Posts Tagged ‘praise God’

Ash Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Projectjanetsuecarole 008[1]Sirach 39:13-16

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for All of God’s Works

The works of God are all of them good.

Let me thank you, Lord, for bringing me the strength to re-think my words before I said something foolish.

The works of God are all of them good.

Let me thank you, God, for sending me wisdom to avoid offending someone with my opinion.

The works of God are all of them good.

Let me thank you, Jesus, for encouraging me when I received terrible news the other day.

The works of God are all of them good.

Let me thank you, Holy Spirit, for pulling me up when I was at the end of my resources.

The works of God are all of them good.

Let me thank you, Mary, Mother of God, for your gentle, nurturing presence in my life.

The works of God are all of them good.

imagesCAU5R5A8Let me thank you, Lord, for world in which I find myself, for the people in my life, and for the many times you have protected and lead me on my journey.

The works of God are all of them good.

Let me thank you for your gifts of salvation and redemption, for your Word of promise that I treasure and share.

Let me put down roots, let me open up my petals, let me praise you, let me bless you . . . let me thank you, Lord.  

Images from: http://carolesegalsartblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/passion-for-painting-in-garden.html and http://www.flickr.com/photos/ukgardenphotos/5431771702/

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Friday, November 7, 2013

661v-at150[1]Psalm 50

A Prayer for Sacrifice

“Just as physical hunger is an indication of a living, healthy organism, so spiritual hunger is a sign of a robust spirit, one that is active and continually developing. The soul which feels no hunger for God, no need to seek him and to find him, and which does not vibrate or suffer with anxiety in its search, does not bear within itself the signs of the Resurrection.  It is a dead soul, or at least one which has been weakened and rendered insensible by lukewarm-ness”.

MAGNIFICAT Meditation, Fr. Gabriel of St Mary Magdalene, O.C.D.

What do we do when we feel that God is not listening? We might turn away, become angry or depressed; we might even curse God in the belief that we have been deceived. Yet these are the acts of petulant children. So what must we do? We must praise God still.

What do we do when we encounter God on our pilgrimage, even when we do not know at the time that it is God who works, plays, prays beside us? We might explain away the miraculous touch of God’s visit. We might take credit for God’s work in our lives by telling others that our good fortune is due to our own sweat and brains. Yet these are the acts of spoiled children. So what must we do? We must acclaim God still.

What do we do when we realize that God has just brushed by us, and we were so enmeshed with living that we did not take proper notice? We might excuse ourselves saying that we have too much work to pause, too many worries to reflect, too many tasks on our list of chores. Yet these would be the acts of self-centered children. So what must we do? We must applaud God still.

How might we behave when we feel as though God ignores us? We consider that we thirst, we consider that we hunger and we translate this sense of loss into a pining for the Living God. We consider that we are experiencing our own Resurrection and so we praise God. We consider that God accepts our burnt offerings of the thousand little and big ways that we suffer daily for Christ and so we acclaim God. We consider that we are experiencing spiritual hunger and for this we thank and applaud the Living God. For it is this yearning, this desire, this hunger which awakens the soul . . . and saves us from any lukewarm-ness. 

And so we pray,

Generous and loving God, save us from our petulant selves and bring us close to you. 

Patient and gentle God, rescue us from our spoiled selves and keep us ever in your presence. 

Powerful and omniscient God, redeem us from our self-centered selves and remind us to give thanks to you.  

Eternal and serene God, transform us from our insensible selves so that we might always live and act in you.  Amen.

Adapted from a reflection written on March 26, 2008.

Cameron, Peter John. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 26.3 (2008). Print.

 For more information about the papyrus fragment of Psalm 50 above, click on the image above or go to the Duke Papyrus Archive at: http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/scriptorium/papyrus/texts/homepage.html 

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Biliverti: The Archangel Raphael Refusing Tobias' Gift

Giovanni Biliverti: The Archangel Raphael Refusing Tobias’ Gift

Tobit 12

Raphael Makes Himself Known

This beautiful story comes to us today to remind us that we need to make known the many small miracles we receive from God.  Each time God inverts a plot, we must share the story.  Each time God saves us from our own fears we must tell the good news.  Each time God heals a wounded heart we must make God’s goodness known.

We have read this story before but today we find something new.

Verse 6: Raphael called the two men aside privately and said to them: “Thank God! Give him the praise and glory.  Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song.  Honor and praise God’s deeds and do not be slack in praising him”.

