I must say I find fitting in Matins a trial. The rest of the Breviary - the day Hours, that is - I love, but finding the time for Matins remains an ongoing challenge. Chugging through the nine psalms of the nocturn is penitential for me, requiring an ongoing exercise of the will, despite their individual excellences. I have on and off 'cheated' by instead using the Office of Readings from the modern Office, and have speculated on the appeal of saying only say three psalms at Matins, omitting the rest, but I remain convinced that chopping and changing is not the answer, since one major feature of the Breviary is the commitment to reciting all 150 Psalms of David each week (insofar as no feasts of I or II Class supervene) and observing the one Calendar and keeping to the lectio continua at Matins.
My compromise is to omit praying Matins first each day, and instead to say Lauds and Prime before work, the rest of the Little Hours either at breaks or after work, Vespers in the evening (ideally after evening Mass, in thanksgiving) and Compline at bedtime, reserving Matins for some time in the afternoon or evening or night when I can knuckle down to it.
This evening, I came to the Pro. at about a quarter to six o'clock, after the Holy Hour had started (it being a First Friday), and made my humble confession (my penance: to say a decade of the Rosary to intercede for the propagation of devotion to the Sacred Heart), before praying Matins (Lauds to None already having been done), attending Benediction, and then serving Mass for Fr Rowe, which was a Votive of the Sacred Heart. After Mass, Vespers...
We repaired to Fr Rowe's place for fish and chips, with beer (rather good, home-made by a parishioner) and some spirits (Drambuie and Arak), cake for dessert and copious cups of tea. Besides the usual suspects, we were joined by some new acquaintances, one visiting from Geraldton, and two visiting from Sydney. After having dinner, our visitors accompanied us to St Anne's, Belmont, to see how the work of fitting out that church is getting along; then I gave Justin a lift home, and finally got back here just before 1 am.
Justin has been telling me how he has found the Little Office of Our Lady to be an excellent rule of prayer, as (and I know the feeling) he is too busy to pray the Breviary. I have in the past used it, and like it, but by the time I've said some short morning prayers, tried to keep to the daily threefold Angelus, and got through the Office of the day, I can really not fit much more in.
What a grace it is to have time to pray!