By Susan Klemond


Let those who fear the LORD say, His mercy endures forever. ~ Psalm 118

It’s embarrassing when someone I’ve just met tells me their name, and before the conversation is over, I have to ask them to repeat it. That’s the aging brain; I usually have to say a new acquaintance’s name a few times before it sticks.  

The author of Psalm 118 recognized repetition as a way to not only commit something to memory but also the heart. In verses 2-4: 

Let the house of Israel say,

    “His mercy endures forever.”

Let the house of Aaron say,

    “His mercy endures forever.”

Let those who fear the LORD say,

    “His mercy endures forever.”

Why did he need to say it three times? 

First, he encourages the entire Israelite people to extoll God’s everlasting mercy. He repeats the call, specifically for the house of Aaron, who are the priests. And even though everyone’s heard it already, he says it a third time for “those who fear the Lord.” One commentator refers to this group as Gentile converts to Judaism, and another as the most fervent in following the Lord. 

If someone makes an effort to repeat something three times, it must be important. By sheer repetition, it will probably sink in. Surely Israel knew of God’s mercy. Scripture tells how many times they experienced it. But maybe they needed to be reminded when things weren’t going well that God is always merciful. 

On the days when the future is uncertain, and the present is pretty shaky too, I sometimes forget Jesus’ promise, “I am with you always until the close of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

Reminders help

I need to hear it again. I needed the reminder that God’s got this—whatever “this” is. I need to keep committing to memory what he said: 

“My daughter, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy, graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached Me has ever gone away unconsoled. All misery gets buried in the depths of My mercy, and every saving and sanctifying grace flows from this fountain. My daughter, I desire that your mercy flow out upon the whole world through your heart. Let no one who approaches you go away without that trust in My mercy which I so ardently desire for souls.” (Diary of St. Faustina 1777)



Lord, we know that your mercies are new every morning. Help us to keep this promise in our hearts during our joys and also in the trials you allow in our lives. Help us to believe that you will always be there for us. 

Call to action

Thinking often of God’s mercy, faithfulness and care may help us remember them when we especially need them—and when we’re more likely to forget. Posting God’s promises around the house is one way to keep them in mind. It bears repeating:  “His mercy endures forever.”