Sunday, May 14, 2017

Three Reasons to Pray the Divine Office

Guest post by Kelly Scott

Our world seems designed to distract us from God. Stillness and silence are rare commodities. And the constant demand of families, home, and career combine with the relentless ding of our cell phones and never ending sea of noise emanating from our televisions, computers, cars, and office speakers. A noisy world can lead to a starving soul. Creating a rhythm of life in which we regularly pause to meet with God can root us and reorient us to what truly matters. Praying the divine office can help us create sacred space in a shouting world.

The early church met for prayer at set times during the day. Early church fathers carried on the tradition. Also known as the liturgy of the hours, today we continue this ancient practice through praying the divine office, which combines readings from the Psalms and other passages of Scripture along with hymns, prayers, and thoughts of the church Fathers or spiritual masters. By using a printed or online breviary, praying the divine office helps us join our voices in unison with believers around the world.

Here are three reasons to pray the divine office:

Praying the divine office reminds us that all time is God’s time.
Developing a rhythm of daily prayer helps us practice the sacred art of being fully present. Instead of rushing from one activity and appointment to the next, we pause to inhabit our present, being fully attentive to what God is doing right now in this moment. Praying the office helps us create a private sanctuary of sacred space, slowing the frenetic pace of our lives. Laying aside the urgent to celebrate the eternal reminds us that all our moments belong to God, helping us being a better steward of our time.

Praying the divine office helps us join with the voice of the Bride.
As we pray the divine office, we are joining our voice with the voice of priests and faithful around the world. As Church, through the divine office we speak with as the voice of the Bride. There is something special about knowing when I pause to pray, my prayers are echoed in the prayers of believers around the globe. It is a sacred privilege to participate in the united prayer of the Church and a duty which we should not neglect.

Praying the divine office creates space for our souls to speak.
Often in prayer I do not have the words to speak the longings of my soul. But the Psalms express the cries of my heart. Praying the Psalms allows us to express the full gamut of our emotions; joy and pain, confidence and doubt, and hope and sorrow are all contained within the pages of the Psalms. Praying the divine office gives me words when I have none, creating space for my soul to speak.

When my world gets chaotic, praying the divine office is a lifeline which tethers me to the eternal. It reminds me that all my time is God’s time. It helps me join with the voice of the Church across the globe, and gives me words to express the cry of my soul. As I pray the divine office, I find my steps in the rhythm of grace. How have you made the divine office part of your life?

Kelly Scott is a an avid traveler, Christian, writer, and dog lover.  Professionally, she enjoys writing on various topics including the following : Christianity, business, digital marketing, and seo.  When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her silly dog Lucy.


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