Notes on the Psalms…

So, I was talking to my enlightened brother last night, and he mentioned the how the psalms have traditionally been the book that teaches Jesus followers how to pray.  While modern day Protestantism has moved away from this, other traditions still rely heavily on the psalms as the book which instructs those who want to talk with God.

My brother mentioned a few quotes, and in lieu of a more in depth writing today, a few quotes about the psalms:

Whoever has begun to pray the Psalter earnestly and regularly, will soon take leave of those other , easy, little prayers of their own and say: ‘Au, there is not the juice, the strength, the passion, the fire which I find in the Psalter.’ — Luther

The book of psalms is like a garden which contains the fruits of all the other books of scripture, both Old and New Testaments… It seems to me also that the psalms are like a mirror. Anyone who recites them sees himself, and all the movements of his own heart and mind. He is deeply affected, because he encounters there as it were his own words, and his own songs, only given clearer expression than he could ever have managed himself. — St. Athanasius

Though all Scripture is fragrant with God’s grace, the Book of Psalms has a special attractiveness.  All with eyes to see can discover in it a complete gymnasium for the soul, a stadium for all the virtues, equipped for every kind of exercise… — St. Ambrose

A human heart is like a ship on a wild sea, driven by the storm winds from the four corners of the world. Here it is stuck with fear and worry about impending disaster; there comes grief and sadness because of present evil. Here breathes a breeze of hope and anticipated happiness; there blows security and joy in present blessings…What is the greatest thing in the psalter but this earnest speaking amid these storm winds of every kind? — Luther

The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God which made David dance.  — C.S. Lewis

More to come on how we ought to relate to the psalms, but I thought I’d post a few thoughts from those who came before us.

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