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Book two
Psalms of the New Testament
31 - 59

31

 

In you, my Beloved, have I taken refuge;

let me never be put to shame

deliver me with righteousness.

 

Incline your ear to me;

make haste to deliver me.

 

Be my strong rock; a castle to keep me safe

for you are my crag and my stronghold;

for the sake of your name Beloved

lead me and guide me.

 

Take me out of the net that seems set for me;

become in me my tower of strength.

 

Into your hands I commend my spirit;

for it was you who has made me.

 

I understand those who cling to idols;

but I put my trust in the power of love.

 

I will rejoice and be glad because of my Beloved's mercy;

for my affliction has been seen and my distress known.

 

I have not been shut up in the prisons of others;

because you have set my feet in an open place.

 

Have mercy upon me, my Beloved when I am troubled;

my eye is consumed with sorrow as well as my throat and belly.

 

For my life is wasted with grief and my years of sighing;

my strength fails because of affliction and my bones are consumed.

 

I have become a reproach to my neighbors and even my enemies;

and a dismay to those of my acquaintance;

when they see me on the street they avoid me.

 

I am forgotten like a person who is dead out of mind;

I am useless as a broken pot.

 

For I have heard the whispering of the crowd

where fear is all around;

they put their heads together against me

and surely plot to take my life.

 

But as for me, I can say I trusted in the Beloved

I have said that the Beloved is my god.

 

My times are in the hands of the Beloved;

rescue me from the hands of my enemies

and from any who would do me harm.

 

Make your face to shine upon me

and save me with your loving kindness.

 

Beloved, let me not be ashamed for calling upon you;

rather let only wickedness be put to shame

with the silence of the grave.

 

Let the lying lips be silenced which speak out against anyone;

silence anyone who speaks haughtily, disdainfully or with contempt.

 

How great is your goodness Oh Beloved

which you have given to those who love you;

which has been done in the sight of all

when those who love put their trust in love.

 

You hide those who love in the covert of your presence

and you shelter them from the slander of tongues.

 

Blessed be the Beloved! for the wonders of love

have been shown to me in a besieged city.

 

Yet I said in my alarm, "I have been cut off from your sight."

nevertheless you heard my pleas when I cried out to you.

 

Love the Beloved all you who worship;

the Beloved protects the faithful.

 

Be strong and let your hearts take courage

all you who wait for the love of the Beloved.

 

32

 

Happy are they who forgive all transgressions,

and put away the memories of past hurts.

 

Happy are they who do not entertain guilt,

and in those whose spirit is no finger-pointing.

 

When I held not my tongue, my bones withered away,

because of my groaning and whining all the day long.

 

A heavy hand laid on me both day and night;

my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.

 

Then I acknowledged the idea of sin

and wondered if I was truly guilty.

 

I said, "I accept all that I have done in my life;

the good and the harmful as I ask for compassion."

 

I have taken from the abundance of the fields,

as my teeth chewed life from the very grasses.

 

For every reason I make prayers in times of trouble;

when the waters overflow may they not reach me.

 

I seek a hiding place to preserve me from trouble;

where I be surrounded by shouts of deliverance.

 

Who shall instruct us and teach us the way to go?

Whose eye will be the one to guide us?

 

Do not be like horses or mules that have no understanding;

who must be fitted with bit and bridle

or they will not stay together.

 

Great are the tribulations of the good and the evil;

but mercy embraces those who live in love.

 

Be glad, be righteous and rejoice in the Beloved.

Shout for joy all who are true of heart.

 

33

 

Rejoice in the Beloved all you hearts of the earth;

for it is good to raise our voices in praise.

 

Praise the Beloved with the harp;

play songs upon the lute and lyre.

 

Sing a new song with the fanfare

of your skill upon the trumpet.

 

For the works of compassion

are like songs sung in the morning.

 

Compassion brings righteousness and justice,

and loving kindness shall fill the whole earth.

 

In the power of compassion the heavens were made,

and in this breath were all the heavenly hosts created.

 

The waters of the ocean were gathered as in a water skin;

wherein are stored the depths of each of the seas.

 

Let all on earth honor this great Mystery

and all who dwell on the earth stand in awe.

 

For when it was spoken it came to pass

and when it was ordered it stood fast.

 

The will of nations comes to naught;

and the designs of people are thwarted.

 

But the majesty of unspeakable Divine stands forever;

and the designs of such a heart endures from age to age.

 

Happy is the nation who believes in the Beloved

Happy are the people who have chosen this way.

 

From the smallest earthly thing the Beloved

shines out for all the peoples of the world.

 

The tiniest bit of matter is a dwelling place

for the Most High power of the universe.

 

It fashions the hearts of everything

and understand each of their lives.

 

 

No king can be saved by a mighty army;

a strong man cannot be saved by strength.

 

The horse is a vain hope for deliverance

and all of its strength cannot save anything.

 

Behold how The Beloved moves in all

how all moves according to the great will.

 

To pluck a small life from death

and to feed in the time of famine.

