Psalm 43

I ask You, O God, once again – again and again –
Help me, defend me, save me, here on earth
As You have done for eternity
Save me from deceitful distractions, deliver me from unworthy interests
You are God – mighty over all – so if I can’t depend on You to help me
What hope do I have?
So help me already, I’m tired, weary of walking about as if in mourning,
Weary of feeling as if I am oppressed by an enemy,
When I am my own enemy, always
O God, my God, blind me to the world, blind me with your blazing truth
Let your truth lead me, your beauty guide me
Let me look at the world, let me live my life, as if from atop Your holy hill
As if worshiping always at Your altar
Let me laugh with the joy of Your service; sing with Your praise
(Never mind that I can’t carry a tune; You don’t care so I won’t either)
Stop feeling sorry for yourself, O my soul, stop your grumbling
Stop feeling you need to be something more
Stop regretting you aren’t special, aren’t more talented, aren’t a saint
God wants what you are, not what you are not.
So just put your hope, your faith, your joy, your life in God
Who is Lady Wisdom
Praise God, your help. Amen .

Psalm 44

I remember, or try to remember, what You have already done for me, God
How many times You lifted me up out of depression, despair, doubt
Lifted me to the peace of dry land above the floods of my anguish
How many times You freed me from my guilt and discouragement
I didn’t win through by my own marvelous intellect or serene self-confidence or glowing health
You won through for me
It was Your light that dispelled my darkness
Your face that was the day sun driving down the deep night
Help me, help me, help me again, now and always, today and tomorrow
And tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
To remember that You are my Sovereign, my God, my Wisdom Woman
Through You, in Your name, I live well
Not necessarily happily but well
No human philosophies, no latest remedies can save me
Only You, Only You, Only You
I will give thanks to Your name forever
I have been feeling abandoned, as though You rejected me
Refused to fight my enemies, gave up on me
Left me in darkness and despair, scattered and shattered my peace
So I disappoint myself and others
All day long my disgrace is before me and shame covers my face
I hide in my bed, on my sofa, in my electronic world
What did I do, what did I fail to do, how am I at fault
Did I decide to turn from You? I don’t think so.
Did I reject You, doubt You
(well, yes, OK, I doubted, but that is nothing new)
Come on, God, You know me
It’s not like my doubts and failings are news to You
So, please, please, please, rouse Yourself. Wake up
Take me back, let Your face be my sun again
Don’t forget me, don’t let me sink into the dust of mysee terrible Ds
Rise up, come to my help
Redeem me, yet again and always, for the sake of Your steadfast love
Amen and Thank You

Prayer by Symeon

Years ago, in a seminary course on St. Paul’s letters, I learned that one of the key theological concepts, repeated throughout Paul’s letters is “Christ in me” and conversely “me in Christ.” I have never found a more beautiful expression of it than in this poem/paean/prayer by Symeon the New Theologian (949-1022) a Byzantine Christian monk and mystic:

We awaken in Christ’s body,
As Christ awakens our bodies
There I look down and my poor hand is Christ,
He enters my foot and is infinitely me.
I move my hand and wonderfully
My hand becomes Christ,
Becomes all of Him.
I move my foot and at once
He appears in a flash of lightning.
Do my words seem blasphemous to you?
–Then open your heart to Him.
And let yourself receive the one
Who is opening to you so deeply.
For if we genuinely love Him,
We wake up inside Christ’s body
Where all our body all over,
Every most hidden part of it,
Is realized in joy as Him,
And He makes us utterly real.
And everything that is hurt, everything
That seemed to us dark, harsh, shameful,
Maimed, ugly, irreparably damaged
Is in Him transformed.
And in Him, recognized as whole, as lovely,
And radiant in His light,
We awaken as the beloved
In every last part of our body.

Adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, pp. 219-220

I found this in one of Richard Rohr’s Daily Devotions emails.

Psalm 45

Here’s a psalm of joy and celebration; here’s an ode to banished terrible Ds
In You, O God, in faith, in love, my heart overflows
In You I feel blessed forever; You are my strength and my beauty
You give me victory over doubt, despair, depression, darkness, danger, denial, even death
You pierce my heart with love and in that piercing those deadly internal enemies die
Your glory and majesty become my own
Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever
Your justice is Your scepter
You are crowned with righteousness
All of our images, our poor Disney images, of kings and queens, princes and princesses
Pale before the reality of Your everlasting majesty
You are the reality, the rest, even the “real” earthly royalty, are pretenders
Imitators, shadows in this shadowland
But if You are Sovereign and we are Your children, then we too are royalty
Through You, because of You
We bow to You and You lift us up
With joy and gladness we are led to You – led by Your mercy
So we enter Your palace, the palace of our Sovereign Parent
We are Yours, O Sovereign from eternity, Sovereign from always, for always
You have made us Your children
We will celebrate Your Name in all generations
We will praise You forever and ever. Amen.