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Prayer in the process (Psalm of David)

Posté par diaconos le 30 décembre 2020

Gebed in het proces (Psalm van David) dans comportements

Where is God in this pandemic ?

# In Christianity, this Psalm is associated with repentance and forgiveness of faults. It is often associated with King David’s adultery with Batsheba. At the same time, we see links to the confession of guilt taught in some New Testament texts. These include James 5:16 and 1 John 1:8-10. Reading and mediating this psalm is encouraged when we have sinned, for it is of striking importance in this time of epidemic. The words of David then become the words that God’s Spirit places in our repentant hearts who want to remain in fellowship with him without trying to hide our faults that he knows. The joy of salvation is renewed for us through God’s forgiveness. The confession of our sin changes us. God knows our faults, but He invites us to acknowledge them before Him, for it is we who will benefit from the joy of forgiveness. Among Catholics: since the High Middle Ages, this psalm has traditionally been recited or sung in monasteries on Sunday mornings5 , according to the teachings of Saint Benedict of Nursia6,7. As far as the Liturgy of the Hours is concerned, Psalm 31 is sung or recited in the Vespers on the


Praying in the ordeal at this time of epidemic

(31:2) O Lord, I take refuge in You; let me never be disgraced. Set me free in Your righteousness!  Bow thine ear to me, hurry to help me. Be for me a protective rock, a stronghold, where I find salvation.  (31:4) For thou art my rock, my fortress: and thou shalt lead me in thy name, thou shalt lead me.  (31:5) Thou shalt bring me out of the net that they have laid for me; for Thou art my protector.

(31:6) I put my spirit in thy hand: thou shalt deliver me, O LORD the God of truth. (31:7) I hate the idolaters who attach themselves to the vain idols; and I trust in the LORD.  (31:8) I will rejoice and rejoice in Your grace; for Thou hast seen my suffering, and known the distress of my soul, 31:9). And Thou shalt not deliver me into the hand of the enemy Thou shalt put my feet in the open sea.

(31:10) Have pity on me, O Jehovah, for I am in trouble; my face, and my soul, and my body are worn out with sorrow. (31:11) My life is consumed in sorrow, and my years in sigh: my strength is spent because of my iniquity, and my bones wither away.  All my adversaries have brought shame upon me, and great shame upon my neighbours, and terror upon my friends; those who see me flee from me. (31:13)

I am forgotten from the heart like a dead man, I am like a broken vessel.  (31:14) I have heard the evil words of many, and the terror around them, when they conspire against me: they plan to take my life.  (31:15) But I trust in you, o Lord. I say: You are my God! (31:16) My fate is in Your hand; deliver me from my enemies and persecutors! Let Thy face shine upon Thy servant; save me by Thy grace. (31:18)

O LORD, let me not be confused when I call upon thee. Let the wicked be disgraced; let them go to Sheol in silence.  (31:19) Let their lying lips be dumb, speaking boldly against the righteous, with arrogance and contempt. Oh, how great is your kindness, which you have reserved for the people who fear you, that you witness those who seek refuge in you, when you see the children of men!  (31:21)

You protect them in the shelter of Your face against those who persecute them; You protect them in Your tent  against the tongues that attack them. 21 Blessed be the LORD. For He has shown me His mercy, as if I were in a fortified city. 22 I said in my haste, I have been driven out of thy sight. But thou hearest the voice of my supplications, when I cried unto thee. 23 Love the LORD all you godly men. The LORD preserveth the faithful, and punisheth the proud with severe punishment. 24 Be strong, and let thine heart be established, all them that hope in the LORD. (Ps 31, 2-25)

Grief turned to joy

 We find in this psalm an example of the power of prayer to turn sorrow into joyful confidence in the heart of the believer, even before the external circumstances under which he suffers have changed. This result will not come about without a spiritual struggle that is reflected in the very clear changes in the tone of the psalm.

Already in the first part the supplicant strives in prayer to believe in the certain help of the Lord. Then sadness seizes him, exposing to God the wretched state to which his enemies have brought him (verses 10 to 14). But when he has confided everything to the Lord, the prayer of faith becomes victorious (verses 15 to 19). Therefore, the last part of the psalm is nothing but thanksgiving (verses 20 to 25).

The moment in David’s life when the lamentation in verses 10 to 14 seems most appropriate is when he was about to flee Saul’s court forever. He has suffered a long time (verses 10 and 11); the wickedness against him has become common; they flee from him, they conspire against him (verses 12 to 14), all that remains for him is to throw himself alone into the unknown, but he knows he is with the Lord as in a fortified city (verse 22).

The last word Jesus spoke on the cross is taken from Psalm 31:6. God is only truly our fortress (verse 5) when we surrender to him the most intimate in us, the spirit that is his own breath: « Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and blew the breath of life into his nostrils, and man became a living being » (Psalm 31:6). « (Gen 2:7).

