If anyone you know is still looking for a way to deepen their prayer life during lent, nicely urge them to try the Liturgy of the Hours. It’s prayer and scripture reading, all appropriately chosen and arranged just for lent, wrapped up in one neat package. And if this prayer seeker is mourning the fact that either a work schedule or the need to be a caregiver at home makes daily mass impossible, then the Liturgy of the Hours is clearly the next best thing. It’s psalms, readings, and antiphons express many of the same ideas as in the day’s mass. What’s more, praying the Liturgy of the Hours is, well, Liturgy. You’re not just doing your own personal rosary, novena, meditation, or spiritual reading. Instead you are exercising the priesthood of the laity, praying publicly on behalf of the entire church, and with the entire church. At mass, the priest offers the sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood. With the liturgy of the hours, each person who prays it, whether in the solitude of their home or with a group, offers a sacrifice as well. A sacrifice of praise.
It is an incredible thing that God allows such ridiculous creatures as ourselves to do this.
Yes, there’s a learning curve to the Liturgy of the Hours. It takes time to first, figure out the mechanics of it, and second, to actually appreciate the psalms as prayer. But hey! If this takes some effort, then consider it a little extra lenten penance. Once the learning phase is past, you will love it. And with online and mobile app breviaries such as Divineoffice.org, universalis.com, and ibreviary, the learning curve should be fairly short.
And then there’s this blog. A one stop shop of instruction, motivation, and inspiration! You may ask any questions about the Liturgy of the Hours in the comments section.
Share this post with anyone you know who wants to ramp up their prayer life during lent.