Have you ever been in awe of how St. Paul and the early Christians could be singing songs of praise from prison (Acts 16:5)? Or how Daniel, after hearing that he was not to worship His God on pain of death, went to his home and facing Jerusalem, “…prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before” (Daniel 6:10)? What courage!! It has always amazed me that the saints had the audacity to praise God under circumstances that would terrify and paralyze most of us.
The Bible is full of examples similar to those, such as the three young men who were thrown into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship idols. Their courage is particularly striking when they told the King that their God was able to save them, yet “even if He does not…we will not serve your gods” (Daniel 3:17). They left it up to the Father to decide. Job, who had lost his children, wealth, and even his health, refused to curse the Lord and instead choose praise (Job 1:20). He also showed deep trust in God saying, “Though He slay me, I will trust Him” (Job 13:15).
Maybe all of these figures, and the saints throughout the centuries, who have walked the same path of praise realized that it is one of the greatest spiritual weapons we have. Psalm 8:2 reminds us that “Praise foils the enemy!” Jesus gives us the ultimate example of praise in darkness when, from His unimaginable sufferings from the Cross, He quoted Psalm 71, a powerful prayer of praise. Jesus reveals what was filling His Sacred Heart in these moments of feeling abandoned by the Father – He was full of praise! He was totally defeating the devil through praise!! Let us call to mind the blessings of the Father and from our homes, let us make this prayer of Jesus our own – “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more!” (Ps 71:14).
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Sister Maria Goretti, O.C.D., Vocation Directress
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