"In the life of Christians, there can never be too many translations of the Psalter. The Psalms are the prayers of God's assembly, the public prayer par excellence of the People of God. No prayer of Israel is comparable to the Psalter because of its universal character. The idea of the unity of the chosen people's prayer guided its elaboration as well as its adoption by the Church.
The Psalms may be looked upon as the prayerbook of the Holy Spirit. Over the long centuries of Israel's existence, the Spirit of God inspired the psalmists (typified by King David) to compose magnificent prayers and hymns for every religious desire and need, mood and feeling. Thus, the Psalms have great power to raise minds to God, to inspire devotion, to evoke gratitude in favorable times, and to bring consolation and strength in times of trial.
Furthermore, in giving us the Psalter, which sums up the major aspects of our relationship to our Creator and Redeemer, God puts into our mouths the words He wishes to hear, and indicates to us the dimensions of prayer:
'The Psalms call to mind the truths revealed by God to the chosen people, which were at one time frightening and at another filled with wonderful tenderness; they keep repeating and fostering the hope of the promised Redeemer, which in ancient times was kept alive with song, either around the hearth or in the stately temple; they show forth in splendid light the prophesied glory of Jesus Christ: first, His supreme and eternal power, then His lowly coming to this earthly exile, His kingly dignity and priestly power, and finally His beneficent labors, and the shedding of His blood for our redemption.
'In a similar way they express the joy, the bitterness, the hope and fear of our hearts and our desire of loving God and hoping in Him along, and our mystic ascent to divine tabernacles" (Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, no. 148)
In short, the Psalms constitute an inexhaustible treasury of prayers for every occasion and mood in a format that is true to the whole tradition of the history of salvation." (from the Preface)
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