Saturday, March 10, 2012

Breviary on the Doctor's Desk

Medical Matins is a lovely blog by a Catholic medical student, who writes about her vocation and studies in the light of faith. By necessity she keeps it anonymous, given the privacy protections for all the people she comes in contact with in her field training. This blogger prays the Divine Office. Here is a recent post where she shares an essay that she was assigned for one of her classes. It's just one of the million stories that are out there. Stories of ordinary people, living with the ups and downs or the lives we have chosen (or maybe the lives we have not chosen but are required to live just the same), and pausing a few times each day to put the world on hold while we sing at the doors of heaven.

 We were each asked to choose an object we would keep in our future office which would stand as a symbol of our spiritual life.

I chose the Divine Office, which all priests, all consecrated people, and some laypeople (like me) pray each day.

My breviary (on top of an old medical text) with our Lady.
The Office reflects the spiritual life very well. It is both regular (prayed according to rules) and personalized (because the psalms the Church chooses often seem hand-picked for my circumstances). Its times and seasons reflect the winding road of human life: it is partly sung and partly recited; it has seasons of fasting and seasons of feasting; it has times for standing and times for sitting. Also like the spiritual life, it is both communal and private—the Office is said by the Church as a whole and in each soul who prays it.

But this particular copy has separate significance and symbolism. In many ways, it symbolizes my Faith. It used to belong to my mother, and she gave
it to me, just as my parents gave me the Faith. It has weight, reminding me that my Faith is a charge laid on me, but a light burden and even pleasant and comforting. It is red, a color of complete love; this reflects the love of a beloved wife, or the love of a martyr. This is the love which I have for Christ and which draws me to prayer.

Wouldn't you love to have a doctor who kept a breviary on her desk? Check out Medical Matins and leave a note to encourage this lovely young woman in her vocation.

If any of you have a story to tell about the Divine Office in your life, send it to thesockeys"at" gmail"dot" com. The words in quotes are to protect me from spam. You know the correct way to write it.