The Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 13 Pt. 2
Yesterday I concluded my post by writing,
The Psalms are intended to connect all of me, body, soul, and spirit, to a world that is much larger than my personal experience and conscious awareness. I see this connection taking place in two distinct ways . . .
The Psalms connect me to the voice of the human condition that is manifest both far outside of me and deep within me.
I may or may not feel full of indignation against my enemies every day, but I am certain that many people in the world do. When I take up words of self-justified condemnation against "the wicked," I am offering these very real human events to God as prayer on behalf of all who harbor such sentiments in their hearts. I participate in an aspect of the monastic vocation as it has been lived out in the East and West for millennia, that of standing before the Presence on behalf of the whole human family, the good and the bad, and unloading its cosmic baggage.
On the other hand, since, in fact, I do not consciously experience feelings such as overt hatred of enemies on a regular basis, the Psalms provide a means by which I am able to unload whatever unconscious, repressed feelings have built up within me. They help to locate the hidden pride and envy and anger within me in order to uproot them from my soul so that they do not grow and bear fruit. In this capacity, the Psalms give voice to the very personal story we each must learn as a part of our inner transformation.