Saturday, September 3, 2016
Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 188 - Part I.
(Youcat answer) The Liturgy of the Hours is the universal, public prayer of the Church. Biblical readings lead the person who prays it ever deeper into the mystery of the life of Jesus Christ. Throughout the world this gives the Triune God the opportunity at every hour of the day to transform gradually those who pray and also the world. The Liturgy of the Hours is prayed not only by priests and religious. Many Christians who take their faith seriously join their voices with the many thousands of praises and petitions that ascend to God from all over the world.
A deepening through CCC
(CCC 1174) The mystery of Christ, his Incarnation and Passover, which we celebrate in the Eucharist especially at the Sunday assembly, permeates and transfigures the time of each day, through the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, "the divine office" (Cf. SC, ch. IV, 83-101). This celebration, faithful to the apostolic exhortations to "pray constantly," is "so devised that the whole course of the day and night is made holy by the praise of God" (SC 84; 1 Thess 5:17; Eph 6:18). In this "public prayer of the Church" (SC 98), the faithful (clergy, religious, and lay people) exercise the royal priesthood of the baptized. Celebrated in "the form approved" by the Church, the Liturgy of the Hours "is truly the voice of the Bride herself addressed to her Bridegroom. It is the very prayer which Christ himself together with his Body addresses to the Father (SC 84).
Reflecting and meditating
(Youcat comment) The seven “hours of prayer” are like a treasury of the Church’s prayers. It also loosens our tongues when we have become speechless because of joy, sorrow, or fear. Again and again one is astonished in reciting the Liturgy of the Hours: an entire reading “coincidentally” applies precisely to my situation. God hears us when we call to him. He answers us in these texts—often in a way that is so specific as to be almost disconcerting. In any case he also allows us to have long periods of silence and dryness so that we can demonstrate our fidelity. The seven times for prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours are: Matins (Office of Readings or Vigils, in the early morning hours) Lauds (Morning Prayer) Terce (9:00 a.m., Midmorning Prayer) Sext (12:00 noon, Midday Prayer) None (3:00 p.m., Midafternoon Prayer) Vespers (Evening Prayer) Compline (Night Prayer).
(CCC 1176) The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper "understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms" (SC 90).