At the beginning of Psalm 145, the psalmist unequivocally declares his task: I will give You glory, O God my King.  I will bless Your name forever.  So successfully did this singer accomplish this grace of working that in ancient Hebrew circles, Psalm 145 came to be known simply as “The Praises.”   This title was later transferred to the collection of 150 psalms that we now know as “The Psalter.”

 

At the Last Supper, our Lord unequivocally declared that He had completed the task the Father had entrusted to Him:  I have accomplished the work that You gave me to do! (John 17:4)  So successful was Jesus in accomplishing His grace of working that He could confidently ask: And now, Father, glorify me with the glory which I had with You before the foundation of the world. (John 17: 5)   And God raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that [our] faith and hope might be in God. (1 Peter 1:21)

 

St. Francis of Assisi did not quote directly from Psalm 145 in his writings.  However, his life is an uninterrupted commentary on how to put these holy “Praises” into action.  Confronted by robbers shortly after his public renunciation, the Little Poor Man unequivocally declared himself to be “the herald of the Great King.”  As he lay dying, the Seraphic Patriarch was still giving glory to that King with such enthusiasm that some of his less praise-filled brothers thought this joy unbecoming for someone on his deathbed.  But, like his Lord, Francis could declare: I have done what was mine to do!  The Poor Man’s successful completion of his grace of working was confirmed by the Church of God which raised him swiftly to the glory of the altar.   

 

The first section of Psalm 145 offers a variety of ways to praise God.  We can (as Francis did) bless His Name.  We can proclaim His works or declare His mighty deeds.  We can speak of [His] splendor and glory or tell the tale of [His] wonderful works.  We can look for opportunities to speak of [God’s] awesome deeds or simply recount to others (and even to ourselves) His greatness and might, made manifest in history or in our own lives.  Even our thoughts can become praise of God if we strive to recall [His] abundant goodness and remember how good the Lord is to all.

 

Every believer is called to take up that holy grace of working which is the praise of God.  Dryness or weariness or distraction need not keep us from giving God the glory that is due Him.  Enshrined in Psalm 145 are the words of God’s self-revelation to Moses: The Lord is kind and full of compassion, slow to anger, abounding in love.  Repeated slowly, thoughtfully and devotedly, they are meant to become our words to the King and about the King who desires to crown our earthly work of praise with His Kingdom’s unending glory.




                                     HOME          BACK          FORWARD

 

Psalm 145

 

I

 

 

 

 

 

I will give You glory,

O God my King.

I will bless Your Name forever.

I will bless You day after day

and praise Your Name forever.

The Lord is great,

highly to be praised,

His greatness cannot be measured.

Age to age shall

 proclaim Your works,

shall declare Your mighty deeds,

shall speak

of Your splendor and glory,

tell the tale

 of Your wonderful works.

They will speak

of Your terrible deeds,

recount Your greatness and might.

They will recall

Your abundant goodness;

age to age

shall ring out Your justice.

The Lord is kind

and full of compassion,

slow to anger,

abounding in love.

How good is

the Lord to all,

compassionate

 to all His creatures.

 

 

The Praises

PART 30