John Paul II Tells How to Begin Day Serenely

Comments on Psalm 5 of Morning Prayer

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 30, 2001 ( The secret to beginning the day serenely is to entrust one´s worries to God in prayer, said John Paul II in an address focusing on Psalm 5.

In morning prayer, the Pope explained, «the faithful one receives the interior drive to face an often hostile world. The Lord himself will take him by the hand and lead him on the streets of the city, indeed, he will ´make straight the way,´ as the Psalmist says.»

Continuing his series of reflections on the Psalms, which mark the daily rhythm of the Church´s prayer, the Holy Father addressed the 12,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square for the midweek general audience.

The Psalm chosen on this occasion by the Pope has three characters: «You,» «I» and «They.»

The first character to appear, whom the believer addresses, is «You,» which represents God.

«A certainty emerges in face of the worries of an exhausting and perhaps dangerous day,» John Paul II said. «The Lord is a consistent God, rigorous in confronting injustice, alien to any compromise with evil.»

The second character of the Psalm is the «I,» the «one who prays,» whose «person is dedicated to God and to his ´great mercy,´» the Pope said. Thus, he continued, the believer recollects himself in morning prayer, «to experience the safety of divine protection, while outside, evil rages and celebrates its apparent and ephemeral triumphs.»

Lastly, the «dark figure» appears as the third character — «they,» the enemies: «a hostile mass, symbol of the evil of the world,» the Pope said. In this figure are incarnated the attacks, perversity and difficulties that the believer will have to face during the day, the Holy Father said.

The Psalm ends with a ray of light and peace. «The day that now begins in front of the believer, although marked by effort and anxiety, will always have the sun of divine blessing on him,» John Paul II said. He noted that the Psalm ends: «Thou dost bless the righteous, O Lord; thou dost cover him with favor as with a shield.»

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