Psalm 103 - Hymn to God's Mercy

    [New International Version] Psalm 103 belongs to Book IV of the Book of Psalms. It is a hymn in honor of God, for his eternal, compassionate and merciful love.

    The PS 103 belong to Book IV Book of Ps , which is composed of a collection of texts 150 arranged by 5 poetry books. The Book of Psalms, for its wisdom and basic principles of human action , is considered the heart of the Old Testament. Book IV encompasses Psalms 90 to 106 . Psalm 103 is divided into 22 verses. The Psalms are poems-prayers addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. These prayers represent human experiences and religious conscience . They portray the common man , with his faults, insecurities, fears and hopes and, even today, we can identify with the Psalmist and draw inspiration from these texts to pray and plead with God when we feel lost and anguished or to express our gratitude for some blessing received. "There are enemies or friends, there is life or death, health or illness, pain or joy and, most of the time, there are no changes or gradations. Words are like stones and poetry like boulders carved by chisel"; "The Psalms are a bit like mountain paths, simple, especially when walking on snow, but they lead to the peaks; they are paths toward the peaks of meeting the Lord." - Carlo Maria Martini, Cardinal of Milan

    Psalm 103 - Hymn to God's Mercy

    1  From David. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all my inward parts bless his holy name. 2  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of its benefits. 3  It is He who forgives your guilt, who heals all your infirmities. 4  It is He who rescues your life from the grave and crowns you with mercy and tenderness. 5  It is He who fills your existence with goods and renews your youth like an eagle. 6  The Lord guarantees justice and right for all the oppressed. 7  He made known his ways to Moses, and his wonders to the children of Israel. 8  The Lord is kind and compassionate, patient and full of mercy. 9 He  is not continually rebuking, nor does his anger endure forever. 10 He did  not treat us according to our sins, nor did he pay us according to our sins. 11  For as heaven is high above the earth, so is his mercy strong to those who fear him. 12  As the East is far from the West, so He removes our sins from us. 13  As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear him. 14  For He knows our inclination, remembering that we are dust. 15  For a human being, his days are like grass; like the flower of the field, it too blooms. 16  When the wind passes over it, it disappears, and its place is no longer recognized. 17  But the Lord's mercy is forever and ever to those who fear him; and his righteousness is also for his children's children. 18  She is for those who keep her covenant and remember to keep her precepts. 19  The Lord has set his throne in heaven, and his kingship rules over all that is. 20  Bless the LORD, ye his angels, mighty messengers that carry out his orders, ever mindful of his word. 21  Bless the LORD, all his armies, servants and doers of his will. 22  Bless the LORD, all his works, in all the places of his dominion. Bless you, O my soul, the Lord!

    Meaning and interpretation

    The Psalm 103 is a hymn in honor of God , marked by a very personal and intimate style that expresses a kind of meditation in dialogue with the soul. The reasons for the praise addressed to God are his eternal , compassionate, and merciful love . "The Lord is kind and compassionate, patient and full of mercy." (Verse 8). At the end of the Psalm, the speaker extends the invitation to a universal hymn to be sung by the angels, the stars in heaven, and all the works of God. The Psalms of Praise are hymns addressed, above all, to God. In this sense, the Bible continues the liturgical literature of neighboring and previous religions, where hymns are the most common way for people to address the divinity , especially in contexts of greater solemnity. These Psalms were of great importance in the lives of biblical heroes. The preaching of the word of the prophets or the teaching of wisdom reflection appears closely linked to the cultural action of the people of Israel. They express, in a solemn and simple way , the believer's recognition of the efficacious presence of God who saves his people, for he is mercy that lasts forever; it is a refuge from the dangers of life; it is joy and joy; it is prosperity that feeds its people; it is light in times of darkness and salvation on Earth and in eternal life. The texts of the Book of Psalms oscillate between shout and praise, supplication and joy. Perhaps its authors understood that Man can only express his supplications, laments or thirst for revenge before God, if he is immersed in the spirit of praise that sings life stronger than death . Perhaps, beyond the scream, the lament or the anger, they realized that what moves these words is nothing but that life force that explodes in praise when it comes out of violence or when it goes through death. These hymns narrate, thus, the greatness or improvements and the thanks that flow from it. Examples of this are Psalm 8; 19; 28; 33; 47; 65-66; 93; 96-100; 104-105; 111; 113; 117; 135; 146; 148-150. Hymns can also be addressed to the king , focusing especially on the ceremony of royal enthronement, with every expectation of divine intervention for the well-being of the people and the just ordering of the world . In this case, the Psalms were performed at court parties, in the presence of the king, in celebrations for victory over enemies, among others. Some examples are Psalm 2; 18; 20; 21; 27; 51; 60; 61. With the end of the monarchy, these Psalms were accentuating the messianic connotations , which already had implicit. This is the case with Psalm 2; 18; 20-21; 45; 72; 89; 101; 110; 132; 144. The Psalms celebrating Jerusalem, which with the temple have a special connection to God, are also considered hymns. These are Ps 46; 48; 76; 84; 87; 122.

    The Book of Psalms

    The Joy and Happiness of the Righteous in Communion with God

    The Psalms are prayer-poems addressed to God, being the privileged way to address and speak to Him. Depicting the common man , with his failures, insecurities, fears and hopes, we can still identify with the Psalmist and be inspired today in Psalms to make prayers and supplications to God in times of trouble or express our gratitude for some blessing received. The Psalms, despite being written in Antiquity, still move , sensitize , awaken feelings , inspire and enchant . In them, we can identify anguish and joy , deeply human feelings, praises, supplications, teachings of reflection on spiritual wisdom and prophetic words. Written for different situations , some Psalms are intimate, revealing the author's personal relationship with God; others provide guidelines and advice for life, others are compositions for specific liturgical events such as rituals and pilgrimages. The Book of Psalms is composed of a collection of 150 poetic texts and is divided into five parts, called Psalm Books or Booklets. Each Book closes with short hymns of praise to God . The division into five parts was considered to correspond to the five books of Moses and it is assumed that each passage in the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible, called Torah by the Jews) was read in parallel with the corresponding Psalm. Its main forms are lamentation , supplication , praise and gratitude .

    The Power of Prayer in Dialogue with the Divine

    The Psalms elevate our thoughts to the Divine and prayer is the power of the word . Prayer is the language of faith. Any thought, word or image addressed to God is called prayer . It is through it that we come into contact with our God within and, therefore, it is so powerful in transforming life . Prayer can produce miracles , turn dreams into reality, give us hope for change , harmony and peace with ourselves and the world. Each Psalm has an intention that helps us meditate and walk with our God . For many theologians, the Book of Psalms has a prophetic or messianic tone as its verses refer to the coming of Christ into the world of men to guide them through the uncertainty and doubts of Human existence. The prayer has the power to call the Spiritual Universe full mode, honest, sincere, conscious, for the purpose of spiritual self-protection, family protection and those who are dear to us, to have peace of mind, spiritual and physical, for prosperity and success, to protect health and relationships, to ward off negative energies and, above all, to connect us to something bigger than ourselves. From this peace , well-being, hope and goodness in front of everyone and everything result. The faith can change our lives. It gives us tranquility and spiritual strength to face challenges. It helps us to meditate on our mission in life and to create a balanced and healthy environment for ourselves and those we love. When you pray, fill your heart with love and determination . The Psalms will guide you on a path of peace and communion with the higher energy .