OK, for those of you who regularly pray the Liturgy of the Hours, this is not going to sound like anything special, but for me it is a really big deal. I managed to pray Morning Prayer every day this week. First time ever that I’ve said any hour for that many days consecutively. I even managed to get Night Prayer in there three times. Evening Prayer continues to be a conundrum. That’s just a really tough time of day for families, I think. Dinner is in the works, homework is ready for checking, preschoolers are overtired and in need of attention. It’s just not a great hour for prayer, so I’m taking suggestions from those of you busy moms and dad who still manage to work it in.
Directly related to all this is my new-found interest in the Psalms. Before I got on the Liturgy of the Hours kick, I was whining about how the Psalms — other than a few that are real stand-outs for me personally — just don’t do much for me. Well, I’m finding that, after only five days of this, I’m already starting to connect with the Psalms in a new way. Maybe it’s where I am in my life right now, but the Psalms are really speaking to me, making me realize that I’ve been missing out on quite a lot by giving them such short shrift in the past.
I’m still trying to find a way to balance LOH with other prayer and reflection. I like to read spiritual books and reflect on particular passages by certain saints or authors. When I’m making time for the Divine Office, it means I don’t have as much time for other spiritual reading or contemplation. So I still haven’t figured out how all of this will work for me, but I do have to say that I’m really liking the LOH routine. I go to my prayer space (in my office section of the basement — see photo above), click on the battery powered candle on my book shelf (I love real candles but I just don’t think fire and books and basements go that well together), I burn some incense, and I’m on my prayerful way. I have to remember to turn the volume off on my computer, however, or I get distracted every time an email comes in with a “bling.”
Will I keep it up over the weekend? Will I eventually add in other hours? Will I some day graduate from the single volume to the full four-volume set (a move that one emailer told me caused her to fall off the LOH wagon)? Will I be able to get the flipping of pages once Lent begins? Stay tuned. And, again, please share you secrets for working this into your busy lives.