Trying to Juggle Divine Office and Rosary

The priest let me use a copy of Christian Prayer when he came up to bring Communion to Mom and I on Tuesday. Slowly getting the hang of it.

I know it’s right up there next to the Mass and is the prayer of the Church, even encouraged by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:

Dear friends, in these recent catecheses I wanted to present to you certain Psalms, precious prayers that we find in the Bible and that reflect the various situations of life and the various states of mind that we may have with regard to God. I would then like to renew to you all the invitation to pray with the Psalms, even becoming accustomed to using the Liturgy of the Hours of the Church, Lauds in the morning, Vespers in the evening, and Compline before retiring.

It’s not as difficult as I thought it to be, (at least not during Ordinary Time) although it’s taking some getting used to. The thing is, I really love praying the Rosary, and while it’s not impossible to fit in, by the time I can pray it, I’m too tired to pray it well. Usually the morning is my quiet time with Jesus and Mary via the Rosary, which oftentimes let’s them get through this thick skull and put my heart in the right place to face the day. Maybe I’ll pray the Rosary in the morning, as usual and do Evening and Night Prayer. (Being a member of the Rosary Confraternity, I try hard to at least live up to the pledge to pray 3/4 sets of mysteries a week.)

If I understand correctly, the Invitatory is only done for Office of Readings and Morning Prayer. Is that right?

Yes, the Invitatory is only said once before the first Office you offer that day.

You may be trying to fit in too much in one day. If you work, have a family, and other obligations, you may be taking on a bit too much. While I love the Rosary and know it has great benefits, the Divine Office is the official liturgical prayer of the Church. So, I would make it the priority.

If you can’t get in 5 decades of the Rosary per day, then do one or one at a time as time allows. Or one decade during a quiet moment of the day, such as on break or while driving or diapering the baby. It’s not necessary to do all of them at one sitting, if it’s hard for you to do that. It’s a devotion, not a requirement, after all. It’s meant to be help to your spiritual life, not a burden. :slight_smile:

I totally understand your dilemma. I, personally, pray Christian Prayer (Morning, Evening, and Night) and the rosary daily.

I do Morning prayer at like 9 to 11 AM.

Evening prayer around 5-6 PM.

Night prayer around 9 or 10 PM.

I put the rosary in there either somewhere between Morning and Evening Prayer or after night prayer before I fall asleep.

I disagree with the last poster. The rosary was given to us by the Blessed Virgin Mary and you should make an obligation to the rosary before the LOTH. If you have to miss an hour here and there, that is fine but don’t miss the rosary!

God bless!

The rosary is a private devotion. The LOTH is the public prayer of the Church.

Please do not set up a false hierarchy of which form of prayer is better.

You may be trying to fit in too much in one day. If you work, have a family, and other obligations, you may be taking on a bit too much. While I love the Rosary and know it has great benefits, the Divine Office is the official liturgical prayer of the Church. So, I would make it the priority.

Yeah, you are probably right. Being a family caregiver can make things a challenge. I haven’t even been able to make it to Mass in a long time, something greatly missed.

I disagree with the last poster. The rosary was given to us by the Blessed Virgin Mary and you should make an obligation to the rosary before the LOTH. If you have to miss an hour here and there, that is fine but don’t miss the rosary!

See, that’s what has me wondering which would be the best choice for me.
Divine Office- No obligation to pray, but if I understand correctly, the highest form of prayer besides the Mass.

Rosary- Pledged to pray the 15 mysteries (Luminous not necessary but encouraged) weekly. A private devotion, but one that’s been recommended by many Saints and Popes. Also mentioned in the Catechism:
Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of our heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him. (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2708)

I’m not trying to set up a “false hierarchy” of prayers but, I personally feel that the rosary is a more important private devotion than privately praying the LOTH. The LOTH is a public devotion when it is prayed as part of a religious organization or if you are a priest or a person in the religious life. If you are praying it on your own, you can adjust it to your form of life in private.

I am just saying that the rosary is given to us by the Blessed Virgin and she asked us to pray it daily in her apparitions at Fatima. I personally feel that the rosary is more powerful.

Nevertheless, I still pray both every day but if I miss a day of the LOTH, I don’t feel much regret. I have made a promise to the Blessed Virgin that I would pray the rosary daily.

God bless!

I think you are trying to make a decision based on a false choice.

As a layperson, it is a choice of choosing what is best for your spiritual life. You do not have to choose between the public or private. God is not going to give you “extra points” or “love you any less” because you choose one or the other.

I have my preference because LOTH works for my prayer and spiritual life. You may have another and that’s fine. Make that the criteria, not anything else.

I understand where you are coming from. We care for my grandfather with Alzheimer’s and it is hard to make it to mass on Sundays much less take time on our own for prayer.

No matter what, prayer is up to you! Pray what you can for your state of life! If you can fit in one office of the LOTH or a decade of the rosary, prayer will still benefit you no matter what!

God bless!

All of what you wrote is beautiful, but the reality remains the LOTH is considered the public prayer of the Church and the rosary is considered a private devotion.

You are entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

I totally agree with you! I acknowledge my own opinions but I am not holding them as facts.

God bless!

You seem to have the Rosary fitting well into your life–that is wonderful :slight_smile: I would continue that, and add in what you can of the LOTH. If it ain’t broke…

Also, you could ask the priest :slight_smile:

The Rosary and Divine Office are complementary prayers. In ancient times, there was only the Office. The laity were unable to participate in praying the Office due to work requirements and the fact they tended to be illiterate. The Rosary was given for them so they would also be able to “pray without ceasing”.

