06 September 2011

Liturgy of the Hours: I'm a believer

I do not pray the Liturgy of the Hours regularly yet, but I'm doing better than I ever did before.

Christian Prayer, the shorter one-volume version, is harder for me to use, for some reason.  The full four-volume set is easier.

Some time ago I purchased Universalis, the iPhone/iPad app for the Liturgy of the Hours.  It was a great way to get to know what it's like to use the LotH and determine whether or not the full set would be a good purchase for me.

Even though I only do one or two hours a day at most, the blessings are already there.

For many months I've been suffering from a kind of spiritual fog.  I was going to write darkness, but it wasn't that severe, thank God.  There have been some worries.  A family business in distress, and management changes at my job that left me feeling really down.  Oh, and the economy and whatnot. :P

But then I started with the LotH.

There is structure.  One knows what one's going to be doing in a given hour.  It is predictable; routine.

I watch my beloved husband with his twin grandchildren, and I have learned a great deal.  (I never had children of my own.)  My husband's daughter, the twins' mother, started them on day one with a solid, consistent routine.  It adapts as they grow older, but every day still has predictable times of sleep, food, and play.

Growing up, I did not have much routine in my life from my teens on.  Slowly my dear one has been establishing the same kind of routines in our life together.  Slowly I am relaxing into days without shocks or terror.  I can look forward with reasonable certainty to times in our day when we share food, rest or read, and sleep.  Every day it happens just the same.  Boring?  Nope.  Reassuring.

God is our Father.  The routine of the liturgy of the hours is reassuring in the same way as the routine of home.

There is variety.  Each day one perhaps has a memorial to observe, or a feast day.  Even if one is doing the Ordinary, each day has different psalms, readings, etc.

There is little novelty.  In LotH we are praying with the ancient psalms, repeating the prayers of ancestors in faith from millennia ago.  They experienced life as did.  My problems and worries do not recede, but I see them in context.  And, through it all, we are praying to God, invoking His presence, humbly begging for His love and grace.

Today I had to do a software rollout for a very large group of meticulous and hurried people, and I've been dreading it to the point of frenzy for weeks now.  At some point over the weekend, in Morning Prayer, a little light went on in my soul.  I saw the rollout in its true perspective and realized that, with the safeguards we have in place, there is an acceptable level of risk.  How did I not know that?

I'm a devotée of the Liturgy of the Hours.

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