The Divine Office

Twitter can be a marvel of information. While I’d been lamenting in what I had considered to the doldrums of the Daily Office, I met someone who extols the virtues of the Divine Office and provides great insights into its infinite merits.

One would think I’d be aware of these things – and I am. But sometimes we all need reminders.

Lucas Whittaker on Twitter

After the Bible, I know of no grander work than the Roman Breviary” Saint Francis De Sales (Bacuez, L., and Ethelred L. Taunton. The Divine Office, Considered from a Devotional Point of View:. London: Burns and Oates, 1885. pg 277-302)

Lucas Whittaker on Twitter

There is no work that comes anywhere near the Divine Office. All other works are opera hominum. This is truly “the Work of God” pre-eminently. It is a work of praise that comes from God through the Word Incarnate and is offered by the Church, in Christ’s Name. Bl.

Lucas Whittaker on Twitter

@sdk14754977 “Religion has no purer manifestation than the Divine Office gravitating around the Eucharistic Sacrifice which is its crown.” Bl. Columba Marmion Same source: Christ the Ideal of the Monk; Spiritual Conferences on the Monastic and Religious Life, St. Louis, MO: B. Herder, 1926.

Lucas Whittaker on Twitter

Because seculars are absorbed by worldly occupations, the Church wishes that ecclesiastics and religious of both sexes should consecrate at least certain hours of the day to praising God, and praying to him for all the faithful, as well as for the welfare of Christian society.

Lucas Whittaker on Twitter

1 of 4] (What makes breviary prayer universal?) “Because seculars are absorbed by worldly occupations, the Church wishes that [we] should consecrate at least certain hours of the day to praising God, and praying to him for all the faithful.” (Liguori, DIVINE OFFICE)

Lucas Whittaker on Twitter

2 of 4] “That prayer is universal which the ministers of the Church offer to God in the name of the people” (Communis quidem oratio est, quae per ministros Ecclesiae, in persona totius fidelis populi, Deo offertur” II-II, q. 83, a. 12)

Lucas Whittaker on Twitter

3 of 4]The Angelic Doctor, in q.83 a.12 of secunda secundae, says that breviary prayer is common as opposed to individual, and thus must be vocal so that it may come to the knowledge of all. The rubrics say that, said quietly, our lips must be moved as if annunciating the words.

Lucas Whittaker on Twitter

4 of 4]By which we should understand, in the midst of so many breviary versions and translations, that it is not the version of the Divine Office that matters most, but the knowledge that each “hour” of prayer is said on behalf of all men, for their salvation; thus said vocally.

“St. Bernard, in his commentary on the Song of Songs, tells us not to say the words of any liturgical prayer without annunciating them well, “Go back and repeat those words said poorly lest you do injustice to the text” … Bernard was referring specifically to the Divine Office. Indeed, regarding priests who mutilate words and rubrics, St Alphonsus Liguori says “Of them, we may well say what Clement of Alexandria said of the pagan priests, that they turned heaven into a stage, and God into the subject of the comedy [O impietatem! scenam c┼ôlum fecistis, et Deus vobis factus est actus. (Or. ad Gent.)]. On the Mass, it is true that the rubrics call for it to be said in a manner timely for the sake of the faithful, but the prayers should be said reverently since our words addressed to God should express our deep respect for him. Too often, prayers are said with haste.”

And I’m still learning Latin, slowly but surely.

Deo gratias.

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