Friday, May 27, 2011
Morning and Evening Prayer...
One of the things Secular Carmelites are asked to do is pray the Liturgy of The Hours, especially Morning and Evening Prayer. I have been doing this for several years now, but to be honest, sometimes I seemed to be just saying words. Sure, some of the verses REALLY appealed to me or spoke to my heart and my 4 volume set is full of 'underline marks' and little hearts drawn next to verses I really love...but, NOW my prayer time has IMPROVED SO MUCH due to a little book that my son Alex recommended to me called, 'A Companion to the Liturgy of the Hours, Morning and Evening Prayer', by Shirley Darcus Sullivan (I linked it at the bottom). This little book has really made the Psalms, Readings, Canticles come alive for me! It explains why we say certain prayers on certain days, little ways to enhance your prayer time etc. One little tip was to use 'Direct Address', which is putting 'I, me, etc, to make it more personal or intimate. I do this even for the 'intercessions. For instance, using this technique, part of this mornings would read:
"Purify my heart with Your truth, and guide me in the way of holiness,
so that I may do what is pleasing in Your sight."
The book also gives a couple different ways to use it. I like to read it BEFORE I start my prayers. The author makes me much more aware of what I am reading!! I can't tell you how much this has helped me!! It also has a chapter on the Canticles of Zechariah and Mary, and why we use Zechariah's as our morning song, and Mary's in the evening. It is really a great aid to helping me say the Hours more prayerfully and it draws on the spirituality of Carmel and Elizabeth of the Trinity, which makes it even better for me! I highly recommend it!! You can take a peek here: