Praying in a Different Mode

For the past couple of weeks, while away from the monastery, I have experienced many different forms of liturgical prayer. Instinctively, of course, I recall the forms I am familiar with. The rather lengthy Vigils with which we habitually begin the day has no real counterpart in the Roman Office or the many variants derived from it. Yet without that long exposure to psalmody, scripture and the Fathers the day seems somewhat ‘lightweight’. However, on the principle that when in Rome, etc. I have been trying to learn to pray in a different mode, as it were. It has reminded me that liturgy is not about what we ‘do for God’ but entirely about what God does for us. He has no need of our psalmody or our singing, but he gives us both as a way of approaching the mystery of his being. So, yes, I do miss Vigils and Latin Vespers and lots of other things, but I am perfectly content because I know that it is praying in this way, now, and in no other, that I can hope to meet God. Something to remember when attending Mass, too.



6 thoughts on “Praying in a Different Mode”

  1. it is not about what we ‘do for God’ but entirely about what God does for us
    Yes. May you enjoy what God does for you now, while helping you see how much you love the taste of what you usually do for Him/Her…
    A part of me would so much like to spend hours in lengthy Vigils, but I truly never do. I hope my soul can join your Latin Vespers when my mind and heart are working on something else 🙂

  2. The wonderful thing is God is with us however we pray… a lot or a little, one way or another. However we lift our hearts to Him, he is there to meet us.

  3. I am a little confused by your last sentence ” praying in this way, now, and in no other,” I’d be glad if you would spare a few minutes to explain ‘and in no other’ (remembering that I am not RC although I attend mass each week with my wife)

  4. Thank you for your comments. Stan, I meant only that it is praying as we do, in the here and now, that we can actually pray. It may not be exactly as we would like to pray, eg. the liturgy may be Alternative Service Book when we would prefer Book of Common Prayer, or Ordinary Form when we would prefer Extraordinary Form. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that we pray as we can and as we are called to do.

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