A psalm of life is an inspirational poem written by H. W. Longfellow as it gives the message to the coming generation. It gives the encouragement to find the purpose of life and achieve our goal. It describes all the difficulties that we’ll find while achieving our goal.
Longfellow was thirty-one when he wrote “A Psalm of Life,” likely writing it to fight back the inertia of depression overtaking him after the death of his wife from the complications of a miscarriage in the latter part of 1835.
This poem is known for its optimism and the theme-right attitude of life. The poet gives out the message that pleasure or sorrow is not the goal of life. The purpose of life is to carry out all duties and responsibilities for the progress and good of all. We should realize life is shorter and quicker.
We are always in God’s limelight.
Through the ages, people have experienced challenges that show God’s hands – mothers and fathers, the young and the old, simple shepherds and popular scholars, soldiers and actors.
God watches over me – no matter how I feel right now: safe and secure in a wholly and warm hearted community or alone and feeling abandoned. God knows my doubts, worries, troubles and challenges in my daily life.
The Psalms became a very important part in my life. It happened purely by accident. Long time ago, I stayed in a hotel in a foreign country in Europe. I felt really uncomfortable. I’ll not be boring you with details. I remember asking myself what the psalm writers also frequently did: “Where are you God? Why don’t you help me?”
Yes, the presence of real enemies is also part of our daily life here and everywhere. Anyway, suddenly I found a bible in the bottom drawer of my night table. I started reading the Psalms… .
At the very center of the bible are these songs, the Psalms, rising up like a tune from the heart. They capture the innermost thoughts and prayers, and they still speak directly to our needs. For every emotion and mood, you can find a Psalm to match. The Psalms wrestle with the deepest sorrow and ask God the hardest questions about suffering and injustice. They do not tip flowery compliments to God: they cry out to Him, or shout for joy before Him.
In almost every Psalm you find the presence of God, not as a philosophical principle, but as someone, who can change your life, if you allow Him to do so.
I learned from my Philippine mentor, the late Monsignore Professor Dr. Dr. Hermogenes E. Bacareza, chaplain of the Philippine community in Berlin, said that the best way to read the Psalms is simple: to make these ancient prayers your own and speak directly to God. So many of the poems catch deep human feelings that you can’t help but be moved by them.
It will take time to understand all Psalms; some might be boring or even self-congratulatory. Read them again and again. Psalms cries from the heart and songs of sorrow as well as joy – reflections for moods and experiences.
Since reading the Psalms, I learned and understood that for God, we’re always in the limelight.