I have a paper-back version of 'The Psalms' published in 1963 by Fontana Books, with the imprimatur of Cardinal William Godfrey, Archbishop of Westminster, dated 25th March 1962. On the flyleaf, are the words - 'The Psalms, a new translation. Translated from the Hebrew and arranged for singing to the psalmody of Joseph Gelineau. This translation is the work of a team of scholars in co-operation with The Grail, who acknowledge their gratitude to the Rev.R.Tourney OP, Raymond Schwab SJ, Rev J Gelineau SJ, and Rev GT Chifflot OP, who were responsible for the translation of the Bible de Jerusalem Psalms from Hebrew into French'
I find this version of 'The Psalms' easy to read, preferably in short bursts, perhaps two or three psalms in any one reading.
Today is the feast of the Holy Innocents, massacred over two thousand years ago by King Herod, who was intent on killing Jesus, the infant King. The barbarity and horror of this event is forever recorded, yet now in the UK every year we have some 200,000 unborn babies slaughtered in the womb, a massacre on an infinitely worse scale than that of Herod, a massacre that has become legitimised by the Abortion Act of 1967. The evil of legalised abortion is replicated throughout the world, with the backing of powerful political, scientific, medical and commercial interests, with the numbers of world wide abortions increasing each year, and running into over 40 million this year alone! (Guttmacher Institute)
Not content with promoting abortion, these same satanic influences are pushing for legalised euthanasia, legalised 'assisted suicide', same-sex marriage, and the destruction of the family. The practice of homosexuality, one of the sins we were taught at school, that 'cried out to heaven for vengeance', has been promoted by many governments worldwide as being on an equal par with heterosexuality, to the extent that it's proponents have become an extremely powerful political lobby wielding exaggerated and disproportionate influence in the corridors of State. Corruption is rife in the UK in the world of politics, the media, and commerce. The slippery slope of ethical and moral degeneracy over the past fifty years has seen an increasing contempt of religion and of all things God.
The Sabbath Day has become for most people, the same as any other day. In fact it has become the day for the family shop, for after all the big stores are all open for most of the day. All professional sport is now played on Sundays, squeezing God yet further into the cold.
Co-habitation out of wedlock is common, the use of contraception is 'normal', pornography is readily available.
Unsurprisingly, there is an increase in violent crime, drug and alcohol abuse, marital breakdown, homelessness, sexually transmitted disease, and unemployment.
Which leads me to Psalm 2 from the Book of Psalms:-
The Messianic Kingship: warning to rulers and nations
1 Why this tumult among nations, among peoples this useless murmuring?
2 they arise, the kings of the earth, princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed.
3 “Come, let us break their fetters, come, let us cast off their yoke.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord is laughing them to scorn.
5 Then he will speak in his anger, his rage will strike them with terror.
6 “It is I who have set up my king on Sion, my holy mountain.”
7 (I will announce the decree of the Lord:)
The Lord said to me: “You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day.
8 Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations, put the ends of the earth in your possession.
9 With a rod of iron you will break them, shatter them like a potter’s jar.”
10 Now, O kings, understand, take warning, rulers of the earth;
11 serve the Lord with awe and trembling, pay him your homage
12 lest he be angry and you perish; for suddenly his anger will blaze.
Blessed are they who put their trust in God.
Now to Psalm 102, an expression of love, hope and gratitude.
Praise of God’s love (Psalm 102)
1 My soul, give thanks to the Lord, all my being, bless his holy name.
2 My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings.
3 It is he who forgives all your guilt, who heals every one of your ills,
4 who redeems your life from the grave, who crowns you with love and compassion’
5 who fills your life with good things, renewing your youth like an eagle’s.
6 The Lord does deeds of justice, gives judgment for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses and his deeds to Israel’s sons.
8 The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.
9 His wrath will come to an end; he will not be angry for ever.
10 He does not treat us according to our sins nor repay us according to our faults.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west so far does he remove our sins.
13 As a father has compassion on his sons, the Lord has pity on those who fear him;
14 for he knows of what we are made, he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass; he flowers like the flower of the field; 16 the wind blows and he is gone and his place never sees him again.
17 But the love of the Lord is everlasting upon those who hold him in fear; his justice reaches out to children’s children 18 when they keep his covenant in truth, when they keep his will in their mind.
19 The Lord has set his sway in heaven and his kingdom is ruling overall. 20 Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels, mighty in power, fulfilling his word, who heed the voice of his word.
21 Give thanks to the Lord, all his hosts, his servants who do his will. 22 Give thanks to the Lord, all his works, in every place where he rules. My soul, give thanks to the Lord! ********************************** Thoughts from St Alphonsus
'Come, ye monarchs and emperors, come, all ye princes of the world, come and adore your highest King, who for love of you is now born, and born in such poverty in a cave. But who appears? No one. The Son of God has indeed come into the world; but the world will not acknowledge him.'
'God, who is unchangeable, would appear now as a child in a stable, now as a boy in a workshop, now as a criminal on a scaffold, and now as bread upon the altar. In these various guises Jesus chose to exhibit himself to us; but whatever character he assumed, it was always the character of a lover.'
God bless our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and may our Blessed Lady guide and protect him. Amen.
Slightly frayed around the edges and still trying to pretend that I'm not really as old as that! I thank God for all my blessings, particularly my Catholic faith; my wife a 'pearl of great price'; my children and grandchildren; my friends; our dog Hector; and our good neighbours and spiritual mentors, the F.SS.R community from Papa Stronsay.