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 | By Veronica Szczygiel, Ph.D.

Praying Psalm 69

A song of lamentation and praise

Just as a disciplined regimen of exercise strengthens our core, deep reflection on Scripture passages can fortify our faith. Scripture reading and reflection can keep us spiritually fit and closer to God. Below is an example of such an exercise, taken from a responsorial psalm for a weekday Mass. (Nov. 6; Ps 69:30-31, 33-34, 36)

“Lord, in your great love, answer me.”

Because I have so many questions.

Have I made good decisions? Am I following your will? Why do I sometimes feel lost or alone? Why are there so many hardships in life?

Because I want to be in control.

I still face many unknowns. When will I finally “figure it all out”? I want to walk a straight path, but I’m constantly met with curveballs.

Because I worry about so many things.

So very many things, Lord. Like the health and well-being of my husband and my family. Like the state of this world, and its deep divisions. It never seems to get any better.

Lord, I just want to know your plan – but I know I can’t.


“I am afflicted and in pain; let your saving help, O God, protect me.”

Please, protect me from tragedy. Keep me safe in your arms, O Lord.

Please protect me from the temptation to be mean, nasty or vindictive. Keep me from lying, gossiping and spreading ill will.

Please protect me from myself and all my sins and sinful capabilities.

“I will praise the name of God in song, and I will glorify him with thanksgiving.”

God, you have been so good to me! Thank you for all the joys in my life.

Though there have been many ups and downs, thank you for making the peaks overshadow the valleys, the sunlight cast out the darkness.

Thank you for the people I love.

They are truly angels sent from heaven for putting up with the likes of me.

Thank you for all the little things I forget to thank you for but that are truly meaningful.

Like the train being on time. Or the smell of coffee in the morning. Or a good night’s sleep. Or the rain when my garden needs it.

In this way, I know you have already answered me. Because “in your great love,” you choose to forgive me again and again and again. You love me because I am yours – every single day. Jesus, I trust in you. Amen.

Veronica Szczygiel, Ph.D., is the director of online learning at Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education.

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