Monday, March 10, 2014

Set Apart, plus weekly Q&A

Sometimes it's worth comparing the two short readings from lauds and vespers to see if you can find a common theme. Today's theme is obvious. In the morning reading from Exodus, God tells us that His people are "my special possession, dearer to me than all other people..."   In the evening reading St. Paul reminds us to "not conform yourselves to this age..."

It's that old tension between being in the world, but not of the world. Unless it's our specific vocation to be apart in a monastery, we can't hold ourselves aloof from unbelievers and semi-believers, but should be out there among God's children, loving them and bringing Jesus to them in whatever way we can.

On the other hand, we are different, we are set apart, we are special in virtue of our baptism into the body of Christ. And lent is  time to be even more different and set apart through the various disciplines that are either prescribed as obligations or recommended as aids to holiness. But we aren't being different from the masses for the sake of being different. We are strengthening ourselves by conforming ourselves to Christ, with the aim of being better able to a. see him in all men and b. bring him to all men.

We are always walking a tightrope. Fall off on one side into pride and uncharity, on the other into conformity to the degraded mindset of the world.

I forgot to do a Q&A last week. Is everyone managing to find their lenten offices each day?  Is anything else looking strange or unfathomable as you flip around in the breviary? Just ask in the comments below.

Welcome, new blog follower Lorraine.


  1. Hi. So glad I've found your blog! I'm an Anglican in the UK, but recently started praying the Divine Office because an Anglican convent, to whom I hope to be linked as an Oblate, uses it. They use a single volume version which I can't seem to find - any ideas where I can buy it? Or is it, as hey suspect, out of print? In the meantime I have managed to buy second hand copies of volumes 2 & 3, which should see me through for a while! ;-)

    1. Have you checked Amazon? The one-volume edition most often used in the UK is the Harper Collins, but maybe they have a different version, such as the one-volume Christian Prayer from the USA, or even the one-volume Pauline edtions version from Kenya. And if you are a Benedictine oblate, they might be using a book published by/for Benedictines. Tell me the publisher and the title on the cover and I'll see what I can find out for you.

    2. They're not Benedictines. I will be staying with them in May, so I'll try to get all the details then. Thanks, and keep up the good work! Blessings x

    3. Hawthorne, I've got a copy of Anglican Religious Life, which gives details of communities and lists which office book they use. Is it the Sisters of Charity at Plympton, Plymouth? I mention them because they apparently use Daily Prayer...
      The equivalent here in the USA is called Christian Prayer.

  2. I felt moved to research my copy of Anglican Religious Life to see how many Anglican communities in the U.K. use the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours: either The Divine Office (the three-volume full LotH) or Daily Prayer (the one-volume breviary that lacks the Office of Readings). There are four:

    1. Community of All Hallows, Bungay, Suffolk: Daily Prayer
    2. Edgware Abbey, Middlesex: Divine Office
    3. Sisters of Charity, Plympton, Plymouth: Daily Prayer
    4. Society of St Margaret, Walsingham, Norfolk: Divine Office

    At #4 above, they pray the Office of Readings and Morning Prayer at 7am, Midday Prayer at 12.45pm, Evening Prayer at 5, and Night Prayer at 8.45. Mass at 9.30am.

    1. Thanks, Scott. It's the Community of All Hallows, so I'm looking for Daily Prayer.

  3., would my Vol. 2 copy of Divine Office match up to use with Daily Prayer - apart from the Office of Readings, of course. I expect that the prayers, psalms, canticles etc will be the same, but not the page numbers!