Liturgical Prayer

In Christ’s prayer

Just before Evening Prayer recently I was reading about the gifts of the Liturgy of the Hours (aka The Office), about how they go both ways. God gifts us with breath, voice, and the desire to seek him. In turn we gift God with our presence, our attention, and the love God first gave to us.

Regarding the gift of the presence of Christ, this next line gave me pause:

“One of the most moving experiences in praying the Office comes when we are conscious that we are praying with Christ in his prayer to the Father.” 1

I read it again, “when we are conscious that … “

Okay, I’m conscious. Christ had ‘Evening Prayer’ at 5:30 on his schedule today, just as I did, just as all my sisters around me. We are joining Christ in his prayer to God.

The General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours tells us that we are praying not our words but those of Christ:

"This prayer is … the very prayer which Christ himself, together with his Body, addresses to the Father."2

We are Christ’s Body, the Body of Christ.

A few minutes later we joined Christ in Christ’s prayer to God. Indeed, it was moving.

Let nothing be preferred to the Work of God – Rule of Benedict 43:3

1 The School of Prayer: An Introduction to the Divine Office for all Christians by John Brook, 1992, page 88
2 GILH ¶15