Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Monastery in your Kitchen

There are a couple of blogs by lay people in third orders who blog about what it's like to integrate the spirit of Carmel, or St. Benedict, or St. Francis, or St. Dominic into lives that include grocery runs, office jobs, small children, and whatnot.

It will be a future project for me to gather a list of these and publish the list here.  Most of third orders impose part of the Liturgy of the Hours on their members, these bloggers are people who  appreciate us Divine Office junkies, since they are of that happy crowd too.

In fact, a few of them follow this blog.  So, all you third order guys (yes, I know Benedictines call themselves "oblates" rather than "third order") , if each of you will remind me of your blog address in the comments section, it will jumpstart my list. I have some of them already in my own blog reader, but don't want to miss anyone.

Anyway, I enjoyed Nancy's personal account of what the Liturgy of the Hours means in her life.

.... the Liturgy of the Hours helps my prayer stay on track. In it, scripture is right before me; thus I have 'grillwork' for my day.  I am praying with the whole Church, right along with Father O'Neill and the monks in Sydney and the Toledo nuns. And, if I'm tempted to bypass prayer, I get help to carry me past my (laziness, in my case).

...In my haphazard life (and my very nature is 'haphazard'), I definitely need some of that structure I once dreaded.  Otherwise, I wind up wasting entire days.

...Does my mind wander while I pray in this way?  My mind wanders no matter how I pray.  The Divine Office helps call the drifting mind back.

Does the Liturgy of the Hours lead me to the dry, lifeless prayer I feared?  No.  Sometimes I feel dry and lifeless, yes, but again:  that would happen no matter how I pray.  The printed words help me stay focused.

In some key ways, the Liturgy of the hours is a lens that helps me zoom right in on the presence and reality of God.