Praying With the Church

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From Divine Office.org

So what is the Liturgy of the Hours?

The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the whole People of God. In it, Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office either with the priests, among themselves, or individually.

The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper “understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms.”

The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours integrate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, expressing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Moreover, the reading from the Word of God at each Hour with the subsequent responses or troparia and readings from the Fathers and spiritual masters at certain Hours, reveal the deeper meanings of the mystery being celebrated, assist in understanding the psalms, and help one prepare for silent prayer. The lectio divina, where the Word of God is so read and meditated that it becomes prayer, is thus rooted in the liturgical celebration.

The Liturgy of the Hours, which is like an extension of the Eucharistic celebration, does not exclude but rather (in a complementary way) calls forth the various devotions of the People of God, especially adoration and worship of the Blessed Sacrament.

The worship “in Spirit and in truth” of the New Covenant is not tied exclusively to any one place. The whole earth is sacred and entrusted to the children of men. What matters above all is that, when the faithful assemble in the same place, they are the “living stones,” gathered to be “built into a spiritual house.” The Body of the risen Christ is the spiritual temple from which the source of living water emanates. Incorporated into Christ by the Holy Spirit, “we are the temple of the living God.”

Source: Catechism of the Catholic Church, Part Two, Section One, Chapter Two.

Purgatory

 

My many sins

Have gone up in flames,

And all that is left,

You deem holy.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander

 

The Detained

Who has died and gone to the side of Christ,

That does not make intercession,

For all the people

He has failed in life?

 

Who can stand in Purgatory’s flame,

And cease to cry out

For loved ones

Left in Time?

 

God hears the cry of the poor,

And who is poorer

Than the abandoned,

And detained at the threshold of Heaven,

Awaiting the forgiveness of those,

Who are careless of their fate?

 

No one goes to Heaven alone.

The cleansed and the holy,

Grab the tassles

Of your prayer shawl.

 

Lower your eyes.

Beat your breast.

Forget yourself.

Remember the family of God.

 

Together let us

Praise the Living God,

Who waits in Mercy for mercy,

For He calls all

To be His own.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander