Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Praying the Hours

We’ve make it to Holy Week. Ash Wednesday was six weeks ago tomorrow. Lent, the season that we’ve been in for the last six weeks, is a period in which the Church places particular emphasis on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. It’s typical, for me at least, to reach Holy Week with a degree of regret that my prayer life didn’t reach mystical heights, my fasting was far from ascetic, and my charitable giving was next to nonexistent (it’s tax season, and Caesar is taking a big bite this year).

One of my goals for Lent 2012 was to pray the Liturgy of the Hours daily. The Hours is a way that I can unite myself to the daily public prayer of the Church from my own home and in my own time (within limits). I’ve done pretty well praying Lauds (Morning Prayer) before work, Vespers (Evening Prayer) before bed, and the Office of Readings some time in between. I’ve not included Mid-day Prayer or Complline (Night Prayer). On at least one occasion when I neglected to pray one or more of the Hours, I had to ask myself why and admit that I had no good reason. It’s a practice that I will try to continue even after Lent has given way to Easter.

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