 

Our souls pant for the compassion of the Beloved

in this holy name do we put our daily trust.

 

Let your loving kindness be upon us

as we have put our trust in love.

 

34

 

I will bless the ways of the Beloved,

and praise shall ever be in my mouth.

 

I will glory in the path of the Beloved;

be humbled, listen and rejoice.

 

Proclaim with me the greatness of love;

let us exalt in this precept together.

 

I sought love and I was found,

and delivered from my terror.

 

I looked for the radiance of love,

in the face of flowers, even stones.

 

I called out in my affliction of loneliness,

and was saved from all of my troubles.

 

The angels of compassion came to me,

and delivered me from my unbelief.

 

Taste and see that the Beloved is good;

happy are those who trust in goodness.

 

Love the Beloved as if you are a saint;

who knows no fear want or of lacking.

 

The young lions lack and suffer hunger;

but those in love lack nothing that is good.

 

Come children and listen to me;

I will teach you of compassion.

 

Who among you loves life

and desires a long life of prosperity?

 

Keep your tongue from evil-speaking,

and your lips from lying words.

 

Turn from evil and do good;

seek peace and pursue it.

 

Keep your eyes on the righteous

with your ears open to any cries.

 

Compassion prevails against evil;

in the long run it shall leave the earth.

 

When the righteous cry they shall be heard,

and troubles will fail to dwell with them.

 

The Beloved is near to the broken hearted,

and repairs the spirits which were crushed.

 

The righteous may think they have troubles;

but life will lead them away from them all.

 

May all of my bones be kept safe;

not one of them shall be broken.

 

Evil shall flee from the loving,

and love will give love to love.

 

Let us all be servants of love;

and put our trust in the Beloved.

 

35

 

Imbue me with all mildness and gentleness;

yet teach me when it is time to fight.

 

When should I take up the shield

and who will go with me against wrong?

 

Without drawing the sword how can I reach

the ears of the wrong doers and those who harm?

 

Let those disavow life be shamed and humbled,

and those who plot fall back and be dismayed.

 

Let them be like chaff before the wind,

let the angels of the Beloved drive them away.

 

Let their way be dark and slippery,

as the angels of the Beloved pursue them.

 

For they have spread a net for the unsuspecting

and they have dug a pit to take them alive.

 

Let ruin come to those take life from another

let them be caught in the net they have hid

let them fall into the pit they have dug.

 

If my faith is in the precept of compassion

then there is no glory in victory and yet,

 

My very bones will be fashioned with compassion

to fight to save the poor against those who are strong.

 

Malicious witnesses may rise up against me

and charge me with matters I know nothing about.

 

They may pay me evil in exchange for good

which fills my soul with dark despair.

 

Yet when they are sick I shall care for them,

and humble myself by fasting and prayers.

 

I will pray with a whole heart

as one would for a brother or friend

 

I will behave like one who mourns for a mother;

bowed down in the pain of much grieving.

 

And when I stumble may they gather together;

strangers stoop to support me in a strange land.

 

They will not mock my strange speech;

nor gnash at me with bared teeth.

 

My life will be spared from the roaring beasts,

and my life shielded from the young lions.

 

Then I will give thanks in the congregation,

and praise the Beloved before the throngs.

 

Do not let treacherousness overcome me,

or those with hate wink at each other over me.

 

For if they do not plan for peace in the land;

show me their deceitful schemes so I may avert them.

 

If they open their mouths at me and say,

"Aha! we saw it with our own eyes."

 

Awake and arise to my cause

come to my defense with compassion.

 

Give me justice according to righteousness

and let not untruth triumph over the living.

 

Do not let anyone rejoice at my ruin

may those who boast be clothed with dismay and shame.

 

Let those who favor my cause speak out with gladness

and let them say that love is the way of the Most High.

 

My tongue shall be talking of this righteousness

and praise will come from my mouth all the day long.

 

36

 

There is a voice of rebellion in the heart of the wicked;

there is no compassion of the Beloved before their eyes.

 

They flatter themselves to be alone on top

and that their evil actions will not be found out.

 

The words of their mouths are wicked and deceitful;

they have left off acting wisely and doing good.

 

They think up wickedness upon their beds,

and set themselves out in no good way,

and do not abhor that which is evil.

 

The compassion of the Beloved reaches to the heavens;

this faithfulness rises up even unto the clouds.

 

How priceless is love, the compassion of the Beloved;

people take refuge in the shadow of your wing.

 

We feast on the abundance of your house:

we drink from the river of your delights.

 

In you is the well of life filled

and you are the light we see.

 

Continue your loving kindness to all,

and favor those who are true in heart.

 

Let not the foot of the proud come near me;

nor the hand of the wicked push me aside.

 

See how miserable they are who work wickedness

how they are cast down and unable to rise.

 

37

 

Do not fret yourself because of evil doers;

do not be jealous of those who do wrong.

 

For they shall wither like grass,

and like the green grass fade away.

 

Put your trust into goodness and do good;

dwell in the land and feed on its riches.

