Monday, May 28, 2007

Psalm 91 and the Benedictines for Peace

Sometimes you find the most interesting things unintentionally.

I was looking for something in a search engine when I came across the Benedictines For Peace (BFP) website. They are a charism (recognized formal organization) within the Catholic Church who are among the many religious groups working for peace. Among the prayers and scriptures they recommend for inspiration in these efforts is Psalm 91. Since it is Memorial Day today in the United States, and we are still engaged in the military occupation of Iraq, it seemed particularly fitting to dedicate today's entry to peace.

Before we get to the Psalm, just a little context for those who are new to reading my perspective or who have forgotten my approach to things like "God", "religion", etc [you can get a brief and expanded summary of these views by clicking here]. I see scriptures and sacred texts as revelations of the heart, so rather than taking the following images literally, try seeing them as representing elements of your heart and your relationship to Being (hence "the LORD" would represent your conception of Ultimate Nature).
Psalm 91

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and from the deadly pestilence.

4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,

6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.

8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.

9 If you make the Most High your dwelling—
even the LORD, who is my refuge-

10 then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;

12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

14 "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him
and show him my salvation."

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