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May 23, 2019

Psalm 146: Praise God With Every Breath

After some comments on the Flame of Love devotion, our study of Psalm 146 starts with the psalmist's exuberant burst of praise which we explore in two directions, viz., in liturgy as the eternal loving work of God's people and the need to make use of the time we have on Earth according to Paul's admonition to "redeem the time."  The latter led to a lengthy discussion about why our spiritual lives seem to become more arduous as we grow close to God.

We go on to examine the psalmist's comparison of relying upon man to relying upon God and dwell on how God is not only all powerful and eternal but faithful.


January 17, 2019

Rev 4:11, 5:9-10,12: Praise the Lamb Who Makes Us a Kingdom and Priests

In tonight's study, we look at a canticle of praise comprised of several verses in Revelation 4 and 5 used as the last of the psalms in the Evening Office for the Solemnity of All Saints.  We also examine the verses in between to gain context.  This leads us primarily to a discussion of how great Jesus is, how He is the bridge between the Creator and creation, the Mediator, the Way, how He Himself is the Gospel, and why we would burst into such praise of Him.  We explore some of the Old Testament images and themes used by John in Revelation.  We digress a bit about how our prayers and lives can be a pleasing aroma to God as well as on the Millennium and possible answers to the question of over whom the Saints reign in the Kingdom.  We then stopped the cameras and prayed the Evening Office together.


September 20, 2018

Psalm 4: Recovering from Rebellion and Psalm 134: Bless God Through the Night

Tonight's study begins with Psalm 4 as a possible response of David to Absalom's rebellion.  We branched into how we can and must find joy in our afflictions, digressed into one reason for intercessory prayer including prayer to Saints, and concluded with a discussion of complete trust in and surrender to the will of God.

We then continued on to Psalm 134 by first introducing the Songs of Ascents.  We referenced the round the clock praise of God in the temple and its extension into our need and desire as a community to provide for those who today offer their lives in constant prayer and praise.  With finished by dwelling on the deep intimacy we can have with God.

We then turned off the cameras and prayed Night Prayer of the vigil of All Saints which uses Pss 4 and 134 as the psalmody.


September 6, 2018

Psalm 113: Praise God Who Descends to the Lowly and Psalm 147:12-20: Praise God Who is Doing Something Special

We began tonight's study with an outline of the rankings of liturgical days: Solemnities, Feasts, and Obligatory and Optional Memorials.

We continued with the burst of praise that is Psalm 113.  We explained the meaning of the word Hallelujah and the reasons behind the different spellings and pronunciations.  We looked at its cultural context amidst the return from the Babylonian exile and its praise of a God who is both transcendent and immanent.  Finally, we discussed how a Jewish and Christian understanding of the reference the barren woman bringing forth children might be different.

We conclude with another explosion of praise — Psalm 147:12-20.  We explain why the Divine Office starts in the middle of the psalm and its context around the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem with several references to the Book of Nehemiah.  We end in appreciation of how what God is doing in Christianity is different than any other religion and how that is a source of our praise.


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