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Switch to Forum Live View Liturgy of the hours
10 years ago  ::  Apr 09, 2008 - 3:52PM #11
Shaner
Posts: 1,596

Barzillai wrote:

It has been over two years it seems since I last posted anywhere on Beliefnet, and I was very pleased to return and see this wonderful forum -- Catholic Cloisters. The thread on the Liturgy of Hours (LOH) is a key interest of mine and I hope this thread causes more interest and discussion in this ancient practice.

I use the Universalis web site on my handheld devise when I am away from the office or home and want to pray the LOH. I especially like the calendar they have.

John



Hello Barzillai,

You say the the LOH is an ancient practise.........how far back can it be traced to?

Peace,
Sandy

"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 10:11AM #12
Barzillai
Posts: 39
Hi SuZ,

Congratulations on your new grandchild!  And certainly there is no need to apologize — you deserve all the time away from your Beliefnet hosting tasks — no one will think that you are not spending your time where you belong. 

My daughter had her first baby nine months ago — we watch him twice a week.

Thank you so much for the kind welcome.  The picture is so cute of both of the them.

John
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 10:30AM #13
Barzillai
Posts: 39
[QUOTE=brjohnbc;420050]Good morning,

I remember well when I first started praying the hours.  I remember thinking ... oh heaven's, this is going to be so difficult!  As time went on and I settled into the rhythm of the monastic tradition of praying the hours it became much easier.  Not only did it become much easier, it became the force behind my daily routine.  When I have to miss an office for one reason or another the day just doesn't feel complete.  I remember one time somebody giving me this little saying ... I still don't know where it came from ... "To be a person of prayer, you must first become prayer."  I didn't quite know what to make of it at the time, and I continue to reflect on it often, but our lives should be a prayer and reflect the Love of God within us!  Everything we say and do should be a prayer as unto the Lord.

In the Benedictine Ethos we read:  "Prayer is not the only thing worth doing in this world, but without prayer, nothing else is done as well nor are things kept in proper perspective."  That is something we should all reflect on.  We are nothing without prayer.

Blessings
Br. John[/QUOTE]

Hi Br. John,

Thank you so much for your insights. 

I started to quote just the single phrase in your post that meant the most to me — the part that spoke directly to my own experience in praying the Liturgy of the Hours.  So, I highlighted a portion, then thought no, I need to highlight some more to get the whole idea — well, as you can see I could not leave any part out!

As a life-long former atheist and after 20 years in the evangelical (Reformed/Baptist) tradition, I was surprised that the Divine Offices are so easily a path to freedom for the heart — rather than a burden each day.  Coming home to the Catholic church is a joy and the prayer practices are only one part — as you know.

+Peace,
John
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 2:08PM #14
brjohnbc
Posts: 658
Dear to Christ John,

Sounds like you and I have had some of the same experiences.  I never left God, but I did leave the church for some time.  I went on a "spiritual journey" which is just a polite way of saying I went looking for God instead of being still and letting God find me!

As much as I dislike labels .. I am an Anglo-Catholic not Roman but I just want to say that I am glad and I'm sure that all the saints and angels are rejoicing that you have found your way home.  People say that you should take time to smell the roses .. I agree because roses are God's creation but you should also remember Psalm 46: 10 "Be Still And Know That I Am God."  That is how I made my return and continue in my faith today .... I took the time to be still and "Listen With The Ear Of My Heart."

Blessings to you and yours in all things.

Br. John
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 2:14PM #15
brjohnbc
Posts: 658
Sandy

Here is a page that might help to answer your question.

http://ewtn.com/expert/answers/breviary.htm

Blessings
Br. John
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 2:29PM #16
Barzillai
Posts: 39
[QUOTE=Shaner;420717]Hello Barzillai,

You say the the LOH is an ancient practise.........how far back can it be traced to?

Peace,
Sandy[/QUOTE]

Sandy,

Thank you for the question!  This IS one of my favorite topics — the LOH in general and its ancient roots in particular.  The 2500-3000-year-old history of daily praying the Songs (Psalms) of God’s people is perhaps the world’s oldest, daily religious practice.  I even chuckle a bit at thinking that we might have been given a hint in the fact that largest book in the Bible and the book that occupies the center of the Bible just happens to be Psalms. 

Anyway, that last part was just my own rambling, you asked about how far back the Liturgy of the Hours goes.  Here is the reference I like it because it points to the growing practice of praying the LOH among lay people, which I believe will be a key force, central to the renewal of the Church that is talked about by the Popes:   

The following is a quote from the Abbey of the Genesee Cistercian monks in Piffard, New York.

http://www.geneseeabbey.org/divine-office.html

“The official prayer of the Roman Catholic Church is known variously as Liturgy of the Hours, Divine Office, Opus Dei (Work of God). The roots of this prayer go all the way back to Jewish practices before the time of our Lord. This form of prayer was prayed by Jesus and his disciples. As such, it was carried over into the devotion of the early Christian Church and continues in an unbroken tradition down to our own day.

“In both the Jewish and Christian traditions, this work of God was the prayer of all the people, clergy and laity. Due to various circumstances however, in the Christian Church it soon became the particular prayer of clergy and monks for many centuries. One of the blessings flowing from the liturgical reforms of Vatican II is the resurgence of the Divine Office among the laity. For our purposes we will refer to this form of prayer as the Work of God since that is the traditional Benedictine term.”

+Peace to your heart,
John
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 2:42PM #17
Barzillai
Posts: 39
Sandy and Br. John, I wrote and then posted my response to Sandy before I saw Br. John's excellent reference.  As you can see from Br. John's reference, the LOH can trace its roots to long ago. I will add Br. John's link to my list of references.

+Peace
John
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 3:40PM #18
Shaner
Posts: 1,596

brjohnbc wrote:

Sandy

Here is a page that might help to answer your question.

http://ewtn.com/expert/answers/breviary.htm

Blessings
Br. John



Hello Br. John,

Thank you for the link, its very comprehensive, educational, appreciate your help,

Peace,
Sandy

"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 4:05PM #19
Shaner
Posts: 1,596
Hello John,

Thank you so much for your wonderful reply, unfortunately I have to log-off right now, but I'll be back to reply to your Post!

Peace,
Sandy
"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
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10 years ago  ::  Apr 10, 2008 - 7:11PM #20
brjohnbc
Posts: 658
John ... thanks for the link, I love to read various monastic sites.

Blessings
Br. John

Community of St. Barnabas the Apostle
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