Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lenten Psalter Reading Group

During my Lenten journey this year, I've been blessed to participate with a group of Orthodox Christians who are daily reading the Book of Psalms. The concept is pretty awesome and simple, and has truly made a big effect on me during this Lenten season. You gather a group (dedicated) and break up the Psalms to assign different ones to be read by each person daily. You end up reading through the entire Book of Psalms twice throughout Great Lent, but the really amazing idea to keep in mind is that as a group, the entire Book of Psalms is read each day!
Prophet David, composer of the Book of Psalms
Image Source

During Great Lent, most people associate the negative concept of giving things up or not eating certain foods. However, the main reason for "fasting" during this season of preparation is to focus on our dependance on the mercy of God. While limiting certain aspects of our daily life, whether it be food, entertainment, selfish acts, etc. is not the goal of participating in the Lenten season, it allows for the oppportunity to increase in other aspects of our life. We are called to increase our prayer life (individual and communal), charity towards others, especially those in great need, and draw closer to the knowledge of our merciful God.

One tool for this drawing closer is to read more, not necessarily a spiritual work, but it certainly can't hurt. That's why I think joining this "reading group" during Great Lent has been so beneficial for me. It "forces" me to take time out of my day and focus on the Scriptures. I have to plan my day to include time to participate (I certainly don't want to be the person who becomes lacking in my reading, as I said earlier, if all participate the entire Psalter is read daily).

Many thanks to the parishioners of St Joseph Antiochian Orthodox Church in Houston, TX for notifying me about this opportunity during my Lenten journey; it has truly been helpful!

If you're continuing your Lenten journey, keep going; if you've stopped for a rest, move forward; if you haven't begun, start your journey: Have a blessed Great Lent!

- A Day in the Life of the Youth Director


julia said...

Do you meet daily to read it together?

Youth Director said...

No, you just read on your own, whenever you make the time to do so.