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Psalm 5

Morning prayer for help
"Those who have received the Word of God which dwells within will rejoice for ever"
v 2-10, 12-13

To my words give ear, O Lord,
  give heed to my groaning.
Attend to the sound of my cries,
  my King and my God.

It is you whom I invoke, O Lord.
  In the morning you hear me;
in the morning I offer you my prayer,
  watching and waiting.

You are no God who loves evil;
  no sinner is your guest.
The boastful shall not stand their ground
  before your face.

You hate all who do evil:
  you destroy all who lie.
The deceitful and bloodthirsty man
  the Lord detests.

But I through the greatness of your love
  have access to your house.
I bow down before your holy temple,
  Filled with awe.

Lead me, Lord, in your justice,
  because of those who lie in wait;
  make clear your way before me.

No truth can be found in their mouths,
  their heart is all mischief,
their throat a wide-open grave,
  all honey their speech.

All those you protect shall be glad
  and ring out their joy.
You shelter them; in you they rejoice,
  those who love your name.

It is you who bless the just man, Lord:
  you surround him with favour as with a shield.

Catechesis by Pope St John Paul II on Psalm 5
General Audience, Wednesday 30 May 2001 - also in French, German, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish

Lauds, Monday Week 1: In the morning you hear me

"1. "In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting." (v. 4). With these words, Psalm 5 presents itself as a morning prayer and therefore fits well in the liturgy of Lauds, the song of the faithful at the beginning of the day. The underlying tone of this supplication is, however, marked by tension and anxiety about the dangers and bitterness that are about to arise. But there is no less trust in God, always ready to sustain his faithful so that he does not stumble on the pathway of life.

"No one except the Church possesses such confidence" (Jerome, 59th Treatise on the Psalms, 5,27: PL 26,829). And St Augustine, drawing attention to the title given to the Psalm, a title which in its Latin version reads: For her who receives the inheritance, says: "It refers to the Church who receives the inheritance of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ, so that she possesses God himself, adheres to him, and finds her happiness in him, in keeping with what is written: "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth' (Mt 5,5)", (Enarr. in ps. 5: CCL 38,1, 2-3).

2. As often happens in the Psalms of "supplication" addressed to the Lord to be freed from evil, three persons come into the picture in the Psalm. Above all, God appears (vv. 2-7), he is the real You to whom the person praying turns with confidence. A certainty emerges in the face of the worries of a tiring and perhaps dangerous day. The Lord is a God who is consistent, just in the face of injustice, far removed from any compromise with evil: "You are not a God who delights in wickedness" (v. 5).

A long list of evil persons the boastful, the foolish, evildoers, the liar, the bloodthirsty, the deceitful pass before the Lord's gaze. He is the holy and just God and he is on the side of the one who follows his way of truth and love, opposing the one who "chooses the paths which lead to the kingdom of shadows" (cf. Prv 2,18). The faithful person will not feel alone and abandoned when he will confront the city, taking his part in society and in the tangled web of daily affairs.

3. In verses 8-9 of our morning prayer the second person, the person who prays, presents himself as an I revealing that his whole person is dedicated to God and to his "great mercy". He is certain that the gates of the temple, the place of communion and of divine intimacy, locked for the unjust, are wide open for him. He enters them to enjoy the security of divine protection, while outside, evil flourishes and celebrates apparent and temporary victories.

From his morning prayer in the temple, the faithful one receives the interior energy to face an often hostile world. The Lord himself will take him by the hand and lead him through the streets of the city, even more, he "will make straight his way" before him, as the Psalmist says with a simple but provocative image. In the orginal Hebrew text such serene confidence is based on two terms (hésed and sedaqáh): "mercy or fidelity" on the one hand, and "justice or salvation" on the other. They are the typical words to celebrate the covenant that unites the Lord with his people and with each believer.

4. Finally, we see outlined on the horizon the dark figure of the third character of the daily drama: they are the enemies, the evil ones, who were already in the background in the preceding verses. After the "You" of God and the "I" of the person who prays, there is now a "They" that indicates a hostile group, symbol of the evil of the world (vv. 10-11). Their physiognomy is sketched on the basis of the word, the fundamental element in social communication. Four elements mouth, heart, throat and tongue express the radical nature of the inner malice of their choices. Their mouth is full of falsehood, their heart constantly plots perfidy, their throat is like an open tomb, quick to wish only death, their seductive tongue is "full of deadly poison" (Jas 3,8).

