BOOK: Christ in the Psalms by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon

I need help with scripture, and thank God I found this book about the Psalms by this Orthodox Church priest from All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago.

I’m only up to Psalm 4 so take this as a preliminary report on this good book. Each essay spans two pages in the book. These are commentaries that were published in various church bulletins where this priest was assigned. I have to share this because the essays are just that good.

These are not technical analyses of the psalms, they are homiletic commentaries and explanations.

Right now, I’m spending about four days on each psalm, alternately reading the psalm and then reading the commentary.

Psalm 1 is #1 for a very good reason as Fr. Reardon points out. These are hymns of praise and thanksgiving and petition to God – by and for believers. Those who do not believe needn’t waste their time on these writings.

A small sampling of the power of his writing:

"…the book of Psalms …shows that…] prayer and praise of God are a major component of the biblical doctrine of holiness. One cannot live a worldly life and still expect to pray the psalms. The Psalter has nothing to say to the worldly; it is not for the unconverted, the unrepentant. It is, rather, the prayer book of those who strive for holiness of life and unceasing praise of God."

This is a book that I know that I want to read and re-read.

Thanks Crumpy,

I think the Psalms are very important to all Christians and I have simply been racking my brains trying to learn more about them. I am excited to find a book that is dedicated to the Psalms in the Catholic tradition. Incidentally, its available at Amazon.Com

I often get bogged down in the Psalms; not the ones of Praise, but the Psalms where the petitioner asks God to punish his enemies. This is so alien when taken with Christ asking us to Love our Enemies and pray for them. I heard one lecturer say that “our enemies” are our sins and weaknesses and that we should pray for their destruction.


if you check out his book, pay attention to the commentaries on the first couple psalms. The author really introduces all the psalms in a general way and addresses your issue about the “enemies” and all that.

He explains in such a small amount of space how important the first psalm is.

Well, in the first place, the “man” is taken to be the Christ,in the first place. So, it is He that does not stand in the counsel of the godless, does not walk in the way of sinners, and does not sit in the company of the scoffers (atheists).

And, it is He that yields His fruit in due time.

And, then, by extension, by our unity with Him, so it is we who are all of the above.

Incidentally, it is the “spiritualization” of the psalms and the entire OT that bothers the Jews (with our interpretation of those scriptures).

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