Once when I was on my way to deal with a difficult task, Psalm 61:2 came to my mind…”From the end of the earth will I cry to thee, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I”.
When I pondered over this Psalm on my way to the visa office that day, it gave me great assurance. Normally they would ask many questions but on that day I received my visa without any trouble. Although God’s divine plan for the salvation of mankind through His son, Jesus is the primary concealed message in Psalms, it also holds valuable insights for our day to day living.