As Dominicans we set aside some time everyday to pray in common. One of those common times of prayer is Compline or Night Prayer. I don't know about you , but I LOVE praying compline. It is such a beautiful and peaceful hour. But more than that, it contains wonderful psalms and readings. The readings tend to be very short, however, they are very meaningful.
On every Tuesday, we chant from Psalm 143. This psalm in one of my favorites. It shows how faithful the psalmist is in God. From the text it doesn't look like he is having any easy-going day but in contrast he is struggling. Yet, in his lament all he can do is thank God for everything that God has done, declare his great love for God and ask that God continue to help him.
I would say that sounds like a conversation that many of us have with God, perhaps some more than others. However, the amount of faith that this Jewish composer puts in God is not found everywhere. Many times all we do is read off a list of "needs" and expect God to fulfill them immediately. Maybe we are confusing God with Santa?
When praying the Psalms, which were composed so long ago, we must not look past the frustration, sadness and often vengeful messages. These poetic works are the result of true openness with God. When speaking with God we should feel comfortable enough to say what we feel, very often just saying these out loud helps us. Following the example of the psalmist, let us not be ashamed of telling God what we truly feel, especially when we need God the most.
At the end of compline we sing the Salve in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and so, at the end of this reflection on night prayer I leave you with an amateur recording of the Dominican Salve sung by brother Joseph Paul and myself.