The healing hand of God manifests itself frequently in our lives through strangers.  When Tobit and Tobias wish to give a monetary reward to Tobias’ traveling companion for all the healing he has done in their lives, the Archangel Raphael reveals himself . . . and rather than take payment, asks them to praise God who has answered their cry for help and has rescued them.

Verse 10: But those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies.

We are reminded that when we sin, we are separating ourselves from God and hurting ourselves.  The first step toward healing is recognizing that we are human and imperfect . . . and acknowledging that God is all and that God alone is enough.

Verse 14: . . . and now the Lord has sent me to heal you.

We can heal one another and in so doing also heal ourselves . . . and act as co-redeemers of the human race with Christ.  For we are adopted daughters and sons of God.

Verses 17 and 18: And Raphael said to them: “No need to fear.  You are safe.  Thank God now and forever.  As for me, when I came to you it was not out of any favor on my part, but because it was God’s will.  So continue to thank him every day; praise him with song”. 

Fear not . . . these are the same healing words which Jesus speaks.

Verse 22: They kept thanking God and singing his praises; and they continued to acknowledge these marvelous deeds which he had done when the angel of God appeared to them.

Let us proclaim all God’s wonderful works for God has sent angels to minister to us even though we might not see them.  Let us tell everyone we know the stories of our own healing for these are miracles performed for us by a loving God.  And let us remember to thank God for all that God does to heal us of all that limits us.

For more about Raphael, Tobit or Tobias, enter their names in the blog search bar and reflect on the gift of this story.

Adapted from a reflection written on January 2, 2008.

Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Biliverti

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2 Samuel 22: Warrior’s Song

Friday, March 22, 2019

Giovanni Francesco Barbieri: Saul Attacking David

As human beings, we have a desire to record the emotions of great events so that the effect they hold on us will not be lost.  We retain love letters, programs from special ceremonies, photographs and recordings . . . all in an attempt to recreate an emotion or a feeling we once had.  Rather than press flowers or save baby teeth and ringlets of hair, what might we find within ourselves if we were to create hymns of praise for the ways God has been present in our lives in a palpable way?  More importantly, how might we magnify God – each in our own small way – if we began to speak to one another of the wondrous transformations we experience rather than the daily toil and drudgery of our lives?

The story of David is such a good one because David is so human.  He has both smallness and greatness.  He succumbs to his human frailty and he glorifies God with abandon when goodness comes to him.  David is not ashamed or embarrassed to acknowledge God.  Davis knows how to wait on the Lord.

Today’s reading follows other less happy events in David’s life: his hiding in fear from the anger of King Saul against whom he had done nothing to merit persecution, the sad and unnecessary death of Saul and his son Jonathan (David’s boon companion), his taking of Bathsheba and the arranged murder of her husband Uriah in battle, the death of their son Absalom after a bitter civil war.  Yet despite the unhappiness he has experienced, David rises from the ashes of sorrow and pain to praise God who is his strength and his rock.

Today’s song is also found in the Psalter as Psalm 18; and it is fitting that these verses appear twice in scripture as they so beautifully express the emotion we all long to feel.  For it is with these verses that we magnify God . . . it is with these verses that we form a scrap book of memories and emotions that will never fade.  These verses bring us what we seek; they answer the ancient yearning to acknowledge and to be acknowledged.  They are all we truly need.

My rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my savior, my stronghold, my refuge . . . from violence you keep me safe.

David suffered years of persecution by Saul, years of struggle as the young king of a small desert nation; yet he places all of this anguish where it belongs, at the feet of God.

In my distress I called on the Lord and cried out to my God.  From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry reached his ears.

In this Lenten season we also must raise our voices in appeal to our God who hears all petitions.  Let us not be shy about seeking peace from the Lord; but rather let us intercede for ourselves and for our enemies as we have been taught by Christ the saver of all.

He rescued me from my enemy, from my foes, who were too powerful for me.  He set me free in the open and rescued me, because he loves me.

We also can number the times we have been pulled from despair and its downward tug by some sudden and surprising turn of events.  Enslavement comes to us in many forms; so does deliverance.

You have given me your saving shield; you girded me with strength for war.

We also find this same strength when we put on our armor of Christ to walk humbly but with authority, to live justly and mercifully, to love well and always – no matter the cost.

