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Pieces of the Puzzle Coming Together

A great way to follow the Church (the one that's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic) is through the Liturgy of the Hours. Praying even the Office of Readings alone will fill you with profound insights from Scriptures, Church Fathers, Doctors of the faith and numerous Saints. Consider a few spiritual gems one can glean from the readings today.

Political shenanigans can practically cause one's hair to turn white overnight. King David was no stranger to the complex realities of struggling for balance in the world, and he complains in psalm 44: why has God seemingly abandoned us to our enemies? "It is you, my king, my God, who granted victories to Jacob...Yet now you have rejected us, disgraced make us retreat from the foe....Arise O Lord, why do you sleep? Stand up and come to our help! Redeem us because of your love!" Such sentiments can surely be shared by members of society not to mention the Church, awaiting sanity to return and God's justice to prevail.

And perhaps one can imagine God replying to David (and us?) in today's reading from the first book of Chronicles: “You have shed much blood and fought great battles; it is not for you to build a house for my name, since you have shed so much blood on the earth in my presence. But now a son is born to you. He shall be a man of peace and I will give him peace from all the enemies that surround him; for Solomon is his name, and in his days I will give Israel peace and quiet. He shall build a house for my name” (1 Chronicles 22:8-10).

Again, with an excerpt from St. Ambrose noting Jesus' reassuring promise to quicken the believer's heart: "My Father and I will come and make our home with [you]...Blessed then is the man at whose door Christ stands and knocks...Open to him; he wants to enter, to find his bride waiting and watching."

Here then is a full day's meditation set forth--and this everyday of the year--for the faithful steward who wishes to invest wisely the gifts God has given. "Israel I would feed with finest wheat and fill them with honey from the rock" (Ps. 81:16, found in today's Morning Prayer of the Breviary). An antiphon chimes in: "Give your people knowledge of salvation, Lord, and forgive us our sins," reminding us that our faith is meant to grow. A petition rounds out the morning's submersion into Divine mysteries: "Direct our thoughts, feelings and actions this day--help us to follow your providential guidance." And all of this is sealed with our assent in the concluding prayer: "Lord, true light and source of all light, listen to our morning prayer. Turn our thoughts to what is holy and may we ever live in the light of your love."

Whether you are looking for an in-depth opportunity to develop your faith, or simply a booster shot to inoculate yourself from besetting travails at present, this, my friends, the Liturgy of the Hours, is a preferred way to pursue God as He continually pursues us.

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Jul 07, 2022

I love praying the Liturgy of the Hours! It's such a blessing, brings so much peace, and is powerful because I know I'm praying with millions of other Catholics, the same prayers every day. Amazing. I also enjoy the cycles which become a familiar repetition--not repetitive as in boring, but as in a familiar comfort. When I allow myself to sink into those prayers, I find Lectio Divina naturally follows.

I have the four-volume set. It took some dedication to get used to which ribbons to use and where, but it's well worth the effort. Of course, the St. Joseph Guide for the Liturgy of the Hours is essential, at least for me.

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