We’re reaching the halfway point in our Psalter readings so I thought I’d post an excerpt from some of St. Augustine‘s writings on the benefits of reading the psalms to encourage us along.
The singing of psalms adorns the soul, summons angels to one’s aid, drives away demons, dispels darkness, and produces holiness. It strengthens the mind of a sinful man; it atones for sin; it is like holy alms. It increases faith, hope, and love; it shines like the sun, it cleanses like water, it cauterizes like fire, and it soothes like oil. It puts the Devil to shame and reveals God; it extinguishes the lusts of the flesh, and is the oil of mercy, the lot of the joyful, and the chosen portion of angels. It banishes contentiousness, calms all anger, and curtails wrath; it is unceasing praise of God.
The singing of psalms is like honey. It is the preferred hymn before God; it wards off every sin, predisposes to love; it transcends all, fulfills all, teaches all, and reveals all. It exalts the soul, cleanses the lips, gladdens the heart, erects a tall pillar, enlightens a man, and calms the senses. It destroys every evil, and points to the way of perfection. Whosoever has the memory and love of it, has also the fear and praise of God in his heart, and will never fall away therefrom, nor will his petition be lost, but he will rejoice before God at the last.
It is silence of the mind, and harbinger of peace. For the psalms pray for the future, sigh for the present, repent of the past, rejoice in good works, and call to mind the joy of the heavenly Kingdom. Often a session of psalm-singing produces a shield of righteousness, and shines the light of truth against the demonic powers. It is the comfort of elders, an adornment for the young, and the maturity and perfection of the intellect. It teaches always to pray more attentively to Christ God, the helper and benefactor, who by the lips of the Prophet ordained these psalms.
To Him be praise, and honor, and majesty, blessing and radiance, wisdom and thanksgiving, power and might, together with God the Father, and the Holy Spirit; both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
Isn’t that just beautiful? Such power and blessing in these daily readings.
Elissa Bjeletich also recently shared some of her experiences with the Psalter Groups on her podcast Raising Saints. You can listen in here. Her words truly convey the peace and love she feels while reading the Psalms. She shares one of her favorites that happens to be one of my favorites, too.
You can also read some beautiful thoughts of St. Basil the Great’s on the reading of the Psalter here.
If you’re not a member of our Psalter Groups and would like to be, you can still sign up here. <3