Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Divine Office

I've noticed over the years that my prayer life is always at its best when I'm praying the Liturgy of the Hours regularly. It's funny how the most spiritually beneficial things can be the hardest to do - rosary, confession, adoration. It's almost like Satan knows that these practices in particular will bring us closer to Christ, and therefore tries everything in his power to keep us from them. Maybe this is why priests are required to pray the Divine Office every day. It keeps Satan from getting a foothold.

A monk once told me that if religious brothers and sisters stop praying the Office, they set themselves up for bouts of depression and loneliness. In fact, I think he used the word "dangerous." He said that because of the sacrificial nature of the religious life, continual and persistant prayer through the reading of the psalms is absolutely essential.

The Liturgy of the Hours is the oldest prayer of the Church. It's never too late to start!


At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Tobias Hoffmann said...


Thank you for your thoughts on the liturgy of the hours and on prayer life in general. Though I may not be an example in faithfulness to prayer, it is true that when I do not pray much, everything becomes heavy and hard to bear. This is so, because without being connected to God we do not understand reality anymore, and everything becomes meaningless.

Incidentally, as regards the liturgy of the hours, here is a book tip for a deeper understanding of the psalms:

Luigi Giussani
The Psalms
The Crossroad Publishing Company, New York
pp. 190

We can understand Christian experience only with difficulty if we are unwilling to relive the history of the people of Israel, in all its aspects and in all its drama. Saint Paul asserts that the story of Israel is a pedagogical preparation for Christ. In fact, through the Hebrew people, the divine pedagogy aims to teach man that God is one, that He is creator, and that He realizes His mysterious plan by choosing a point in time, a point in space, and a small group of people.

God has entered the reality of ancient Israel as a companion who determines the meaning of a path that has included both fidelity and betrayal, always showing Himself to be the Lord of history. The sweep of the Psalms tells this history with the evocative power of poetic song.

Luigi Giussani
(Excerpts from the Preface)

At 11:43 AM, Blogger erudit said...

Hello Becky! I'm an Orthodox Christian and stumbled across your blog. Your thoughts on the hours mirror precisely what I've been thinking about today. Seeing your words is added confirmation that it's God's prompting for me to pray them more regularly!

Thanks for upholding orthodoxy!



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