Continuing on from Part 2 on living a Catholic life through prayer and the Mass:
Beneath the Mass in importance is the “Liturgy of the Hours”, also known as the “Divine Office” or “Breviary.”
Depending upon the version used, it is said either 2-3 times a day for non-religious (people who aren’t priests, nuns, monks, etc) or up to seven times for the latter. It sanctifies (makes holy) the day through prayer. It consists mainly of Psalms and Canticles from the Bible, as well as short excerpts from Old and New Testament readings.
In saying the Divine Office you establish a prayerful rhythm to the day, always keeping in mind a spiritual and holy connection to God and also with all others who pray this. This helps you maintain a sense of perspective and balance during the day, keeping you from completely getting inundated with worldly nonsense.
So, how often did you drink back in the day? Morning, noon, and night? A few shots in the morning to fortify you? Maybe a few more throughout to keep you going? A few more to get you to sleep? The Divine Office has prayers for when you rise, another set to mark the beginning of the day, more for mid-morning, mid-day, the afternoon, nightfall and bedtime. Sounds like an old drinking schedule?
The printed form of the Office comes in 2 versions, a one volume book and four volume set. A one volume version titled “Christian Prayer” costs around $29-39 USD. This abbreviated version is intended for non-religious. (There is another one volume version titled “Benedictine Daily Prayer.” Costs somewhat more.) The “official” four volume set (for religious) costs about $129-149 USD. It is titled “The Liturgy of the Hours.” If either cost is prohibitive there are always online versions:
Universalis: “This is the link that is at the top of this blog, above the posts.”
Divine Office – Liturgy of the Hours – Breviary : “free audio MP3 and podcasts.”
Roman Breviary: “online and also in mobile format.”
Liturgy of the Hours Apostolate: “PDF and mobile formats.”
Next is the Rosary. Some would declare that the Rosary is more important than the Divine Office, but I believe that in the official pecking order, the Rosary as an unofficial devotion ranks below the obligations of the Mass and the Divine Office. The Rosary initially was developed due to illiteracy in the Middle Ages, people were unable to read the Psalms (i.e. the Breviary). The Rosary is Scriptural, with meditations on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. To say the Rosary is to meditate on Jesus. It is about Jesus and leads you to Him. In my opinion, it is among the best Catholic ways to practice Step 11, which “seeks through prayer and meditation to improve your conscious contact with God.”
In the sidebar of this blog there are numerous links on the Rosary, and I’ve previously written a lot of Rosary posts and Rosary Meditations which you can read or re-visit. Click on the links in the last sentence or the “Labels” section of the sidebar.
Next up: the Bible.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"