Psalm of the Miraculous Holy Waters

Psalm of the Miraculous Holy Waters

Jerusalem’s sacred pool at Bethesda,
whose hallowed waters healed the sick,
O Lourdes’ miraculous spring
whose waters wondrously cure cripples,
O Ganges, holy river of Hindu India,
whose primal waters wash away sins,
what can you offer this poor pilgrim,
homestuck and hungry for healing?

O creator of Healing waters,
bathe me in the wisdom that all water is holy,
consecrated in the very beginning
by your Holy Wind-Spirit,
poured into the holy water of oceans and rivers,
making every bathtub a Bethesda,
every creek, river or raindrop a Ganges,
every glass of tap water a Lourdes.

Reflection: Historically, among the many reasons for making a pilgrimage has been to seek healing for an affliction or suffering — and the waters of various religious shrines are renowned for their powers to heal. Yet all water is wet with the wonder of the Holy. All water is healing in its mysterious power to make not only plant life but all life to grow. Water heals the thirsty, soothes the body from the pain of labor and washes away the soil and grime of the day.

We might wonder, then, what makes holy water holy. While holy water requires a blessing, is the blessing for the water or for those who use it? Perhaps we could think of the blessing of water as a cold shower to sober up those drunk on the dullness of daily water.

Jesus revealed the mysterious holiness hidden in common water in his parable of the final judgment. The Judge separates the goats and sheep, saying, “I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink of water” (Matthew 25:35). When we unknowingly give water to anyone in need, we enter into paradise, freed of all our sins, healed of our crippling behaviors and cleansed of the sores from the leprosy of our mistakes.

We say: Charlottesville reveals the weeping wound of racism. What do we, the American Catholic faith community, do next? Read the editorial.

From Psalms for Zero Gravity by Ed Hays


Psalm for Healing the Tongue

Beloved Master, touch my mouth
with your freeing finger,
dripping in your healing saliva,
so my poor tamed tongue
may miraculously be un-tongue-tied,
liberated to speak boldly of you.

For I’m a lover with a dull tongue,
unable to proclaim with passion,
ashamed of bedroom words of love,
embarrassed to let my tongue
declare my true affection for you.

My tongue has been rendered tame
by stiffly embalmed words.
Formed in childhood and in church,
unable now to arouse me,
are my soulless words of prayer.

Jesus, son of David, heal my tongue,
and my mouth will freely proclaim
my unbridled love for you.

Reflection: Jesus healed the blind and gave the gift of speech to those who were speechless (Matthew 10:27-33). His healing of the afflicted, however, is not restricted to the past. We are all invited to call upon the Risen Jesus to heal us.

Tongue-tied lovers, like the one in this psalm, fill church pews to overflowing. Perhaps those of us so afflicted would blush when asked by the healing Master, “Would you like me to cure you and set your tongue on fire?”

This pre-prayer ritual of desire for healing could precede the praying of any psalm or prayer: Take your tongue between your thumb and index finger and close your eyes for a moment. Releasing your tongue and opening your eyes, exclaim, “Dance and leap, lame tongue, to the delight of your Maker.”

From Psalms for Zero Gravity by Ed Hays

Prayer action suggestion:
Do something this week that will preserve the precious water on our earth.


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