The other day, Tom, at Disputations, wrote beautifully of the prayer, "God, come to my assistance, Lord make haste to help me."
It is probably no secret that among my favorite Psalms to pray is psalm 51 which is prayed in full on Friday of each week except Easter week.
Yet, following an ancient tradition pronounced and sanctified by Jesus as one of the seven last words from the Cross, the Church has us prayer psalm 51 every day as the introduction to the Invitatory Psalm.
"Lord, open my lips/and my mouth shall declare your praise" occurs within the Psalm, a penitential psalm--the prayer of one who knows that she or he falls woefully short of the standard set. Every day we are reminded as we start to pray that we are sinners and the Lord sits in our presence and loves us nevertheless. He loves each person with an everlasting love--a love than knows no boundaries, limits, or restrictions. All have sinned and fallen short, but His expectations are not that we will ever find our way on our own but that we will continue to grow into His life. This is perfection--not every action executed flawlessly--not a life lived without error or fault, but rather that as any life progresses, it does indeed progress toward the wonder and joy of eternal life. Eternal life does not wait for tomorrow or the next day, or next year, or next decade--eternal life begins today with the understanding of God as loving Father and a prayer for an increase in desire to please Him.
Thus, the Church starts the day with a reminder of our sinfulness and of our need for perfection--for walking toward God always.
Praise God for the glory of Psalm 51
"For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn."
Nothing extraordinary, the human person coming before Him in love and saying, "Once again I've failed, and I am sorry."