IN A MONK IN THE WORLD WE ARE LEARNING THE PRINCIPLES OF CHRISTIAN MONASTICISM AND HOW WE CAN APPLY THEM TO OUR LIVES OUTSIDE THE MONASTERY WALLS.
THIS MONTH'S TOPIC IS THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS.
One thing that attracted me most to Benedictine spirituality is the custom of praying The Liturgy of the Hours. Fixed-hour prayer has its origins in Judaism from which Christianity came and is still widely used today. The connection to this ancient practice is fascinating to me and draws me in with an incredible sense of unity to my spiritual family.
In a previous blog I wrote a book review on The Divine Hours by Phyllis Tickle. Ms. Tickle has done a marvelous job compiling scripture and prayers for daily use built around the seasons of the year. If you are just learning about this type of prayer routine Phyllis Tickle's books are an excellent place to start.
By far my favorite way to pray the hours is with my iPhone app The Divine Office. This wonderful ministry has developed beautiful productions of worship experiences and brought them to us via technology. Not to worry, if you don't have a smart phone you can still participate through their website.
What an incredible experience to join the live recording and gather with a world-wide community who are praying together. This takes Christian community worship to a whole different level! As the earth rotates and each time slot changes we pass on the prayers like a baton to the next time zone. I find this such a sweet thing to imagine. I've been using The Divine Office app for 2 years and look forward to hearing the now familiar voices each day.
As a recovering addict this prayer routine has been a great tool especially in rough times. When I can rotate my day around praying the Psalms it helps to push out things of the world by keeping my heart and mind focused on transformation.
I encourage you to consider praying the Liturgy of the Hours. I guarantee you won't be disappointed. It has given my prayer life new direction, energy and purpose.
The Benedictine Handbook Liturgical Press 2003
The Divine Hours: A Manual for Prayer by Phyllis Tickle
Benedict's Way: An Ancient Monks Insights for a Balanced Life by Lonni Pratt and Fr. Daniel Homan
How to be a Monastic and Not Leave Your Day Job: An Invitation to Oblate Life by Benet Tvedten
Monk Habits for Everyday People: Benedictine Spirituality for Protestants by Dennis Okholm
St. Benedict's Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Everyday Benedictine Living by Jane Tomaine**
Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict by Esther de Waal