You know those days when some verse in the day’s Divine Office jumps out at you, as if your guardian angel had gone over it with a highlighter? You notice a verse that you’d read many times before, and suddenly, bam! It’s brand new.
I’ve been moping about the sorry state of world and national affairs, the economy, the decline in civilization, the decline of American society. (I’d been trying not to listen to much TV, radio or internet news, but it just keeps seeping in.) But this morning I read psalm 89 in the psalter for the Office of Readings:
Happy the people who acclaim such a king, who walk O Lord, in the light of your face, who find their joy every day in your name, who make your justice the source of their bliss. And so, applying the moral sense of interpreting scripture (what is God telling me about how I ought to live?), I made a decision to quit moping. That does not mean ignoring the ills of society. It does mean to be a happy warrior when fighting them. It means remembering Who is King and finding joy in His name bliss in His justice.
These thoughts then drove me to look up a relevant quote from Dorothy Day:
How necessary it is to cultivate a spirit of joy. It is a psychological truth that the physical acts of reverence and devotion make one feel devout. The courteous gesture increases one’s respect for others. To act lovingly is to begin to feel loving, and certainly to act joyfully brings joy to others which in turn makes one feel joyful. I believe we are called to the duty of delight.
Any questions about the Liturgy of the Hours, folks? Ask them here, I’ll check the relevant church documents, and get back to you.
Start thinking about Lent, and how you might want to expand your devotion to the hours: by adding one of them, or just being more faithful to the ones you usually do. To learn to chant some of it. To encourage someone else to join you in liturgical prayer. There are lots of possibilities.