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. 


  1. Good Morning Daria, thank you for your post and for Nancy's comment. For myself I can say that the LOTH has made a huge difference to my Interior Life, and I thank God He has led me down this path...

    However I have a question for you:

    This morning, I was saying the Morning Prayer with the “ibreviary” on your Web page, but, at the same time, I was comparing it to the Christian Prayer book, and the contents are really quite different. Could you explain please why is that?

    1. I'm looking at Morning Prayer, so I assume that is where you saw differences. First, make sure you were in the right place in Christian Prayer, which would be Tuesday of Week III. I say this because it's very easy to mark the wrong week by mistake--I do it all the time. Next, assuming you were on the right week/page: notice that Ibreviary always starts Morning Prayer with the (optional) invitatory psalm. Although most people use Ps.. 95 for the Invitatory (Come let us sing to the Lord, etc.) there are actually three other choices for this, and ibreviary has all of them there in full every day. So maybe that was what confused you? The idea is to only use one invitatory psalm (or none at all), then to scroll past all the others and down to the hymn.
      Next, hymns will almost always vary between ibreviary and Christian Prayer. Don't worry about that. Sing or recite whatever hymn you like. Okay, now I'm looking at the actual psalms for today. These match up with what is in Christian Prayer. Now--aha! From the reading until the end, ibreviary is using the propers for today's saint memorial, St. Charles Borromeo. This is a legitimate option--to use the 4 wk psalter for the psalms and then to switch to the common of pastors for the rest of it. There are several different ways to go for saints memorials. One of them is to do what Ibreviary did. The other is to do everything from the current weekday except for the variations listed in the proper of saints for the particular saint, which for St. Charles Borromeo would only be the concluding prayer at the end of morning prayer. So I hope that answers everything for you. Once in a great while ibreviary makes a mistake (which they will fix quickly if you point it out to them), but most of the time when you see differences they are using a legitimate option. That is the case today.

    2. Just a point of clarification - for a memorial or optional memorial from the Proper, you state that one of the options is to use the 4-wk psalter for the psalms, and then switch to the Common (in this case, Common of Pastors).

      If using this option, does one use the antiphons from the psalter or the Common? Or if one uses the antiphons from the Common, is one then supposed to also use the Psalter for Sunday, Wk. I?

      Thanks. You rock!

    3. Yes, you've got it. Keep the weekday antiphons. However, there are a few exceptions, and these are mostly memorials of saints who have been venerated from earliest times, and whose days used to be of higher rank in the older (pre Vatican II) breviary. You will see, for example, that St. Mary Magdalene (July 22) and St. Martin of Tours (Nov 11) have their own antiphons and require Sunday week I for Morning Prayer. But they are the exception to the rule.

  2. Hi Daria,

    I'd like to kick things off for the Secular Franciscans (previously known as the Franciscan Third Order):

    Digital Franciscans: http://www.digitalfranciscans.com/
    Franciscan Quote of the Day: http://www.franciscanqotd.com/
    Our SFO regional site: http://www.skdregion.org/
    My local fraternity's site: http://www.stfrancisfraternity.com/

    Hope that's the sort of thing you were looking for.

    Pax et bonum,

    1. Thanks, Lee. What I am looking for is blogs written by individual secular Franciscans that include reflections on their daily lives and prayer. There are a number of these listed under the Big List tab at Digital Franciscan, but they are mixed in with so many other sites that are either from religious orders or administrative sites for regional sfo groups that it will be hard going to weed through so many. So if you have a few favorite links from ordinary, everyday sfo's, that's what I'm really looking for.

    2. Sorry, my bad, please feel free to take my reply down if you like. The regional site does publish reflections from our minister, formation director, spiritual assistant, and JPIC coordinator at the beginning of each month but the other sites are more information and news.

  3. Members of the Confraternity of Penitents (www.penitents.org) pray all seven offices of the Liturgy of the hours as our primary prayer option. One of our members wrote a book on this--The Divine Office for Dodos - divineofficefordodos.com We would love to share on your blog! Email us at the emails at penitents.org! God bless you