 

Take delight in the compassion of the Beloved,

and you shall be given your heart's desire.

 

Commit your ways to trusting the Beloved,

and it will come to pass that

 

righteousness will be as clear as the light,

and your just dealings as the noonday.

 

Be still before the Beloved,

and wait patiently for fulfillment.

 

Do not fret yourself over one who prospers,

or one who succeeds with evil schemes.

 

Refrain from anger, leave rage alone,

do not fret yourself; it leads only to evil.

 

And evil doers shall be cut off from true joy;

but those who live with compassions shall shout.

 

In a little while the wicked will be no more

you can search out their place but they will be gone.

 

Then the lowly shall possess the land

as they delight in an abundance of peace.

 

The wicked plot against the righteous

and gnash at them with their teeth.

 

Love laughs at the wicked with winds,

because it is known their day will pass.

 

The wicked may draw swords and bend bows

to strike down the poor and needy as they

slaughter those who are upright in their ways.

 

Their swords shall go through their own hearts,

and their bows will be broken to return to dust.

 

The little that the righteous have been given,

is better than the great riches of the wicked.

 

For the power of the wicked shall be broken,

while the Beloved upholds righteousness.

 

37 II

 

The Beloved takes care of the goodly,

and their inheritance shall last forever.

 

They shall not be ashamed in bad times;

and in the days of famine they shall have enough.

 

As for the wicked, they, too shall perish

like the glory of meadows shall they vanish like smoke.

 

The wicked borrow and do not repay;

but the righteous are generous in giving.

 

Those who bless the Beloved shall borrow the land;

those who curse love shall find no delight in the earth.

 

Our steps are directed by the compassion;

which strengthens those in this way.

 

If they stumble they shall not fall headlong,

for their faith in love shall keep them upright.

 

I have been young and now I am old,

yet the righteous have never been forsaken,

nor their children go begging for bread.

 

The righteous are generous in their lending;

and to them children are a great blessing.

 

Turn from evil and do good,

and dwell in the land forever.

 

For the Beloved loves justice,

and does not forsake the faithful.

 

They shall be kept safe forever;

as well as the offspring of the wicked.

 

The righteous shall possess the land;

and share it with those who work.

 

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,

and their tongues speak of what is right.

 

The love of God is in their hearts,

and their footsteps do not falter.

 

May the wicked see examples of love,

and seek then to change their ways.

 

May no one be abandoned to the courts,

and only the guilty be brought to trial.

 

Wait upon the Beloved and keep these ways;

when you borrow the land treat it as a living thing,

and you will see that it contains riches untold.

 

If you have seen the wicked in their arrogance,

flourishing like a tree in the full leaf of summer.

 

The next time you pass you'll find they're gone;

you can search but there is nothing left of them.

 

Transgressors shall be destroyed, one and all;

the future for the wicked is shorted and cut down.

 

The deliverance of the compassionate comes from

the Beloved, a stronghold in time of trouble.

 

The compassionate shall help and rescue them;

the wicked shall be rescued and delivered,

because everyone needs to find refuge.

 

38

Oh Beloved do not let me be rebuked with anger

nor punished with the wrath of the unknown.

 

For arrows of love have already pierced me

and many hands press hard upon me.

 

There is no health in my flesh, because of my indignation;

there is no soundness in my body because of my fears.

 

For my iniquities overwhelm me;

like a heavy burden they are too much to bear.

 

My wounds stink and fester;

by reason of my foolishness.

 

I am utterly bowed down and prostrate

I go about in mourning all the day long.

 

I am utterly numb and crushed;

I wail because of the groaning of my heart.

 

The Beloved knows all of my desires

and my sighing is never hidden.

 

My heart is pounding, my strength has failed me,

and the brightness of my eyes is gone from me.

 

My friends and companions draw back

and neighbors stand afar off.

 

Those who seek after my life comfort me;

they speak of my hurts all day long

and pray that I will not come to ruin.

 

I am like the deaf who do not hear

and from whose mouth comes no defense.

 

I have fixed my hope in compassion

may all the answers come with love.

 

No one rejoices at my expense

and none gloat when my foot slips.

 

Truly I am on the verge of falling

and my pain is always with me.

 

I will confess my iniquities

and be sorry for my inattention.

 

May no one become my enemy

nor shall I be wrongfully hated by any.

 

May no one slander the good I have done,

as I have tried to that which is right.

 

My Beloved, do not forsake me;

do not be far from me, my Beloved.

 

Make haste to help me,

in the name of love be kind.

 

39

 

I said, " I will keep watch upon my ways,

so that I do not offend with my tongue.

 

I will put a muzzle on my mouth,

while the wicked are in my presence."

 

So I held my tongue and said nothing;

I refrained from rash words,

but my pain became unbearable.

 

My heart was hot within me;

while I pondered, the fire burst into flame;

I spoke out with my tongue:

 

Beloved, let me know the end and the number of my days,

so that I may know how short my life is.

