Archive for the ‘Divine Office’ Category

Reflection on the Divine Office morning prayers for Sept. 6

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Sometimes I hurt inside thinking of all the people I know whose hearts have hardened like concrete against the Lord. They are good people, they just don’t want to know Him. I read this canticle from Isaiah and think of them:

Canticle — Isaiah 2:2-5
The mountain of the Lord’s dwelling towers above every mountain
All peoples shall come and worship in your presence (Revelation 15:4).

In days to come,
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest mountain
and raised above the hills.

All nations shall stream toward it;
many peoples shall come and say:
“Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may instruct us in his ways,
and we may walk in his paths.”

For from Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

He shall judge between the nations,
and impose terms on many peoples.
They shall beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks;
one nation shall not raise the sword against another,
nor shall they train for war again.

O house of Jacob, come,
let us walk in the light of the Lord!

But as I read through the morning prayers today I could feel the Lord saying to me that if my concern for those members of my family and my friends turns to anxiety and disturbs my peace, that this is not of Him. It shows that I don’t trust in His ultimate plan. It is not my job to save anyone, that is for Jesus to do! I have no power on my own.

I love to plan things, to fix things. My kids especially say that I never just listen, that I always have to offer advice. It’s a compulsive thing, wanting to fix everything.

But God wants me to lay aside that compulsion. Yes, I can fix some things, but I can’t fix everything. Why not leave it to the One who can?

The best thing I can do to help those who don’t know Him is to focus squarely on Him. This is why the Two Great Commandments start with “You shall the love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” I must let HIM do the work. My role is to follow the Lord as closely as I can and let His light shine through me. That light will attract those I love, not anything I can do. I can’t make that light shine through my actions. Only surrendering fully to the Lord will cause that light to shine.

My heart will still burn for my loved ones to know Him, but I must rest in the Lord, immerse myself in Him, and let Him shine His light through me. I must step aside.

Rethinking our approach to our enemies

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

This morning’s reading in the Divine Office really challenged me. It reads:

Look on the needs of the saints as your own; be generous in offering hospitality. Bless your persecutors; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same attitude toward all. Put away ambitious thoughts and associate with those who are lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never repay injury with injury. See that your conduct is honorable in the eyes of all.

If possible, live peaceably with everyone. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves; leave that to God’s wrath, for it is written: ” ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; by doing this you will heap burning coals upon his head.” Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.
Romans 12:13-21

For some reason, the verse “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves; leave that to God’s wrath, for it is written: ” ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” really stood out in thinking about how we as a country react to terrorism. I am no pacifist and I have always believed that terrorists only understand force and therefore must be dealt with in that way.

As September 11th approaches and we remember the dead, I ponder these verses and wonder what would happen if we did leave vengeance to our Lord and treated our enemies with kindness. This really challenges my faith.

Run, don’t walk, to this website!

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

If you desire to pray the Divine Office (aka the Liturgy of the Hours) that our clergy pray daily but have never been able to figure out how to use the book. That’s why DivineOffice.org is such a Godsend! All the prayers are available for each day, and presented beautifully, both visually, and through their audio podcasts. The lectors read exquisitely well and the music is also quite beautiful. I was very honored when I was asked to contribute some of my music. Run, don’t walk to this website!