My first brush with the Divine Office was as a nine-year old. We were on a rare vacation in Baguio, a mountain city in northern Philippines, and our parents brought my siblings and me to the Pink Sisters Convent where we attended the vespers. It was one of those childhood experiences that you remember rather well, but whose mark you fully understand only many years after.
Fast forward to the present. Three years or so into the Divine Office, I still consider myself a newbie. While I am not anymore confused with ribbon placements and the four-week Psalter rotation, I have to admit that I still have to be, uhmm, regular in praying the Divine Office. I am trying to do just the Morning and Night Prayers for now, which is more manageable and less overwhelming :-). Maybe -- and hopefully, in the not so distant future -- I can do the rest.
|My Divine Office|
If I do my Morning Prayer after I have done a myriad of little chores that could actually wait, the purity of intention would have been diluted, the predisposition to immerse myself in the prayers and psalms would have been lessened, and the resolve to carry on with the Morning Prayer's inspirations throughout the rest of the days would have been weakened. Pffft...
In like manner, if I do my Night Prayer with my eyes half-closed and half of my mind in dreamland, the spirit of thanksgiving, repentance, and renewal becomes but a drowsy thought.
In the cycles of nature, activities are undertaken in their proper seasons. And with the course of daily prayers, the Divine Office in particular, it also pays to observe The Proper Time.
Perhaps this is a no-brainer for the Divine Office veterans, but for a newbie like me, it was actually a lightbulb moment!
The Lord will keep
your going out
and your coming in
from this time forth
~ Psalm 121:8
You can pray the Divine Office online here.
You can read the Apostolic Constitution Promulgating the Divine Office as Revised in accordance with the Decree of the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican here.
You can check out Daria Sockey's blog Coffee and Canticles here.