(NOTE: Newest thoughts are at the end of this continuous page.)
Liturgy of the Hours is a cornerstone Cistercian practice that I perform each day to place me in the presence of Christ. I don’t say prayers to become holy, rather I am holy because these prayers allow me to open my heart to Christ. It is Christ who is holy. It is only through, with, and in Him that I can approach the Father with fitting praise and glory using the energy of the Holy Spirit. This is a page that will offer you the Lay Cistercian practices that I do each day and some additional commentary on the official prayer of the Universal Church, the Divine Office. Some of you may wish to begin the discipline of the daily recitation of one or more of the seven hours of this public prayer. I am not advocating that you do these practices. Rather, I am sharing what I do as one who tries to adapt the Rule of St. Benedict as interpreted by Cistercian practices and charisms and the constitutions of the Cistercian Order (Trappist), as I understand it. I offer these as no expert in anything but as one who tries to seek God every day using silence, solitude, work, prayer, and practice to move from my sinful self to having in me the mind of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5).
PRAYING THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS DAILY — If you wish to begin to recite the Liturgy of the Hours in your life, I recommend that you begin with the Morning Prayer. An excellent on-line source for the Liturgy of the Hours is http://www.divineoffice.org. With this daily site, you can recite the Morning Prayer by reading it off of your home computer or cell phone. Take your time in learning about the Liturgy of the Hours, it has been taking shape since the time of St. Benedict and his Rule (c. 540 a.d.).
FIVE PRACTICES THAT HAVE HELPED ME COMMIT TO PRAYING THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS
The music of Gregorian Chant
The following comes from a URL that is a bit squirrely with its selection (e.g. Gnostic hymns), but the rest of it seems to be authentic. If not, I need to know that.