As the faith has been passed down to new generations, bits and pieces have been left out. Sure the rosary, the liturgy, even most of the prayers made their way through, but one prayer in particular was kept in the shadows, hidden from the generation X and the digital generation laity. This prayer is known as the Liturgy of the Hours or The Divine Office, and very few of us young Catholics know anything about it. This makes it a perfect theme for today’s blogpost!
So what is the Liturgy of the Hours? Well, this link can give you a more complete explanation than the one I am about to give you. Basically, it is a way for people (especially priests and religious) to follow St. Paul’s call to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Prior to the digital generation, a four-volume set of books would be used to recite prayers in an “orderly” way. Orderly is in quotations because if you have ever tried to use the Liturgy of the Hours books, you know that it can be very confusing and jumpy. After trying to figure it out on my own through the Internet, I went to two sessions with my priest over the summer to see if I could learn how to pray it correctly. Even then, I still couldn’t do it. I started to figure out exactly why my generation has not caught on to the Divine Office; we lack the patience to flip from one page to the next and to follow written directions. Jumpiness without a search bar and a keyboard frustrates us.
A couple of weeks ago, after months of failed attempts, I broke down and downloaded the Divine Office App and now it finally makes sense to me. I’ve followed along with my book and the “divine jumpiness” as I once referred to it has started to make sense. The true beauty of the Liturgy of the Hours is finally showing through! Sadly, I needed technology to see it. Thankfully, technology was there to help me love it.
So, I urge all of my readers, the young and young-at-heart alike, to try out the Divine Office during your prayer time this Advent. Try the four volume set, download the Divine Office App, or do both. Don’t be afraid to discover the beauty that these prayers exude.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever!