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February 25, 2009

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Rat-biter

"The cursing psalms of the Old Testament, mercifully omitted from church worship today, are the opposite of this, I suppose. Or are they a sort of escape valve for our destructive desires, just as some passages in Job and Ecclesiastes are an outlet for suicidal desires. Perhaps these desires too need to be voiced, and can also become part of that pedagogy in divine desire that prayer gives."

Yet even in the LOTH, two of them are omitted. The omission of Psalm 109 (I don't know what the traditional Orthodox-RC numbering would be) is particularly unfortunate, if the Psalm records not the hate of the Psalmist, but that of his enemies.

And it does help that there are Psalms that express what by the standards of the Gospels are appallingly wicked attitudes. This is what man is like, & is capable of - even Christian man.

The advantage of the cursing Psalms is that they do not ignore evil; they are an antidote to unreality about it. Surely, given the bluntness of Jesus about human nature's capacity for evil, this can only be welcomed.

Rat-biter

This, from the article, is puzzling:

"The dark, violent underbelly of religion can probably be found in the Apocalypse at least. "

But why ? The Apocalypse is the culmination of the Gospel - it is about how "the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ" ceases to be a hope (as in the Old Testament), or the Gospel preached by Jesus (in the New) & becomes a reality on earth, for ever. How is that not the best of Good News ?

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