Sunday, October 25, 2015

Wearing the Habit of Praise

The night before last, I had an unsettling dream. It happens to all of us, I suppose: the occasional strange dream that persists throughout the day. This one was not so much story as atmosphere; a kind of dense blue vapor, thick and smoky, like dark wisps of shadow masquerading as forms.

It put me in a 'mood.' I couldn't shake the dream off, couldn't exactly remember it, couldn't grasp its essence enough to logically think it away. I felt as if my mind had gone heavy and dense.

Then I came across the scripture speaking of  'the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.' (Isaiah 61:3) And there it was. The very 'piece of grillwork' I needed. A part of my habit. The garment of praise.

What a powerful image. Praise not just to 'do' now and then, but to be clothed in, day and night. Praise as a HABIT, something that could become so much a part of my life that I'd habitually praise God in happy times and sad.

Scripture is filled (filled!) with prayers of praise to God, as well as exhortations and examples. It provides the perfect pattern. A concordance can be an excellent guide to the most basic pieces. We discover, for instance, that we are called to praise God continually (Hebrews 13:15), with all that we are (Psalm 103:1), because He is worthy (Chronicles 16:25).

The garment of praise is, I think, the perfect habit. I would like to wear it well.

'You changed my mourning into dancing; You took off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my soul might sing praise to You without ceasing. O Lord, my God, forever will I give You thanks.' (Psalm 30:12-13)



4 comments:

  1. Yes! Loved the imagery of praise as a garment that clothes us, as a HABIT!! "The garment of praise is, I think, the perfect habit. I would like to wear it well." Oh me too! That was so perfectly said, Nancy. This is a wonderful post and just what I needed to read today.

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    1. Thanks, Mary! God gives us what we need when we need it, and I am so thankful He pointed me back to putting on the garment of praise.

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  2. So often, your posts coincide with what's on my mind, Nancy. And, you explain things so beautifully. Sometimes, I think of being clothed with a mantle or a garment of graces and virtues, but 'habit' conjures up even more to reflect upon. And, now, I've just gone back and read your last comment and seen your 'garment of praise' - so lovely!

    It's only recently that I realised how psalms of praise lift my spirits and change my mood. I started praying the Little Office of Mary, a few months ago, and have found that there seems to be a psalm for every mood or need in the day.

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    1. Aren't psalms of praise wonderful, Vicky?! I want so much to get into a real HABIT of praising God as much as I possibly can.

      I am so glad to hear from you!

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