For Timely Passages Like These from the LOTH for Today

For Timely Passages Like These from the LOTH for Today March 16, 2010

Its been a while since I did a post on the LOTH, our acronym for the Liturgy of the Hours.  We could have called the Prayer of the Church the DO for Divine Office, but we went with LOTH instead. And shame on me for only just now getting to praying it, but pardon me too: I work for a living.

Knowing the recent news regarding more allegations of abuse coming to light within the Church, the following passages (published how many years ago ?) are in the prayer for Lauds this morning. They couldn’t have come at a better time.

Psalm 100 (101)

The declaration of a just ruler

I will sing of kindness and justice –
to you, Lord, will I sing.
My thoughts shall follow the way of perfection:
when will you come to me, Lord?

I will walk with an innocent heart
through the halls of my palace.
I will allow no evil thing in my sight.
I will hate the man who retreats from perfection:
he may not stay near me.

The wicked of heart must leave me;
the plotter of evil I will not acknowledge.
The man who plots against his neighbour in secret:
I will suppress him.
The haughty of eye, the puffed-up and proud –
I will not support them.

I will turn my eyes to the faithful of the land:
they shall sit with me.
Whoever walks in the way of perfection –

he shall be my servant.
The haughty shall not live in my palace;
the slanderer shall not stand in my sight.
Each morning I will suppress
all the wicked of the land.
I will rid the city of the Lord
of all that do evil.

Followed by this passage I had quoted in my post on Sunday from Psalm 144,

Blessed be the Lord, my help,
who trains my hands for battle,
my fingers for war.
The Lord is kindness and strength,
my refuge and my liberator.
He is my shield, and I trust in him –
he places my people under his rule.

And further on these short passages are timely too. Or is it just me? First from the midmorning reading (Terce),

Between vestibule and altar let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, lament. Let them say, ‘Spare your people, O Lord! Do not make your heritage a thing of shame, a byword for the nations.’ -Joel 2:17

then from the noon reading (Sext),

We have sinned against the Lord our God, we and our ancestors from our youth until today, and we have not listened to the voice of the Lord our God. -Jeremiah 3:25

and finally from the afternoon reading (None),

Shout for all you are worth, raise your voice like a trumpet. Proclaim their faults to my people, their sins to the House of Jacob. They seek me day after day, they long to know my ways, like a nation that wants to act with integrity and not ignore the law of its God. -Isaiah 58:1-2

From the Office of Readings, we have these thoughts from a Sermon on charity (read love) given by Pope St. Leo the Great (died in 461),

In John’s gospel the Lord says: “By this love you have for one another, everyone will know you are my disciples.” In a letter by John we read: “My dear people, let us love one another since love comes from God and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Anyone who fails to love can never have known God, because God is love.”

So the faithful should look into themselves and carefully examine their minds and the impulses of their hearts. If they find some of the fruits of love stored in their hearts then they must not doubt God’s presence within them, but to make themselves more and more able to receive so great a guest they should do more and more works of durable mercy and kindness. After all, if God is love, charity should know no limit, for God himself cannot be confined within limits.

Coincidence? Or the Holy Spirit at work? Mark me down for believing the latter. Please continue to pray for our Church, the victims of sexual abuse and their families, and our Pope and Church leaders as they come to grips with the mutineers.

Pax Christi

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  • alicia

    My husband has been doing LOTH for several years, and it never fails to have something pertinent to the day. That is the genius of the Psalms. BTW, are you familiar with the book "Divine Office for Dodos"? It is a great reference on how to say the office.

  • @Alicia: That is a great book. (Of course, I can find the book, but not the LOTH in this house.) But yes, that is an outstanding resource.

  • The DO for Dodos?…(wait, aren't they extinct?) sounds tailor made for me.

  • Allison: This cheapskate uses the LOTH on-line by Universalis.

  • Maria

    The Divine Office creates a new heart…

  • This is the first year I've ever attempted to participate in the Divine Office prayers. It's a rare day when my day doesn't begin before sunrise,in the dark, candle lit near the computer screen, as I join our brothers and sisters across the miles and nearby in the Divine Office. As Alicia stated — there's a genius to the order of the LOTH. Where else can you get it all — OT/NT/writings by the Church Fathers, popes, saints, theologians, Vatican II. I also do a biographical research on the author of the 2nd reading for the day so that I learn about our church history, too.Like Frank, I do the LOTH the cheapskate way(same source, too! — love the Jerusalem Bible translations– also use the website because the readers and music are inspiring)…but I can see that I might actually purchase the whole LOTH. Maybe at the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress where my daughters and I are headed tomorrow.