Praying with the Psalms

For a while now my practice has been to pray a psalm, or part of a psalm, in my morning prayer, before I go into my Centering prayer. The psalms have been a rich part of my life, having heard them prayed in the Catholic mass since I was a girl. The psalms took on significant meaning for me when I went to the Abbey of Gethsemani and prayed the psalms in communion with the monks. There, hearing the monks chanting, I heard the psalms come alive in my body and heart in a new way.

Daily, I read from “Give us This Day,” and the morning always starts with O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth will proclaim your praise, and then goes into a psalm. To me, when I recite this, I am reminded to enter my day through the gateway of the Holy One.

In today’s psalm, from Pslam 135:1-6,13-14, I am drawn to the words:

Praise the name of the Lord

give praise, O servants of the Lord,

who stand in the house of the Lord,

in the courts of the house of our God.

Praying with this psalm in the depth of my heart, I first gave praise and thanksgiving to the Holy One, for sustaining us and bringing me to this new day of life. And then I asked myself, How can I stand in the house of God today?

I am the house of the God. God lives in me, as I live in God.

As I go now, to my job, which is walking the short staircase down into the lower level of my house, turn on the computer, and meet my students on Zoom for library lessons, can I remember that I am in the house of the Lord?

How are you standing in the house of the Lord today?