Friday, September 08, 2006

Benedict XVI on the Liturgy of the Hours

On Aug 31 the pope spoke to the priests of the dioces of Albano, where he made these comments on the recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours (Breviary).


The interior life is essential to our service as priests [...] It is the mark of a pastor that he be a man of prayer, that he stand before the Lord praying for others, even taking the place of others who perhaps do not know how to pray, don’t want to pray, don’t find the time to pray. [...] The Church gives us, almost imposes upon us – but always as a good mother – free time for God, with the two practices that are part of our duties: celebrating Holy Mass and reciting the Breviary. But more than reciting, carrying this out as a listening to the word that the Lord offers us in the Liturgy of the Hours.

We must interiorize this word, be attentive to what the Lord is saying to us with this word, then listen to the comment from the Fathers of the Church or from the [Second Vatican] Council in the second reading of the Office of Readings, and pray with that great invocation that is the Psalms, through which we take our place within the prayer of all ages. The people of the Old Testament pray with us, and we pray with them. We pray with the Lord, who is the real subject of the Psalms. We pray with the Church of all ages. [...]

Today we had [in the Breviary] that marvelous commentary from Saint Columban on Christ as the spring of living water from which we drink. [...] The people are thirsty. And they try to respond to this with various amusements. But they know well that these amusements are not the living water that they need. The Lord is the spring of living water. [...] So let us seek to drink it in prayer, in the celebration of the Holy Mass, in reading: let us seek to drink from this spring, that it may become a fountain within us. And we will be able to respond better to the thirst of the people of today.

English language article on the pope's discussion is found at

As Dominican laity, we also live under a rule that includes the recitation of the Divine Office. May we unite our liturgical prayers with those of all priests, religious, and laity, that our interior lives will blossom for the conversion of our neighbors, to the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

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