Vatican City (Fides Service) – During the audience on Wednesday 9 July, Pope John Paul II continued his teaching on the psalms, reflecting this week on psalm 142, a “prayer in time of tribulation.”
“Our morning prayer presents us with the supplication as a proposal of fidelity and imploring for divine help at the start of the day – the Pope explained -. The Psalm begins with an intense invocation to God, faithful to the promise of salvation made to his people. The Psalmist admits he has no merits and therefore humbly begs God not to be a judge”. The Psalmist describes his tragic situation: “the enemy, which is the representation of the evil in history and the world, has led him to the threshold of death”. Fearful and weak the believer lifts his hands to heaven with a gesture of entreaty and a plea for help. “His thoughts go in fact to the past when God worked wonders. This spark of hope melts the ice of suffering and trial in which the psalmist feels immersed and threatened”.
The second part of the Psalm opens with another call to God fearing he may have hidden his face and gone away for ever. The psalmist multiplies his prayers, placing them with declarations of confidence in the Lord, asking to be helped to do His will. “We must understand that our greatest good is the union of our will with the will of our heavenly Father – the Pope explained -, because only then can we accept within us all his love which brings us salvation and fullness of life. Unless it is accompanied by a strong desire for docility to God, confidence in him is not authentic….after starting from a situation of anguish, prayer reaches hope, joy and light, thanks to sincere adhesion to God and to his will which is his love for us. This is the power of prayer, which generates life and salvation”. SL (Fides Service 10/7/2003 EM lines 25 Words: 378)