Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Checking in. Q&A. Varied and Sundry Remarks.

Lately--like for the last six months--blogging has been like confession. I'm always promising myself to blog twice a week and go to confession once a month. In reality this turns into blogging every two weeks and confessing every six to eight weeks. If Dante was correct, I know which circle in purgatory I'll end up in. The one where people are made to run. A lot. This is to imitate Mary, who "made haste" to do what her vocation demanded of her, unlike us slothful procrastinators.


  • Then again part of my problem is not mere procrastination. I'm running out of new things to say! If any of you would like to comment on a particular day's office, or a particular psalm, reading, or antiphon, I'd love to look it over and publish it here as a guest post, assuming your command of basic English grammar is okay and your piece is not riddled with heresy. :)    


  • The emerging fall weather (emerging in my part of the world since mid-August, for some strange reason) has had me out on my (recently purchased) bike, cruising along the lovely, flat bike trails along the Allegheny river and a local creek or two.   A recent ride reminded me of one of the benefits of regularly praying the Hours: those psalms are always with you, and pop up into one's consciousness in response to all sorts of things. So I'm riding along, thinking what fun it is to be riding a bike again for the first time in decades. Just then, a bald eagle comes gliding up the river, passing within maybe twenty yards of me. After my shock and awe fades a bit, that verse from Psalm 103 about God "renewing your youth like an eagle's" pops up. How perfect for my rediscovery of the childhood joy of bike riding. (Here's an old post about how eagles get their youth renewed, and by the way this psalm will be in the OOR psalter tomorrow)  A bit later, a doe with two fawns crosses my path. Although this regularly freaks me out when I'm driving around here, it's a lovely sight on a bike trail. The threesome was heading down to the river for a drink, presumably. I then reflected that in these parts, a deer need not "yearn" for running streams, since they can find them everywhere they turn. Finally, the raucous noise of several recently fledged crows, still demanding to be fed by their worn out parents, brought to mind the young ravens that call upon God for their food in Psalm 147. Now, I do have to add there was no verse when a porcupine waddled by, nor when I spotted turtles on a river rock, but I guess "all you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord" from the Daniel Canticle would have worked.
  • Last time I blogged here, it was to give a glowing review to the Hymnal for the Hours.  Since then I've been happily wasting lots of time trying out not one, but several different new hymns for each hour.  The hymnal gave many different selections for Sunday's Exaltation of the Holy Cross and yesterday's Our Lady of Sorrows, including several versions of the Stabat Mater, which one doesn't get to sing liturgically outside of lent, so that was exciting. (yeah,I know, the things a liturgy geek gets excited about.)   Gregorian  hymns are written in various modes (musical scales)  other than ones that most modern western music uses (and by modern I mean since the year 1600!) So some of these hymn melodies sound better than others to my modern ears. But when I find one that I like, I like it a whole lot. Anyway, I am continually grateful to Father Weber for the great gift he has given us in arranging, editing, and sometimes translating these hymns. So today when I found out that his his book, Prayer of the Hours, is available as a free download.   I just jumped for joy, and then jumped willingly through the hoops to set up an account at Lulu.com in order to get it. This book is 300 pages of Father's teaching notes on courses he gives about the Liturgy of the Hours. I haven't started it yet, but can't wait. It's sure to be something wonderful.
  • Okay. My son will be home from school shortly, so I have to go.   If you have any questions or comments  about the Liturgy of the Hours the comments section below is the place to put them. 

12 comments:

  1. Daria,
    I get this message on Google Chrome when I click on the link: "This webpage is not available".

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    1. Me as well,,,,though i did a search for his name and the link came up for me

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    2. Okay, I think that link is fixed now. Not sure what went wrong the first time around. Thanks for pointing it out.

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  2. Another benefit of praying the Liturgy of the Hours regularly, especially with what's going on in the world lately, is part of Psalm 95:
    "He holds in His hands the depths of the earth,
    and the highest mountains as well."
    It comes to mind often when the news is on.

    And being someone who is his own worst critic, and struggles with inner silence, the beginning of the Canticle of Simeon helps a lot:
    "Lord, now you let your servant go in peace..."

    Now for a question:
    What advice/tips would you give someone to help spread awareness of the Liturgy of the Hours? This is one of the great hidden treasures of the Church that I'd like to get more people to know about.
    Sometimes I'll post a photo on Facebook of a deer with the "longing for running streams" quote and say where it's from. Or maybe there will be a reading/hymn from Morning/Evening Prayer that really stands out and I'll share that. I've run out of ideas.

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    1. I've done that same facebook thing from time to time. Other ways? Maybe that would be a good post--to list a few ideas and solicit more from readers. Off the top of my head, though: 1.get morning prayer going after one or more daily masses at your church. (or some other hour if the mass is not in the morning) 2. Get a vespers service going separate from mass. Perhaps during Eucharistic adoration if your church already offers this. 3. Offer to give a presentation/talk about this at your church, at a Theology on Tap meeting, at a local college campus ministry/Newman Club. 4. If someone expresses some interest but says the LOTH is confusing, then there's this great little book you can give them. It's called The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours. :) 5. If you attend some sort of prayer group, suggest adding some psalms into the mix. 6. If you are part of a bible study group, suggest doing a future study on the psalms. Okay, that's for starters. I'll do that post in a few days.

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  3. Daria and folks: If you're interested in English translations of the office for Pope St John XXIII (coming up, October 11), you might want to check out this, which I put together after I couldn't find an English translation online:

    http://redd.it/2g80gv

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    1. Great. I will hopefully remember to mention this. Who is the "OP" who did translations? You or some random Domincan? :)

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    2. Ha! It was me. But it was only the biography and collect; everything else was sourced from existing (certainly better) translations.

      That page will be updated when I or someone in the community can find an official English translation.

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  4. No questions, just dropping in to say a big "thank you" for the resource you've been after I came across your blog as a result of you being on Catholic Answers when your book was published.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to say thank you, Doug. Don't think I've actually been on Catholic Answers, but there were lots of other national broadcasts had me on at the time.

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