Liturgy and Prayer

Liturgy of the Hours

The Liturgy of the Hours, based on the psalms and prayed daily in the monastery, is a means for God to be praised, a vehicle for the needs of all people in every part of the world to be remembered, and an opportunity for members to be shaped and changed.

Why we read from the Rule of Benedict

The Rule of Benedict is a spiritual guide, rare by virtue of its ancient origins, valued for its continuing meaningfulness in every century since. It is wisdom literature. It stresses the need and nature of real community. It brings the rhythm and ointment of prayer. The Rule brings a life based on the equality and reverence that a world in search of peace requires. — The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century by Joan Chittister, OSB

Read from Chapter 48:
The Daily Manual Labor

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About the Liturgical Seasons

Advent

Advent is the season of waiting. Its function is to remind us what we’re waiting for as we go through life too busy with things that do not matter to remember the things that do. When year after year we hear the same scriptures and the same hymns of longing for the life to come, of which this is only its shadow, it becomes impossible to forget the refrains of the soul.

Advent relieves us of our commitment to the frenetic in a fast-paced world. It slows us down. It makes us think. It makes us look beyond today to the “great tomorrow” of life. Without Advent, moved only by the race to nowhere that exhausts the world around us, we could be so frantic with trying to consume and control this life that we fail to develop within ourselves a taste for the spirit that does not die and will not slip through our fingers like melted snow.

It is while waiting for the coming of the reign of God, Advent after Advent, that we come to realize that its coming depends on us. What we do will either hasten or slow, sharpen or dim our own commitment to do our part to bring it.

Advent stands before us, within us, pointing to the star for which the wise ones from the East are only icons of ourselves.

We all want something more. Advent asks the question, what is it for which you are spending your life? What is the star you are following now? And where is that star in its present radiance in your life leading you? Is it a place that is really comprehensive enough to equal the breadth of the human soul?

—from The Liturgical Year by Joan Chittister, Thomas Nelson


New Liturgy from A to Z topics are posted each Saturday.

Watch, Be Alert

Posted on November 28, 2020

Sometimes I wonder,

Why do you let us wander, O God, from your ways,
and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?

for

we have all withered like leaves,
and our guilt carries us away like the wind.

After all,

we are the clay and you the potter,
we are all the work of your hands.

We long to

see your face, as we shall be saved;
give us new life.

To my sisters and brothers,

grace to you, and peace,
from God the Creator and Christ the Redeemer

With joy I

give thanks to my God,
always on your account,
for the grace of God bestowed on you in Christ Jesus.

We

know not when Christ will come again

Together we

watch

Together we

are alert

Together we wait in joyful hope.

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

References:
The excerpts above are from the readings of the First Sunday of Advent (Year B)
Isaiah 63:17; 64:6,8
Psalm 80:7,19
1 Corinthians 1:3-4
Mark 13:32-33

A to Z Topics


Sister Karen Oprenchok, author of Liturgy from A to Z posts, is a scholastic in initial monastic formation.