FOLLOW US  Click to go to Facebook.  Click to go to Twitter.  Click to go to YouTube.   TEXT SIZE Click to make text small. Click for medium-sized text. Click to make text large.  




A Despairing Lament

1A song; a psalm of the Korahites. For the leader; according to Mahalath. For singing; a maskil of Heman the Ezrahite.


2LORD, the God of my salvation, I call out by day;

at night I cry aloud in your presence.a

3Let my prayer come before you;

incline your ear to my cry.b

4*For my soul is filled with troubles;c

my life draws near to Sheol.

5I am reckoned with those who go down to the pit;

I am like a warrior without strength.

6My couch is among the dead,

like the slain who lie in the grave.

You remember them no more;

they are cut off from your influence.

7You plunge me into the bottom of the pit,

into the darkness of the abyss.

8Your wrath lies heavy upon me;

all your waves crash over me.d



9Because of you my acquaintances shun me;

you make me loathsome to them;e

Caged in, I cannot escape;

10my eyes grow dim from trouble.

All day I call on you, LORD;

I stretch out my hands to you.

11*Do you work wonders for the dead?

Do the shades arise and praise you?f



12Is your mercy proclaimed in the grave,

your faithfulness among those who have perished?*

13Are your marvels declared in the darkness,

your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?


14But I cry out to you, LORD;

in the morning my prayer comes before you.

15Why do you reject my soul, LORD,

and hide your face from me?

16I have been mortally afflicted since youth;

I have borne your terrors and I am made numb.

17Your wrath has swept over me;

your terrors have destroyed me.g

18All day they surge round like a flood;

from every side they encircle me.

19Because of you friend and neighbor shun me;h

my only friend is darkness.

* [Psalm 88] A lament in which the psalmist prays for rescue from the alienation of approaching death. Each of the three stanzas begins with a call to God (Ps 88:2, 10, 14) and complains of the death that separates one from God. The tone is persistently grim.

* [88:48] In imagination the psalmist already experiences the alienation of Sheol.

* [88:1113] The psalmist seeks to persuade God to act out of concern for divine honor: the shades give you no worship, so keep me alive to offer you praise.

* [88:12] Perished: lit., “Abaddon,” the deepest part of Sheol.

a. [88:2] Ps 77:3.

b. [88:3] Ps 119:170.

c. [88:47] Ps 28:1; 30:4; 40:3; 86:13; 143:7; Nm 16:33; Jb 17:1; Jon 2:7.

d. [88:8] Ps 18:5; 32:6; 42:8; 69:2; Jon 2:4.

e. [88:9] Ps 38:12; 79:4; 80:7; 123:34; 142:8; Jb 12:4; 19:13; Lam 3:7; Dn 9:16.

f. [88:11] Ps 6:6; 30:10; 38:18; 115:17.

g. [88:17] Jb 6:4; 20:25.

h. [88:19] Jb 19:13.

By accepting this message, you will be leaving the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This link is provided solely for the user's convenience. By providing this link, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops assumes no responsibility for, nor does it necessarily endorse, the website, its content, or sponsoring organizations.

cancel  continue