“Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ”

Sorry about being behind in posting this week. I preached a week’s retreat for some of the priests of the Diocese of Burlington Vermont so I spent a lot of my time last week and into this week prepping talks and homilies for them. We made our retreat in Fairlee VT and enjoyed the first good snowfall of the winter – 8-10″ of powder which thankfully brushed easy of the cars. Temperatures dropped too but we were all warm and content inside, out of it all.

Each day consisted of Morning and Evening Prayer, Mass with a homily, a Holy Hour, and two conferences, one in the morning and one late afternoon. Since the Catholic Church in the U.S. is undertaking a eucharistic revival, my morning talks focused on John 6, “The Bread of Discourse.” We did a “deep dive” into the text as we will also be called to preach the it for five Sundays in a row this summer. My talks and the discussions that followed not only opened up the text for some spiritual fruitfulness and prayer but also unearthed a number of preaching possibilities for the summer Sundays. God be blessed!

The late afternoon talks – just before a Holy Hour in worship of the Blessed Sacrament followed by Evening Prayer – focused on using the texts of the next day’s Liturgy of the Hours, most especially Morning and Evening Prayer, as a catalyst for deeper inner prayer over the course of the day. My presentations were mainly drawn from a book by Msgr. Frank Matera entitled, “Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ, A Christological Reading of the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours.” Msgr. Matera, a priest of the Archdiocese of Hartford and my former New Testament professor when I was in seminary, offers great insight and imagination in encouraging those of us who pray the psalms to hear either the voice of Christ Himself (the Head of the Church) or the voice of the Church itself (the Body of Christ) in the words of the psalms. My brother priests on retreat and I found we heard the words of the psalms in a new way which enriched our prayers this week.

My blessings to you all as we head into the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time this weekend. In the Church throughout the world, we will be celebrating “Sunday of the Word of God” while we here in the United States we will also be celebrating Pro-Life Sunday. But most especially, as we do at every Mass, we will be celebrating the Eucharist, the ongoing sacrifice of the Cross and the meal of our salvation at which we are privileged to receive the real Body and Blood of the resurrected and glorified body of Christ.

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3 Responses to “Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ”

  1. Carol Storey says:

    Thank you for your posting. How wonderful it must have been for you and the priests on retreat. Thank you also for your acknowledgement of Msgr, Matera, previous pastor of St.Mary’s Church in Simsbury. St.Mary’s is looking forward to you being with us this Sunday.

  2. Tom says:

    Archbishop Coyne, please prayerfully consider allowing vocations of any age, and foreign ones as well. The need for priests is too numerous in Hartford, also consider inviting the Dominicans back, as well as extending invitations to the Legionaries of Christ who have never been asked to Staff a parish. Any Religious Order should be asked, such as even Bishop Bentacourt’s order as well.

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