I first learned the basics of saying the Divine Office (or Liturgy of the Hours) when I was an undergrad at Oklahoma State University. My friend Dan Mueggenborg (now Msgr. Mueggenborg!) and I would make the short trip from campus to Stillwater’s St. Francis Xavier Parish for evening prayer, a few times during one of our semesters.
I didn’t learn it well then and I wasn’t all that committed in those days, but I guess a small seed was planted. I don’t recall ever doing it again until we started offering it for students of the St. Philip Neri Newman Center, while I was campus minister there.
Some of the students would meet for Morning Prayer, but I was present more for Evening Prayer as students ended their classes in the late afternoon and were on their way home for dinner.
Here at St. Fidelis, I’m learning much more discipline in this than I’ve ever had before. Although I’m a lay volunteer, the friars have invited me to participate in their daily prayers, meditations and Mass. I have to say the regularity and consistency of this has helped with my transition into this foreign environment. There’s nothing like the universality of the Church to make you feel at home anywhere in the world.
Here’s the daily schedule:
6am: Morning Meditation
6:30 am: Morning Prayer
6:45 am: Mass
5:00 pm: Meditation
5:30 pm: Evening Prayer
6:15 pm: Dinner
The schedule will change somewhat when school starts. Right now, we do prayers and Mass in the friary chapel. When the students arrive, we’ll move down to the campus chapel with some slightly different times.
I’m still getting the hang of the meditation parts. For now, I usually do some reading in the morning, and say a rosary in the afternoon.
BTW, here they use the British/Australian version of the breviary. It’s quite a bit different from the one used in the US and I’m of the opinion so far that this one is much better organized.
What about you? Have you ever prayer Liturgy of the Hours on a consistent basis? Any tips on how to be more disciplined with it or to appreciate it better?
(I know my SQPN friends are laughing because of the early schedule I keep every day now, and how I used to complain about our “early” board meetings at 7am.)