Vatican City (Fides Service) – Psalm 141 – “You are my refuge” – recited by Saint Francis of Assisi a few moments before his death, was the subject of the teaching given by Pope John Paul II during his general Audience on Wednesday 12 November in St Peter’s Square.
“The psalm is an intense supplication, marked by a series of verbs of imploring addressed to the Lord– the Pope said -: «I cry for help», «I beg the Lord», «I lift up my lament», «I give vent to my anguish». The central part of the psalm is dominated by trust In God who is never indifferent to the suffering of the believer. It was with this attitude that Saint Francis faced death.” God is addressed with familiarity “as someone who offers security ”, to whom the psalmist sends almost a signal of alarm that He may see the situation and intervene: «For me there is no escape, no one cares about my life». “Now the only protection and effective closeness is that of God…The Lord is the ultimate and only foundation, the only possibility for life, the supreme hope”.
“As in other psalms of supplication the final prospect is that of giving thanks which will be offered to God after the fulfilment– the Pope said - ... This atmosphere should also lighten Christian celebrations. the suffering of the individual must be echoed in the hearts of all; as the joy of each must be lived by the entire community of worshippers ”. Christian tradition has applied psalm 141 to Christ, persecuted and suffering, to who God gives his reward. “For this reason God raised him up, giving him a name which is above all other names; that at the name of Jesus every knee in heaven and on earth might bend" (Phil 2,8-10). (S.L.) (Fides Service 12/11/2003 – lines 22; words 317)