Frassati Reflection: Bless the Lord

Mountains and hills, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
Everything growing on earth, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
You springs, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
You sea monsters and all water creatures, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord;
praise and exalt him above all forever.
—Daniel 3:76–81

I recently used this psalm (featured in today’s readings) to pray with my CCD class, but instead of using the words of Daniel, I asked them to think of their own everyday surroundings and reflect on how the created world reflects the glory of God. We created a sort of Canticle of New York City, and I laughed hearing them recite, “All you pigeons, bless the Lord! All you rats, bless the Lord!”

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The exercise made me reflect on the value of litany prayer. Sometimes we need to hear God’s Word over and over again in order for it to really sink in, and litanies give us a kind of comforting rhythm through which we can internalize His truth. Listing all the gifts that God has given us helps us to refocus our perspective. Our own human emotions are constantly up and down, but the steady refrain of a litany—bless the Lord, bless the Lord, bless the Lord—reminds us that, through it all, God never changes. He has a hand in all that surrounds us, even in the traffic jams and cloudy days.


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