November 17, 2015
How many are my foes, LORD!
How many rise against me!
How many say of me,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
But you, LORD, are a shield around me;
my glory, you keep my head high.
With my own voice I will call out to the LORD,
and he will answer me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and I fall asleep,
[and] I will wake up, for the LORD sustains me.
I do not fear, then, thousands of people
arrayed against me on every side.
Arise, LORD! Save me, my God!
For you strike the cheekbone of all my foes;
you break the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation is from the LORD!
May your blessing be upon your people!
Today's responsorial psalm is a powerful reminder that I can do nothing alone... not even wake up in the morning. (Let's be honest, I definitely can't wake up in the morning without divine assistance.) The psalmist reminds us to lift up our "own voice" to the Lord (in personal prayer), admitting that we are powerless without His help and asking for it without shame. "For when I am weak, then I am strong"... God's strength fills up the weak spots in us and gives us the ability to get through each and every single day, even if we feel like we're doing it by ourselves.
The terrorist attacks of last Friday remind us in a shocking way about our own powerlessness. And what is our immediate reaction? An attempt to re-institute control, fairness, and justice, and to erase that uncomfortable feeling of life being out of our hands. As Christians we have recourse to another action--to raise our voices for help. We know that prayer is effective and that God hears our prayers and answers them. Even if the only prayer we can come up with is, "Lord, why?"
During the month of November I invite you again to pray in a special way for the souls in purgatory, especially those who lost their lives in the attacks last week. The Church teaches that the souls in purgatory rely on our prayers to help them get to heaven, and the Church will give us many opportunities to gain indulgences during this upcoming Year of Mercy which can be offered for oneself or for the souls in purgatory. Get on the grace train!
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!
St. Elizabeth of Hungary, pray for us!