Praise the Lord, my soul.
2 I will praise the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
3 Do not put your trust in princes,
in human beings, who cannot save.
4 When their spirit departs, they return to the ground;
on that very day their plans come to nothing.
5 Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God.
6 He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
7 He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free,
8 the Lord gives sight to the blind,
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,
the Lord loves the righteous.
9 The Lord watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
10 The Lord reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord.
I went vegan for Lent last year. So many nutritious delights were placed on pause for 40 days and change. Morning eggs, cold milk with cookies, tender pork chops and steaks. I don’t think that I’ve complained more during a Lenten season—or during any season, as a matter of fact.
As we fast or give up our favorite sweets for Lent, we can focus on our own discomfort and pain. When we focus on our own pain, we are like the blind who search for justice in Isaiah 59. We cry out “Why am I hurting?” and receive no answer. Or, at least we think that we receive no answer. When we become absorbed in our own pain, it is as though our ears are plugged. We shut out the world around us and fixate on our hurt. Yet Lent is not the time to focus on us. It is a time to focus on Christ. It is O.K., and even good, to cry out in pain. The season of Lent reminds us to whom we should cry.
This is why I love Psalm 146. The simple proclamation of praise for God shows us who we should direct our innermost thoughts and feelings towards. Psalm 146 reminds us that in this Lenten season we may still be somber and praise Christ. We may still suffer and praise Christ. By praising Christ, by focusing on Christ, by calling out to Christ, we begin to find true sight and justice in Him.
T.J. Dulac is a sophomore in Currier House studying Social Studies and Comparative Religion.