My attention has been caught the last few days on the idea of praise. I intend to share with you two separate thoughts on praise—one below, and the second in a subsequent post.
This first thought arose from the second Matins reading on Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter. There we read from Saint Augustine:
“Now it is your unquestioned desire to sing of Him Whom you love, but you ask me how to sing His praises. You have heard the words: Sing to the Lord a new song, and you wish to know what praises to sing. The answer is: His praise is in the assembly of the saints; it is in the singers themselves. If you desire to praise Him, then live what you express. Live good lives, and you yourselves will be His praise.”
What a marvelous thought and novel exegesis of a beloved psalmic refrain! “Singing to the Lord a new song” is understood here as a metaphor for the new life of a Christian who responds to grace in his or her daily witness. In Augustine’s view, the tuneful singing of that figurative song forges us into the praise of God.
Not only, therefore, are we called to praise God. Rather, we, ourselves, are to be the very praise of God. Could there be a higher honor?