Saint Gerald

Meditations and Catechesis on Psalms and Canticles

This series of catechesis begun by Pope St John Paul II and completed by his successor Pope Benedict XVI is devoted to promoting the Liturgy of the Hours as a prayer of the whole people of God. These two popes offer original and illuminating reflections on each of the psalms and canticles leading the reader to deeper meditation and understanding.

Morning Prayer

Day Reflection Title
1. Introduction
Psalter is ideal source of Christian prayer
The Spirit prays through us in the Psalms
2. Week I
Sunday Psalm 63:2-9 My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord
  Daniel 3:57-88, 56 Let every creature bless the Lord
  Psalm 149 Song of praise, joy sung by festive chorus and instruments
Monday Psalm 5:2-10, 12-13 In the morning you hear me *
  1 Chronicles 29:10b-13 Blessed are you, O Lord *
  Psalm 29 The Lord solemnly proclaims his word
Tuesday Psalm 24 The Lord enters his temple!
  Tobit 13:1b-8 I exalt my God and my spirit rejoices in the King of heaven *
  Psalm 33 Hymn of joy and acclamation to God's Providence
Wednesday Psalm 36 Malice of Sinner vs. Goodness of Lord
  Judith 16:1, 13-15 The Lord, Creator of the World, protects his people
  Psalm 47 Praise the Lord, King of all the earth
Thursday Psalm 57 It is a dark night *
  Jeremiah 31:10-14 Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, proclaim it on the distant coasts *
  Psalm 48 O God we ponder your love within your temple
Friday Psalm 51 Against you alone have I sinned
  Isaiah 45:15-25 On the Mystery and Providence of God
  Psalm 100 Let the world praise faithful God
Saturday Psalm 119:145-152 Praise God for the gift of His Law
  Exodus 15:1-4a, 8-13, 17-18 Sing to the Lord for he is triumphant
  Psalm 117 All peoples praise God's faithful love
3. Week II
Sunday Psalm 118 The stone rejected ... has become cornerstone
  Daniel 3:52-57 Canticle uses language of Love
  Psalm 150 To you all flesh shall come with its burden of sin
Monday Psalm 42 The thirsting deer longs for streams of living water
  Sirach 36:1-5, 10-13 Glimmers of Hope During the Exile
  Psalm 19:1-7 God Creator creates brilliance of Sun
Tuesday Psalm 43 With confidence on road toward the heavenly 'Zion'
  Isaiah 38:10-14, 17b-20 Canticle of thanksgiving after nightmare of illness
  Psalm 65 To you all flesh shall come with its burden of sin
Wednesday Psalm 77 God renews the saving wonders of his love
  1 Samuel 2:1-10 The humble hope in God, rejoice in him
  Psalm 97 The Glory of the Lord, Judge of the world
Thursday Psalm 80 O Shepherd of Israel, come to our aid!
  Isaiah 12:1-6 Draw water with joy at the fountain of salvation
  Psalm 81 A love that frees the oppressed from their burdens
Friday Psalm 51 Where sin abounded, grace was more abundant!
  Habakkuk 3:2-4, 13a, 15-19 The Lord comes to judge the earth
  Psalm 147:12-20 Jerusalem, praise your saving God
Saturday Psalm 92 Sing in praise of Christ's redeeming work
  Deuteronomy 32:1-12 Fidelity is the best response to God's benefits
  Psalm 8 How Great is Your Name through all the earth
4. Week III
Sunday Psalm 93 God is our strength in the storms of life
  Daniel 3:57-88, 56 Give praise and glory to God for Creation
  Psalm 148 Praise to him who sits upon the throne
Monday Psalm 84 Heaven's peace and life is our destination
  Isaiah 2:2-5 They shall beat their swords into plowshares
  Psalm 96 The Lord reigns from the Cross
Tuesday Psalm 85 Show us, O Lord, your Mercy; grant salvation
  Isaiah 26:1b-4, 7-9, 12 My peace I give to you, my peace I leave you
  Psalm 67 God is offering His salvation to the whole world
Wednesday Psalm 86 All nations shall come and adore You, O Lord
  Isaiah 33:13-16 The Lord will Judge with Justice
  Psalm 98 May Your Kingdom Come
Thursday Psalm 87 Jerusalem, Mother of all Peoples
  Isaiah 40:10-17 Almighty God, Omniscient Lord, Loving Shepherd
  Psalm 99 Holy is the Lord our God
Friday Psalm 51 Take not your Holy Spirit from me
  Jeremiah 14:17-21 Show us O Lord your mercy
  Psalm 100 In prayer we abandon ourselves to God's embrace
Saturday Psalm 119:145-152 Begin the day with prayer: let Christ be light of day
  Wisdom 9:1-6, 9-11 True wisdom is a participation in the mind of God
  Psalm 117 Prayer is ray of light in self-sufficient world
5. Week IV
Sunday Psalm 118 In all our trials, God has the last word
  Daniel 3:52-57 Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord
  Psalm 150 Music, hymnody should be worthy of the greatness of the Liturgy
Monday Psalm 90 Teach us to number our days aright
  Isaiah 42:10-16 Sing to the Lord a new song!
  Psalm 135:1-12 Praise the name of the Lord!
Tuesday Psalm 101 I will sing of loyalty and of justice!
  Daniel 3:26, 27, 29, 34-41 We trust in your merciful love!
  Psalm 144:1-10 Blessed be the Lord, my rock!
Wednesday Psalm 108 My heart is steadfast, O God!
  Isaiah 61:10-62:5 The rebirth and renewal of Jerusalem: My soul exalts in my God!
  Psalm 146 Praise the Lord, O my soul!
Thursday Psalm 143:1-11 Penitential Psalms
  Isaiah 66:10-14a Rejoice with Jerusalem!
  Psalm 147:1-11 Praise the Lord!
Friday Psalm 51 Have mercy on me, O God!
  Tobit 13:8-11, 13-15 Give thanks worthily to the Lord
  Psalm 147:12-20 Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem!
Saturday Psalm 92 Good vs. evil
  Ezekiel 36:24-28 I will be your God!
  Psalm 8 O Lord, our Lord!
6. Benedictus
  Luke 1:68-79 Benedictus

