I have been doing the LOTH for a week and I have to say that it has been a prayer-revolution for me. I had spending so much time jumping around different Bible translations, getting wrapped up in form over substance. I lacked direction and order in my interior life. Doing the LOTH has been a revelation. Not only does it bind you into the universal prayer of the Church, but the books themselves have a holy feel to them, and I have not once for a second felt the need to consult other Bible translations for variations on readings, etc. These books truly are perrmeated by the Holy Spirit, and I cannot recommend to Catholics (and other Christians!) heartily enough to take up the LOTH and be amazed at what it does for your prayer life!
I agree with your observation. Too many people, myself included, spend too much time arguing in these forums when we can use that time to pray. I pray we are granted the grace to take the steps you have and achieve greater spirituality in God.
I think that is a great point. Too often we see threads that derail over what translation is best, who’s a better Catholic or even who’s a Catholic at all or any number of other things. Perhaps the blessings the OP has gained from the LOTH should serve as an example for us all and instead of weighing in on the latest controversy we should take that time to say a few prayers, read one of the hours of the LOTH or say rosary.
Agreed, wonderful prayer. It shapes my prayer life in fact.
Agreed. I’ve been doing the LOTH for almost a year now. I can’t explain the amount of peace and joy this has created in my life. I’ve lived in the shadow of death most my life but LOTH has saved my faith, my family, and my soul. LOTH is a gold mine!
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
I’ve been praying LOTH for a year, Morning and Night Prayer, and have resolved to add Evening Prayer in 2011. I too felt that my prayer was all over the place and that I was missing the joy in praise. The LOTH gives structure. Other prayer and devotions don’t feel obligatory, but additive. God bless
I started late last year, using the Christian Prayer version from St. Joseph Press. I am up to Lawds on weekends, Vespers and Compline daily. This has become a major focus of every day and the strength i gain from these prayers cannot be put into words. I dearly wish I had started this years ago. I just read this on Fr. Z’s blog just this evening:
I also love the LOTH. Did you know there’s a LOTH group here? It’s the Divine Office group (forums.catholic.com/group.php?groupid=755), and it’s full of people who love the LOTH!
I teach others about the LOTH like this:
Ever see the Wave in a sports stadium? Exciting, isn’t it?
Wouldn’t you love to be united in The Wave of prayer, being prayed by Christians worldwide, repeatedly through the day, as each time zone ticks by?
Check out this prayer pattern–it’s not new, the whole Christian community used to gather in person throughout the day to pray together! (in the early church)
It’s the Psalms, and excerpts from the old and new testaments, and prayer intercessions.
If you aren’t Catholic and you find a Catholic distinctive, ignore it.
You don’t have to buy the books. Play the audio on the website and follow along with the readings.
You know in the Bible when they talk about the watches and the hours?
The first hour of the day…6 am (Lauds)
Third hour…9 am (Terce is third, in Latin)
Sixth hour…12 noon (Sext is sixth, in Latin)
Ninth hour…3 pm (None pronounced known is ninth, in Latin)
Evening…6 pm (Vespers)
Night…before retiring (Compline)
Now get this–I am planting the idea in Christians that we should at least stop and lift our mind and heart to Jesus throughout the day, at regular times–these traditional prayer times of the early Christians (and the Jews that came before them and the Muslims that came after them).
Why should the Muslims have all the fun!
So I’ve set multiple alarms on my cell phone–these hours (I count 9 pm for Compline). Outside of work hours, I use the Bell Tower chime. During work hours (the little office–daytime hours), I use the Harp chime. (If I can’t pray the LOTH, I can make an ejaculation. LOL)
And when my alarms go off, I get to explain it to people. Everyone thinks it’s cool.
I’d like this to become a trend.
Imagine, you’re at the grocery store after work, tired at the end of the day, picking up a few things, and 6 pm happens. There’s Bell Towers and Harps ringing on people’s phones all over the place. People silence their chimes, there’s a quiet moment of prayer, and then people get back to their business.
A girl can dream!!!
BTW a lot of non-Catholic Christian friends have been enjoying using the divine office website I linked above.
The LOTH is an excellent prayer. If nothing else, it gives a structure to your prayer life (an an engineering student, I find that the more structure my life has the better off I am and the happier I am).
I started going to the Liturgy of the Hours about a month ago once a week before my RCIA class and I am enjoying it a great deal. My prayer life is something that I struggle with to some extent (being ADHD doesn’t help to be sure) and the LOTH has been a good way for me to work on that aspect of my developing faith.
I agree with the structure part. It sets up a framework for the day. I work from home and if I am not careful, my work time can eat into my family time. I’ve placed Vespers at 5 pm, and that’s the dividing line between work and family. Occasionally I do have to work beyond 5 when on a tight deadline or an emergency, but it makes me aware of the fact that I am on my own time. Also the minor hours are even better than a coffee break!
I have a small dedicated oratory where I do my Offices, and that too is a big help, as are the small rituals I have: lighting candles for the major hours, keeping a “vigil lamp” lit on the crucifix at night, turning it on at Vespers and off at Lauds, etc. It all helps provide a sense of transcendence, of taking myself out of my world and placing myself in God’s hands.
Haha, so true!
When I first started praying the LOTH over 15 years ago, I was playing guitar and singing at Mass with a group, every Sunday.
I never knew that many of the hymns we were singing, came from the LOTH.
Also, the more I prayed the LOTH, the more connected with the Mass I became.
The other benefit is that when I go to the Trappist Monastery for my annual retreat, I know how to follow along with their version of the LOTH, while others are left to just sit and listen.
Its such a rich treasure in the Church, I’m amazed it isn’t promoted better.
Do you find yourself thinking about the debates in this forum, during Mass?
It happens to me and I find it a distraction.
Just make sure if you buy the guide for the daily readings that you get the correct one. I wasn’t paying attention and bought the guide for the one-volume edition, and it doesn’t work with the 4-volume set.
Yes. Unfortunately I have at times been unofficially been granted the rank of detective of the Liturgical Police.
What a great image!
thank you for that! The interface looks a bit awkward there, with each message just scrolling along in succession. Am I missing something?
Agreed, although one will still find the occasional unhappy Catholic who can still find fault with it (“bad translation”, “modernist”, “post Vatican II”, etc.). I figured that if I listened to all these people, I’d end up with nothing and lose the joy of prayer. The Liturgy of the Hours, as it currently is, approved, and authorized, is the gift of the Church to me, and I just decided I’ll joyfully recite the Prayer of the Church in the words she has given me.
True, and I think that’s an expected effect. After I started praying the Hours about 8 years ago, I found myself rejecting beliefs and dispositions contrary to the faith that I once held and embraced the Church’s teachings unconditionally. I think it’s an actual grace God attaches to the Divine Office; it sure appeared that way.
Reminds me of a story of a young troubled priest who went to an older priest and rambled on about how the Church is wrong with priests not allowed to marry or some unpopular moral teaching (I don’t know the exact story anymore). The wise priest’s simple response was, “So when did you stop praying your breviary?”