Tag Archives: Thomas Merton

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, all nations!

    Extol him, all peoples!

For great is his steadfast love toward us,

    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.

Praise the Lord!

~Psalm 117

These are the words I have prayed the few times I have traveled internationally.  Just as stepping onto foreign soil brings the excitement of experiencing a new culture and interacting with different people, Psalm 117 reminds us of the excitement of living daily in a culture of praise with people who are not the same as we are.  Thomas Merton wrote that joy in praising God is the pure essence of the spirit of the Church’s prayer.

In just a few words the Psalmist reminds us that the great love and enduring faithfulness of God invites us into a life of praise that transforms hearts and lives, our own and others.  We can live beyond our own borders by committing to a life of praise that proclaims God’s grace to all.   Hallelujah and amen!

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To Be Near God

But as for me, it is good to be near God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds. (Psalm 73:28 NIV)

At night it is good for me to be near God and make the Lord my refuge as I talk about my day.  Who I was frustrated with and who I frustrated.  What I consumed and what consumed me.  When I waited for another and when I demanded be waited on.  Where I was lost and where I was found.  How I pursued God’s will and how I pursued my own will.  Why I felt hopeful and why I felt hopeless.

And so I have been ending my days praying the Psalms. Thomas Merton wrote this in a short little book entitled Praying the Psalms:

The function of the Psalms is to reveal to us God as the “treasure” whom we love because He has first loved us, and to hide us, heart and soul, in the depths of His infinite Light. The Psalms, therefore, lead us to contemplation (pg. 14).

Psalm 73 invites us to contemplate God’s goodness. At all times and in all places, may our hearts be reoriented to truly “treasure” how good it is to be near God.

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