Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God
Through the Prayers of the Church
This online supplemental material coordinates with the lesson that can be found on pages 36–39 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church. The study is based on The Revised Grail Psalms, the English translation of the Psalms approved by the Church for liturgical use. In addition to differences in wording of the biblical texts, other translations also may vary in the way that they number some Psalms and verses.
welcome to our study of the Book of the Psalms
We invite groups and individuals doing this 28-lesson Turning to God’s Word Catholic Bible study to take advantage of our supplemental online study pages. Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church has been granted an imprimatur and can be purchased from our website shop. If you have a question for the author, click on the “ask us your question” button on our supplemental pages.
a heart too full to contain the Psalmist’s joy
The title of this lesson—”An Overflowing Heart”—is based on the announcement in Psalm 45 that the Psalmist’s heart is overflowing with noble words. He’s unable to contain his joy. This contrasts with the feelings expressed in Psalm 32, in which the Psalmist acknowledges in vivid detail the physical effects that have occurred whenever he’s attempted to keep sin a secret. Tami Palladino’s illustration shows a heart spilling over with character traits associated with Christian life. How many of these traits do you think others might use to describe you? Click on the image to enlarge Tami’s illustration, which appears on page 37 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church.
WHAT DO YOU THINK your heart looks like?
If you examine this full-size illustration on page 37 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church, you can make a list of the noble words with which the Psalmists’ heart is overflowing.
? How do these qualities contribute to overall well-being?
? How are they incompatible with sin?
? Are there any other words that you’d include if you were making such a drawing of your own heart?
? What quality of the heart do you think is most important to your spiritual life?
you could look it up—in God alone is my soul at rest
In the Gospel of Matthew 11:28–30, Jesus makes a promise that seems to build on the rest described in Psalm 62:2. To learn how the kind of rest that Jesus has promised his followers is related to the ancient Hebrew concept of the sabbath, read Lost in Translation, an online column in which Turning to God’s Word author Matthew Phelps helps readers connect with ancient ideas expressed in the original Scriptures. New entries are posted on Tuesdays. If you’d like to receive Matthew’s comments about biblical languages by email each week, there’s a sign-up form next to the searchable archives.
the popes inspire us—what attracts us to Christ
“Beauty Combined with Justice” on page 38 of Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church, is a reflection by Pope St. John Paul II. The bridegroom in Psalm 45 is seen as a person who possesses beauty and holiness of life. It’s this picture that leads Christians to see in the bridegroom an image of Jesus Christ in the form of a perfect and attractive man.
DO YOU KNOW why contrition is important?
You can find the answer to this question and to other questions related to sin and to the sacrament of Reconciliation (also called the sacrament of Confession or the sacrament of Penance) in paragraph 1451 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
DO YOU KNOW why Christians are anointed at Baptism?
You can learn about how the Church uses anointing in paragraph 1241 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
a related Bible study—in praise of the queen
The focus of the nuptial prayers in Psalm 45 begins with praise of the Bridegroom, but toward the middle of the Psalm the praise shifts to honoring the Bride. The prophetic identities of the Bridegroom and his Bride aren’t secret to Christians, who’ve grown up with the understanding that Jesus Christ is married to the Church. Many people find the layers of symbolism connected with the Blessed Virgin Mary as Bride of the Church somewhat confusing. The Turning to God’s Word Catholic Bible study Scripture and the Rosary: New Testament Mysteries, Old Testament Parallels offers more information about the Blessed Virgin Mary and the roles that she plays as daughter Sion (Zion), Bride of Christ, and Mother of the Church. This 26-week Catholic Bible study has been granted an imprimatur and can be purchased from our website shop.
close with a Psalms-based prayer for Wednesday Vespers (Week I)
Many of our Catholic study groups like to conclude their discussions with a prayer based on the scriptural focus of their lesson. If you’re uncomfortable composing your own Bible-based prayers, you can follow our four easy steps. If you prefer, you can pray any of the Psalms in this lesson, or you can use the following short prayer.
O God of merciful love,
mold our hearts to reflect Christian virtues
in more perfect likeness of your Son, Jesus Christ,
whose own Sacred Heart burns with love for humanity
and who models the way in which we should love others. Amen.
start a Turning to God’s Word Bible study
Thank you for your interest in Sing a New Psalm: Communicating with God Through the Prayers of the Church. A wealth of information about beginning a Turning to God’s Word individual or group Bible study can be found on this website at start a Bible study. Tami, Matthew, and I are available to answer your questions about Turning to God’s Word and to offer support. You may use this email to contact us directly. —Jennifer