“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.”
I think one reason why films are so popular today is that we have not done a good job in our own emotional formation, in navigating self-discovery, especially men. And most of us haven’t been given the tools that we need to work through tragedy and suffering. Many of us just shove it down. And what movies do, in a weird way, is to allow us to weep.
That’s what catharsis is – the ability to re-experience a tragedy at a safe distance but still be close enough to it to process it. That is what happens in so many of the Psalms. When you’re angry about something that happened a while ago, maybe a few hours, a few days, or even a year ago, Psalms allows you to express, “God, I’m really, really angry about that.” And you finish by saying, “But, I trust you and I praise you and I thank you.”
There’s something cathartic about the rhythm of the Psalms because the Psalms of anger aren’t just angry; they always finish with something positive like, “But still I trust you” and “Hallelujah.” All the Psalms say to God in different ways that “I’m angry, but I trust you; Hallelujah.” And that is the rhythm of the Christian experience.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, you know the things that are still unresolved in my heart, that still cause me pain, but I trust you, praise you, and thank you. Amen.
REFLECTION: What is one thing that still angers you? Now, take that thing and bring it to the Lord in prayer.