Wednesday, June 23, 2021

What is More Pleasing Than a Psalm?

We take a bit of a break from looking at a specific psalm to consider this quote from Saint Ambrose. It was one of the readings from a recent Liturgy of the Hours and really hit me where I live. That in itself is a nice milestone for me since I used to be able to take or leave the psalms. Hopefully our considerations of them has brought you a bit closer too.

Also, here's a painting of the author, Saint Ambrose, that I find very beautiful.

Giovanni di Paolo, Saint Ambrose
What is more pleasing than a psalm? ... It is the voice of complete assent, the joy of freedom, a cry of happiness, the echo of gladness. It soothes the temper, distracts from care, lightens the burden of sorrow. It is a source of security at night, a lesson in wisdom by day. It is a shield when we are afraid, a celebration of holiness, a vision of serenity, a promise of peace and harmony. It is like a lyre, evoking harmony from a blend of notes. Day begins to the music of a psalm. Day closes to the echo of a psalm.

In a psalm, instruction vies with beauty. We sing for pleasure. We learn for our profit. What experience is not covered by a reading of the psalms?
St. Ambrose, bishop
Explanation of the Psalms
Sources are here and an index of psalm posts is here.

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