Monday, June 15, 2009

Rule of St Benedict Reading for June 15, 2009

February 14, June 15, October 15

Chapter 12: How the Morning Office Is to Be Said

The Morning Office on Sunday shall begin with Psalm 66
recited straight through without an antiphon.
After that let Psalm 50 be said with "Alleluia,"
then Psalms 117 and 62,
the Canticle of Blessing (Benedicite) and the Psalms of praise (Ps. 148-150);
then a lesson from the Apocalypse to be recited by heart,
the responsory, the Ambrosian hymn, the verse,
the canticle from the Gospel book,
the litany and so the end.

Some thoughts

Do the Gentle Readers of this list have a regular prayer life? Do you prefer nothing to prayer?

Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't. I am better when I do but I have learned that sometimes service has to take precedence over prayer. Jesus shocked the Pharisees by healing someone on the Sabbath which teaches me that sometimes there are higher priorities. I learned this when my mother had a heart attack and the next several weeks were fraught with a great many time consuming cares that challenged all of my priorities.

Sometimes I don't because I live with a disabling level of a refractory Major Depressive Disorder and there are many times when my only coherent prayer is to repeat the name of our beloved Lord over and over and over again. This past weekend was one of those times. Something that I have learned as a result of these experiences is that I can count on the Body of Christ to do for me what I cannot, to pray in my place when I am unable.

Learning these things has also taught me something else. It is a regular prayer life that carries me through the hard times. When times are not so stressful for me, it is very good for me to keep to a serious schedule of praying the psalms and the Offices. Snippets of the prayers and canticles float through my head at odd moments and bring solace and strength to haul up my socks and do the next thing.

I do best and even thrive when I am able to pray a few offices a day. There is something about punctuating the day with prayer that is life changing, soul changing. Even when it is rote, even when I feel nothing, the Holy Spirit uses the Psalms etc to get at me and do Her work. Then I have the grand experience of discovering what it is She has been doing when I have been unconscious of Her work.

There is so much that can be said about the life of prayer. Indeed there have been a great many books written on the subject so I know I cannot say all there is that could be said. What have I left out? What does your prayer life mean to you



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