Feast of the Archangels

In honor of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, and St. Raphael, here’s a prayer from today’s Morning Prayer of the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours):

O God,
who dispose in marvelous order ministries both angelic and human,
graciously grant that our life on earth may be defended by those who watch over us as they minister perpetually to you in heaven.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Less is More

Recently my husband and I had a conversation about personal electronics which ended on the note, “first world problems.” Sometimes we forget that earthly treasures–although in and of themselves a neutral thing that are meant to be used for the glory of God–are not as essential as we might think.

For example, collecting–or just plain keeping–too much stuff in our homes can lead to chronic disorganization at best and hoarding at worst. Not to say that anyone can determine for others how much stuff is too much for their personal tastes, which varies wildly from the minimalist to the curator of multiple collections. But the general idea is that, if we’re not careful, as we’ve heard before, our stuff can end up owning us instead of us owning our stuff.

Likewise, earthly wealth can be a useful tool in the kingdom when wisely stewarded. But in some cases it may be that the best thing for one to do is to dispose of it. Today is the feast of the apostle St. Matthew and I like what St. Bede has to say about Matthew’s relationship to stuff in the form of earthly riches. It reminds me that although the outcome of my husband and mine’s conversation resulted in my receiving a Chromebook to replace a Macbook Air that had died, the new laptop is not going to change my life the way Christ has and is and will continue to (as long as I cooperate!).

“There is no reason for surprise that Matthew the tax collector abandoned earthly wealth as soon as the Lord commanded him. Nor should one be amazed that neglecting his wealth, he joined a band of men whose Leader had, on Matthew’s assessment, no riches at all. For Matthew understood that Christ, who was summoning him away from earthly possessions, had the everlasting treasures of heaven to give.”

St. Bede the Venerable, from September 21 entry in My Daily Catholic Bible

Something to think about as we manage our own earthly possessions.

Coffee and Canticles

In my last post I referred you to Daria Sockey’s excellent blog post, “Breviary Bootcamp.” However, I should have mentioned that her entire blog is a unique resource for anyone interested in learning more about the Liturgy of the Hours, from novice to veteran. Her site has a few posts that are helpful overviews to various aspects of the Divine Office (a.k.a. the Liturgy of the Hours) plus the five years of  engaging posts and the lively comments provide a treasure trove of valuable information. You can find Daria’s conversation about praying with the Church, known as Coffee and Canticles, here:

http://dariasockey.blogspot.com

 

Praying with the Church

Have you heard of the Divine Office or Liturgy of the Hours as it’s also known? If not you are in for a pleasant surprise. Many lay Christians in the Catholic Church and liturgical faith communities as well as other believers have been discovering this public prayer of the church–normally associated with the clergy–that stretches backwards across centuries of the faithful and around the globe to join a great host of brothers and sisters in Christ. One of its beauties is that it can be prayed privately or in conjunction with fellow believers. Rather than try to explain it in detail here I commend to you the excellent and accessible slim volume on the subject, The Everyday Catholic’s Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, by Daria Sockey.

http://www.amazon.com/Everyday-Catholics-Guide-Liturgy-Hours-ebook/dp/B00BSI816S/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1459421181&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=everyday+catholic%27s+guide+to+the+liturgy+of+hours

Additionally, should you just want an overview of the Liturgy of the Hours or start praying them, Daria has written an extended blog post called Breviary Boot Camp that is a terrific tool for throwing yourself into the Divine Office prayers–if you read about them and discover you are so inclined.

http://dariasockey.blogspot.com/p/breviary-bootcamp.html

For me, a previous participant in these prayers who eventually fell out of using them and then came back several years later, they have been serendipitous in helping my faith journey stay on course during some tough times over the past few months. Now that things are looking up I am addicted to continuing them as I can’t imagine trying to get through my day without their help. If you’re curious about the idea of praying the Psalms and other Scriptures regularly you should read Daria’s post and consider diving right in.

Finally, there’s a wonderful website you can use to get started without any outlay of cash. It provides the prayers in either visual or audio form and you don’t have to figure out where in the cycle of prayers you should be on any given day as the work has already been done for you. It is also available for purchase as an app for iOS, Mac OS10 Lion, Android, Kindle and Nook platforms.

http://divineoffice.org

If any of this sounds intriguing I encourage you to check it out. And remember: you don’t have to pray all the hours. You may be a Night Prayer user as my family and I were when our son was much younger and this was part of our family’s prayer routine. Or you may switch things up daily and pray whatever hour or hours that work for you that day. The beauty is that you can’t fail to benefit from whatever you pray in conjunction with believers all over the world, however that looks for you. No doubt if you become devoted to it your practice will change with the ebb and flow of the seasons of your life.

But no matter whether you stick to it faithfully or go on sabbatical you will always find it there waiting for you to pick up and be refreshed. Peace be with you as you draw closer to the Lord Jesus through the prayer of His Word.

Guardian Angels

Today is the feast of the Guardian Angels and I found these two posts to be the best explanations of what Scripture teaches us about these wonderful helpers. Thank you, Lord, for my guardian angel!

http://lifeteen.com/blog/to-protect-and-serve-the-truth-about-guardian-angels/?utm_content=bufferf09dc&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

Interior Struggle

This is a very insightful post. I highly commend it to my readers because the author knows something about struggles and I’ve seen him grow as he tries to accept them in faith.

Interior Struggle.

Shrove Tuesday

Lest I forget, here’s my favorite verse for this day of feasting before our days of fasting (“There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven…” Ec 3:1, NJB)

Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine
There’s music and laughter and good red wine.
At least I’ve always found it so.
Benedicamus Domino!

Hilaire Belloc

 

 

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