Throughout my life I have memorized a whole litany of prayers, but very few have reached the depths of my heart. The prayers typically stay at the surface and it seems like I am babbling on instead of entering into an authentic state of prayer.
The Pharisee and the Publican by James Tissot, 1886-94
Providentially, I discovered a short and simple prayer that can help a person transform their life and root out sinful habits.
Each Lent we are challenged to reevaluate our practice of the Faith. Unfortunately, often when we take a look at our spiritual lives we end up mourning the loss of the zeal and enthusiasm we once had. We used to pray every day, go to daily Mass, and evangelize everyone we saw. Now the fire has died and we have just enough guilt in us to attend Sunday Mass and go to confession on occasion.
For many of us we had a striking conversion experience and lived our faith to its fullest extent. Then over time life got busy and our faith suffered.
What you need now more than ever is a “jump start” that not only reignites your Faith, but helps it endure through the many trials of life.
I know the feeling. I have been there.
Thankfully, through the grace of God, I found a way out and it has kept my faith alive, giving me the ability to keep growing in my relationship with God.
Technology has simplified many activities and one of those is praying the Divine Office. The thought of engaging in such a complex prayer as the Liturgy of the Hours can be daunting, but thankfully many individuals have made it as easy as clicking a button.
Still, there are a few “tricks-of-the-trade” that are worth noting before you embark on praying the “public prayer of the Church.” Before we begin let’s “briefly” review what the Divine Office consists of and examine its ancient history.
I am a “cradle Catholic” and growing up I never questioned the beliefs of the Catholic Church. I simply obeyed what I was taught and never asked why. While blind obedience is not necessarily a bad thing, it creates problems down the road, especially when a person is tested in the faith. Questions will soon arise either from the outside or in the depths of your soul: Why do Catholics worship Mary? Why do you receive Communion? Isn’t it just a piece of bread? Why are Catholics against same-sex marriage? Why can’t Catholics get divorced? Why do you pray?
If your answer is simply, “the Catholic Church says so,” an opponent (or even your own mind) will begin to wonder if there is a point to following the many rules of your religion. If you do not have a reason behind your belief, your faith can be shaken. Instead, we must imitate the Pilgrim and keep searching for the truth. Let us look at his example to learn what we must do:
After writing a post on the symbolism behind my logo, I received interest in using the logo as a Facebook Cover Photo. I decided I would make a few different options, as well as a version that fits on your desktop and phone.
So now you can “Put on the Armor of God” on Facebook, on your desktop and on your phone. Enjoy!
If I were to ask someone, “what is the public prayer of the Church,” I would typically get the answer of the Rosary. While the Rosary is a great devotion, the Church names a different prayer the “public prayer of the church:” “The divine office, because it is the public prayer of the Church, is a source of piety, and nourishment for personal prayer” (Sacrosanctum Concilium, 90). Yet very few lay people pray the divine office (aka the “Liturgy of the Hours;” praying the Psalms on a daily basis). It is often seen as the prayer of the priest, nun or monk.
While that is true, it is not meant to be reserved only to them. In fact, it is a prayer that is designed to unite the entire Church in prayer and has the capacity to truly deepen a person’s prayer life. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider praying the divine office daily:
Last year I commissioned the design of a logo for my blog. I wanted something that not only summed-up the content here, but also was an inspiration.
It may appear to be simple and rather straightforward, but it has some rich symbolism that has inspired me in my writing. The logo has three main elements: