Sing a new song

Welcome to our Psalms retreat. You are welcome to use these resources in whichever way is most helpful to you.

The retreat is divided into sections. You can use them over a day, over several days or weeks, by yourself or with others. This section has some useful tools to help you start your retreat. Here are some ideas for creating sacred space and for praying with scripture. They can be used individually or with others.

One of the greatest gifts and the greatest challenges of monastic life is learning to pray the psalms. Day in and day out we repeat all 150 of them them regardless of how well we understand them or feel they speak to our own personal circumstances. This constant repetition regardless of how I might be feeling has taught me to value their wisdom, insight and honesty. They express the whole range of human emotion, the positive and the negative.

They allow us to be angry with God as well as to be full of joy and praise. They are a constant reminder we can bring our whole into God’s presence, not just the “good bits”, the parts we’re comfortable with.

They remind us to hope and trust the God who has been with us through all our joys and sorrows, and who will sustain us as we face the challenges of discovering new ways of being and new ways of living.

Opening Prayer

Known and Loved

Begin by reading Psalm 139 slowly several times. You may find it helpful to read it aloud.

“O Lord you search me and you know me” Where are you aware of the God who searches you and knows you?

“Too wonderful for me this knowledge, too high beyond my reach.”  How does your knowledge of God bring wonder into your life?

“See that I follow not the wrong path and lead me in the path of life eternal” Where are you aware of God guiding you in the dilemmas and challenges of life?

You may like to use this video as part of your reflection. Psalm 139

Longing for God

Photo by Gary Bendig on Unsplash

Take some time to read psalm 63, slowly and prayerfully. Repeat it several times. You may find it helpful to read it aloud.

  • O God you are my God, for you I long; for you my soul is thirsting”. Where are you aware of longing for God?
  •  “So I gaze on you in the sanctuary to see your strength and your glory” Where do you feel the need of God’s strength in your life? Where in your life do you see the glory of God?
  •  “For you have been my help, in the shadow of your wings I rejoice” What are the areas of your life where you are most aware of being in need of God’s help? What are the areas of your life where you are aware of rejoicing in the presence of God?

Hope in the Lord

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

You can use psalm 27 for lectio divina or use the following questions for reflection.

“He hides me in the shelter of his tent, on the rock he sets me safe” Where are you aware of the God who keeps you safe?

“The Lord is my light and my help, whom shall I fear” What helps you to be aware of God’s light in the midst of your daily life?

“Hope in him, hold firm and take heart, hope in the Lord” What enables to to hope in God as you face the challenges of life?

You may wish to watch this video as part of your reflection

Closing prayer

To end your retreat take some time to give thanks for the gifts and graces you have received.