“We could say more but could never say enough; let the final word be: “He is the all.”
Where can we find the strength to praise him?
For he is greater than all his works.
Awesome is the Lord and very great, and marvelous is his power.
Glorify the Lord and exalt him as much as you can, for he surpasses even that.
When you exalt him, summon all your strength, and do not grow weary,
for you cannot praise him enough.”
Sirach (Ecclesiasticus 43:27-30)
EXALT THE LORD AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Our words are inadequate. The way we move our bodies in praise will be inadequate. The music we write and sing, the paintings we paint and the sculptures we sculpt, the churches and cathedrals that we design and build to honor and praise the Lord will always be inadequate.
But speak and move and write and sing and create and build we must, for when we contemplate the greatness of our God and the great works of our God, we feel a call inside our hearts and souls… to praise the Lord.
So when a prayer is answered… when you see a raptor soaring on a current of air… when you smile and think about a family member or a friend who has changed your life, dramatically and for the better… when you get away from the city lights and try to take in all the stars in the night sky… when you are singing with the faithful on Sunday morning and the words and the music move you… when you don’t know how you are going to pay the bills and somehow, in a way that you cannot explain, it all works out… when a dog approaches you and is wagging its tail like crazy, and you have never met him before, or you have petted her daily for 14 years… when you witness someone forgiving another person, or you find yourself doing something courageous, and know that those acts are only happening because of God’s grace… then give the Lord his due, and exalt him as much as you can!
In exalting the Lord, we are both reminding ourselves and acknowledging to others that there is One far greater than us, who is “the all” - the One who made it all and who makes being alive a wonderful adventure. We are finite and this One is infinite, and therefore anything we say or do, any movement we make, will fall short of what we are trying to express, will fall short of what we are hoping to offer.
Offer it anyway. Exalt the Lord as much as you can!
“When you exalt him, summon all your strength, and do not grow weary, for you cannot praise him enough.”