As a Life Teen missionary, I have a daily rhythm of prayer.
7:30am Daily Mass
8:30am Holy Hour
9:30am Liturgy of the Hours
Liturgy of the Hours has been the hardest part of our morning prayer routine for me to enjoy. Liturgy of the Hours is the second highest form of prayer in our church: the first being the Eucharist! It is a four-week cycle of psalms, antiphons, and canticles prayed by religious, consecrated, and lay people throughout the word. Tradition tells us that someone, somewhere is praying these prayers every moment of every day. You can pray these prayers at seven different times of the day. As a Life Teen missionary, we are committed to praying morning prayer and night prayer.
As I have grown more and more in love with the Lord over the past year and a half, I have also grown in discipline in my prayer life. With that discipline comes a deeper desire to really dive into Liturgy of the Hours, and so instead of just reading the words, actually PRAYING the words.
My favorite week and day to pray is Wednesday from week 4 of morning prayer. The antiphons are my favorite words to pray, and they really build on each other. This day seems to always come just when I need to be reminded of these simple words.
The first antiphon says “My heart is ready, o God, my heart is ready.” For me, I take this as a true surrender to God’s plan for me for that day. I don’t always know what the day holds for me, but if my heart is open, then I can whole heartedly say YES to each of the ways that the Lord calls me to love. The second antiphon says, “The Lord has robed me with grace and salvation.” This is the “how” for me. If my heart is ready, then I will go out and do what the Lord has asked me with HIS grace. The third antiphon says “I will praise my God all the days of my life.” Because the Lord is so good, and because I have committed my heart to His plan, and because He gives me the grace to do what He commands, I MUST praise the Lord, and I WANT to praise the Lord.
Today, I challenge you to dive deeper into your prayer: to actually pray the words you are speaking and don’t let them just fall off of your tongue. Speak them from your heart and feel them resonate in your entire being. Put those words into action.
“Prayer is not asking, it’s a longing in the soul.” – Gandhi