Sister Mary Benet McKinney, OSB was a powerful woman in her ministries of teaching and justice. She was also a prayerful one. So as she began to suffer in body, she turned to the psalms to give her strength.
She would reflect on the psalms with Lectio Divina, a way of praying with scripture. Afterwards, she was inspired to rewrite the psalms. She would reflect on her own experience of God who stood by her during moments of suffering.
Two of the psalms she composed are below. We invite you to pray these on days when age seems to get the better of us or during times of weariness. While Sister Mary Benet passed away two years ago, her words still speak to our hearts and, we hope, will speak to your heart, too.
To you, my praise is due, O God,
To you I fulfill my vows,
You who hear my prayer.
To you I come with my burdens of diminishment,
Too heavy for me to carry.
But you shine through them!
Blessed am I!
You call me to dwell in your heart.
You fill me with your blessings...
You care for me with your bounty;
My life overflows with a rich harvest.
Even in the pastures of my wilderness,
My life flows with generativity;
Both the peaks and the valleys
I shout for joy;
Yes, I sing!
My weaknesses are many, O God!
So many limitations work against me
And say to me,
"There is no help for you."
But you, O God, are my protector, my glory;
You lift me to your heart.
I will not fear though diminishment is
ranged on every side of me,
working against me.
I lie down in your embrace to rest
and I sleep.
I awake, for you uphold me.
Arise! Save me, O God!
Wipe away my fears;
Put an end to my self-pity.
O God of salvation, bless me!
Special thanks to Benedictine Oblate Bertha Blattner who had the beautiful idea for us to share these psalms with you, our readers and friends!