Monday, November 10, 2014

The Liturgy of the Hours in this Man's Life

Yet another great post by a blogger that I somehow missed when it came out in August, even though this writer's blog is on my Feedly list.

Will Duquette is a lay Dominican who writes about, oh, all sorts of things on his Patheos blog. Here he describes the place the Divine Office has in his life, and the common problem many of us have of procrastinating over getting to one or more of the hours, even thought we still enjoy it immensely once we get past the obstacle of our (choose one or more: lazy, distracted, worldly, selfish) tendencies:

"Some days recently I’ve found doing my daily prayer to be quite difficult. I just don’t want to sit down and do it—there’s so much else calling for my attention that I’d rather do. Evening prayer only takes a few minutes, and yet I grudge those few minutes: in the time before I sit down to do it, it looms over me like a giant monolith, seemingly impassable.

And that’s where mortification comes in. I’d been telling myself that I really needed to sit down and pray, I’d promised to do it, and spending time with God is good for me, and like that. But it’s simpler than that, really; when I am in that mood, sitting down to pray is a kind of mortification. I am giving over my own will, and seeking God’s will. The benefit I receive in sitting down to pray comes largely, when I am in this mood, from the simple act of choosing to sit down and pray."

Here's the rest.


  1. Thanks for sharing a link to that blog. I've been struggling with the Liturgy of the Hours, and just about any other kind of prayer, lately. For me, the main problem is battling a slight relapse into depression, which can usually be fought and moved past on my own, but it's a little tougher this time. Forcing myself to pray, whether it be the Hours or the Rosary, is definitely a spiritual workout, and some strong warfare against an old "demon", whether there are noticeable results right away or not. Also, remembering the simple act of consecration to Jesus through Mary and the daily practice of offering everything to Him in whatever way Mary chooses.... it's kind of lightened the load a bit.

    God Bless!

    1. God bless you, Ed. I hope the fog lifts soon. I can't pretend to having experienced much depression in my life. Not clinical anyway, but several of my family have/do, and I do know what it is to be thrown out of the prayer groove by illness or other circumstances that make it very hard to take much joy or comfort in it. And I"ve certainly succumbed to the temptation to say "what's the use?" and quit for a time. Sounds like you know how to manage these dry spells pretty well. Are you a Tolkien fan? I sometimes remind my self of Frodo and Sam putting one foot in front of the other, without thinking any further ahead than that while they were in Mordor. Another thought is to change up the way you pray the hours to make it more interesting. Maybe doing it while you stroll outdoors in that vitamin D-rich sunshine. Maybe trying to chant some of it. Maybe making a point of looking for the christological "types"in the psalms--like a treasure hunt--while you read them. Or else praying each psalm, canticle, or other element with a specific intention in mind. I'll pray for you today that this round of depression is a short one for you.

    2. Thank you, Daria. Hopefully the fog will lift soon. I wouldn't wish this on anybody. Yes, I am a Tolkien fan! (My favorite translation is the Jerusalem Bible, too.) Maybe I'll re-read the Lord of the Rings Trilogy or pop one of the DVDs in with your thoughts on Sam and Frodo in mind.
      I have been interested in learning to chant the Psalms. That could be worth a try. Music is always a great help.
      Thanks for your prayers and ideas. I appreciate it.
      It just so happens (yeah right) that as I grabbed the Breviary instead of the beads this morning, that one of the Psalms for today (11/13) was 143, especially these verses:

      The enemy pursues my soul;
      he has crushed my life to the ground;
      he has made me dwell in darkness
      like the dead, long forgotten.
      Therefore my spirit fails;
      my heart is numb within me.

      But, there is always hope:

      In the morning let me know your love
      for I put my trust in you.
      Make me know the way I should walk:
      to you I lift up my soul.
      Rescue me, Lord, from my enemies;
      I have fled to you for refuge.

    3. Yes, 143 is a good depression psalm. It follows that wonderful psalmic pattern of complain, trust, repeat.

  2. Hello Daria, Ed Rio, Will Duquette , I have now become an avid reader of your blogs, but looking at the posts today, and Ed Rio’s comment, permit me to share some thoughts…
    On the Sept 27 Blessed Álvaro de Portillo, the successor of St Josemaria Escriva, the founder of Opus Dei, was beatified in Madrid. I knew D. Alvaro personally and corresponded with him; believe me, he was a wonderful man. St Josemaria has a book which you may know called the The Way. In point 994 of the book, St Josemaria writes: 'My enthusiasm is gone', you write. You have to work not out of enthusiasm but out of Love: conscious of duty, which means self-denial. This point was written for D. Alvaro, who later went on to be brought to the altars. No one said that life is easy… all the saints struggled, but if there love in the heart all is possible…
    I would also like to introduce to you Father William Doyle SJ Irish Army chaplain during the WW1, a most extraordinary man who gave his life at the Battle of Ypes when taking the Blessed Sacrament to a wounded soldier. I encourage you to look at this site run by a friend of mine Patrick Kenny Phd. In the web site you’ll find a book about the life of Father Willie called Father William Doyle SJ, by Alfred O´Rahilly which you can download, or acquire a copy for $7.96 for Amazon Kindle. The book made a huge impact on me; if you read it you’ll understand why.
    Here is a quote on The Hours by Fr Willie:
    The Office is the grandest prayer we can say, since it is the public prayer of the Church. It is opus Dei, the work of God. Two motives should always be- present when we recite the Office : to glorify God and to implore mercy for sinners. We should have the intention of praying. It does not matter if we cannot understand what we are saying God does.

    1. "the grandest prayer we can say" I can hear that said with an Irish brogue.