Regis College, Toronto – Windows on Theology

The Psalms: Why do they continue to be the Church's source of prayer?

Starting Monday, January 5, 2009,  2 - 4pm for 12 weeks                           Michael Kolarcik, S.J.

We constantly encounter the Psalms in our daily and weekly prayer lives: in the Eucharist, in the liturgy of the hours, and in many religious hymns, both new and old. Yet, so often their imagery strikes us as foreign and maybe even odd. We may  be surprised and embarrassed at particular images of violence they contain. So why does the Church continue to hold up the Psalms as the source of Christian prayer? How do they help us speak to God and above all listen to the voice of God in life?

This series will explore the peaceful and compelling language of the psalms as they call us to place our trust in God, to cry out our deepest desires and needs, to express gratitude and to surrender to the One who creates and sustains life.

Jan 5th  
The Psalms – the prayer book of the Bible  // Speaking to God – Listening to God  // Ed Block on memorizing a few Psalms

Jan 12th
Laments – Courage to speak in complaint - anger / Pss 22, 7, 17, 56.  // A  notes on the movement of prayer in the laments.  
                                                                                                       B Praying to God even with the curses

Jan 19th
Laments – Facing one’s dark side – revenge / Pss  5, 35, 51, 57, 140--143.  // A  notes on the expressions for revenge in the presence of God
                                                                                                               B Praying to God in the face of darkness

Jan 26th Psalms of Trust – Listening to God in our life stories  / Pss 23, 27, 46, 62, 121, 125, 131. //  Structures and movements of prayer in the Psalms.

Feb 2nd
Psalms of Thanksgiving – Courage to speak of the praise of God in our lives  /  18, 30, 34.  //  notes on the Psalms of Declarative Praise -- Thanksgiving

Feb 9th

Psalms of Thanksgiving – Listening to the work of God in our lives  and in the lives of others / 116, 118, 124, 138.

February  16th Reading Week -- no lectures
Feb 23rd

Psalms of Praise – Praising the Glory of God in Creation // notes on the Psalms of Descriptive Praise -- Hymns
Mar 2nd

Psalms of Praise – Praising the Glory of God in History // Psalm 117 Music Score
Mar 9th

Psalms with the Exodus motif and the Covenant of Commitment // notes on the Exodus motif in the Psalms
Mar 16th

Psalms with the Royal motif and the Covenant of Promise // notes on the Royal motif in the Psalms
Mar 23rd
The Psalms of Wisdom – Recognizing the hand of God in creation and in our life stories // notes on the Wisdom Psalms.

Mar 30th
The Psalms in the Life of Christ: the Gospels

Contemporary Psalms Composed by Participants in Windows On Theology - The Psalms 2009

I normally use the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) but feel free to use your own Bible. There are two books I  recommend, choose one if you like. A few have been ordered at Crux (Wycliffe College).

Stuhlmueller, Carroll. The Spirituality of the Psalms. Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical, 2002.
Murphy, Roland E.  The Gift of the Psalms.
Peabody. Mass.: Hendrickson, 2000.