Monday, May 10, 2010

Prayer of the Week

For this week’s installment of The Wild Reed’s “Prayer of the Week,” I share Nan C. Merrill’s “re-visioned” Psalm 49 from her book Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness.

Notes Merrill in the Tenth Anniversary Edition of her book:

The Psalms of the Hebrew Scripture often reflect a patriarchal society based on fear and guilt that projects evil and sin onto outer enemies. Psalms for Praying reflects the reciprocity of Divine Love that opens the heart to forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing. . . . [L]et it be understood that Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness is in no way meant to replace the well-loved, still meaningful, and historically important Psalms of the Hebrew Scripture. May it stand as a companion, a dialogue, if you will, of one age speaking with a later age. May it serve as an invitation to listen to the Voice of Silence that speaks within your own soul.


Psalm 49

Hear this, all nations!
Give ear, all inhabitants of the earth,
both low and high,
rich and poor together!
My mouth shall speak wisdom,
the meditation of my heart
shall be understanding.
I will incline me ear to the Word;
I will solve my problems
through the whispers
of the Heart’s voice.

Why should I give up in times of trouble,
when stubborn fears oppress me,
when illusions surround me,
fears that give birth to greed
and lead to exploitation?

Truly I cannot save myself,
or offer a haven of peace to another,
when my home is like a hornet’s nest,
a hive of restless fears.
Turning to you, O Great Spirit,
is my strength and support,
a stronghold in times of trouble.

Yes, even the wise are not immune to fear;
Yet, unlike the ignorant, the wise
face their fears with resolve.
Not running away, nor projecting them onto others,
they trace them to the source,
rooting them out like weeds
from a rose garden.
Thus, they do not trust in the riches of the world,
but in the Treasure hidden within the heart.

Others are arrogant in their ignorance,
proud of their own counsel.
Like sheep led to the slaughter,
their fears compel them to walk in the darkness,
guiding them unto unholy paths,
into webs of intrigue, where despair and destruction
make their home.
Yet does the Spirit of Truth abide within,
veiled by bulwarks of pain.

Be not afraid to discover the Treasure within,
to seek the gold hidden in the garden of your heart.
For inasmuch as you root out each fear,
will truth and peace and joy become your riches.
You will live in the realm of Love becoming a light,
a beneficial presence in the world.
Future generations will be blessed,
the bonds of ignorance broken forever.

O Spirit of Truth, You are our strength
and our guiding light.
Lead us, O Love, to the eternal Treasure,
the Heart of all hearts.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Prayer of the Week (May 4, 2010)
Prayer of the Week (April 26, 2010)
Prayer of the Week (April 19, 2010)
Prayer of the Week (April 12, 2010)
Karl Rahner on the Need for Prayer
A Springtime Prayer
Letting Them Sit By Me
For the Traveler
It Happens All the Time in Heaven

Image: Michael Bayly.

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