Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Weekly Q&A Assumption Edition

You are the bridge of life and the ladder to heaven: you are a boat over the sea of death reaching to immortality.   -St. John Damascene Office of Readings for the Assumption, Dominican office.

Whatever breviary you normally use, you might want to check out ibreviary today (widget on right), because it includes along with the regular office for the Assumption, some alternate antiphons and a second OOR reading that are used on this feast by the Dominican order. I thought the Dominican antiphons for Evening Prayer I last night were lovelier than the regular ones. And the Dominican OOR second  reading is a great follow up to the regular second reading from Pope Pius XII. 

Last week a reader brought up the issue of what to do when the Liturgy of the Hours becomes routine and one becomes bored. A  few of us brought up the usual advice about perseverance in prayer during dry times, etc., and she responded that this was what she needed to hear. But its true, once you've read the same psalms year after year, especially when it's just the psalter during ordinary time, things can get a little dull. 

I though it would be nice to assemble a list of things we can do to revive and freshen up our daily office. Little things that will just help us pay more attention to what we are doing, or to help us focus on aspects of the hours that we may have missed. Here are some examples for starters:

  • If you don't normally read the quotations under the psalm title, start doing so. And/or use these as substitute antiphons for a while. (the General Instruction allows this as an option)
  • Concentrate on praying these psalms on behalf of the Church Universal--thinking about the sufferings, temptations, triumphs, etc. of the Church as a whole rather than your own personal joys and woes.
  • Imagine Jesus praying the psalms (which in fact He IS doing through you), and what He thought/felt as He prayed/prays them.
  • Imagine Our Lady praying the psalms. Ask her to pray them with you
  • If you normally use all the longest options (invitatory, hymns, psalm prayers, repeating antiphons at the end of psalms) cut them out for a while so you have more time to focus on what's left.
  • Vice versa if you normally take short cuts: add one or more of the above options back in for variety and added devotion.
  • If you normally don't use the commons for saints feasts (other than the major, obligatory ones), then start doing so more often.
  • Go online to try a different version, such as the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Breviarum Romanum. 
Okay. What are your ideas for improving your attitude when the Liturgy of the Hours becomes routine?

Or, just ask any other question you like about the Liturgy of the Hours.