Evening Prayer

Day Reflection Title
Vespers, Prayer of Sunset: Structure of Evening Prayer in the Roman rite
2. Week I
Sunday I (Saturday evening) Psalm 141:1-9 Prayer in danger
  Psalm 142 I cry with my voice to the Lord!
  Philippians 2:6-11 Christ, servant of God
Sunday II Psalm 110:1-5, 7 Sit at my right hand!
  Psalm 114 They all sang with one voice
  Revelation 19:1-7 Let us rejoice and be glad!
  1 Peter 2:21b-24 Our Lord's glorious Passion as foreseen at his Baptism in the River Jordan
Monday Psalm 11 A prayer of trust to the Lord who is not indifferent to right and wrong
  Psalm 15 To dwell on 'your holy mountain'
  Ephesians 1:3-10 Blessed be the Lord!
Tuesday Psalm 20 Grant victory, O Lord!
  Psalm 21:2-8, 14 For the king trusts in the Lord!
  Revelation 4:11; 5:9, 10, 12 Worthy is the lamb who was slain!
Wednesday Psalm 27:1-6 The Lord is my light and my help!
  Psalm 27:7-14 Confidence in God in times of tribulation
  Colossians 1:12-20 Christological hymn
Thursday Psalm 30 A hymn of thanksgiving for deliverance from death
and from the experience of trial and crisis
  Psalm 32 Happy those who are forgiven!
  Revelation 11:17-18; 12:10b-12a Hymn of thanksgiving to God
Friday Psalm 41 Prayer of a sick man betrayed by his friends
  Psalm 46 God "our refuge and strength"
  Revelation 15:3-4 Just and true are your ways!
3. Week II
Sunday I (Saturday evening) Psalm 119:105-112 Your word is a lamp for my steps and a light for my path
  Psalm 16 My happiness lies in you alone
  Philippians 2:6-11 He emptied himself!
Sunday II Psalm 110:1-5, 7 Sit on my right: your foes I will put beneath your feet
  Psalm 115 We who live bless the Lord!
  Revelation 19:1-7 Alleluia... Praise our God!
  1 Peter 2:21b-24 The face of the suffering Christ and his patience in bearing the burden of the Cross
Monday Psalm 45:2-10 My heart overflows
  Psalm 45:11-18 Listen, O daughter!
  Ephesians 1:3-10 Blessed be God!
Tuesday Psalm 49:1-13 In his riches, man lacks wisdom!
  Psalm 49:14-21 God will ransom me!
  Revelation 4:11; 5:9, 10, 12 Worthy is the Lamb
Wednesday Psalm 62 In God alone be at rest!
  Psalm 67 The earth has yielded its fruit
  Colossians 1:12-20 Firstborn of all creation
Thursday Psalm 72:1-11 Justice shall flourish
  Psalm 72:12-19 He shall save the poor!
  Revelation 11:17-18; 12:10b-12a By the blood of the Lamb
Friday Psalm 116:1-9 O Lord, deliver me!
  Psalm 121 Israel's guard
  Revelation 15:3-4 Just and true are your ways!
4. Week III
Sunday I (Saturday evening) Psalm 113 Praise the name of the Lord!
  Psalm 116:10-19 Prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord
  Philippians 2:6-11 He humbled himself
Sunday II Psalm 111 To fear the Lord
Monday Psalm 123 Have mercy on us!
  Psalm 124 If the Lord had not been on our side
  Ephesians 1:3-10 He chose us
Tuesday Psalm 125 On Israel, peace!
  Psalm 131 My heart is not proud
Wednesday Psalm 126 Deliver us, O Lord
  Psalm 127 If the Lord does not build the house
  Colossians 1:12-20 Firstborn of all creation!
Thursday Psalm 132:1-10 A place for the Lord
  Psalm 132:11-18 My crown shall shine
Friday Psalm 135:1-12 Praise the Lord for the Lord is good
  Psalm 135:13-21 Sons of Israel, bless the Lord!
5. Week IV
Sunday I (Saturday evening) Psalm 122 Peace upon you!
  Psalm 130 Lord, hear my voice!
  Philippians 2:6-11 Jesus Christ is Lord!
Sunday II Psalm 112 Open-handed, he gives to the poor
Monday Psalm 136:1-9 His mercy endures for ever!
  Psalm 136:10-26 To the God of Heaven give thanks
  Ephesians 1:3-10 He chose us in him
Tuesday Psalm 137:1-6 If I forget you, Jerusalem
  Psalm 138 Judaic hymn of thanksgiving
Wednesday Psalm 139:1-12 O where can I go?
  Psalm 139:13-18, 23-24 The wonder of my being
  Colossians 1:12-20 All the fullness of God
Thursday Psalm 144:1-8 He is my stronghold
  Psalm 144:9-15 Sing a new song!
Friday Psalm 145:1-13a I will give you glory!
  Psalm 145:13b-21 The Lord is faithful in all his words
Magnificat
  Luke 1:46-55 Magnificat: My soul glories the Lord