David had no pity, but despised those who, knowing the LORD, denied him for what was a lie.  And David’s faith grew stronger and stronger; he saw himself set free, and went on his way without making any false move: « He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  « (Ps 23:3).

David could only rejoice in God by looking away from his sad state. He thought, after looking him in the presence of God in the face, that his faith had achieved a complete victory. When David appealed to God’s righteousness and called himself righteous, he had no illusions about his condition before God. His enemies’ accusations were false, but the Lord had the right to accuse him.

His case was so denied that people were ashamed to have any connection with him, that his friends trembled to be confused with him, and that those who saw him from afar rushed.

Nothing is more difficult, when we see our faith being mocked by everyone, than to address our words to God alone and stop at the testimony of our conscience that he is our God (Calvin).

The psalmist, like the Christian, rejoices even in trials, for then the hidden treasure of God’s goodness is revealed to him in response to his prayer. That you are reluctant under the veil of adversity, to unfold it at the right time and in public (in the eyes of the sons of man) for those who, in spite of everything, know how to believe.

The whole story of David was in these words. This goodness of God was the hidden manna of which he spoke: « He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches: To him who overcomes, I will give the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone; and on that stone is written a new name, which no one knows except he who receives it. « (Revelation 2, 17)

Which machinations can still harm those against whom the LORD has bent over with kindness? The last thanksgiving and at the same time the whole psalm led to an admonition addressed to all believers.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ The Catholic Wekly : click here to read the paper →  Prayers in time of a pandemic

◊  Jesuitresource.org   : click here to read the paper → Prayers In Times of Natural Disaster – Xavier

« Long-Suffering » Pastor John K. Jenkins

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Publié dans comportements, Foi, Page jeunesse, Prières, Religion, Rencontrer Dieu, Temps de Noël | Pas de Commentaire »

Sixième jour dans l’octave de Noël — Année B

Posté par diaconos le 30 décembre 2020

Elle parlait de l’enfant à tous ceux qui attendaient la délivrance de Jérusalem

Résultat de recherche d'images pour "elle proclamait les louanges de Dieu et parlait de l’enfant à tous ceux qui attendaient la délivrance de Jérusalem."

# Anne était une prophétesse âgée qui prophétisa au sujet de Jésus dans le Temple de Jérusalem lors de l’épisode de sa présentation de Jésus au Temple. Elle intervient au moment de la prophétie de Siméon. Dans les arts La prophétesse Anne est représentée en statue avec Marie, Joseph et Siméon sur la façade de la cathédrale de Chartres (XIIIe siècle). La prophétesse Anne est représentée par Giotto sur une fresque de la chapelle Scrovegni à Padoue. Rembrandt fit une représentation de sa mère en prophétesse Anne dans un tableau, peint en 1631, exposé au Rijksmuseum d’Amsterdam.

De l’Évangile de Jésus Christ selon saint Luc

En ce temps-là, quand les parents de Jésus vinrent le présenter au Temple, il y avait aussi une femme prophète, Anne, fille de Phanuel, de la tribu d’Aser. Elle était très avancée en âge ; après sept ans de mariage, demeurée veuve, elle était arrivée à l’âge de 84 ans. Elle ne s’éloignait pas du Temple, servant Dieu jour et nuit dans le jeûne et la prière. Survenant à cette heure même, elle proclamait les louanges de Dieu et parlait de l’enfant à tous ceux qui attendaient la délivrance de Jérusalem. Lorsqu’ils eurent achevé tout ce que prescrivait la loi du Seigneur, ils retournèrent en Galilée, dans leur ville de Nazareth. L’enfant, lui, grandissait et se fortifiait, rempli de sagesse, et la grâce de Dieu était sur lui. (Lc 2, 36-40)

De la prophétesse Anne

 Le mot de prophétesse indique que, comme Siméon, Anne avait reçu l’esprit de prophétie, par lequel elle aussi reconnut dans le petit enfant le Sauveur promis, et en glorifia Dieu Luc rappela à sa louange qu’après un temps assez court de mariage, elle vécut jusqu’à l’âge de quatre-vingt-quatre ans dans un long veuvage, ce qui fut considéré comme très honorable chez les Juifs.

Touchant portrait d’une veuve dont la piété remplissait toute la vie ! Saint Paul décrivit à peu près dans les mêmes termes la veuve chrétienne :  » Celle qui est véritablement veuve, et qui est demeurée dans l’isolement, met son espérance en Dieu et persévère nuit et jour dans les supplications et les prières’ (1 Ti 5,  5)

Les mots nuit et jour signifient qu’elle assistait à des services religieux qui avaient lieu le soir et le matin avant le lever du jour, ou qu’elle passait une partie de ses nuits en prières. Les paroles d’Anne ne furent pas rapportées, parce que  elles exprimèrent les mêmes pensées que celles de Siméon. Par l’esprit de prophétie qui l’animait, elle parlait de Dieu et des glorieuses révélations qu’il accorda à son peuple.