Therefore will I proclaim you, O Lord, among the nations, and I will sing praise to your name.

We also might pronounce stories of the times we have been rescued and upheld.  We also might sing a pilgrim’s song of praise for our deliverance from all that drags us down and brings us fear.

So let us sing praise to the Lord our God, who hears our voices when we call . . . and who answers our cries for help.  Let us join ourselves in a Warrior’s Song of Praise . . .  to the one true God who loves us all . . . and loves us all so well.

A re-post from March 22, 2012. 

Image from: http://theoblogic.blogspot.com/2011/04/spirit-david-and-saul.html

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Ezekiel 10The Seed in the Darkness

Monday, September 24, 2018

Written on January 26 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

We return to the Cherubim, those “sublime hosts” to God’s presence.  (Noontime, March 4, 2010 http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03646c.htm)

These special beings that guard the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies are described in 1 Kings, chapters 6 through 8.  It seems that once a year we visit with them and we might find them fascinating since they share a life of intimacy with God.  Today we see them reappear with the divine chariot.  “The coals may represent either the city’s destruction following the death of its inhabitants or the beginning of purification . . . The details of this second chariot vision [after the introduction in Ezekiel 1] are confusing, making it impossible to follow precisely where the glory is . . . The overall effect of the vision is clear: the glory leaves its great seat within the holy of holies and mounts the living chariot, departing in stages from the temple.  By the chapter’s end the glory of YHWH is mounted over the cherubim, stationed at the door of the temple’s east gate, and poised to depart”.  (Barton, and Muddiman 542)

Ezekiel’s imagery is sometimes difficult to decipher and often dark and scary; and so we turn to commentary and to our own inner place where God dwells to hear what wisdom comes from these verses today.  In this vision we see the cleansing and refining effect that God’s presence has on his creatures.  This distillation takes place as the soil is readied for the good seed to be planted and flourish.  We sometimes forget that seeds sprout and take root in the dark, and then they rise to the light.

From today’s MAGNIFICAT Meditation of the Day by Caryll Houselander, a British mystic, poet, and spiritual teacher:  Christ is that good seed with which our humanity is sown.  Just as he chose to be subject to his own law of nature in his own life on earth, he chooses to be subject to the same law in his life in our souls.  That is the condition of the growth of the Christ-life in us, from the seed to the flower, from the flower to the fruit: “Believe in me when I tell you this: a grain of wheat must fall into the ground and die, or else it remains nothing more than a grain of wheat; but if it dies, then it yields rich fruit”.  The grain of wheat, which is our Christ-life, is subject to the same law.  It must be buried in the earth.  It must be in darkness.  Its growing must be in rest . . . We are the soil of the divine seed; there is no other.  The flowering of Christ in us does not depend upon pious exercises, on good works outside our daily life, on an amateur practice of religion in our leisure time.  It is in the marrow of our bones, in the experience of our daily life.  The seed is in darkness; the darkness of sorrow, the darkness of faith.

When we some across troublesome images like the ones today, or when we hear disturbing and unsettling news; rather than flee from the darkness, let us center ourselves and go within where God speaks patiently.  Let us remember that we are soil for Christ and that this special life is often born out of sadness and darkness.  It is born out of a deep and abiding faith that is witness to God’s glory.

In faith we trust in God, and we praise God.

In faith we await restoration through Christ, and we praise God.

In faith we place our hope in the Spirit, and we praise God.

In faith we seek God’s word, we listen for God’s voice, and we act in God’s ways . . . and we praise God. 

In faith we grow in wisdom and we ready the soil of our lives for the Christ-life to be planted there . . . so that we might know God in the marrow of our bones . . . and praise God. 

A re-post from August 13, 2011.

Images from: http://www.mishkanministries.org/ark_of_the_covenant.htm 

Barton, John, and John Muddiman. THE OXFORD BIBLE COMMENTARY. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2001. 542. Print.

Cameron, Peter John, Rev., ed. “Meditation of the Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 26 January 2011: 361-362. Print.

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Job 42: In Praise of Wisdom and Hope

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

We consider the gifts of humility and satisfaction that God grants Job – and us – for offering the Lord a life of fidelity, honesty and humility. And we are grateful. Today we celebrate the wisdom and hope this story engenders. We acknowledge the choice that God puts before us . . . the choice to live doubtfully or hopefully, dishonestly or faithfully, deceitfully or lovingly. And we affirm the choice we take to live in God’s wisdom as best we are able.

