Thursday, January 19, 2012

When the Journey is a Trial, My Book of Hours Accompanies Me

Tuesday was a miserable night. You see, I work with human beings. I live with human beings. And I am a human being. And sometimes, that is all just. too. much.

I went to bed late after an intense family conversation about something I likely won't remember a few months from now. Something that seemed terribly important and urgent at the time and worthy of a late-night conversation.

I tossed. I turned. I reached for my little red Book of Hours.

I know I should have read the "Tuesday nighttime prayers," but instead, I devoured the entire volume, grabbing bits of wisdom where I could. In my volume, the texts introducing the prayers are written by the late Monsignor Luigi Giussani. Also known as the Liturgy of the Hours, this is a book of hymns and psalms and canticles.

Here is some of what I underlined during my fitful prayers.

"Holy Mary, mother of God, preserve in me the heart of a child, pure and clean like spring water; a simple heart that does not remain absorbed in its own sadness..."

"Emmanuel, our God is close at hand who pitches among us his dwelling, he has made of us all Your children: for this we can call You our "Father!"

Here is Giussani's note on the Tuesday Hours: "On Tuesday, after the first step, man realizes that the journey is a trial... He is 'forebearing not wishing that any should perish' it's never too late to start over again."

And since it was Wednesday by the time I was finishing up prayers and feeling sleep arriving at last,  I read the introduction to the Wednesday prayers: 

"The Spirit is what makes us perceive God in the life of the senses, it enables us to experience Him. The Spirit is the principle whereby God, who is invisible, becomes perceivable.  How does this happen? God makes His Presence felt when all creatures are perceived as signs."

1 comment:

  1. There have been a few "intense family conversations" here lately, too. Must be the season. It is neat, though, when you turn to prayer or scripture and find exactly the words you need to hear. Prayers for you and yours.