Thursday, July 19, 2012

stitches of grace

Today is my 19th day of attempting to go through the liturgy of the hours each day. Here's what I have discovered in the past week: fixed-hour prayer is a discipline. I technically knew that, of course. At first, however, it was all easy-peasy and simple and pretty and baptized in the happy chirping of early-morning birds or the steaming comfort of an evening cup of tea. But now I see what I knew to be true but did not understand: fixed-hour prayer is a discipline, and sometimes it's really, really hard. 

What about those days when I don't want to pray?
What about those dark moments when I fight hard against shadowy despair and the last thing I want to do is read a Psalm that praises God?
What about when I am comfortably nursing a little grudge and then have to pray, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"?
What about when I just want to sleep?

And the answer is.........
I trudge on. I do it anyway.
There have been days that I did skip an office or two. But usually, I have discovered that while there is not necessarily joy in such a discipline, there is something about the discipline of the liturgy that stirs me way down deep. When I sit still long enough God has some time to stitch me up in His grace a little more. And even if I don't feel better when I close my book and go about my day, I think that those tiny stitches of grace are healing me in some raggedly torn places.

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