Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lenten Prayer

POPE INNOCENT III recommended the praying of the seven Penitential Psalms during Lent, which include Psalms 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129 and 142 (numbering according the Septuagint version).

The Psalms are not pleasant or nice. They run the full range of emotion and so seem unsuitable for modern worship styles. Contemporary men lose their faith when bad things happen to good people, but the Psalms bring us back to a core principle of faith: “The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord”.

Psalm 6, Prayer of a man chastised by God.
O LORD, do not reprove me in Thy wrath, nor in Thy anger chastise me.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am weak, heal me, Lord, for my body is in torment.
And my soul is greatly troubled, but Thou, O Lord, how long?
Turn to me, O Lord, and deliver my soul; save me on account of Thy mercy.
For who amongst the dead remembers Thee, who of the dead will tell of Thee?
I have suffered and wept, every night have I washed my bed and drenched my blanket with my tears.
My eyes are filled with grief, I have grown feeble in the midst of my enemies.
Leave me, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.
The Lord has heard my appeal, the Lord has accepted my prayer.
May my enemies be put to shame and come to ruin. May they be turned away and be swiftly put to shame.

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