Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Is the Lord Your Shepherd?

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Is the Lord Your Shepherd?

Article excerpt

One of the world's most famous poems answers this question affirmatively. Recited at nearly every burial service, prayed by people in peril, and sung frequently in the church's Divine Office, Psalm 23's familiarity is legion.

Not nearly as famous as Psalm 23, or even Leaves of Grass--Walt Whitman's famous book of poetry made infamous last year when a gent named Bill gave it as a gift to a woman called Monica--is National Poetry Month here in the United States. It's celebrated every April. Chances are it might have just slipped by you had you not perused this month's Odds and Ends or seen the Poet Laureate of the United States, Robert Pinsky, on PBS. If you have no plans for celebrating National Poetry Month yet, I suggest reading the psalms.

Although poetry is sprinkled throughout scripture, the mother lode is the 150 poems collected in the Book of Psalms.

These were Israel's hymns and prayers, and they were intimately connected with their worship. Although authorship traditionally has been attributed to David, many voices and hands constructed these poems over a long time period. Jesus himself and his Jewish apostles and disciples recited these poems. …

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