 

You have given me a mere handful of days,

and my lifetime is nothing in your sight;

truly even those who stand erect

are but a puff of wind.

 

We walk about like a shadow

and in vain we are in turmoil;

we heap up riches and

cannot tell who will gather them.

 

And now, what is my hope?

Oh Beloved my hope is in you.

 

Deliver me from all my transgressions,

and do not make me the taunt of fools.

 

I fell silent and did not open my mouth,

for surely it was you who did it.

 

Take my afflictions from me

for I am worn down by the blows.

 

Like a moth that eats away all that is dear

and we are all like puffs of wind.

 

 

Hear my prayer Oh my Beloved

and give ear to my cry

and do not find peace in my tears.

 

I am but a sojourner with you

a wayfarer, as all my forebears were.

 

Turn your gaze from me, that I may be glad again

before I go away and am no more.

 

40

 

I wait patiently for my Beloved,

who stoops to hear my cry.

 

From the desolate pit, out of mire and clay,

my feet have been set on a high cliff and made secure.

 

A new song has been put into my mouth;

a song of praise for the Beloved.

 

Many shall see and stand in awe;

many put their faith in the Divine.

 

Happy are they who trust in the Divine!

They do not worship evil spirits or false gods.

 

Great things has the Divine done for us,

how great are the wonders of the universe;

none can be compared to this greatness.

 

Oh, that I could make your wonders known to all;

but they are more than I can ever count.

 

In sacrifice and sin-offering is no pleasure taken;

for the Divine's hearing I have been given the ears.

 

Burnt-offering and sin-offering you are not required

and so I can only say, "Behold, I come."

 

In the scrolls it is written concerning me:

I love to do your will my Beloved,

and your love is deep in my own heart.

 

I proclaim your righteousness in the congregations

behold how I do not restrain my lips for your wonders.

 

Your righteousness have I not hidden in my heart;

I have spoken of your faithfulness and deliverance.

 

I have not concealed your love and faithfulness

from the peoples of all congregations.

 

The Beloved is greatly loved by those who know

that compassion shall not be withheld from any thing.

 

Let your love and your faithfulness

keep me safe for ever.

 

When innumerable troubles have crowded upon me;

when my faults have overtaken me so I cannot see.

 

They are more in number than hairs upon my head

and with the thought of them my heart fails me.

 

Be pleased, oh my Beloved, to liberate me;

my Beloved, make hast to comfort me.

 

Let me be ashamed and dismayed

when I seek to destroy any life.

 

Let me draw back in understanding,

and not find pleasure in misfortune.

 

Let those who say "Aha!" and gloat be confounded;

rather let them "Aha!" about what glory there is.

 

Let all who seek your goodness be glad,

and who understand your ways marvel.

 

Though I am poor and weak and just one

the Divine Force flows within my veins.

 

My helper and deliverer;

do not tarry, Beloved.

 

41

 

Happy are they who consider the poor and needy!

for they shall be delivered in their time of trouble.

 

The pulse of the universe preserves them,

and keeps them alive so they may give happiness.

 

May even the will of enemies be stilled,

and their hands cease to touch the righteous.

 

May the Divine sustain us on our sickbeds,

and minister to us with healing compassion.

 

Beloved, be merciful to me, I cry;

heal me from the disasters I have brought to life.

 

If there are enemies saying wicked things about me:

"When will death come to this one and that name perish?"

 

Even if they come to me to speak empty words;

may they not collect false rumors and spread them.

 

May my illness not give adversaries a cause

to devise evil against me but a reason to bless.

 

Even if a deadly thing has fastened on to me,

and I have taken to my bed never to rise again.

 

Even if my best friend that broke bread with me

has lifted a heel to turn away from me,

 

Oh my Beloved, may I be raised up again

so that I may repay them with compassion.

 

By this I will know that life is pleased with me,

and nothing shall triumph over my will to love.

 

My integrity shall hold you fast to me,

and set me before your face forever.

 

Blessed be the Mover of the Earth;

from age to age in truth, in truth.

 

42

 

As the deer longs for the ways filled with water;

so my soul longs for the sweetness of the Divine.

 

My soul cries out athirst for a living god

even as I stand in the Presence of the Divine.

 

My tears have been my food day and night

when people say to me, "Where is your God?"

 

I pour out my soul when I think on these things;

how I went with the multitudes to the sacred places.

 

With a voice of praise and thanksgiving

among those who still keep the holy ways.

 

Why are you so full of heaviness, oh my soul?

Why are you disquieted so deeply within me?

 

Put your trust in the Divine

and give thanks for compassion.

 

 

My soul is heavy within me;

therefore I remember the fruitful land

from the peaks of mountains and plains.

 

Deep calls to deep from the noise of cataracts;

all the rapids and floods go over me.

 

The Divine grants loving kindness in the daytime,

and the night season is a song of love to me;

a prayer to the Divine of my life.

 

I will not ask the Divine when in my strength:

"Have you forgotten me when I'm oppressed?"

