The Psalms connect us to God as part of an unbroken chain of gratitude. – America Magazine


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(iStock)March 18 / Second Monday of LentDo not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors…. Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power preserve those doomed to die. Then we your people, the flock of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.~Psalm 79: 8, 11, 13As much as we are advised to live in the present moment — sound advice, and rightly to be praised — we know, too, that our lives exist on a historical continuum. We scour genealogy websites or family papers to learn more about those who went before us. We celebrate the arrival of the next generation and try to serve as good stewards of the new lives in our midst. We carry this generation-spanning orientation into our prayers, as we petition God to heal a sick grandmother or propel a young student to success in the school play, aware of God’s watchful care over all those who were, and are, and are to come. The psalmist, steeped in a deeply familial, kinship-oriented culture, similarly embraces time past, present and future in his song. And as with all the psalms, we are invited to pray with him. “Do not hold us accountable for the wrongs of those who precede us,” we ask first, with a nod to the forebears who undoubtedly made the culturally-sanctioned mistakes that seem abhorrent to us today. Next, we acknowledge that we are fettered here and now by our own sins; only by the power of God’s mighty arm (the literal translation of “your great power”) can we be freed. And finally, a promise: Although we cannot change the past, we can confess the errors of the present. And we intend, newly saved and indebted beyond measure to the one who has saved us, to pass on this legacy, these songs of thankfulness and praise, from our generation to the next, in an unbroken chain of gratitude to God.O God who frees prisoners from the bondage of their sins, accept my thanks today and always for your saving help.Amen.For today’s readings, click here.To hear the Guildford Cathedral choir sing Psalm 119, click here. Elizabeth Kirkland CahillElizabeth Kirkland Cahill is an author, lecturer and biblical scholar. She is the co-author, with Joseph Papp, of Shakespeare Alive!3Cindy Wooden - Catholic News ServiceThe Society of Jesus is teaming up with the descendants of slaves once owned by the religious order to reconcile and heal the deep racial wounds of America.With the Myanmar military taking a more direct role in efforts to suppress protests, the death toll rose quickly on Sunday.L.G.B.T. Catholics and their allies are reacting with dismay to a statement released Monday by the Vatican prohibiting priests from blessing same-sex unions, in which church officials assert that God “does not and cannot bless sin.”The pope in late February accepted the resignation of Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, who had reached the normal retirement age of 75 last June. The cardinal had been prefect since 2014.
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