My brother had two nicknames. The first came from our father who, when he first saw him as an infant, said, “He’s a big boy.” So my brother was Big Boy Dillon to everyone in the neighborhood. Even in his adulthood, neighbors referred to him as “Big Boy,” as if they didn’t know his given name was Jim. But he had a second nickname which he got from some of his friends when he was a teenager. To them, he was “Rock,” This was not meant as a term of praise. They gave him the name to describe how they saw him dive into the water when they went swimming – no grace or style, just like a rock slamming into the water.

In the psalm today God is described as a rock. And the verses explain that God is a source of strength and stability to those who are warriors and fighters. Except for those in the armed services, most of us are not warriors or fighters. Then how is God your rock? If you had to write verses for this psalm, how would you describe the circumstances in which God was a rock for you?

—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.