Monday, September 5, 2016

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 188 - Part III.

YOUCAT Question n. 188 - Part III. What is the Liturgy of the Hours?

(Youcat answer - repeated) 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 1177) The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours integrate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, expressing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Moreover, the reading from the Word of God at each Hour (with the subsequent responses or troparia) and readings from the Fathers and spiritual masters at certain Hours, reveal more deeply the meaning of the mystery being celebrated, assist in understanding the psalms, and prepare for silent prayer. The lectio divina, where the Word of God is so read and meditated that it becomes prayer, is thus rooted in the liturgical celebration.

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 Comment)

(CCC 1196) The faithful who celebrate the Liturgy of the Hours are united to Christ our high priest, by the prayer of the Psalms, meditation on the Word of God, and canticles and blessings, in order to be joined with his unceasing and universal prayer that gives glory to the Father and implores the gift of the Holy Spirit on the whole world. 

(The next question is: How does the liturgy affect the spaces in which we live?)

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