The third section of Psalm 145 takes up the golden thread which runs throughout the Scriptures: the praise of God’s fidelity. The Lord Himself revealed to Moses that He is a God… abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Ex. 34:6) St. Paul could only affirm what centuries of salvation history had amply proven: God is faithful! (1Cor. 1:9)

 

So faithful is our God that He sent His only-begotten Son into the world as its Savior.  Jesus, the Faithful and True, is divine fidelity incarnate. (cf. Rev. 19:11)  In both faithful word and loving deed, Jesus confirms the closeness of the Creator and the trustworthiness of the Father who is in heaven.  Is it any wonder that when the saints caught a glimpse of the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s fidelity (Eph. 3:18), they spent a lifetime [speaking] the praise of the Lord and inviting all mankind to bless His holy Name?

 

For St. Francis of Assisi, life was a continual affirmation of Psalm 145.  Francis fell, God supported him.  He was bowed down by illness, by temptation, by concern about the state of his religious family, and the Lord raised him up.  The Little Poor Man called on the Lord and experienced firsthand that God hears and saves and protects.  Psalm 145 became for St. Francis a “living” word, one that he never tired of sharing with others.

 

Monastic orders have long included in their meal prayers these verses from Psalm 145 which sing of God’s providence in supplying our daily bread: The eyes of all creatures look to You and You give them their food in due time.  You open wide your hand, grant the desires of all who live.  The joyful penitent from Assisi, with his vow of evangelical poverty, took these lines to heart.  Francis lifted not only his eyes but also his open, empty hands to God, confident that the open hands of the heavenly Father would fill his.  And this is why the Little Poor Man was as content with a begging bowl filled with scraps or with some dry crusts of bread by a running stream as he was with a friend’s almond cookies.  Everything was a gift directly from God and thus everything was to be received with gratitude and praise.

 

It takes faith to see God, faithful and loving, at work in the details of our lives.  Psalm 145 invites us to cultivate a “good-memoried” faith which recalls and praises the Lord’s loving support, merciful providence, answering grace and saving protection in our past.  These holy (and wholesome) memories prepare mind and heart to be on the alert to see God, true to His word and loving in deed, at work in the here-and-now of our present life.  They enable us to make Psalm 145 our own “praise list” and link us with psalmist and saints in their perennial proclamation: God is faithful!

 




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Psalm 145

 

III

 

 

 

 

The Lord is faithful

 in all His words

and loving in all His deeds.

The Lord supports all who fall

and raises

all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all creatures

look to You and You give them their food in due time.

You open wide Your hand,

grant the desires of all who live.

The Lord is just in all His ways

and loving

in all His deeds.

He is close

to all who call Him,

who call on Him

from their hearts.

He grants

the desires

of those who fear Him,

He hears their cry

and He saves them.

The Lord protects

 all who love Him;

but the wicked

 He will utterly destroy.

Let me speak

the praise of the Lord,

let all mankind bless

His holy Name,

forever,

 for ages unending.

 

 

God is Faithful

PART 32