I have gathered some thoughts on chapter one of "The Little Oratory: A Beginner's Guide to Praying in the Home," written by David Clayton and Leila Marie Lawler.
A quick side-note: Leila, or affectionately known as "Auntie Leila," on her blog, has been a distant cheerleader in this little home of mine for sometime. She tells me that if she can do things then surely "I" can do it too! I must have read her posts on getting my meals and laundry together so I can home school in a home with "order and wonder" over a dozen times. She affirms motherhood and also has been the voice I need to hear with following the Church's teaching on being open to life.
I will happily read what Auntie Leila writes. I enjoy her humor and down-to-earth"ness".
Ah yes, but I have to admit, I get intimidated by "Catholic life" type endeavors...sometimes. I have frequented a few blogs where feast day celebrations are so prepared and so special and the meals are themed that I have this irking feeling of what I call too many "liturgical fails." I had a few this year, one that comes to mind is I didn't bring Advent wreath candles to be blessed at Candlemass (The Feast of the Presentation).
This book is so much more than make sure to drink green milk on St Patrick's Day book.
So here are my thoughts...
I loved this:
Some will not have heard of the Liturgy of the Hours, and so it may be a surprise to learn that, after the Mass, of which it is an extension, the Liturgy of the Hours (also called the Divine Office) is the most powerful and effective prayer there is. It is the God-given worship of the Church, firmly rooted in the ancient worship of the Jews, and it is offered at various times of the day in order to
sanctify the day
and project the grace of the Eucharist through all the hours.
Those words appeal to me on so many levels because projecting the grace of the Eucharist and...receiving the Eucharist...makes us who we are as Catholics. I want to live the Eucharist all the time. These few sentences are hitting home the need to work some prayer muscles and start praying the Diving Office.
I just spent my Sunday morning Mass wrestling with my two and half year old son and during the consecration, when everyone really wants to concentrate and all is quiet in joyful expectation, he had a head bonk on a pew. Head bonk = loud sobs = bolt for the narthex.
I missed the readings, I missed the homily, I missed prayerfulness...
but I did receive Him. I wasn't in the "state of mind" I wanted to be in before Him, but the Eucharist is all Gift
and I did receive Him.
I have shared once before, and I cling to this, Our Lord must have had young mothers in mind with the Eucharist. He spoke to the thousands and possibly in the crowd there was a young mommy who as much as her heart wanted it, her attention was divided between Our Lord and the little she was trying to settle down, or nurse, or comfort (and she didn't even have cheese sticks).
Jesus thought, "I have the perfect Gift for her, where she can have ALL of Me."
He is so good to us!
So since I am missing readings and homilies, but am receiving the Eucharist, I am thrilled that praying the Liturgy of the Hours "projects the grace of the Eucharist through all hours."
I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the only one having this "aha!" moment, perhaps many people already had a firm understanding of the significance of the Divine Office, but this is good news to me! Yes!
And also, this book has on the cover the words...Beginner's Guide!
We have to start somewhere, and Chapter One has motivated me.
Other goodness I want to share:
- "When people see a life well lived, they are drawn by its beauty and then beyond to the source to which it points, and to which that life is ordered: God."
- (On suffering) But life rooted in the Liturgy is a source of joy that overcomes these everyday trials - and great ones.
I liked the word "rooted" here. I am scoping out our family room for a good "sacred space" because I think if we can get a prayer corner in this home it will really help get some hearty liturgical roots down. I have prayed the Divine Office before in bed with my Kindle, but I'm getting excited with the idea that maybe a physical centering, a place we can see and interact with, will help us pray as a family.
And speaking of family...
- Our Lord was born into a family. The family is God's plan for the world - His divine plan, conceived in the very beginning, to be a way of beauty and of spreading His word.
The special place of prayer at home, the family oratory (oratory means "house of prayer") is a powerhouse of grace by which our family may be nourished spiritually and thus be able to transform the world through prayer, proclamation of the gospel, and charity.
|(This isn't our home... it is a cabin in the Southeast Alaska!)|
Thank you for reading! I will link up again for Chapter 2: The Family and the Home...oooooo...doesn't that sound good??!?!
God Bless xxoo