The 7 Penitential Psalms

index“From my own experience I can certainly say that these seven psalms, though not all equally, are one of God’s greatest gifts in keeping us in touch with a true sorrow for sin and in giving us the words we need to pierce through the haziness of self-justification.” – Mother Maureen McCabe

Late last year, I was bless to find this little gem of a book: Inside the Psalms – Reflections for Novices, by Mother Maureen McCabe, OCSO.  It was intended for the formation library…but, so far, it hasn’t made it past my hands these last few months!  I have so enjoyed this book, which – though geared toward Religious – is enjoyable for all!  Mother Maureen’s evident love and enthusiasm for the Psalms is contagious.

To give you a lil sneak peek:
Last week in our Formation Lesson, we borrowed some wisdom from a chapter in this book entitled: The Penitential Psalms.  It turned out to be a truly wonderful preparation for Lent. Mother Maureen presents the 7 penitential psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, 143) as fitting companions for us on the path of conversion.  She rightly claims that they balance these 3 major themes: the experience of sin, the experience of sorrow, and the desire to be created anew. Doesn’t that just scream “LENT”?!?!  Yes, this is the time of year when we turn away from sin and we turn toward God…with repentance and hope.  The Penitential Psalms are our companions on that journey of conversion.  I find it striking that there are 7 penitential psalms and 7 days of the week!  Hmmm…I don’t know about you, but I’d say that’s no coincidence!  Each day we have the opportunity to repent and receive God’s never-failing mercy!

Blessed and holy Lent to you all.