Sunday, November 30, 2014

Why Psalm 42?

The psalm Judica me is a psalm of repentance and hope,the psalm of the human element, the cries of the human condition, marred by sin and reborn with hope in the coming of the Messiah.

The royal prophet, King David, in the anguish of his exile was long ago inspired to write this hallowed prayer.  David, too, was born in Bethlehem. 

It expresses the sentiments of fear, but also those of confidence and desire, with which the priest should be animated when he stands at the foot of the altar.

The anthem which precedes the psalm and which is taken from the psalm itself, indicates the dominant sentiments, one of confidence: "I will go unto the altar of God, to God who giveth joy to my youth."  The same anthem we hope to sing as we enter our way into the heavenly reward.

This psalm is not recited in Masses for the dead nor in Passiontide.  The reason is found in the verse: "Why art thou sorrowful, O my soul?" since under such circumstances the soul ought to be sorrowful.

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