 

I may feel that my bones are being broken,

and that I am mocked to my face,

 

All day long sad thoughts mock me until,

I ask where the compassion can be.

 

Why are you so full of heaviness, oh my soul?

Why are you so disquieted within me?

 

I will put my trust in love and give thanks

for the power of opening and giving.

 

43

 

Give me the balance of good judgment

so I may be delivered from deceit and wickedness.

 

Love shall be my strength and shield;

against any thoughts that oppress me.

 

Beloved send out your light and truth,

so I'm led to your dwelling on the holy hill.

 

May I go to the altar of the Beloved

with all the joy and gladness of my harp can sing.

 

Why are you so full of heaviness, oh my soul?

Why are you so disquieted deep within me?

 

I will put my trust in love and give thanks

for the power of opening and giving.

 

44

 

We have heard with our ears what our forefathers have told us,

of the deeds of might done in the days of old.

 

How peoples were driven out for the land of our ancestors;

how nations were destroyed and other people flourished.

 

They did not take the land by their sword or in victory,

but because the ways of their living favored them.

 

May we now learn to live in peace with neighbors;

to command only victories with our loving kindness.

 

May we stop seeing some peoples as adversaries;

but may we rise up together in a better life for all.

 

I shall not rely on the bow and its kin,

because swords do not give lasting victory.

 

There is no victory in death,

or putting others to shame.

 

Only in praising the Divine in glory,

and praising the name of compassion,

 

Can we avoid being rejected and humbled,

or plundered by those who know no love.

 

If we are scattered like sheep to be eaten;

or even scattered among the nations,

 

Even if our people are sold for a trifle,

while others make a profit from slavery.

 

Even if we are scorned by neighbors,

with mockery and derision around us.

 

Even if we are a by-word among nations,

a laughing stock among the peoples.

 

With our humiliation daily before us,

and shame covers our faces from sun to sun.

 

Because of the taunts of mockers and blasphemers;

do not let us become enemies and avengers.

 

If all of this comes upon us we will not forget,

that we are ruled by the love of the compassionate.

 

May our hearts never turn back,

nor our footsteps stray from the path.

 

If we forget the name of compassion,

and stretch our hands out to violence,

 

Will not the Beloved find this out?

For there are the secrets of the heart.

 

Indeed if we killed others all day long,

we shall be as sheep for the slaughter.

 

Awake to the power of the Beloved,

and to the glory of compassion.

 

Do not hide your face with forgetfulness,

and endure affliction and oppression.

 

And do not sink into the dust

nor let your body cleave to the ground.

 

Rise up and help those who love;

save us all with steadfast compassion.

 

45

 

My heart is stirring with a noble song:

let me recite what I have fashioned for the Most High;

my tongue shall be the pen of a skilled writer.

 

Beloved, you are the fairest of all creation;

grace flows from your lips with blessings forever.

 

Without a sword you are a mighty warrior;

bright in your pride and in your majesty.

 

Ride forth to spread truth and love,

and for the justice of compassion.

 

Your right hand shows marvelous things;

your arrows bring life to the smallest stone.

 

May the people who fall rise up with your strength,

and from the messages of love take a glad heart.

 

 

May the throne of the Compassionate One,

endure forever and ever more beyond time.

 

May the scepter of that kingdom be the righteousness

that defends the paths of beauty with the highest loving.

 

Therefore be the anointed of the Divine;

with the oil of gladness go among your brethren.

 

With your garments fragrant with myrrh, aloes, and cassia;

let the wild music from ivory palaces make you glad.

 

May your daughters be honored above all else;

may they be adorned with the gold of your esteem.

 

"Hear, O daughter; consider and listen closely;

do not forget your people and your parent's home.

 

Someday another will have pleasure in your beauty,

and to that one will you wish to give honor and love.

 

We let you go as if giving up the finest gift;

the favorite of the richest persons on earth.

 

You are as glorious as a princess,

in a gown made of the cloth of gold.

 

In embroidered apparel will you reign

over bridesmaids in your procession.

 

With joy and gladness you will be brought

to enter the dwelling of the one you love.

 

As a mother may you have all the children

you can love as your most treasured gifts.

 

They will make your name remembered

from generation to generation and all

will praise you for ever and evermore."

 

46

 

Compassion shall be our strength and refuge;

the most present help when in trouble.

 

We will not fear when the earth moves;

even if mountains topple into the sea.

 

Though its waters rage and foam

as mountains tremble at the tumult.

 

The Creator's spirit is with us

and as a Beloved is a stronghold.

 

There is a river whose streams make

glad the city of the Beloved;

the holy habitation of the Most High.

 

There is the Divine in their midst;

no one shall be cast down with gloom.

 

The Divine brings life and light;

as help at the break of day.

 

The nations make much ado and the kingdoms are shaken;

when the Creator speaks the earth shall melt away.

 

The Creator's spirit is with us;

and as a Beloved is a stronghold.

 

Come now to see the works of the Creator;

what awesome things have been done on earth.