Luc passa sous silence divers faits rapportés par Matthieu : la visite des mages, la fuite en Égypte, le meurtre des petits enfants de Bethléem, soit que ces faits ne rentrassent pas dans son plan, soit qu’il les  ignora.

Il est nécessaire d’admettre, dit M. Godet, que les deux évangélistes ont écrit chacun sans connaître le livre de l’autre.

La critique négative se hâta de déclarer les deux récits inconciliables. Elle oublia que, pendant les quarante jours qui s’écoulèrent entre la naissance de Jésus et sa présentation dans le temple, bien des événements purent s’accomplir à Bethléem. Elle oublia encore que le retour de la sainte famille à Nazareth n’eut pas lieu aussitôt après la présentation au temple. Le voyage en Égypte suivit celle-ci, et l’établissement de la famille à Nazareth ne se fit qu’après son retour d’Égypte.

Les faits rapportés s’enchaînèrent naturellement et les deux récits se complétèrent. Jésus grandissait ; ce mot indique le développement physique, tandis que les termes : il se fortifiait, complétés par ceux-ci : étant rempli de sagesse, décrivirent les progrès intellectuels, spirituels et religieux.

La sagesse, comprenant la connaissance de Dieu et celle des hommes, dans son application pratique à la vie, fut le trait saillant du caractère de Jésus enfant. Jésus passa par toutes les phases d’un développement normal, le seul qui se fut accompli sur la terre, le seul qui fut exempt de toutes les atteintes délétères du mal et se poursuivit d’une manière harmonique par une communion constante avec Dieu.

Diacre Michel Houyoux

Liens avec d’autres sites web chrétiens

◊ Catholique.org : cliquez ici pour lire l’article →  La prophétesse, Anne – Les méditations

◊ Femmes chrétiennes : cliquez ici pour lire l’article → Anne, la prophétesse

Père Philippe Lefèbvre, dominicain : « Anne et Syméon »

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Publié dans Enseignement, Histoire, Religion, Temps de Noël | Pas de Commentaire »

Light revealed to the peoples

Posté par diaconos le 30 décembre 2020

“Il Signore è come l’aria e la luce di  primavera ed estate”

# The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is an event in the life of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel according to Luke (Lk 2,22f). Fulfilling a prescription of the Jewish law: « Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to the Lord » (Ex 13,2,11-13) His parents presented him and offered him at the Temple in Jerusalem. There he was welcomed by old Simeon. The associated Christian feast is celebrated forty days after Christmas, i.e. on 2 February in the Gregorian calendar. In the Eastern Churches it is also celebrated on 2 February in the Julian calendar, which is equivalent to 14 February in the Gregorian calendar. 2 February has long been an important date for peasants, which is remembered by a large number of proverbs. This date is traditionally Candlemas, originally a pagan festival celebrating light, which was replaced by the Christian festival. This feast is also a theme in religious iconography, both in painting and in illuminations, sculpture, stained glass, tapestries, etc. It is inspired by a scene described in the Gospel according to Luke II, 22-39, where the son of the Virgin Mary is announced by Simeon as the « Master » and « the light that will bring revelation to the Gentiles « 2 , i.e. the non-Jews.

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St Luke

When the time prescribed by the Law of Moses for purification was fulfilled, the parents of Jesus brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, according to what is written in the Law: Every firstborn male shall be consecrated to the Lord. They also came to offer the sacrifice prescribed by the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two doves.

Now there was in Jerusalem a man named Simeon. He was a righteous and eligious man, who awaited the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. He had received from the Holy Spirit the announcement that he would not see death until he had seen Christ, the Messiah of the Lord. Under the action of the Spirit, Simeon came to the Temple.

While the parents presented the child Jesus to observe the rite of the Law concerning him, Simeon received him in his arms and blessed God, saying: « Now, O sovereign master, let your servant go in peace, according to your word. For my eyes have seen the salvation that you are preparing before the nations : « a light that is revealed to the nations and gives glory to your people Israel. »

The child’s father and mother were astonished at what was said of him. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother : « Behold, this child will bring about the fall and rise of many in Israel. He will be a sign of contradiction – and your soul will be pierced with the sword: thus will be revealed the thoughts that come from the hearts of many ». (Lk 2, 22-35)

Circumcision and Presentation in the Temple

Jesus’ parents took him to the temple to fulfil the requirements of the law on the purification of the mother and the consecration of the firstborn. They offered the sacrifice of the poor. Simeon. This righteous and pious man, who was waiting for salvation and had received a promise to see him before he died, came to the temple, led by the Spirit, and took the child into his arms and blessed God.

