Tag Archives: Psalms

The Prison


By Max Lucado

Near the city of Sao Jose dos CamposBrazil, is a remarkable facility. Twenty years ago the Brazilian government turned a prison over to two Christians. The institution was renamed Humaita, and the plan was to run it on Christian principles. With the exception of two full-time staff, all the work is done by inmates. Families outside the prison adopt an inmate to work with during and after his term. Chuck Colson visited the prison and made this report:

Charles Colson

‘When I visited Humaita I found the inmates smiling- particularly the murderer who held the keys, opened the gates and let me in. Wherever I walked I saw men at peace. I saw clean living areas, people working industriously. The walls were decorated with Biblical sayings from Psalms and Proverbs…My guide escorted me to the notorious prison cell once used for torture.

Today, he told me, that block houses only a single inmate. As we reached the end of a long concrete corridor and he put the key in the lock, he paused and asked, “Are you sure you want to go in?”

“Of course,” I replied impatiently, “I’ve been in isolation cells all over the world.” Slowly he swung open the massive door, and I saw the prisoner in that punishment cell: a crucifix beautifully carved by the Humaita inmates-the prisoner Jesus, hanging on a cross.

“He’s doing time for the rest of us,” my guide said softly.'”

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De profundis


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj
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Credits: Photograph uploaded by alexj in http://art-profiles.com

In the Holy Bible, Psalms 130 is one of the Penitential psalms. This penitential lament, is the De profundis used in liturgical prayers for the faithful departed in Western liturgical tradition.

Psalms, Chapter 130

1 A song of ascents.
I
Out of the depths I call to you, LORD;

2 Lord, hear my cry!
   May your ears be attentive
   to my cry for mercy.

3 If you, LORD, keep account of sins,
   Lord, who can stand?

4 But with you is forgiveness
   and so you are revered.

II

5 I wait for the LORD,
   my soul waits
   and I hope for his word.

6 My soul looks for the Lord
   more than sentinels for daybreak.d
   More than sentinels for daybreak,

7 let Israel hope in the LORD,
   For with the LORD is mercy,
   with him is plenteous redemption,

8 And he will redeem Israel
   from all its sins.

In deep sorrow the psalmist cries to God. Deep anguish makes the psalmist feel “like those descending to the pit.” (Psalm 130:1–2)

He asks for mercy for the sins committed. The experience of God’s mercy leads one to a greater sense of God. (Psalm 130:3–4).

The psalmist’s trust ((Psalm 130:5–6) becomes a model for the people ((Psalm 130:7–8).

This is the Latin version of the Septuagint text:
[Canticum graduum]
De profundis clamavi ad te, Domine;

Domine, exaudi vocem meam.
Fiant aures tuæ intendentes
in vocem deprecationis meæ.

Si iniquitates observaveris, Domine,
Domine, quis sustinebit?

Quia apud te propitiatio est;
et propter legem tuam sustinui te, Domine.

Sustinuit anima mea in verbo ejus:
Speravit anima mea in Domino.
A custodia matutina usque ad noctem,

speret Israël in Domino.
Quia apud Dominum misericordia,
et copiosa apud eum redemptio.

Et ipse redimet Israël
ex omnibus iniquitatibus ejus.

I searched for a listenable video clip of De Profundis. A few days ago a video clip 5′ 5” long on YouTube titled “De Profundis (Septuagesima Sunday, Tract)” uploaded by SGeorgeAZ on Jul 13, 2011 impressed me.

This video in addition to the music has Gregorian chant notation from the Liber Usualis (1961), p. 499 and Latin lyrics sung by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.

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