Divine Office

Regular readers of my blog know that I'm not big on hawking products: I think consumerism is, basically, the true religion of Americans and it's not one I'm keen on evangelizing.

That said, for those who are technologically inclined, I'd like to draw your attention to www.divineoffice.org. Saint Paul exhorts Christians to pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17). At various points of the day, the Church provides an opportunity to pray in common. Called the "liturgy of the hours" this is, quite literally, the work of prayer: just as you would clock-in at your job, so to can you clock-in for prayer (the 401k, though, is not this side of eternity).

The iPad app is just about $20.00 but it provides you with an entire day's worth of prayer. What I appreciate is that there's some music - a huge help in my own prayer life - and its audio is of rather good quality. For some reason, I find it so much more meditative to pray with someone, which this program enables. There's also a pretty sweet function that gives you a picture of the globe and all of the people who happen to be using the app at the moment: you get, in an instant, a sense of the world at prayer!

Very often, Lent turns into an endurance contest rather than a time for coming to the Lord more deeply. Rather than obsessing over chocolates or wine, why not commit an extra 20-30 minutes a day and join in the work of prayer? My suspicion is that the time you spend praying each day in a tried-and-true practice of the Church will be less than the time you'd spend thinking about what it is you gave up.

If you're looking for a very fine and spiritually nourishing Lenten practice, I wholeheartedly recommend going to www.divineoffice.org and downloading their app onto your ipad or iphone. If you have a 20-minute commute to work in the morning, would it not be better spent in prayer than in cursing the drivers around you? Instead of waisting ten minutes on Facebook or Twitter, you could spend that time doing a mid-day prayer session.

Why not make this Lent something other than a burdensome slog through 46 days? I think staying faithful to prayer is as difficult, if not more so, than staying faithful to exercise. This program gives you no excuse to take the time needed to come to know the Lord more profoundly and, in the process, come to know how much you are loved and how you are being called into deeper service of God's Kingdom. Skip a few skinny-iced-latte's-with-no-whip and buy the app: you're waistline - physical and spiritual - will thank you!
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