The relentless realism of the psalms is not depressing in the way that television news can be, although many of the same events are reported: massacres, injustices to those who have no one to defend them, people tried in public by malicious tongues. As a book of praises, meant to be sung, the Psalter contains a hope that “human interest” stories tacked on to the end of a news broadcast cannot provide. The psalms mirror our world but do not allow us to become voyeurs. In a nation unwilling to look at is own violence, they force us to recognize our part in it. They make us reexamine our values.

Kathleen Norris
The Cloister Walk

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