Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Spare A Thought

Spare a thought for the nuns at the Carmel here in Launceston: come December the 1st, they move to their summer timetable, and arise half an hour earlier, at 4.55 am. Deo gratias!

It certainly makes my coming to weekday Mass for Advent at Carmel pale in comparison - especially since I've now missed the start of Mass (at 7.30 am) for three days running, and have shamefully to sneak in late - the first day during the sung Gloria, yester-day during the first reading, and to-day during the sermon! At this rate I'll soon never get to Mass at all, quod Deus avertat.

I must say, I find it a real discipline to take up the Breviary again as part of my Advent preparation: all these Psalms... I was quite pleased to be almost over with Matins before Mass. It must be said, Matins is the real kicker: the Day Hours are doable, though one has to be consistent about observing the veritas horarum lest they all get left to be said at night.

Writing this put me in mind of something to consider, for I keep a small notebook recording Masses heard, Confessions made, and Hours prayed (obviously I turn my mind to God on other occasions also, but liturgical prayer makes up the bulk of my devotional practices).

I find that this year so far, out of just over 11 months, I've read the full Breviary Office on 131 days, the Day Hours only on 70, and some part of the Hours on 14; while I used the Little Office instead for 76 days, plus 15 when I attempted only part of it; up until Advent, for a change, I prayed Mattins and Evensong from my copy of the Book of Divine Worship for 20 days straight; shamefully, 8 days here and there went by without much prayer at all.

To think that for years and years - well over a decade - I was absolutely punctilious about saying the Divine Office; now see how much of a chopper and a changer I've become...

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