Friday, June 16, 2017

A Gymnasium for the Soul

Don't miss Office of Readings today and tomorrow.

Or if you are not an OOR regular, and don't feel you have the time, then just do the second readings. These are among the handful of readings we get through the year that specifically address the importance, the greatness, the beauty, and the excellence of praying the Psalms.

When you do your morning and evening prayer, day in, day out, year after year, there is a temptation to stop paying attention. To feel that it is getting old. No longer fresh and meaningful that way it used to be when you first began doing the Liturgy of the Hours. You begin to wonder if it's time to quit and look for some new daily prayer routine whose very novelty will make you pay more attention.

Perish those thoughts!

Read, carefully, the second readings from the Explanation of the Psalms by St. Ambrose, which appear in our breviaries both today and tomorrow. Then, go forth with resolve to stick with your daily psalter, asking the Lord to open your heart to everything He is trying to teach you there.

 In the Book of Psalms there is profit for all, with healing power for our salvation. There is instruction from history, teaching from the law, prediction from prophecy, chastisement from denunciation, persuasion from moral preaching. All who read it may find the cure for their own individual failings. All with eyes to see can discover in it a complete gymnasium for the soul, a stadium for all the virtues, equipped for every kind of exercise; it is for each to choose the kind he judges best to help him gain the prize.


  1. Actually, the discourse by St Ambrose on the Psalms started yesterday in the Office of Readings, Friday, Week 10 of the Year. Hadn't thought to post about it until Daria's posting :-O Definitely worth the reading, if you don't normally pray the Office of Readings. (Psssssttt! Capability of amassing true wealth praying the Office of Readings on a regular basis!) Had the glorious opportunity this morning to pray the Divine Office outside in my back yard. Warm sunshine, a pleasant breeze, and two kitties stretched out, enjoying my company. Oh yes, and God in the midst ! :-)

  2. Iv been encountering some put offs with morning and evening prayer on st days such as today's Feast of St Aloyisius of Gonzga and I was wondering (as i know you use the weekday Psalter) if you could use the hymn from the common i.e Pastors the whole weekday psalter including antiphons and the concluding prayer of the Saint Day. Thanks in advance.

    1. That's exactly what I'd do. Invitatory, hymn, chapter, responsory and intercessions from Common (or Proper), Psalter and antiphons of the weekday, and Collect of the proper.

    2. Thank you its just the commons are such a put off that its putting me off the shorter office i think its when it says if you follow men saints and its ays canticles hymn etc on page whatever and you get thrown by that even though iv been following the instruction.