Saturday, March 26, 2011

How to say Morning Prayer in Only 3 Hours

"How does a busy parent find time to pray the Divine Office?" the radio host asked me a few weeks back.

"It's not  that hard if you're motivated," I replied. "Just choose one of the liturgical hours, and link it to some other event on your schedule. Like, as soon as the kids leave for school, sit down and say morning prayer. Or right after dinner, while the kids clear the table and start the dishes, you go sit down and say evening prayer. Don't forget, each liturgical "hour" is nowhere near an hour. Ten minutes is more like it. So it's not that big a deal."

Fast forward to  Saturday, March 26th.

7:30 AM. Found myself awake and strangely rested.  Propped the pillows, grabbed the breviary, and got started on the Invitatory Psalm. Then  my youngest awoke. He has a condition that requires daily medication, and if he doesn't get it quickly, we are all Very Unhappy. So down the stairs I go to give him that plus something to eat.

7:45- I run back upstairs to do Morning prayer in my quiet room, but then remember that in one hour I'd be taking another child to a babysitting job. Better shower and dress now, and then do Morning Prayer.

8:15 - Back downstairs, dressed and with breviary in hand, I address the needs of my early riser, who, as a growing boy, now  needs a second  breakfast. I open the breviary on the kitchen counter,  put water on to boil, and then read the first psalm.  I touch the counter and realize that it is coated in crumbs, yesterday's tacky juice spills,  assorted dirty drinking vessels, scattered lists, and coffee grounds. This really can't wait--it has to be cleaned so the other kids will  have a sanitary kitchen to mess up again. I finish Michael's farina, serve it to him, and attack the counters.

8:35 - I read two more psalms,  the reading, the responsory.  Babysitter-girl  pops into a kitchen, inhales  the rest of the farina, and says we have to get going.

9:20 -Back home.  I sit down and read the antiphon for the Benedictus. Then I look out the window and see that the birds hopping around an empty feeder. And it is so cold today.--poor little things! I run out and fill the feeder,reciting the canticle all the while,  and grab the morning paper on the way in.

10:00AM - Halfway through Parade magazine, I remember that I still haven't finished Morning prayer. Find breviary. Finish.

  I'm not sure what happend to the confident woman who explained it all to the radio announcer. That's what Saturday morning does to me.