How often do you see a movie or TV show, or read something that you've seen or read countless times before, and suddenly see it in a way you never have? How often have you said "I can't believe I missed that!"? So this is how my day began...
I was reading morning prayer, and one of the selections in the psalter for today was Psalm 84. I have been through the psalter many times - it's a four week cycle. I have read the Psalms through more times than I can remember. Somehow, though, this particular passage has always just skimmed past my eyes; I never really saw it until today.
"Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself where she may have her young - a place near your altar."
Now, as a "nesting bird" of sorts, this tickled my awareness. What better place to care for my young than near the altar of the Lord? As I've considered this further, maybe I have less need to feel out-of-sorts in church with my children. This reassures me that doing "mom stuff" that addresses my children's immediate needs and helps to direct their attention to Jesus and His unique presence at Mass really is okay, after all. (You too, Mrs. J.L.!)
Ah, yes...my original point.
"Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have their hearts set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca (translates to "weeping"), they make it a place of springs; they go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion."
What admonition! What encouragement! What simple direction!
Praise is, for lack of a better term, magic. It turns the driest, bitterest valleys we pass through on this pilgrim journey into places of springs, where we may find strength and refreshment - strength that carries us until we see Him in Zion.