As a lover of all things Catholic, I bought a Catholic book on depression years ago even though I wasn’t depressed at the time. It’s a good resource for ministering to others and for future personal sad times. I can confidently say this is a tough season for those who know my situation. And it seems to get tougher and tougher. This week’s blog isn’t to throw a pity party, but to share what I found to be VERY encouraging if you or someone you know might be having a rough day or season.
Maybe you’re tired and worn out even as you’ve slept in as long as possible and you’re now getting out of bed. Maybe you feel like you barely have the energy just to brush your teeth and if you can do that, then the day was a win. Maybe you’re questioning if you’ll do anything great with your life. Ok, these are all examples from my life. #keepingItReal.
Someone else may have worse than me. Here’s a quote from P.G. Wodehouse:
Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy’s Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day’s work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city’s reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.”
Now, I know that Saint Thomas Aquinas has his advice for “alleviating sorrow” through hot baths, sleep, and wine…I’ve tried that, but not to step on Aquinas’ toes, I had a great impact through this one Scripture verse this morning.
So I’ve read this chapter (Psalms 23) many times in the past, and this one verse (verse 6) stood out for me today. I must’ve read it too fast in the past. This chapter is well known as the Good Shepherd chapter. And if you pray for Divine Office in the extraordinary form, you’ll know that this Psalm is appropriately used on Thursdays for the traditional day of the Last Supper. Hint: He shepherds us through the Eucharist…restoring our souls…bringing comfort to us.
But back to the one verse in this chapter that I LOVE. The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, which is the translation Christendom College uses, writes it as, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
The Jerusalem Bible (older than the popular New Jerusalem Bible) which is one of my favorite translations for reasons long enough to be another blog, writes it as, “Ah, how goodness and kindness pursue me, every day of my life; my home, the house of Yahweh, as long as I live!”
Next I was SUPER confused why this chapter in the much older Bibles is in the previous chapter (22). I know there weren’t chapters and verses when the Bible for first written but still. Please let me know if you happen to know! But in another favorite translation of mine, the Douay-Rheims Bible (first published in 1582 but my particular copy is from 1914), writes Psalm 22:6 as, “And thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.”
And the Vulgate (Bible in Latin) writes it as (and also Psalm 22:6), “Et misericordia tua subsequetur me omnibus diebus vitae meae; et ut inhabitem in domo Domini in longitudinem dierum.”
This verse is encouraging because troubles and evils can follow us, but on a deeper level… His goodness, His kindness, and His mercy are in fact, what’s following us!
My favorite verse in my previous season working 5 years at Sacred Heart was Galatians 6:14. It kept me humble because it was very easy to get a big head working in a leadership role there and being so well loved. Galatians 6:14 in the Jersusalem Bible says, “As for me, the only thing I can boast about is the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world.”
In this new season, I think I’ve found a new favorite verse.
Going old school and encouraged,