 

With compassion will all war cease in the world;

it alone can break the bow and shatter the spear,

and burn the shields with the fire of rust and disuse.

 

Be still and know who god really is

and exalt among the nations that Love

shall be exalted upon all the earth.

 

The Creator's spirit is with us

and as a Beloved is a stronghold.

 

47

 

Clap your hands, all you peoples;

shout and sing with a cry of joy.

 

For all creation is to be loved;

the will to live the greatest power.

 

No one person is above us,

and no one is lower that ourselves.

 

Each who seeks a god chooses

a path that guides their feet in beauty.

 

When they find their own Beloved,

they shall shout as with a ram's horn.

 

Sing praises to the Beloved, sing praises;

sing praises to the power of compassion, sing!

 

To the Beloved who lifts you up

sing praises with all your skill.

 

The Beloved shall reign over nations

and be held in the holiest places.

 

With the nobles of the peoples gathered;

with the people of the fields and beasts,

 

May the rulers of the earth belong to the Beloved;

and may they exult the laws of compassion.

 

48

 

Great is the Beloved and highly to be praised,

above the city of compassion is a holy hill.

 

Beautiful and lofty, the joy of the earth

rises in the center of each high place.

 

The Creator is in such citadels;

there you will find your first love.

 

Even if kings over the earth assemble

to march out against righteousness,

 

They will look around and be astounded

they will retreat as they flee in terror.

 

Trembling will seize them there;

as they writhe like a woman in childbirth.

 

They shall be as ships of the sea,

when the east wind shatters them.

 

Wait in silence on loving kindness

to come to the midst of your temple.

 

Your praise, like the name of the Beloved

shall reach to the ends of the earth;

where justice comes not from hands.

 

Let the mountains be glad

and the cities rejoice because

of the compassion shown to one another.

 

Make a circuit of your land;

walk about its glories

and count the number of miracles.

 

Consider well its ramparts

and examine its features

so you may tell those who come after.

 

This shall be our god forever and ever

and by the earth shall we be guided.

 

49

 

Hear this all you peoples; hearken all you who dwell in the world:

you of high degree and low, the rich and the poor together.

 

May my mouth speak of wisdom,

and my heart meditate on understanding.

 

I will incline my ear to the proverbs,

and set forth a riddle on my harp.

 

Why should I be afraid in evil days

when the wickedness of others heel me?

 

The trials of those who put their trust in their goods,

and those who boost of only their great riches?

 

We can never ransom ourselves;

or deliver to anyone the price of a life.

 

For the ransom of life is so great

that we never live long enough to pay it.

 

In order to that we must live for ever;

and never have to see the wall of a grave.

 

For we see that wise die also,

like the dull and stupid they perish

and must leave their wealth to others.

 

Their graves shall be their homes forever,

their dwelling places from generation to generation,

though they call the lands after their own names.

 

Even though honored they cannot live forever;

they are like the beasts that also must perish.

 

Such is the way of those who trust in themselves

and the end of those who delight in their own words.

 

Like a flock of sheep they are destined to die

and because death is their shepherd;

they go down into the grave of earth.

 

Their forms shall waste away

and the land of the dead be their home.

 

Only life can ransom my life

to carry the flame in the torch I lay down.

 

Do not be envious when some become rich,

or the grandeur of their houses increase,

 

For they will carry away nothing at their death

nor will their grandeur follow with them.

 

Though they thought highly of themselves while alive

and they were praised for their success,

 

They shall join the company of their forbearers,

who will never see the light of day again.

 

Those who are honored but have no understanding

are less than the beasts of the field that perish.

 

50

 

The heart of the Beloved Divine has spoken with a word

that calls the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

 

Out of the earth in all of its beauty;

the will to live shows its glory.

 

The Divine will come and not keep silent;

before compassion is a consuming flame

and all around a raging storm.

 

Calling to the heavens and the earth from above,

to witness the gifts of thanksgiving from the people.

 

"Gather before me all ancestor spirits who follow

those who have made a covenant with me

and sealed it with their sacrifices."

 

Let the heavens declare the righteousness of their cause;

and none be judged except by their own selves.

 

 

Hear, Oh my people and I will speak:

"Oh nations, let your deeds be your witness.

 

I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices;

your offerings are always before the holy places.

 

I will take no bull-cafe from your stalls;

nor he-goats out of your pens.

 

For the beasts of the forest are mine,

the herds in their thousands upon the hills.

 

I know every bird in the sky no matter how high

and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.

 

If I were hungry, I would not tell you,

for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.

 

Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls,

or drink the blood of goats?

 

Offer to the Divine a sacrifice of thanksgiving

and make your vows to the Most High.

 

Call upon the Spark of the Divine within you;

that honor that and you shall be delivered."

 

To the wicked the Divine Spark says:

"Why do you recite the statutes of morality

and take the laws of the land on your lips;

 

Since you refuse to discipline yourself

and toss the words behind your back?

 

When you see a thief you make a friend;

you cast your lot in with adulterers.

