Praying with the psalms is a privileged way of becoming attuned to God’s presence in today’s world and in the life of the person at prayer. They enable us to bring our sense of puzzlement or of frustration into the presence God.
They express trust; they provide moments of repentance; they open up our search for God. With them, we can make petition, and we can offer words of praise and celebration and thanksgiving. And they make the reader part of a great chorus of psalm-users, going back over 2,500 years, remembering that Jesus himself grew up learning and praying the psalms.
These are the themes Carmel McCarthy explores in The Psalms: Human Voices of Prayer and Suffering. Giving the reader her own translation of the psalms she discusses, she also offers suggestions into how one might pray with them today, and concludes each reflection with a prayer taking up some of the key images and phrases of the psalm in question.
Carmel McCarthy RSM has combined years of working with parish Bible groups, lectio divina groups, and retreat groups with a distinguished academic career, latterly as professor of Hebrew and Syriac at University College Dublin. A member of the Royal Irish Academy, the most recent of her numerous publications is a critical edition of the Hebrew text of Deuteronomy (Stuttgart 2007) in the Biblia Hebraica Quinta series.