Thursday, June 11, 2009
Liturgy of the Hours
I've been so inspired through all of the wonderful blogs that I have been reading that in the past two months, I have begun to wear a scapular again (hadn't done that since childhood)and I've been making time for Eucharistic Adoration on a more regular basis. I've always been really good about daily Lectio Divina and daily Mass. But, the one thing that I have wanted to take up in my spiritual life even before I began blogging, is to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, at least daily Lauds or Vespers. Despite my best intentions, my actual practice has been sketchy at best.
Today, I think I may have finally figured out a small way that I can incorporate at least a small part of this prayer as a daily habit until I actually make the entire Divine Office a true daily habit in my life.
If you've been reading my past couple posts, you've probably caught on to the fact that I have not been having a very good week. Last week we put large amounts of money into our van for work on the brakes. Sunday morning, I fell down the basement stairs (while carrying a load of the dreaded laundry-what else!), yesterday our dryer broke, and today, while driving to work, I was involved in a car accident! (No injuries, but a nuisance with car damage just the same!) I know I should be counting my blessings because things could have been so much worse. Instead, I'm ashamed to admit that I let myself fall into self-pity instead. In the spirit of St. Teresa of Avila and her criticism of God when she said "If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few!" I complained to God about how I spend so much time in prayer you'd think He could take better care of me. This was compounded by the fact that as I was sitting at my desk at work, wallowing in my misery, my atheist co-worker was bragging about her relaxing trip to the Bahamas. "Not fair!" I told God. "When am I ever going to get a vacation? Instead, all I get are problems and more problems!"
Then I realized that it isn't God's fault that my life has been so difficult. Perhaps, instead, it is the devil trying to turn me against God and what I really need to do is PRAY MORE! The first prayer that came to my mind was from the Liturgy of the Hours..."Oh God, come to my assistance. Oh, Lord, make haste to help me." How very fitting those words are to my predicament this week! It occurred to me, that just like the Jesus Prayer, I could repeat those words over and over again like a prayer mantra. Just the thought of it made me begin to feel better!
From now on, when life hands me difficult situations, instead of complaining against God or allowing myself to wallow in self-pity, I will raise my heart to the Lord with this beautiful prayer. Better to include some of the Liturgy of the Hours on a daily basis than none of it! I can't think of a better way to start a new habit than with a prayer mantra. Bring on the troubles! I'm ready!
"Oh God, come to my assistance. Oh Lord, make haste to help me." Amen.