Tuesday of the Third Week
Let me recall some of the good memories that I have today, Lord, the memories that sustain me on my journey through life. I offer each of them to you with my thanks. Paul Nicholson SJ
Entering into Prayer
Before I read the psalm, I settle down in my favourite place; maybe outside, or maybe indoors surrounded by things that help me come to quiet: a candle, a cross, a favourite picture or icon. I focus on my breathing, without changing it. The air I breathe is God’s special gift to me. Gradually, I try to leave all my everyday concerns behind.
Today's Scripture (Psalm 24 (25), vv 4-10, 14 - Grail version)
R./ Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, make me know your ways.
Lord, teach me your paths.
Make me walk in your truth, and teach me:
for you are God my saviour. (R.)
Remember your mercy, Lord,
and the love you have shown from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth,
because of your goodness, O Lord. (R.)
The Lord is good and upright.
He shows the path to those who stray,
he guides the humble in the right path;
he teaches his way to the poor. (R.)
Foor for thought
The text we are praying today is one of the psalms; texts that we know Jesus prayed. He probably knew them by heart. Perhaps I can picture his mother Mary teaching him the words. How does that make me feel?
The structure of this psalm is that of an acrostic. In the Hebrew version each verse started with a different letter following the order of the alphabet. It made it easier for people to memorise.
In this extract, the psalmist addresses the Lord personally in the first two stanzas and then speaks about God’s qualities and work in the third, perhaps addressing people in the synagogue. The key themes are a surrender to God and an entreaty for him to show, teach and lead us in his ways.
The psalmist begs the Lord to forget his past, and in his goodness to remember him. Praying this psalm can be a useful preparation to the sacrament of reconciliation.
Suggestions for Prayer
If circumstances allow, I read the text out loud, or on my breath. I listen to its rhythm. I stop when I feel drawn and ponder. Maybe I am struck by the way the psalmist speaks to the Lord in the first two stanzas. How do I speak to him? I reflect on my journey so far. Has it been easy to follow the way of the Lord or have I needed him to guide my steps on his path?
Perhaps the Spirit leads me to focus on the ‘sins of my youth’. Was I able to speak to the Lord about them at the time? How have things changed now? With hindsight, in what ways have his mercy and his love helped me to grow? How has God’s faithful love shaped my life?
Before concluding my prayer, I thank God for his steadfast love and ask for forgiveness and healing for my failures to love. I might him how grateful I am for his gentle guidance every time I have strayed away from his path.
How are you going to respond today?
Today, perhaps I can look around me and discover the ‘humble’ ones. I ask the Lord to show me how in simple, practical ways, I can show them his mercy, love and faithfulness.
Image for the day
- What do you see in this image?
- What do you feel about the path before you? Where is God leading you?
Examen (review of prayer)
Hopefully you are in a habit now of reviewing your prayer, but if you find this difficult, you might find the audio examens useful.
You could also write about your prayer in a prayer journal.