I am filled with love, for the Lord will hear the voice of my supplication. Because he has inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call upon him as long as I live. The pains of death surrounded me, and the pangs of Hades laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of the Lord…” (Ps 114/116: 1-4, translated according to the Septuagint)

In the Psalms I find the whole spectrum of human experience on the journey of faith; From intense love and joy in the Lord, to intense sorrow and fear, like “the pangs of Hades” surrounding the soul – all these experiences are expressed here, in the Psalms, in prayer, and thus presented or handed over to the Lord.

As I chant the Psalms today, I am reminded that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, new or unique about any sorrow, fear, or trouble I encounter on my cross-carrying journey in the present day. I need not feel alienated or separated from what I imagine to be the experience of “the saints.” It is a human experience, which includes love, joy, fear, sorrow, and tribulation, all handed over to the Lord in the prayers of many generations, day after day, and shared with me in the witness of the Psalms.

Today whether I stand or fall, I know I am not alone, when I refocus and join my voice to the many voices before me, who handed all this over to the Lord. “I am filled with love, for the Lord will hear the voice of my supplication,” as He heard theirs.

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