My Choice

Like a leaf windmilling in the

Quick current of life,

I tumble, waiting for the words,

All is well.


Like a flake of hoarfrost clinging to thin glass,

I lean on the hope of my choice that

God alone is enough. 


I am a thought of God

sent into the wind,

Pinned to this fragile life I am gifted by

One so great.


I extend myself beyond my own imagining.

I give myself over to the only choice before me.

I bend all into the Spirit of the Lord, to rest in God’s healing wisdom.

Image from: https://www.godisreal.today/hope/ 

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Jeremiah 20:10-13: Whispering 

Friday, March 23, 2018

On this Friday before Palm Sunday, we visit the first reading for today’s liturgy, and we reflect upon the difficulties of life when we believe our friends have betrayed us.

For I hear many whispering:
    “Terror is all around!
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!”
    All my close friends
    are watching for me to stumble.

On this Friday before we re-live Christ’s deep passion for eternal life, and deep love for God’s people, we reflect upon the path that is open to us when we feel terror on every side.

But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior;
    therefore my persecutors will stumble,
    and they will not prevail.
They will be greatly shamed,
    for they will not succeed.

On this Friday before we enter into the holiest of weeks, we reflect upon the wonders that God works in our lives . . . and we give thanks.

Sing to the Lord;
    praise the Lord!
For he has delivered the life of the needy
    from the hands of evildoers.

Visit the posts Desire and Terror, and Terror and Wisdom on this blog. https://thenoontimes.com/2012/05/09/desire-and-terror/ and https://thenoontimes.com/2012/03/04/terror-and-wisdom/

Image from: http://hearinghealthmatters.org/betterhearingconsumer/2013/the-hearing-loss-whisper-game/

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Daniel 2:20-23: Seek God

William Brassey Hole: Daniel Interprets the Dream of Nebuchadnezzar

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Canticle of Praise

If we want to seek God, we do well to begin with praising God. In the Northern Hemisphere as we bring in the harvests from a season of plenty, we reflect on one who praises God well.

The story of Daniel is well-known to us.  He and his comrades were taken to the Babylonian court, as were many of the talented young Jewish men, and there he interprets king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.  When he is graced with the gift of a vision from God, he reveals the mystery of the king’s dream. Daniel wisely acknowledges the source of his talent and so he properly and immediately thanks and praises his God with these beautiful verses.  They are ones that we might recite each morning and each evening at the rising and the closing of our day.

God is wise and powerful!
    Praise God forever and ever.

Daniel brings to full potential not only himself but also the Jewish nation . . . in a creative, saintly way.  He takes no care for his own circumstances – which are at the minimum unpleasant and at the worst life-threatening – because he knows that God will protect and guide him.  Daniel is only concerned about fulfilling the part of God’s plan which he has been called to enact.  He pushes himself toward the potential planted in him by God.  So do the saints.  So may we.

Let us praise God as Daniel does.

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, for wisdom and power are God’s.

What an awesome God we have.  Let us join him and the community of saints as we seek to know ourselves better, to share ourselves better, to heal ourselves and others better.

God reveals deep and hidden things and knows what is in the darkness, for the light dwells with God.

Let us open to the light of the revealed Christ.  Let us put that light on a lampstand for all creation to see.

To you, O God . . . I give thanks and praise, because you have given me wisdom and power.


Adapted from a Favorite from November 1, 2007.

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Psalm 13:3: Singing to God

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

When we know that we are safe in the refuge of God’s power, do we praise God enough?

I sing to God, the Praise-Lofty,
    and find myself safe and saved. (GNT)

When we know that we have a healing shelter in God’s hope, do we acclaim God enough?

Adonai is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer,
my God, my Rock, in whom I find shelter,
my shield, the power that saves me,
my stronghold. (CJB)

When we know that God pardons our errors, do we celebrate God enough?

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised,
    so I shall be saved from my enemies. (NRSV)

When we know that God looks for the abandoned and lost, do we tell the world of God’s goodness enough?

I call to the Lord,
    and he saves me from my enemies.
Praise the Lord! (GNT)

When we know that God loves us beyond all imaginings, do we rejoice God’s presence enough?

When we compare varying versions of this verse, we have the opportunity to sing joyfully in God’s presence, power and love.

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