ST. IGNATIUS OF ANTIOCH
Psalm 135, Verse 20:
20 House of Levi, bless the LORD! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
The hymn 135 begins and ends with an invitation to praise God for the great act of choosing Israel. The story of Israel’s emergence as a people is told in Ps 135:5–14; God created and redeemed the people, easily conquering all opposition. God’s defeat of hostile powers means that the powers themselves and their images are useless.
This psalm also begins and ends with a Hallelujah. In it we see that those who love and have holy fear have it in their heart to praise God. It would be a good practice to make a prayer of praise to our God when we get up and when we go to bed. For the evening prayer might I suggest to sit quietly before bed reflecting on Psalm 40:11 “Be still and know I am God.” Offer to our Lord your good works, and your failings, and praise Him for the graces He has given in regards to your concerns.
St. Ignatius of Antioch
St. Ignatius is one of the great bishops of the early Church. He was the successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch. He was condemned to death by wild beasts during the Emperor Trajan's persecution. On his way to Rome, he wrote seven magnificent letters, which we still have today, concerning the Person of Christ, his love for Christ, his desire for martyrdom and on the constitution of the Church and Christian life. His sentiments before his approaching martyrdom are summed in his word in the Communion antiphon, "I am the wheat of Christ, ground by the teeth of beasts to become pure bread."
Exhortations to Faith and Love
None of these things is hid from you, if ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ Jesus which are the beginning and the end of life. For the beginning is faith, and the end is love. Now these two. being inseparably connected together, are of God, while all other things which are requisite for a holy life follow after them. No man [truly] making a profession of faith sinneth; nor does he that possesses love hate any one. The tree is made manifest by its fruit; so those that profess themselves to be Christians shall be recognised by their conduct. For there is not now a demand for mere profession, but that a man be found continuing in the power of faith to the end. Wherefore none of the devices of the devil shall be hidden from you, if, like Paul, ye perfectly possess that faith and love towards Christ which are the beginning and the end of life. The beginning of life is faith, and the end is love. And these two being inseparably connected together, do perfect the man of God; while all other things which are requisite to a holy life follow after them. No man making a profession of faith ought to sin, nor one possessed of love to hate his brother. For He that said, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," said also, "and thy neighbor as thyself." Those that profess themselves to be Christ's are known not only by what they say, but by what they practice. "For the tree is known by its fruit."