instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Mary's Songs

If there's something you want to say to God, chances are there's a psalm that says it.

That's true not only of you, but of the saints. I've found that, when praying the Liturgy of the Hours on any given saint's day, there is almost always at least one or two verses that pop out as specifically relevant to the saint.

Today, for example, is the feast of St. Mary Magdalen. Setting aside the questions of whether she is Mary of Bethany or the "sinful woman" of Luke 7, she is known to be the Apostle to the Apostles, herald of Christ's Resurrection and prophet of His Ascension. Oh, and Patroness of the Order of Preachers.

It's also Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time, which means the psalms and canticle for Morning Prayer may be taken from Thursday Week IV in the psalter.

It's not difficult to imagine St. Mary praying Psalm 143 as she weeps in the garden that Sunday morning:
I remember the days that are past:
I ponder all your works.
I muse on what your hand has wrought
and to you I stretch out my hands.
Like a parched land my soul thirsts for you.

Lord, make haste and answer;
for my spirit fails within me.
Do not hide your face
lest I become like those in the grave.

In the morning let me know your love
for I put my trust in you.
And Psalm 147, as she hurries to tell the disciples she has seen the Lord:
The Lord builds up Jerusalem
and brings back Israel's exiles,
He heals the broken-hearted,
He binds up all their wounds.
He fixes the number of the stars;
He calls each one by its name.
"He calls each one by its name."

"Jesus said to her, 'Mary!'"