I stumbled across a book a few days ago: Meditations and Catechesis on the Psalms and Canticles of Morning and Evening Prayer, by Pope St. John Paul II and Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI. It’s published in the UK by Catholic Truth Society, and doesn’t ship to the US. I had to get a copy through AbeBooks and they got it from Blackwell’s in the UK. (To add to the fun, my bank at first declined the transaction because it involved sending payment overseas. A phone call got them to lift the ban—for one day. Oy vey.) But I’ve got it now and it’s mine, all mine!
Join me on Twitter as Pope St John Paul II reflects on the psalms and canticles of Lauds and Vespers.
Ahem. Back to what I was talking about. What was I talking about anyway? Oh! The book! Well, even if you can’t get hold of the book, you can still read the meditations and catechesis on the web. These took place at the general audiences held by the popes on Wednesdays. Pope St. John Paul II began the series by covering Morning Prayer (Lauds) and then covering Evening Prayer (Vespers). But he passed away before he could finish and Pope Benedict picked up where he left off. Pope St. John Paul II went through each day of the four-week Psalter and discussed each day in three parts, one part per Wednesday audience. (Pope Benedict didn’t adhere to that schedule the way his predecessor did.)
I’m sharing quotes and notes from the audiences (using the web versions rather than the book mainly because it’s easier) on Twitter using the hashtag #PsalmsJPII beginning with Lauds and going through Vespers. Join me and join in. Feel free to comment, too. Each session is also up at Storify — four, so far — so you don’t have to miss a scintillating minute of it. ;) See links below.
St. Augustine (hey, #CivDei peeps!) is mentioned quite a bit in the talks. Not surprising since he did write that Enarrationes in Psalmos thingy and he is a beloved Church Father and Doctor of the Church. I’ll be bringing special attention to the good doctor when we get to him, you can be sure of that! (What in the world is #CivDei, you say? Well, that’s a story for another day. Post in the works e’en now.)
The book at CTS: http://www.ctsbooks.org/morning-and-evening-prayer-meditations-and-catechesis/
The book at AbeBooks: https://www.abebooks.com/9781784690519/Morning-Evening-Prayer-Meditations-Catechesis-1784690511/plp
(Note: content at AbeBooks changes frequently. The book is available there as I type, but may be gone or replaced by a different edition at any time.)
St. Augustine’s Expositions on the Psalms, Logos/Verbum format (works with either): https://www.logos.com/product/38253/augustines-expositions-on-the-book-of-psalms
Church Fathers: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/early-church-fathers-overview-snapshot-of-the-fathers-of-the-church/
Doctors of the Church: https://www.crossroadsinitiative.com/media/articles/doctors-of-the-catholic-church/