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Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office) (This "prayer of the church" is a way of praying with the whole church: Bishops, priests, deacons, women and men religious, as well as lay persons pray this prayer around the world each day.Though it is not well known, it is the universal prayer of the church alongside the Mass. Let's take advantage of this time to learn and appreciate this prayer.  After clicking the link to go to the site, click the link in accord with the hour you wish to pray.  traditionally, Office of Readings (Lauds, in Latin) is the first and earliest "hour" followed by Morning Prayer (Matins), etc. (This frame below was not working 100% at the time this page was constructed.  Let's hope it is a temporary problem.)

 

 

On Prayer

From the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB):

How do I pray?

Various forms of prayer are presented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2623-2649). These various forms include prayer of blessing or adoration, prayer of petition, prayer of intercession, prayer of thanksgiving, and prayer of praise.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a Christian practice of prayer dating back to the early Church. As the Catechism states: "Meditation is above all a quest. The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life, in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking." By meditating on the Gospels, holy icons, liturgical texts, spiritual writings, or "the great book of creation," we come to make our own that which is God's. "To the extent that we are humble and faithful, we discover in meditation the movements that stir the heart and we are able to discern them. It is a question of acting truthfully in order to come into the light: "Lord, what do you want me to do?" (CCC 2705-2706).

Meditation is an essential form of Christian prayer, especially for those who are seeking to answer the vocational question, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"

How do we pray with Sacred Scripture?

Spiritual reading of Sacred Scripture, especially the Gospels, is an important form of meditation. This spiritual reading is traditionally called lectio divina or divine reading. Lectio divina is prayer over the Scriptures.

  1. The first element of this type of prayer is reading (lectio): you take a short passage from the Bible, preferably a Gospel passage and read it carefully, perhaps three or more times. Let it really soak-in.
  2. The second element is meditation (meditatio). By using your imagination enter into the Biblical scene in order to "see" the setting, the people, and the unfolding action. It is through this meditation that you encounter the text and discover its meaning for your life.
  3. The next element is prayer (oratio) or your personal response to the text: asking for graces, offering praise or thanksgiving, seeking healing or forgiveness. In this prayerful engagement with the text, you open yourself up to the possibility of contemplation.
  4. Contemplation (contemplatio) is a gaze turned toward Christ and the things of God. By God's action of grace, you may be raised above meditation to a state of seeing or experiencing the text as mystery and reality. In contemplation, you come into an experiential contact with the One behind and beyond the text.