Psalm of Repentance

By Br. Victor-Antoine d’Avila-Latourrette

Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication!
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But there is forgiveness with you,
So that you may be revered.
Psalm 130: 1-4

Psalm 130, commonly called De Profundis, is usually associated with the Office for the Dead or the funeral liturgy. It is also prayed daily in Byzantine Vespers. Yet, it is above all a prayer that opens new horizons, for it is a prayer that expresses conversion. Conversion is a long and arduous road, a road that demands all the inner energies of our being as we seek to traverse it. Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord. The more our cry leaps out from the depths of our misery, the more honest the cry and the more genuine our heart’s attitude. It is then when we find who and what we truly are.

Often, prayer tends to be from the lips, from the mind, or from a sheer act of our will, and not always from the depths of our hearts. It is painful to descend into our own hearts, to rise finding things there that would make us uncomfortable. Frequently we avoid the prayer of the heart to protect ourselves from true self-knowledge, vulnerabilities, and misery.

Psalm 130 is a learning vehicle that teaches us to pray from the depths of our hearts, from the deepest center of our being. As we descend into that abyss, we discover it to be a place in which the vital functions of feeling, sense, and intelligence converge. Furthermore, we discover the heart to be a wide open space that explores all eternal possibilities, such as the mystery of a final encounter with God. Paradoxically, as we begin to uncover God’s presence in our hearts and embark upon praying from there, we find ourselves containing all the realities that are woven into our daily existence: joy, suffering, fear, longing, love, hate, hope, surrender, fulfillment, death, and life. All these complex human realities are deeply rooted in the soil of our hearts, and as we try to pray and relate to God in intimate friendship, we incorporate all of them into our prayer. They express to God who we are. We carry them, burdensome as they may sometimes be, to the throne of all mercy, crying all along in supplication: Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleading.

From: Blessings of the Daily, A monastic Book of Days

error: Content is protected !!