5. After such a bitter and realistic picture of the perverse person who attacks the just one, the Psalmist invokes the divine condemnation in a verse (v. 11) which the Christian use of the Psalm omits, since the Church wants to be conformed to the New Testament revelation of merciful love, which offers to the evil one the possibility of conversion.

The prayer of the Psalmist at this point comes to an end full of light and peace (vv. 12-13) after the dark profile of the sinner just drawn. A wave of serenity and joy wraps the one who is faithful to the Lord. The day which now begins, opens up before the believer. Even though it may be marked by effort and anxieties, it will always have over it the sun of divine blessing. The Psalmist, who knows the heart and style of God profoundly, has no doubt: "It is you who bless the just man, Lord: you surround him with favour as with a shield" (v. 13)."


"I extend a special greeting to the group from the Melkite Archdiocese of Akka, to the groups of disabled persons, and to all the young people present, especially the members of the Australian National Youth Performing Arts Group. As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost, I invoke the abundant gifts of the Holy Spirit upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors, especially those from England, Finland, Israel, Australia, Indonesia, Japan and the United States.

Je salue cordialement les pèlerins francophones présents à cette audience, en particulier les jeunes de Marne-la-Vallée et de Paray-le-Monial, les Sœurs de Marie Réparatrice, le groupe de la paroisse Saint-Augustin d'Adjaha au Bénin. Que le Seigneur vous donne d'avoir toujours confiance en lui ! À tous, je donne de grand cœur la Bénédiction apostolique.

Herzlich begrüße ich alle Pilger und Besucher aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Ich freue mich sehr, die große Gruppe der Pilger des Päpstlichen Werkes für geistliche Berufe in Deutschland begrüßen zu können. In Begleitung des Bischofs von Augsburg, Viktor Josef Dammertz, und der Weihbischöfe Johannes Kapp und Johannes Kreidler begeht diese Gebetsgemeinschaft ihr fünfundsiebzig-jähriges Bestehen. Ich danke für diese Gebetskette, die Generationen umspannt und auf eine Tatsache hinweist, die mir am Herzen liegt: Wir können geistliche Berufe nicht machen, aber wir können sie erbeten. Möge der Herr der Ernte euer Gebet erhören und viele Arbeiter in seinen Weinberg senden. Meine Grüße gehen auch an den Chor der Basilika von St. Ulrich und Afra in Augsburg, der in diesen Tagen Gottesdienste in verschiedenen Kirchen Roms gestaltet. Gerne erteile ich euch allen und euren Lieben daheim den Apostolischen Segen.

Saúdo afectuosamente todos os presentes, de modo especial os peregrinos portugueses de Setubal. Na perspectiva da festa de Pentecostes, invoco para todos a luz do Espírito Santo, a fim de que ilumine, com sua acção vivificante, a Igreja e o mundo, e infunda em vossos familiares e comunidades a perseverança na fé e a fortaleza para levar todos a Cristo, único e verdadeiro Salvador.

Deseo saludar ahora a los fieles de lengua española, en particular a la Coral "Angel Mingote" de Daroca y al grupo de Panamá, así como a los demás peregrinos españoles y latinoamericanos. Que el Señor, que bendice al justo, conceda a cada uno de vosotros serenidad y alegría para afrontar los trabajos y dificultades de cada día. Muchas gracias.

Srdačno pozdravljam nazočne skupine hrvatskih hodočasnika iz Varazdina, Zagreba, Zadra, Stoca, Domanovića i Gradine. Dobro došli. Predragi, nada je dar Duha Svetoga, koji se daje Kristovim učenicima. Ona je nerastavljiva od vjere i ljubavi. Potrebno je vjernost tome daru posred tjeskobâ ovoga svijeta jačati čvrstim prihvaćanjem Evanđelja i postojanim jedinstvom s mjesnim biskupom i svećenicima, njegovim suradnicima u upravljanju narodom Bozjim. Od srca udjeljujem apostolski blagoslov svakome od vas i vašim obiteljima. Hvaljen Isus i Marija!

