Reflection on Psalm 27

Lit Candle


“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then shall I fear?   The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom then shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1. The Book of Common Prayer, p.617).

At the break of dawn the light from the sun graces the sky.  As evening gives way to night, the sun goes down, but the moon brightens a place in the sky.  On a clear night when the moon is full, its light gives the night sky a glow that only the moon can.  Whether day or night, there is light shining through the darkness to bring hope where there is despair.

All of us have those moments when what is happening feels like the sun on a beautiful clear day.  When things happen that change us from within, it can be like clouds covering our view of the sun, or blocking the light from the moon.

The Psalmist begins Psalm 27 by proclaiming that the Lord is the true light and strength of our lives.  Therefore, we have no need to be afraid.  I don’t know about you, but I have had those moments in my own life when things have happened, and I read this psalm about “not being afraid” and I think to myself: “Oh yeah, right!”

As we invite the Holy Spirit into the circumstances of our lives, we find ourselves full of fears.  There are many scary things around us.  The whole of Psalm 27 seems to be full of faith and hope in some places, acknowledging the enemies that are about us in other verses, and acknowledges that all we can really do is trust in the Lord.

The Holy One wants us to turn ourselves over and find God who is our light and salvation reminding us that we are God’s Beloved, with Whom God is well-pleased.  Whatever we are facing.  Whatever direction a situation is going.  There is no place or situation where God is not there with God’s light and salvation leading us in the way of of the life of Jesus Christ.

“And finally, never lose hope in God’s mercy.”  (RB 1980: The Rule of Saint Benedict in Latin and English, Chapter 4: On the Tools of Good Works, p.185).

How and where is God the light and salvation in your life?


Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB

Holy Tuesday Reflection: Foolishness and Salvation

Beginning Lent

“The message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18 NRSV).

“It is not all about me.  It is not all about you.  It is about something greater.”  The Rev. Kate Bradtmiller, Associate Rector at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in St. Paul preached these words on the Fifth Sunday of Lent.  The Gospel text was the one used for Today’s Office and Mass, John 12:20-36.  Here on this Tuesday in Holy Week, in addition we have these words from 1 Corinthians 1:18.

It is not complicated to read these words of St. Paul and apply them in a way that we center them on ourselves.  There is a certain degree of arrogance about them, if we only take them at face value.  When we take these words deeper into our prayer and reflect on them, the meaning is very different.  They are not about us.  They are about something greater.

The meaning of the Cross and the hope of salvation can never be limited to just us.  On the Cross, Jesus gave up everything, including His relationship with His Father, only trusting in God by faith with His very last breath.  What does this mean?  The message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing in their own self-centered carnality.  This can be any one of us at any given point in time.  Even in the most devout act of piety and/or so called “self-denial” for the sake of itself.  The Cross is the power of God unto salvation the more we accept and let go of the reality that it is not about us.  It is about something greater than ourselves.   It is about something that we can only contemplate and become centered around with simple faith and trust in God.  We can only catch a glimpse of it and not completely grasp it with our human senses, abilities or intellect.  It must be received through the act of self-sacrifice from a purity of heart seeking only union with God for the sake of God alone.  If this does not translate into a greater love of God and our neighbor, then foolishness is all it really is.

On this Holy Tuesday, may we know of the power of God’s salvation as we center on something greater than ourselves.


Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB