This chapter lays out an order of Psalms that our community keeps, in part, when we pray our Midday Office on Sunday and Monday. St. Benedict instructs that Psalm 119 is to be distributed between the "little hours" on the first two days of the week, and so we encounter several sections of Psalm 119 each week.
Growing up, I remember a feeling of repulsion arising whenever I saw this huge 176-verse Psalm lying menacingly in the middle of the Bible. Who would ever want to sit down and read about laws and decrees and commandments ad infinitum? It wasn't until I experienced Psalm 119 in the context of liturgy and spiritual practice that I opened to it and it to me.
Some speculate that this psalm, based on the Hebrew alphabet, is a mnemonic tool intended for children. It is not nuanced, not subtle, and I find great help in its overt, simple assertion over and over that the speaker loves and obeys God's commands. My ego, at a given time, might balk by any number of concepts found in Psalm 119, but the deepest longings of my true self are affirmed and encouraged by its clear intention.
I do desire to have all my desires and my whole will caught up in God's way of being. I have seen the futility of life lived according to other ways--success, money, comfort, reputation--and so I chant boldly the words,
Make me go in the path of your commandments,
for that is my desire.
Incline my heart to your decrees
and not to unjust gain.
Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless;
give me life in your ways.