Okay confession time ~ well, I am a Catholic lol :). ***whispers*** “I haven’t prayed my Offices since I moved house which was back in November if you remember”. Yes, I’ve prayed obviously but my Offices [Hours] and Lectio have been sadly neglected whilst life and work took over and time has ticked speedily on….
I’ve been quite poorly for the last four weeks or so with an infection [??] that just won’t shift [I’m on my third course of antibiotics in as many weeks] so I’ve relied heavily on my faith to keep me at work and to get me through the day [and to stop me being a right grumpy mare]. To be quite honest I’ve been at my wits end with discomfort and worry. Last night something made me pick up my Benedictine Daily Prayer book, which is my book of choice to use to pray the Divine Office, and there in those words I found such beauty, comfort, warmth, familiarity and most importantly the loving arms of my Dear Lord……my soft place to fall.
Why did I stay away for so long when heaven was just a page away?? It amazes me now how I could just blithely put aside something that gave/gives me so much joy. This truly is a case of you never know how much you’ve missed something until you find it again.
For me praying the Divine Office was initially something that I felt I should do and finding my way around the prayer book itself was quite a challenge when I first started. All those ribbons, all that page flicking, sigh!! For a while I felt I was just going through the motions. Now, after this unintentional break, I have to admit that at some point during those months of apparently ‘going through the motions’ a love affair began that I was totally unaware of. A love affair with the beauty and predictability of the liturgical year through [now] familiar hymns, prayers and psalms. A feeling of safety found within those beautiful words as they tap out the gentle rhythm of the religious seasons, especially on those days when personal prayer is dry and unproductive. It’s all written there for you in the Divine Hours, like a big safety net just waiting to catch you when you fall.
So, I’ve taken a good look at my spare time. [“What’s spare time?”, I hear you cry!!] I have realised that I’m not using it very well at all. Lot’s of working, cleaning, cooking, sleeping but not alot of ‘God’ time. I’m going to have a reshuffle and strike a better balance, in fact I started today. It’s like revisiting an old friend ~ why did I stay away so long……..??