Liturgy of the Hours

The greatest change for me in coming to seminary has been the rhythm of life here. Life moves fast, but everything is grounded in the liturgy: morning prayer, Mass, adoration, evening prayer, benediction, night prayer. There’s a monastic sacredness to the everyday. There’s a security in the sense that, no matter what happens in between, it all centers back on God soon enough. There’s a stillness, a tranquility, a sense of waiting in readiness and openness and trust, like the servant in the Gospel of Luke who waits for his master’s return through the night.

I’m working on a less contemplative post for you guys in the near future, but for now, on this feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, I would just like to share a little of that peace.

“We just stepped inside a big, Gothic cathedral. The lights are all out, except for one that brightly shines on the main altar. There, in the center of the altar, sending splintering rays in a thousand directions, stands a brilliantly golden monstrance with Jesus in the Eucharist enthroned at its center. Behold him there as he waits for his friends to come to him.

Now look. See that people do come and go. Many ask for something, ‘Jesus, give me this, help that person, remove this cross…’ and then they leave. The Lord Jesus, who is so kind and good, readily gives to them.

Now look. Saint Thérèse has just arrived. Observe her prayer as she looks deeply into the Heart of Jesus, truly present there in the Blessed Sacrament. What’s her attitude toward him? Interesting. Her face is full of compassion. It’s as if she sees that this good Lord who gives and gives is tired, sorrowful, and himself in need of help and consolation.

Now listen to what she says. Did you catch that? She’s not asking Jesus to give to her, rather, she’s asking what she can give to him.”

 May the Lord God bless us, protect us from all evil, and lead us to everlasting life.

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