As a kid I used to wonder why we were supposed to praise God so much. Was the Lord eternally fishing for compliments? So egotistical that He needed us telling him how wonderful he was all the time? Would his feelings get hurt if we didn’t remember to commend him for goodness regularly? I knew God couldn't be like that, and figured it was just one of those mysteries, like the Trinity, that we would only completely undesrstand in heaven.Daria Sockey at Coffee and Canticles hits the nail on the head and answers a nagging question I could never really answer well. Turns out, when I brought up praising God to Tom, he'd had the same question for a long time. Now we know ... and now I have an excellent and unexpected answer for the next time someone brings up how to dress for Mass.
As the years went by, wise adults led me to wiser authors who had asked the same questions. I learned that God demands our praise not because He needs it, but because we need it. It’s similar to the question of why we should dress up for Mass. It’s true that “God doesn’t care how I’m dressed” insofar as it does nothing for Him. But it does a lot for us to worship God not just with our minds and lips, but with our bodies and yes, with our clothing. So to the extent that dressing up is good for us, He does indeed care. As we say at Mass, “It is right and just [to give him thanks and praise].” When we recognize our place in the universe — as mere creatures, and fallen ones at that, who have been miraculously elevated to the status of sons and daughters — praise is the only proper and fitting response. In praising our creator and redeemer, we are conforming ourselves to Reality and taking our rightful places in the universe. To not do so is to live in unreality, to be less than fully human, or rather, to be spiritually disabled humans. So to praise God does far more for us — for our recovery from disability to health and eternal life — than it does for him.
Coffee and Canticles is a place that you probably want to browse around, by the way, because it is loaded with great, common sensical writing that helps direct us to prayer. I recently discovered it via Will at The View From the Foothills.