Give the Liturgy of the Hours a Try
Today we are going to try something a bit different. Instead of doing one longer Divine Office, we are going to do one long and two short sessions of the Liturgy of the Hours. This is an ancient practice of the Church that is designed to create space in your day for God to work in your life.
Take one of the readings and do a full Lectio Divina. For the other two do an abbreviated version whenever you can fit them into your day. Or, you could watch the video and follow Pastor Scazzero’s advice.
Psalm 27 (NLT)
A psalm of David.
1 The Lord is my light and my salvation —
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
2 When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
3 Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
4 The one thing I ask of the Lord —
the thing I seek most —
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
6 Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.
7 Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!
8 My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
9 Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.
11 Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
14 Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Psalm 25 (NLT)
A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, I give my life to you.
2 I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.
4 Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,
which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
for you are merciful, O Lord.
8 The Lord is good and does what is right;
he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
teaching them his way.
10 The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
11 For the honor of your name, O Lord,
forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the Lord?
He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord is a friend to those who fear him.
He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the Lord,
for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.
16 Turn to me and have mercy,
for I am alone and in deep distress.
17 My problems go from bad to worse.
Oh, save me from them all!
18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
Forgive all my sins.
19 See how many enemies I have
and how viciously they hate me!
20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.
22 O God, ransom Israel
from all its troubles.
Assurance of God’s Protection
A Song of Ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills —
from where will my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 He who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time on and forevermore.
Lectio Divina (Sacred Reading)
Let’s move on now to that contemplative form of Scripture reading the Church has historically called lectio divina. Work your way through the steps below.
Lectio: Read the passage below a few times slowly (out loud, if possible). Focus on the words and your breathing. Imagine yourself as being in the story of the text. Do not rush. This is not something to simply get done or accomplish.
Meditatio: Read it again. Reflect or meditate on the passage. This is not about emptying your mind, it is about focusing your heart and mind on the word of God. Think deeply about parts of the passage that stand out to you. Let the words sink in — do not rush. Repeat a key phrase or passage over and over and dwell on the words. Be content to go slowly.
Oratio: Respond to God. Pray and talk with God about the passage. Or, read the passage again (out loud, as a prayer or plea to God). Tell Him how you are feeling. Ask God how this passage applies to you.
Contemplatio: Listen to God. Wait patiently for Him. Praise Him.