Posted by: fvbcdm | September 16, 2013

Feast of Saints Cornelius & Cyprian (16 September 2013)

Recently I was struck by a passage from Sacred Scripture which speaks of the Lord our God as “enthroned upon the praises of Israel.” I like the poetry of that image. It seems to envision praise as something physical, material, tangible—like wood or bronze or marble which can support the weight of someone seated on it, like a king upon a throne, a judge upon a bench, a family member upon a chair. We pray: we offer praise to God, and our column of praise rises from earth to heaven and supports our almighty God who is seated in majesty reigning over the entire universe.  The Scripture also speaks of our offering to God “a sacrifice of praise.”  In the Jewish mentality of those days, a sacrifice was an offering made to God of some usually physical thing, like a lamb, a calf, a bushel of wheat, a basket of grapes, or even a firstborn child which was offered to God and then “redeemed” or bought back into the family by the substitution of a lesser gift in his or her place.

But as time went on, the people of Israel came to see prayer, praise, the singing of hymns, the burning of fragrant incense in honor of the Lord and to perfume his temple—all of these became “sacrifices” or offerings and gifts to show human love and appreciation of God’s goodness and majesty.

When we pray, we might well imagine that from our loving hearts, columns of praise and prayer and love rise up to God and become acts of adoration and worship which express our devotion to him. This is one of the reasons for our obligation to attend Mass on Sundays and holydays: to adore God, who deserves adoration, and who has so made the human heart that we are both sanctified and fulfilled by becoming men and women of praise. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This is a CDM composed by Father Brown in the past.


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