Lord, make me an instrument of your wrath?
The so-called deprecatory Psalms have always presented a problem to thoughtful Christians. Modern Church liturgy largely censors prayers such as this: “O daughter of Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall he be who requites you with what you have done to us! Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” (Ps. 137:8-9)
Bashing the brains of babies seems to be a rather startling violation of every code of conduct imaginable. But to dismiss this and similar texts not only impoverishes a sense of just outrage over acts of wickedness but threatens to distort the notion