 

You have loosened your lips for evil

and harnessed your tongue to a lie.

 

You are always speaking evil of your brother

and slandering your own mother's son.

 

These things you have done in my silence

and you think that I am like you."

 

"I have made my accusation;

I have put my case before your eyes.

 

Consider this well, you who refuse righteousness,

less you are torn up and know not where to go."

 

Whosoever offers sacrifices of thanksgiving honors the Divine

and to those will be shown the ways of beauty that lie in all.

 

51

 

Have mercy upon me, Oh Beloved, according to your kindness;

in your great compassion blot out all of my offenses.

 

Wash me through and through by forgiving my ignorance;

cleanse me from my great desiring which has led me astray.

 

For I know my transgressions,

and my faults are ever before me.

 

May I sin against no one

and do no evil in your sight.

 

Teach me to speak in the ways of righteousness

and to be upright in my judgment of my actions.

 

You have guided me from my birth

yes, even in my mother's womb.

 

For behold, you look for truth deep within me,

and will make me understand wisdom secretly.

 

Purge me from the defeat of my thoughts;

wash me clean of doubts and fears.

 

Make me hear of joy and gladness,

that the body you have made will rejoice.

 

Help me to put away my evil thoughts,

and blot out all my iniquities.

 

Create in me a clean heart, Oh Beloved,

and renew a right spirit within me.

 

Cast me not away from your presence

and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

 

Give me the joy of saving help again,

and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.

 

I shall teach others with my life;

may they turn to you with joy.

 

Guide me through my death, my Beloved

as my tongue sings of your righteousness.

 

Open my lips, oh my Beloved,

and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

 

Had you desired it, I would have offered sacrifice,

but the Divine takes no delight in burnt-offerings.

 

The sacrifice to the Divine is a troubled spirit;

a broken and contrite heart will not be despised.

 

Be favorable and gracious to all peoples,

tear down the walls around all cities.

 

Show them the ways of their loving;

how compassion is their greatest gift.

 

Even as you love the least of the earth's creatures

you have shown your love to the Most High.

 

52

 

Oh tyrants why do you boast of wickedness

against the godly all the day long?

 

You plot ruin with a tongue sharp as a razor.

Oh, worker of deception and falsehood.

 

You love evil more than good,

and lying more than speaking truth.

 

You love words that hurt,

Oh you have a deceitful tongue.

 

May you see the error of your ways;

may you turn your feet from such a path.

 

May the righteous welcome your changed heart

and guide your conversion with their compassion.

 

"This is one who did not understand loving kindness;

but trusted in great wealth and relied on wickedness.

 

But now this one is a green olive tree in the house of God

and trusts in the mercy of compassion for ever and ever.

 

We give thanks for the changes you have wrought;

and will declare your name in the presence of the godly."

 

53

 

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."

All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;

there is none who does any good.

 

The wise knows that each of us must find the Divine;

some good in this life on which to fastened our souls.

 

If everyone proved faithless and all turned to bad;

then there would be no one who does good, not one.

 

Who will pass along the fires of compassion,

if we ourselves do not practice that which we believe?

 

See how the people tremble; such trembling never was

for they have seen how our bones are scattered.

 

In what shall we believe? To what can we cling?

Each must find the Divine Spark to rejoice and be glad.

 

54

 

Save me, oh Powers too great for any name,

in your might defend my cause.

 

Hear my prayer ,oh Beloved;

give ear to the words of my mouth.

 

My own arrogance rises up against me,

and my ruthlessness threatens my own life.

 

Behold, the wisdom of my help,

the Divine that which sustains my life.

 

May I forgive those who spy on me,

may they find me faultless in my faithfulness.

 

I will fasten my mind on truth and beauty,

and praise the names of the Divine.

 

For it is compassion that rescues me,

and shows me some good in my foes.

 

55

 

Hear my prayer, Oh, Divine Presence;

do not hide yourself from my petition.

 

Listen to me and answer to me;

I have no peace because of my desires.

 

I am shaken by the noise of the world

and the pressure of my oppression.

 

I have cast a spell upon myself

and set myself into a fury.

 

My heart quakes within me

and the terrors of death are mine.

 

Fear and trembling have overcome me;

and the chills of horror overwhelm me.

 

I have said, "Oh for the wings of a dove!

I would fly away and be at rest.

 

I would flee to a far off place

and make my lodging in the wilderness.

 

I would hasten to escape

from the storm wind and tempest."

 

I have seen violence and strife in the city.

Confound such speech, Oh Beloved.

 

Day and night watchmen walk the watch around the walls;

but trouble and misery are in the midst of the city.

 

There is corruption in the heart of the city

and its streets are never free of oppression and deceit.

 

Had it been a foe who taunted me

or an adversary who vaunted against me

I could have hidden myself.

 

But it was you, a person after my own heart,

my companion, my own familiar friend.

 

We took sweet counsel together

and walked together in the throng around the temple.

 

Let death come swiftly

and may I not go living into the grave

 

I will call upon the Beloved,

and I will be delivered by that plea.

