Friday, May 24, 2013

Interior Dialogue on today's Office of Readings

Sometimes--not always-- when I pray the Liturgy of the Hours I find myself responding verbally to what is there.

This morning, with Office of Readings, I was particularly chatty:

Antiphon 1 : I am worn out with crying, longing for my God.
me: No I'm not! Neither worn out nor crying nor especially longing at the moment.

Psalm 69: Save me, O God, for the Waters have risen to my neck..I am wearied with crying aloud...My eyes are wasted away...
me: Oh,right. Okay. Not about me. This is You, Lord, in your passion. It's Friday, after all.

Psalm 69:more numerous than the hairs on my head are those who hate me without cause. Those who attack me with lies are too much for my strength.
me: Oh, and it's people who are suffering persecution and imprisonment for their faith in You.  For the Church and the Pope who suffers attack and insult from atheistic governments and media.

Psalm 69: as for me in my poverty and pain, let your salvation, O God, raise me up.
me: Really, this is for everyone who is in pain--the sick, the dying, the poor. And you know, Lord, it's even for me. Poor. Too poor to know what I' missing when I spend half half the day surfing the web or shopping for clothing when I could be spending more time with you. Like C.S. Lewis said about slum children refusing a seaside vacation because they barely knew what the sea was, so making mud pies in the gutter was all the pleasure they would cling to.

Reading from Ecclesiastes: ...among all things under the sun, this is the worst, that things turn out the same for all. hence the minds of men are filled with evil and madness is in their hearts during life, and afterwards they go to the dead...They will never again have part of anything under the sun.
me: What a bummer.Poor Solomon, or Qoheleth, or whoever this guy was. Can't wait for the second reading to turn all this despair into something good.

Ecclesiasters, cont.: Go, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with a merry heart, because it is now that God favors your works....enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of the fleeting life under the sun.
me: Ha! Tell us life is painful and short, but don't worry, just have fun while you can! Seriously? This is not hugely consoling. Hmm...think I"ll run out later for a bottle of Shiraz, a wedge of brie and some crackers. That would be nice for Bill and me before dinner.

Second Reading, commentary on Ecclesiastes by Saint Gregory of Argrigentum: Come eat your bread in gladness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart, for your works have been pleasing to God.
me: I like this translation better. Wish the breviary people would get their act together and harmonize the darn translations.

Second reading,cont.: If we interpret this reading in its ordinary sense, it would  be correct to call it a righteous exhortation, in which Ecclesiastes counsels us to embrace a simple way of life and to be led by doctrines which involve a genuine faith in God. Then we may eat our bread in gladness and drink our wine with a cheerful heart. 
me: okay. That's a little better. Hmm...maybe some thin sliced French bread with the brie instead of crackers...

Second reading, cont.: But a spiritual reading of the text leads us to a loftier meaning and teaches us to take this as the heavenly and mystical bread, which has come down from heaven, bringing life to the world, and to drink a spiritual wine with a cheerful heart, that wine which flowed from the side of the true vine at the moment of is saving passion.
me: Yes! Much better. Thank you St. Gregory. Hmm... I think I'll go to noon mass.

Do you ever dialog with the daily psalms and readings?