Srdečně vítám poutníky z farnosti Hošt'álkovice, z Domova mládeze v Jihlavě, a z Ostrvaské univerzity! Kéz na prímluvu svaté Zdislavy z Lemberka, jejzí svátek slavíme právě dnes, se nám dostane mnoha dobrých a solidních krest'anských rodin. Rád vám zehnám. Chvála Kristu!

Nu wil ik de Nederlandse en Belgische pelgrims groeten. Moge uw bezoek aan de graven van de Apostelen u steeds meer bewust maken van de werking van de Heilige Geest in het leven van de Kerk, zodat u, op voorspraak van de Maagd Maria, nog intenser aan het leven van de Kerk kunt deelnemen.Van harte verleen ik daartoe de Apostolische Zegen. Geloofd zij Jezus Christus!

Pozdravljeni slovenski športniki, ki ste z Davom Karničarjem in Jurijem Gorjancem uspešno dosegli vrh gore Everest. Naj vas alpinistični uspeh kulturno in duhovno ojači. S to zeljo vam podeljujem svoj apostoliski blagoslov.

Sveikinu tikinčiuosius iš Lietuvos! Baigdami geguzės mėnesi, kuriame ypatingai prisiminėme Mergelę Mariją, rytoj švęsime jos Apsilankymą pas Elzbietą. Visu jusu širdyse tebuna gyvas Marijos dziaugsmas ir ištikimybė, kad jos pavyzdziu galėtumėte buti ryztingais Dievo meilės skelbėjais. Šito linkėdamas, visus jus laiminu. Garbė Jėzui Kristui!

Zo srdca pozdravujem pútnikov zo Slovenska: z Dubnice nad Váhom, z Cirkevnej základnej školy Antona Bernoláka z Nových Zámkov a z Cirkevnej základnej školy svätého Vincenta z Levic. Bratia a sestry, v nedel’u budeme slávit’ sviatok Zoslania Ducha Svätého na apoštolov. Prosme Boha o zoslanie darov jeho Ducha aj do našich sdc, aby sme odváne svedčili o svojej krest’anskej viere. Rád zehnám vás i vašc rodiny vo vlasti. Pochválený bud’ Jeziš Kristus!

Rivolgo, ora, un cordiale saluto ai pellegrini di lingua italiana. In particolare, saluto i rappresentanti del "Comitato di Collegamento dei Cattolici per una Civiltà dell'amore" che, unitamente alla categoria dei Fiorai, promuovono in questi giorni un'interessante iniziativa, denominata "una palma per la civiltà dell'amore", in favore delle famiglie più bisognose del sud del mondo. Auspico che tale iniziativa contribuisca a rafforzare in coloro che vi aderiscono un serio impegno di testimonianza evangelica e di fraterna solidarietà. Saluto voi, cari sacerdoti e religiose, che partecipate al "Corso di animazione missionaria" organizzato dalla Congregazione per l'Evangelizzazione dei Popoli; come pure voi, care Suore che frequentate il corso annuale per formatrici presso la Facoltà "Auxilium" di Roma. Sia a voi, sacerdoti, che a voi, religiose, dico: Annunciate con coraggio il messaggio del Vangelo e testimoniate dappertutto che la fede cristiana risponde pienamente alle speranze e alle attese profonde dell'uomo e della società. Saluto anche i numerosi membri del casato "Pallottino" di Roma, come pure i fedeli della Parrocchia "Maris Stella" di Conversano, che ricordano il 25° anniversario di fondazione della loro comunità. Invoco su ciascuno la continua assistenza divina.

Rivolgo, infine, un affettuoso pensiero ai giovani, ai malati e agli sposi novelli. Carissimi, la Chiesa ricorda oggi la Visitazione della Beata Vergine. Maria si reca dall'anziana parente per renderle servizio. Diviene così per noi esempio e modello di premura verso chi è nel bisogno. Cari giovani, guardate a Maria per imparare, come Lei, a crescere nella fedele adesione a Cristo e nell'amore verso i fratelli. La Vergine Santissima aiuti voi, cari malati, a fare della vostra sofferenza un'offerta al Padre celeste, in unione a Cristo crocifisso. Sorretti dalla sua materna intercessione, voi, cari sposi novelli, ispiratevi sempre al Vangelo per rafforzare la vostra unione coniugale e aprirvi alle esigenze del prossimo bisognoso."