Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I lift up my eyes...

Graham Owen photographer ~ California Hills in Spring

There are 150 psalms (poem-prayers of ancient Israel) in the Old Testament. They are a wonderful way to jump-start prayer. Jesus would have known the psalms by heart. A psalm is always prayed at Mass between the first reading and the Gospel. Father Ronald Knox has given us a very wonderful translation of the entire Bible in which the Psalms are beautiful, fresh and alive. Here is Psalm 120. We might pray this psalm these days of danger, insecurity and discouragement. 

I lift up my eyes to the hills to find deliverance;
from the Lord deliverance comes to me,
the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Never will he who guards thee allow thy foot to stumble;
never fall asleep at his post!
Such a guardian has Israel,
one who is never weary, never sleeps;
it is the Lord that guards thee,
the Lord that stands at thy right hand to give thee shelter.
The sun's rays by day, the moon's by night
shall have no power to hurt thee.
The Lord will guard thee from all evil;
the Lord will protect thee in danger;
the Lord will protect thy journeying and thy homecoming,
henceforth and forever.

Msgr. Ronald Knox ~ 1888 - 1957


  1. Thank you for this. Guard us Lord, we need help to keep from stumbling through this life to get to you. We fall often and you pick us up. I wish to stand strong and proud to protect others from evil.

  2. Here we are asking God for many things. I now see how the Gathas give more a feeling of connection than our regular church prayers.

    1. The gatha gives God a break. We take responsibility for our own world.

  3. Blessings to you on this Thanksgiving. Thank you for your guidance and prayers.

  4. I agree that the Knox translation is more vibrant and understandable. I searched for more of his psalm translations and was delighted that they were all online. What a pleasure. Thank you for pointing the way to them. The one above is listed as Psalm 121 though.

  5. In most bibles at some point early on in the numbering there's a shift - so 120 (121).

  6. Ronald Knox is known for so many famous books, his translations of the New and Old Testament are the most famous. He has also written The Window in the Wall, Reflections on the Holy Eucharist, also scripture based. Where God lives.. Its really great.