Reclaiming Lament

Developing a practice of praying the psalms – the 150 prayer-poems from the Hebrew Scriptures – in the Divine Office has been a gift of Dominican life.  The psalms reflect the broad range of human emotions:  jubilation, anger, gratitude, loneliness, awe, and more.  There is no tidying up raw emotion – the psalms give prayerful voice to all of these feelings authentically and fully.         

Recently, I have been appreciative of the psalms of lament which have been used for millennia in praying through grief and loss.  Moreover, as I begin to study Dominican life in earnest here at the Collaborative Dominican Novitiate, I’ve been reminded that St. Dominic prayed and preached with tears. 

I was received as a novice and sent to begin my canonical year with an outpouring of loving support and a solid week of joyful celebrations, which filled my heart with gratitude.  Yet, the events of the past week have brought me back to our rich Judeo-Christian tradition of lamentation.  Charlottesville, Virginia was my home and place of ministry for ten years. I hold both the excitement of this new step on the discernment journey and lamentation at the violent display of white supremacy in a city I deeply love.  The psalms guide us in bringing all our emotions – even or especially when they are contradictory and complex – before our loving and merciful God. 

Where are you called to pray with tears?  How do you practice lament personally and collectively?

Sr. Rhonda Miska
St. Louis, MO


Popular posts from this blog

Nuns can have nose rings? (and other frequently asked questions)

Attachment vs Detachment