Lenten Reflection

psalm 5 Br. Anthony Paul of the Holy Wounds of Jesus | Psalm Reflection | 03/05/23

Trust in God for Deliverance from Enemies

Give ear to my words, O Lord;
give heed to my groaning.
Hearken to the sound of my cry,
    my King and my God,
    for to thee do I pray.
O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice;
    in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch.

True prayer comes from the very depth of our hearts. Our souls cry out to God because it is made for God and only God can full fill the yearning for our deepest emptiness. True prayer must first and foremost acknowledge God as created, Lord of the universe. He is our King and our Master. We must confess that we are nothing before the face of Almighty God. We spend so much effort to make ourselves something higher in the world and to those around us. But the reality is that we are nothing before God himself. We rely on God for everything, even our very breath.[1][2] Prayer in the morning, help set the tone for the day. I recommend you try to spend 15 minutes in mental prayer before you start your workday. Over a period, ask for the grace to preserve and the Lord will reward your persistence.[3]

For thou art not a God who delights in wickedness;
    evil may not sojourn with thee.
The boastful may not stand before thy eyes;
    thou hatest all evildoers.
Thou destroyest those who speak lies;
    the Lord abhors bloodthirsty and deceitful men.

Evil is so displeasing to God. St. Thomas Aquinas say that “I answer that, As stated above (Article 1), the good of nature, that is diminished by sin, is the natural inclination to virtue, which is befitting to man from the very fact that he is a rational being; for it is due to this that he performs actions in accord with reason, which is to act virtuously. Now sin cannot entirely take away from man the fact that he is a rational being, for then he would no longer be capable of sin. Wherefore it is not possible for this good of nature to be destroyed entirely.

Since, however, this same good of nature may be continually diminished by sin, some, in order to illustrate this, have made use of the example of a finite thing being diminished indefinitely, without being entirely destroyed. For the Philosopher says (Phys. i, text. 37) that if from a finite magnitude a continual subtraction be made in the same quantity, it will at last be entirely destroyed, for instance if from any finite length I continue to subtract the length of a span. If, however, the subtraction be made each time in the same proportion, and not in the same quantity, it may go on indefinitely, as, for instance, if a quantity be halved, and one half be diminished by half, it will be possible to go on thus indefinitely, provided that what is subtracted in each case be less than what was subtracted before. But this does not apply to the question at issue, since a subsequent sin does not diminish the good of nature less than a previous sin, but perhaps more, if it be a more grievous sin.”[4]

But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love
    will enter thy house,
I will worship toward thy holy temple
    in the fear of thee.
Lead me, O Lord, in thy righteousness
    because of my enemies;
    make thy way straight before me.

God is the purest form of Love that our senses on the physiological or spiritual level cannot understand. We as children of God, desire to be loved by God himself. Like a true Father, we ask him to love us, to bless us, and for the gifts of his grace to do the very best in this life. When you pray and give thanks to God for all the goodness, his love is greater than even our own needs. He knows what each soul needs in order to reach a level of sanctification.[5] Fasting with mortification along with asking the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to lead you to the path of the Lord. [6]

For there is no truth in their mouth;
    their heart is destruction,
their throat is an open sepulchre,
    they flatter with their tongue.
Make them bear their guilt, O God;
    let them fall by their own counsels;
because of their many transgressions cast them out,
    for they have rebelled against thee.

The ones who follow the world, listen to their weak flesh, and would rather do the works of the devil, will not inherit the kingdom of God. The weight of their sins will weigh heavily on them and the burden of sins will crush them.[7] “Do not fear the words of a sinner, for his splendor will turn into dung and worms.”[8] I beg you, brothers and sisters, don’t allow the devil to take over and become your master. His ways will ensure the wrath of God in your life. “Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; their men will weep and gnash their teeth.”[9]

But let all who take refuge in thee rejoice,
    let them ever sing for joy;
and do thou defend them,
    that those who love thy name may exult in thee.
For thou dost bless the righteous, O Lord;
    thou dost cover him with favor as with a shield.

Let us finish with a quote from St. Thomas Aquinas on loving God. “I answer that, We must needs assert that in God there is love: because love is the first movement of the will and of every appetitive faculty. For since the acts of the will and of every appetitive faculty tend towards good and evil, as to their proper objects: and since good is essentially and especially the object of the will and the appetite, whereas evil is only the object secondarily and indirectly, as opposed to good; it follows that the acts of the will and appetite that regard good must naturally be prior to those that regard evil; thus, for instance, joy is prior to sorrow, love to hate: because what exists of itself is always prior to that which exists through another. Again, the more universal is naturally prior to what is less so. Hence the intellect is first directed to universal truth; and in the second place to particular and special truths. Now there are certain acts of the will and appetite that regard good under some special condition, as joy and delight regard good present and possessed; whereas desire and hope regard good not as yet possessed. Love, however, regards good universally, whether possessed or not. Hence love is naturally the first act of the will and appetite; for which reason all the other appetite movements presuppose love, as their root and origin. For nobody desires anything nor rejoices in anything, except as a good that is loved: nor is anything an object of hate except as opposed to the object of love. Similarly, it is clear that sorrow, and other things like to it, must be referred to love as to their first principle. Hence, in whomsoever there is will and appetite, there must also be love: since if the first is wanting, all that follows is also wanting. Now it has been shown that will is in God (I:19:1, and hence we must attribute love to Him.”[10]

Your brother in Christ Jesus,

[1] Deuteronomy 8:7

[2] Deuteronomy 9:6

[3] 1 Samuel 2:1

[4] Question 85, Article 2 Summa Theologiae

[5] 2 Samuel 22:7

[6] Ecclesiastes 7:13

[7] Tobit 13:6

[8] 1 Maccabees 2:62

[9] Matthew 22:13

[10] Question 20, Article 1 Summa Theologiae

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