Living in the (Prayer) Moment

This Lent I decided to give up a prayer app. I’d been using the Divine Office app to pray the Liturgy of the Hours for several years, and I saw someone post on Twitter about using only the breviary books during the season.

I made an exception for a few days while I was traveling for work, but otherwise I went the whole season with the books I’d barely opened since I found the app all those years ago.

The person who originally posted the idea (I can’t remember whose idea it was just now) said he wanted to combat laziness. I’m plenty lazy, which originally attracted me to try this practice during Lent, but I discovered something else this season that I need to combat even more.

I don’t live in the moment.

During my twice-daily Lenten ribbon-flipping with the big breviary, I found myself looking ahead to the next time I’d be using the book – and setting the ribbon in the right place before I moved on. I’m not meditating on the psalms during Lauds if I’m flipping two pages ahead to mark the ones for Vespers.

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Copyright 2019 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS. All rights reserved.

But that’s what I’m doing. It’s not even like I’m saving any time or doing something I can’t do at the start of prayers the next time.

It’s a way I can indulge my tendency to always worry about what comes next. Whether it’s meals or clothing or having gas in the car, I want to be prepared for whatever’s coming – and that comes at the cost of savoring the here and now.

While this tendency is definitely an asset in my editorial work (it’s April, and I’m currently collecting magazine articles for the fall issue and assigning articles for winter), it’s not necessarily a good thing in other areas of my life.

During the second half of Lent, I actively concentrated on not moving those ribbons to the next section during (or even immediately after) prayer. It just about drove me nuts, but I managed it.

Switching from app to book didn’t turn out to be too penitential, but leaving those ribbons alone definitely was.

Will I go back to the app, starting tonight? I don’t think so. I like using the book, actually. And it’s good for me to have the twice-daily reminder that I don’t always need to be looking ahead.

Except the part where I’m looking ahead for the sake of my eternal soul.

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Copyright 2019 Barb Szyszkiewicz. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2019 Barb Szyszkiewicz

Breviary Notes 3/18

Breviary NotesThe Reading for today’s Morning Prayer was Deuteronomy 7: 6, 8-9.

It includes the phrase, “…faithful God who keeps his merciful covenant…”

Merciful.

God’s covenant is merciful.

Of course it is–what else would it be? But I hadn’t thought about it in those terms before! God wants what’s good for us, because He loves us. And that’s what mercy is all about: wanting the good for others.

Today, may we be a sign of mercy in the world in which God has placed us.

 

Tired of the Easter Flip-Flop!

Every Easter and Christmas it’s always the same. I don’t have enough ribbons in my Liturgy of the Hours to take care of marking antiphons, psalms, daily stuff, AND the saint. And I sit there flipping around in the book and getting all irritated that they couldn’t print the Easter Sunday and Christmas Day antiphons for Morning Prayer in with Sunday Week 1, since each of those days gets used for 8 straight days, but all the other “special” Sundays (Easter 5, Lent 1, Lent 5, etc.) got printed.

So I’ve taken matters into my own hands and printed out a bookmark with the antiphons for each of those days. Feel free to download and print it for yourself.

Hope this helps you!