Fr. Robert Barron’s Lenten Reflection talks about keeping Christ at the center of our lives. Now that phrase “center of our lives” rings a bell. Why? Because there’s a song with that title, called “Center of My Life,” which is often sung at Mass. It’s actually based on Psalm 16.
It’s interesting how little people really know about Psalms. Psalms are stereotyped as “praise and worship” prayers, when in reality, Psalms are actually lyrics to a variety of songs, songs that fit whatever emotions we may feel. One of my favorite books is God, I Have Issues: 50 Ways to Pray No Matter How You Feel. Even if you don’t feel like praying, there’s a prayer for that. The chapters are listed in order of emotions and each emotion lists some Scripture suggestions. There’s a Psalm listed for almost every emotion in this book.
To demonstrate, I will take this idea from Tumblr: What if the Psalms had GIFs?
NOTE: IF YOU HAVE EPILEPSY, PLEASE STOP READING! GIFs CAN TRIGGER EPILEPSY!
Psalm 51: 3-4
“Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
In your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.”
Psalm 22: 2-3
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
You are far from my plea and the cry of my distress.
O my God, I call by day and you give no reply;
I call by night and I find no peace.”
Psalm 149: 1-3
“Sing to the LORD a new song,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in its maker,
the people of Zion rejoice in their king.
Let them praise his name in dance…”
And my personal favorite, Psalm 139
“I praise you, because I am wonderfully made;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you know.”
You get the idea.
So the next time you want to pray, pick a Psalm that you feel relates to what you’re going through. Pray it. And if you like it, google “Liturgy of the Hours.” It’s a really cool form of prayer that uses the Psalms (along with other prayers and Scripture readings) as prayers during different times of the day.