As soon as I read today’s psalm response to the lectionary readings, my inner voice began singing a short, repetitious, contemporary chant based on Psalm 33, written by Darlene Franz, a very talented musician from the Pacific Northwest who graces Cynthia Bourgeault’s “Wisdom Schools” with her presence and helps us to go deeper in prayer and inner knowing as we sing. Darlene has a website on which she speaks of the genesis of each of 23 chants and then sings them for the listener (wisdomchant.bandcamp.com). Darlene’s chant based on Ps. 33:5 comes from the chapter (“The Fecundity of God”) in John Philip Newell’s book, The Book of Creation: An Introduction to Celtic Spirituality which offers the following:
Breathing in and out to repetitions of this phrase while contemplating the goodness of the earth outside of us – “the One who dwells at the heart of all life” – and the goodness within – as you feel your body expanding, be aware of the goodness that you are opening up to from the depths of your being. It is planted in you and can be sensed like the fragrance of the earth’s goodness.
Darlene’s chant, which always evokes for me images of fields full of food and flowers, offers these words repeated over and over until Newell’s practice flourishes in song. The earth is full, full of Your goodness. The earth is full, full of You. Your goodness fills the whole earth. Darlene says: “May this chant assist you to dwell in the goodness of your own earth, this planetary earth we share, and the ‘world without end.’ Amen.” I invite you to visit her website, learn the chant and then approach the world with new eyes today, full of goodness.