Friday, September 25, 2009

The Divine Office

When I came down from my shower this morning my eight year old boy was praying Morning Prayer using the Christian Prayer book I bought when I was a senior in college. My eleven year old daughter will often come down in the morning and ask whether I've prayed yet and whether she can join me. My college kids quote from the office on their Facebook pages.  Oddly, and without much encouragement on our part, all our children love to pray the office (except the four-year old).   

I am very happy about this.  It makes me realize how much what we hand on to our kids is informal and, in a sense, unintentional.  My kids appear to have notice, whether consciously or not, that the office is my favorite form of prayer and that my wife loves to pray it as well.  

The  daily prayer of a Christian should be biblical (esp. the Psalms) and ecclesial.  I also believe in devotions, but the best of these (like the Rosary) is also biblical and ecclesial (strong ecclesiastical approbation, even if not the official prayer of the Church).  Litanies fall in this category, and the Angelus.  As I've mentioned before, I always take a Bible to Eucharist Adoration. Note: I don't think that Bible reading should be the focus of adoration, contemplation of the Face of Jesus should be, but the Bible can help us move into contemplation.  The Word helps us see the Word. 

Oh.  I like to sing praise songs. 


Dane said...

You have obviously done a remarkable job in being great examples to your son; This is your most important ministry. For 3 years now I have a Ministry to create audio Liturgy of the Hours,, and I wonder what my 6 year old son must think as I produce 4 or more audio podcast Liturgy of the Hours every day. I don't really know how to say this without sounding wrong, but I spend all these hours per day creating the LOH for a few thousand prayerful and that very act denies me the opportunity to pray the LOH with my own domestic church (wife and son) and even though I know I must continue because there are so many people around the world who don't understand the books or can't afford them are joined in our free web LOH, I must make the compromise between a greater community and devoting the same time in prayer with my immediate family.

I hope your son continues to pray the LOH all his life and may God shed his grace upon your family.

M.E. said...

Robert, this is one of those coincidences that really isn't. Just yesterday I was thinking I'd like to ask someone for information about how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Then, out of the blue, I stopped by your blog and read this post.

More information would be welcome.