More importantly, it has been twelve months since I began to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. I have been amazed by how relevant each day's prayers can be; by how well-suited the Ordinary is to the way my mind works; by how poetic the psalms and the Old Testament are; by how good God is.
I have a friend who tells me that the Old Testament "doesn't make jack for sense." Maybe he is thinking of passages like Psalm 149, which sounds lovely:
Sing a new song to the Lord,until it turns violent:
his praise in the assembly of the faithful...
For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation....
Let the praise of God be on their lips,"Ugh," you might think. "God sounds disgusting; he unleashes his randomly-chosen favorites on everyone else, calls it an honor, and prizes it as if it's worship."
and a two-edged sword in their hand,
to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kinds in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.
But because Ps. 149 is in the psalmody for Week I (and is prayed at least every four weeks), I had a lot of opportunities to think about it. Faith and familiarity with On Christian Doctrine led me to think that this war passage makes sense. It's not disgusting.
I encourage all who can to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. If you already pray it, appreciate it more and enjoy it. And celebrate with me the first anniversary of my declaration of war.