Prayer of One Afflicted
The Core Work of Theology

The Core Work of Theology

Thomas Aquinas  by Carlo_Crivelli_007

"I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth; 
in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;
Because he stands at the right hand of the needy,
to save his life from those who would condemn him."

A vital element of theology is of be found in the word "theology" itself. It is a word about God and Word of God.

If we are to do genuine and life-changing theological reflection, it will be as the psalmists often did, a meditation on the nature, character, and acts of God.

The more we come to know the character of God and experience and practice the presence of God, the deeper our theology is established within us.

In these two psalms, we are enable to reflect upon a God who is just and merciful. These are not two sides of the nature of God; they are a perfect blend. God's justice is mercifully administered and God's mercy is always just and true.

Then, there is the next psalm of the day, 109 where we declare with the ancient singers, the God of our praise, Deus Laudem!,

This God acts in history, generally, specifically, broadly, and personally to redeem those in greatest need of God's advocacy and help.

The psalms enable us to contemplate God's character, presence, and power by observation of his mighty deeds among us, the Word spoken and written, and nature itself.

Let us enter into the Presence and do the real work of theology today.


Psalm 101
Misericordiam ed judicium

I will sing of mercy and justice; *
to you, O Lord, will I sing praises.

I will strive to follow a blameless course;
oh, when will you come to me? *
I will walk with sincerity of heart within my house.

I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; *
I hate the doers of evil deeds;
they shall not remain with me.

A crooked heart shall be far from me; *
I will not know evil.

Those who in secret slander their neighbors I will destroy; *
those who have a haughty look and a proud heart I cannot abide.

My eyes are upon the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me, *
and only those who lead a blameless life shall be my servants.

Those who act deceitfully shall not dwell in my house, *
and those who tell lies shall not continue in my sight.

I will soon destroy all the wicked in the land, *
that I may root out all evildoers from the city of the Lord.

Psalm 109
Deus, laudem

Hold not your tongue, O God of my praise; *
for the mouth of the wicked,
the mouth of the deceitful, is opened against me.

They speak to me with a lying tongue; *
they encompass me with hateful words
and fight against me without a cause.

Despite my love, they accuse me; *
but as for me, I pray for them.

They repay evil for good, *
and hatred for my love.

[Set a wicked man against him, *
and let an accuser stand at his right hand.

When he is judged, let him be found guilty, *
and let his appeal be in vain.

Let his days be few, *
and let another take his office.

Let his children be fatherless, *
and his wife become a widow.

Let his children be waifs and beggars; *
let them be driven from the ruins of their homes.

Let the creditor seize everything he has; *
let strangers plunder his gains.

Let there be no one to show him kindness, *
and none to pity his fatherless children.

Let his descendants be destroyed, *
and his name be blotted out in the next generation.

Let the wickedness of his fathers be remembered before the Lord, *
and his mother’s sin not be blotted out;

Let their sin be always before the Lord; *
but let him root out their names from the earth;

Because he did not remember to show mercy, *
but persecuted the poor and needy
and sought to kill the brokenhearted.

He loved cursing,
let it come upon him; *
he took no delight in blessing,
let it depart from him.

He put on cursing like a garment, *
let it soak into his body like water
and into his bones like oil;

Let it be to him like the cloak which he wraps around himself, *
and like the belt that he wears continually.

Let this be the recompense from the Lord to my accusers, *
and to those who speak evil against me.]

But you, O Lord my God,
oh, deal with me according to your Name; *
for your tender mercy’s sake, deliver me.

For I am poor and needy, *
and my heart is wounded within me.

I have faded away like a shadow when it lengthens; *
I am shaken off like a locust.

My knees are weak through fasting, *
and my flesh is wasted and gaunt.

I have become a reproach to them; *
they see and shake their heads.

Help me, O Lord my God; *
save me for your mercy’s sake.

Let them know that this is your hand, *
that you, O Lord, have done it.

They may curse, but you will bless; *
let those who rise up against me be put to shame,
and your servant will rejoice.

Let my accusers be clothed with disgrace *
and wrap themselves in their shame as in a cloak.

I will give great thanks to the Lord with my mouth; *
in the midst of the multitude will I praise him;

Because he stands at the right hand of the needy, *
to save his life from those who would condemn him.