December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 For the leader, for Jeduthun. A psalm of David.
- I said, "I will watch my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will set a curb on my mouth."
- Dumb and silent before the wicked, I refrained from any speech. But my sorrow increased;
- my heart smoldered within me. In my thoughts a fire blazed up, and I broke into speech:
- LORD, let me know my end, the number of my days, that I may learn how frail I am.
- You have given my days a very short span; my life is as nothing before you. All mortals are but a breath. Selah
- Mere phantoms, we go our way; mere vapor, our restless pursuits; we heap up stores without knowing for whom.
- And now, Lord, what future do I have? You are my only hope.
- From all my sins deliver me; let me not be the taunt of fools.
- I was silent and did not open my mouth because you were the one who did this.
- Take your plague away from me; I am ravaged by the touch of your hand.
- You rebuke our guilt and chasten us; you dissolve all we prize like a cobweb. All mortals are but a breath. Selah
- Listen to my prayer, LORD, hear my cry; do not be deaf to my weeping! I sojourn with you like a passing stranger, a guest, like all my ancestors.
- Turn your gaze from me, that I may find peace before I depart to be no more.
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1 [Psalm 39] The lament of a mortally ill person who at first had resolved to remain silently submissive (Psalm 39:2-4). But the grief was too much and now the psalmist laments the brevity and vanity of life (Psalm 39:5-7), yet remaining hopeful (Psalm 39:8-10). The psalmist continues to express both acceptance of the illness and hope for healing in Psalm 39:11-13.
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