Liturgy of the Hours

I've begun to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.  Was anyone daunted by it, as I was?  Here is a website to help, and here but the best instruction I had was doing it, side by side with someone who knew how to do it.  She is now with the Nashville Dominicans, bless her.  Even if your kids never want to say it when they're older, show them how to navigate it.  And find someone to show you!

For those of you who have already been praying it--were you struck by how ancient it was--by the fact that you were praying an ancient Psalm, as Christ would have prayed, as the Benedictines prayed beside thick woods, as Francis prayed beneath a tree, as Dominic prayed in an old inn, as Teresa of Avila prayed and Xavier amid the green and Japanese fields.

Was anyone struck by the fact that every day all over the world, men and women, old and young will be reading or reciting a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins or John Donne?  And saying the same psalms?  And praying for the same things?

Was anyone anyone struck by the fact that Flannery O'Connor said the one thing she was able to keep faithful to was saying the Liturgy of the Hours.  "Happiness is to be dissolved into something great and beautiful" says one of the characters in Willa Cather's My AntoniaThe Liturgy of the Hours is something like that.  The version at right is my favorite of the short versions--more easily navigable and cheaper.

Curious?  Try it.

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