 

In the evening, in the morning, and at noon,

I will raise my voice in thanksgiving for my life.

 

The Beloved will bring me back safely from my battles

and all that wages in strife against me.

 

My companion has stretched forth a hand against comrade,

and has broken the covenant of loving kindness.

 

The speech of such a one is softer than butter;

but let me know if war is in that one's heart.

 

That one's words are smoother than oil;

show me if they are drawn swords.

 

Cast your burden upon the Beloved,

and you will be sustained;

if the righteous do stumble.

 

Take all my unworthy thoughts, Oh Beloved,

into the pit of destruction and nothingness.

 

May all beings find compassion all the days of their lives.

I put my trust in the Beloved.

 

56

 

Have mercy upon me, Oh Beloved,

for my thoughts assault and oppress me.

 

They hound me all day long;

truly they are a mighty host.

 

Whenever I am afraid,

I put my trust in love.

 

In the Beloved whose word I praise;

In the Beloved I trust and am not afraid;

what can flesh do to me?

 

All day long they damage my cause,

and all my thoughts seem to be evil.

 

They band together; they lie in wait;

they spy upon my footsteps,

because they seek my life.

 

Shall they escape in their wickedness?

Cast such thoughts away from me, Oh Beloved One.

 

You hear my lamentation,

you put my tears in a bottle;

are they not recorded in your book?

 

Whenever I call upon you, evil thoughts flee,

for I have My Beloved on my side.

 

In the spirit, the Beloved, whose word I praise;

in the Divine Presence I trust and will not be afraid;

what can mortals do to me?

 

I am bound by my vow to my Beloved;

I will present my thank-offerings.

 

For love has rescued my soul from death,

and my feet from stumbling on earth

 

That I may walk with my Beloved before

all peoples in the light of the living.

 

57

 

Be merciful to all, oh be merciful;

we all take refuge in compassion.

 

Be in the shadow of the wings of mercy

until the time of trouble passes by.

 

Search for the highest good in yourself,

to let that belief maintain your cause.

 

Do you believe help from heaven will save you?

Or do you believe in love and faithfulness?

 

Do you live in the midst of lions that devour people;

with teeth of spears and arrows; tongues of sharp swords?

 

Has a net been laid for your feet and are you bowed low;

has a pit been dug before you where you fear you will fall?"

 

Exalt your spirits above the heavens

and see the glory over all the earth.

 

If your heart is firmly fixed in compassion,

you will sing and make melodies.

 

Wake up your spirit; awaken lute and harp,

as if you yourself will waken the dawn.

 

Show goodness and mercy among all peoples;

sing the praises of love to all nations.

 

For loving kindness is greater than the heavens;

and faithfulness reaches even to the clouds.

 

Exalt your spirits above the heavens,

and see the glory over all the earth.

 

58

 

Oh rulers of nations do you decree righteousness;

do you judge the people with equity?

 

Do you devise evil in your hearts

and do your hands deal out violence?

 

You have not learned perversity in the womb

nor lying from your birth; there you were cared for.

 

Do not act like a venomous serpent

or the deaf adder that stops up its ears.

 

Do not heed the voice of the charmer

no matter how skillful that charming is.

 

Let loving compassion stop their teeth,

and turn aside the fangs of the young lions.

 

Let them vanish like water that runs off;

let them wither like trodden grass.

 

Let them be like the snail that melts away;

or the still-born child that never sees the sun.

 

Before such thoughts bear fruit like the brier;

let them be cut down and as thistles swept away.

 

The righteous will not seek vengeance,

nor bath their feet in the blood of others.

 

"Surely there is a reward for the righteous;

surely compassion and understand shall rule."

 

59

 

Rescue me from my evil thoughts, oh Beloved;

protect me from the horrors that arise in my mind.

 

Rescue me from vindictiveness,

and save me from a thirst for blood.

 

For evil let me return good with the wisdom

of knowing the difference for myself and others.

 

Let no guilt of mine color my perception;

grant me strength to battle my narrow vision.

 

Arouse in me a fine sense of righteousness,

and the courage to follow the path of love.

 

Awake in me the appreciation of life,

and how each form manages its existence.

 

Preserve me from being one who shows no mercy,

but goes like a dog snarling around the walls of the city.

 

Show me where is love is needed and wanted,

and give me the insight to determine what is best.

 

Preserve me from the pride of thinking

I know what is best for others.

 

Teach me to laugh and to find joy in life;

not to see it with the scorn of the unbelieving.

 

Then I will sing of your strength

and will celebrate your love in the morning;

 

For compassion has become my stronghold

a refuge in the day of my trouble.

 

To you, oh my Strength, I will sing

for you, my Beloved are a stronghold of mercy.

 

 

Copyright Jane Reichhold 2001

 

Book 3 Psalms of the New Testament 60 - 89 

Book 4 Psalms of the New Testament 90 - 119

Book Five Psalms of the New Testament 120 - 150

AHA Books Online

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