Simeon expressed his personal feelings: he could leave in peace, because he saw salvation ; then he celebrated this salvation that God had prepared, and that was the light of the Gentiles and the glory of Israel. To the admiration of his father and mother, Simeon responded by prophesying the solution that the Messiah made, the opposition he encountered, the great pain he caused his mother. The purpose of these dispensations was the manifestation of hidden thoughts.

Joseph did not have to purify himself, but, as Mr Godet observes, he would have been responsible, as head of the family, if the purification had not been carried out. The law of Moses prescribed that after seven days of legal defilement and thirty-three days of retreat, the Israelite mother should offer a sacrifice for her purification.

And every first-born son of the Lord should be wholly devoted to his service: but the tribe of Levi was for this service, that all the first-born sons of the other tribes should be redeemed for money, that the divine right should be established, and that the prince of the house of fathers should always remember his duty.

The mother was to offer a lamb as a burnt offering and a young pigeon or a turtledove for sin; but if she could not afford it, she could replace this sacrifice with that of two turtledoves or two young pigeons.

Luke only mentioned this last sacrifice, the sacrifice of the poor, because it was Mary’s sacrifice. Already then a profound word of Paul’s was fulfilled : « For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: for he became poor for you when he was rich, that by his poverty you might be made rich. « (2 Corinthians 8: 9).

Simeon is unknown in history; his name means ‘fulfilment’. He was just and pious (this word also has the meaning of prudent designated by this beautiful and intimate term: the consolation of Israel.  We can see from the examples of Simeon, Anna, Zechariah, Joseph and others that there were humble Israelites ready to welcome the Lord in whatever pious form God wanted to show them.

The official priesthood did not welcome the Lord who, for the first time, entered his temple : « Well, I will send my messenger to make straight the way before me. And suddenly he will enter his temple, the Lord whom you are waiting for; he is the angel of the covenant, called by your vows. Behold, he comes, declares the Lord, the Lord of heavenly armies.  « (Ml 3, 1)

A free priesthood, represented by Simeon and Anna, was formed to replace him. The source of Simeon’s religious life was clearly indicated. It was the Holy Spirit who was upon him. At that solemn moment in his life he received a new measure of that divine Spirit who communicated to him the gift of prophecy.

The Lord’s Christ, an Old Testament term meaning the Lord’s Anointed One, the Saviour whom the Lord has promised to His people and has just given them.  He was enlightened and led by the Spirit, and it was by this Spirit that he immediately recognised his Saviour in the little child. By the Spirit that was in him, Simeon became a prophet ; he no longer spoke of himself, but his mind was lifted up to that salvation which God had prepared for all peoples and which all shall see.

And this preparation has taken place for centuries through all the revelations of the old covenant. This great salvation destined for all is divided into two different streams. On the one hand, it is light to enlighten the Gentile nations, for the revelation intended for them was plunged into deepest darkness ; on the other, it was the glory of the people of Israel.

The parents ; they were blessed in the name of God. The magnificent promises they heard succeeded in raising in the hearts of Joseph and Mary carnal hopes, full of illusions ; Simeon repressed them by presenting them with the painful aspect of the future reserved for their child. He addressed the grave words that followed to Mary, personally, because this prophecy directly concerned her.

God’s plan was determined by the opposing dispositions of those to whom the Saviour had been sent: for some it was an occasion of falling, for others of rising. Wherever truth is presented to a soul, divine judgment is exercised in it ; with its unbelief and hardening.

But the crisis could have a completely different outcome: through repentance, through faith, the soul rose to the fullness of life. The parents ; they were blessed in the name of God. The magnificent promises they had heard had succeeded in raising in the hearts of Joseph and Mary carnal hopes, full of illusions; Simeon repressed them by presenting them with the painful aspect of the future reserved for their child.

He addressed the grave words that followed to Mary, personally, because this prophecy directly concerned her. The plan of God was determined by the opposing dispositions of those to whom the Saviour had been sent: for some it was an occasion of falling, for others of rising. Wherever truth is presented to a soul, divine judgment is exercised in it; with its unbelief and hardening.

It is also in the presence of the cross that the thoughts of the heart are revealed, according to faith or unbelief, love or hatred for the Crucified One.  The « thoughts of the heart revealed » indicated why Mary could not be spared from this great pain.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ St Patrick Parish : click here to read the paper → The circumcision of Christ and his Presentation in the Temple

◊ Meditations on the Rosary : click here to read the paper →  The Circumcision and Presentation in the Temple.

Dr Gary Staats : « The Life of Christ-the circumcision and presentation in the temple »

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Publié dans fêtes religieuses, La messe du dimanche, Religion, Temps de Noël | Pas de Commentaire »


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