While the Divine Office is the higher prayer of the two, if an individual has particular devotion ti the Rosary, the latter should be continued.

The goal of any devotion is closeness to God. If you find that your prayer life is not progressing, it can be beneficial to give up the nonproductive devotion completely for a time and pray another devotion. Eventually, the nonproductive devotion could become productive again. (Of course, productive or not, the Rosary is always useful for praying in community.)

I have to agree with Dennis here, but I totally understand the dilemma presented in the OP. I once tried to fit in a plethora of private devotions before retiring in the evening, but found that I could not keep up with them on a regular basis. I used that as a great learning experience to find which ones really moved me towards deepening my relationship with Our Lord and His Saints.

Peace,
+Stephen

Well, as a Secular Order Discalced Carmelite, we have a great devotion to Our Blessed Mother.

However, in our Rule of Life, praying morning and evening prayer of the LOTH’s is mandated, not so the Rosary.

The Rosary is a beautiful devotion, if you can fit it in, great. However, I could never miss praying the LOTH’s.

Jim

For all who may be confused about it, the Rosary certainly has been encouraged by approved apparitions of Our Lady, but she did not “give us the Rosary.” The Rosary developed over time. It actually began with lay people praying 10 Our Fathers, then the decades were added later, and then the mysteries. It was in response to their desire to pray the Office, which they couldn’t do since it was recited in Latin at the time. Besides, most lay people could not read or write, so it was a wonderful way for people to enter into prayer in concert with consecrated religious. The Office has always been the daily liturgical prayer of the Church, which the Church has been encouraging the faithful to pray in private as well as in community since most people can now read and write. So, the LOTH does take precedence, but having said that, any devotion that helps us live out our baptismal promises is perfectly fine. :slight_smile:

All great replies here, thanks!

[quote=coachdennis]I think you are trying to make a decision based on a false choice.

As a layperson, it is a choice of choosing what is best for your spiritual life. You do not have to choose between the public or private. God is not going to give you “extra points” or “love you any less” because you choose one or the other.

I have my preference because LOTH works for my prayer and spiritual life. You may have another and that’s fine. Make that the criteria, not anything else.
[/quote]

This is one of the good things about this forum. Sometimes it really helps to put this stuff out there and have someone who isn’t close to me see it and be able to point things like this out. Thank you very much for this reply.

[quote=landon13]I understand where you are coming from. We care for my grandfather with Alzheimer’s and it is hard to make it to mass on Sundays much less take time on our own for prayer.

No matter what, prayer is up to you! Pray what you can for your state of life! If you can fit in one office of the LOTH or a decade of the rosary, prayer will still benefit you no matter what!

God bless!
[/quote]

I’ve had so many blessings and consolations (I think that’s the right word. The brain goes on vacation sometimes. LOL) through the Rosary. It has even been a help in dealing with the day to day struggles of my current vocation as family caregiver. And when quitting smoking a little over 4 years ago… there’s no doubt in my mind Jesus and Mary were there through the Rosary to help when coping with not having the crutch of nicotine. I could go on and on, but to keep this from becoming a short novel let’s just say that the Rosary has become a very personal prayer method.

[quote=Brother Stephen]I have to agree with Dennis here, but I totally understand the dilemma presented in the OP. I once tried to fit in a plethora of private devotions before retiring in the evening, but found that I could not keep up with them on a regular basis. I used that as a great learning experience to find which ones really moved me towards deepening my relationship with Our Lord and His Saints.

Peace,
+Stephen
[/quote]

There are so many great devotions and prayer forms out there. In this area the Church definitely shines as mother. Now to remind myself that because I try a bunch of them and like them, it doesn’t mean I have to do all of them.

So I think what I’ll do is stick with what I really love most (the Rosary) and pray the Liturgy of the Hours as time and responsibilities allow, then see how it goes with the LOTH. That seems to be the healthier approach. Much better than getting stressed out about it, that’s for sure.:blush:
Sorry if I missed someone. Thanks again EVERYONE, and God Bless!

Further, the Rosary is a devotion primarily on the Latin church and is not really part of the Eastern churches’ spirituality (although some Eastern Catholic churches also pray it).

The Divine Office, however, is universal to the Church. All apostolic churches, Catholic and Orthodox pray the Divine Office according to their own respective rites, which makes it truly universal and points to its ancientness.

I’m with coachdennis on this one. A private devotion is a private devotion. When layman, however prays the Divine Office, while it can be argued that it is also a devotion, it is also a liturgical act wherein the layman is actually exercising his common priesthood in joining the prayer of the entire Church.

I find the Rosary helps me more when I am time-challenged because I can pray it anywhere and don’t need a book or computer. That said, when I can work in Morning Prayer, Office of Readings, or Evening Prayer, I do and have come to love the Psalms.

What devotion we use really depends on our circumstances and needs, IMO. For a long time the Rosary was my mainstay. I even compiled two books of Scripture verses and meditations to pray with it. But I was not disciplined in my prayer life–something I realized I needed. I was introduced to the LOTH and have been praying Morning and Evening Prayer for a few years now. It’s grounded my spirituality while it led/leads me through the Church seasons, feasts, fasts, and HDOs. I still love the Rosary and pray it when I can, but the LOTH has become my daily prayer now. I think each of us has to come to such decisions in God’s own time and as we need it. :slight_smile:

You compiled two books of Scripture verses and meditations to pray with the rosary?!?!?! That would be wonderful to see if you could PM me or something about it. I’d be interested in seeing some of that.

God bless!

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