Posted July 7, 2003
Book: Psalms for Times of Trouble
Author: John Carmody
Twenty-Third Publications, Mystic, Connecticut, pp. 75
Excerpt from Jacket:
John Carmody here offers 75 prayers forged in darkness and trouble. In the spirit of the biblical psalmist, he speaks openly to God, whether for blame or praise.
These psalms are for times when the soul is open and raw, when one can only wonder at God's ultimate purpose and plan for our lives. They are frank and starkly realistic, fully congnizant of the depths to which human suffering can go.
Although Carmody's writing is filled with nuances of a life in pain, throughout there is the constant hope in the eternal kindness and mercy of God, a hope that comes through convincingly in each of the psalms.
Psalms for the Times of Trouble will help all who encounter serious hardship find a passionate voice with God. This is a book that will comfort and assist throughout one's life.
Excerpts from Book:
We Wait for Lab Reports
We wait for lab reports, responses to a job application, a great love to come out of the east and give our lives rich meaning.
Until we learn to wait well, we think you are not coming, our lives are waste and void.
But if we want you, and lament your not being here, you are here, our simple wanting beckons you.
Often, O God, we seem to be only wanting, raw, wholesale desire.
Nothing pleases us.
Always there is more to hope for, long after, compact into the imagery of heaven.
You have made us for yourself, and nothing less will do.
In your kind cruelty, God, you have opened our hearts to infinity.
I Feel Powerless
I feel powerless, God, to help myself.
My trouble is more than I can manage.
I have lived with it so long that I know its every mote and wrinkle.
But I cannot make it go away.
It leans over me in the morning blocking out the sun.
It mocks me at midnight driving sleep away.
I do not want to be my trouble.
I resent its defining me, pushing me to the margins of my own life.
Will you not give me a new definition?
Will you not be my center and reset all my margins?
You must be greater than my trouble or you are not God.
You must reduce it to the insignificance of an idol an ugly thing of wood, clay, and sin.
I want to leave it far behind me and travel outside myself to you.
Help me, O God, in this want for it quickens your life in my soul.
Excerpt from Table of Contents:
1. O God, incline unto my aid
6. Help my, my God
17. We wait for lab reports
24. We have choices to make
27. What return shall I make to the Lord
39. Is it wrong to long for death
47. I want to live
54. I find no sense in disease
57. I am caring less for my life
69. Who have the poor to help them
72. If you yourself are my suffering
75. Lately when I turn sad