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Liturgy Class

AI Summary: 





Let's begin, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Loving God, Fount of Life, bless our works and our words this day, that free from destructive acts and attitudes, we might show the inner peace of our hearts through fruitful labor and gentle speech. Teach us your way of righteousness, Creator, Redeemer, and Spirit, Amen. So welcome. There's actually two things going on at once. We started this whole long series of classes on the history of the Liturgy of the Hours in, actually it was 98, and ended in June of 98 with this last section to finish, which was on, was doing the Council of Trent and what happened up until Vatican II, and then


exploring Vatican II and the monastic reforms also, and we just never got back to putting these in. And so, if you were at those other classes, this is a continuation of it. If you weren't at those other classes, that's all right, this is kind of a separate unit too. Either way, I'm going to begin with a little bit of review. It's been a year and a half since we did the other stuff, and then for those of you guys who haven't heard any of this, this will be just a little bit of catch-up. We'll fill in the details some other time if you want. Now, it can be tedious sometimes to study some of the technicalities of liturgy, things that don't seem important to anybody but liturgists, but I always like to give a certain apologia of why it's important, and why also the church recommends that people in formation study liturgy, certainly in seminary, but in religious houses, people study liturgy as part of the


formation. For me, it's three things specifically, and that's, one is the famous saying that I repeat over and over again, Lex Orandi Lex Credendi. How we pray is how we believe. The law of prayer is the law of belief. So how we pray is going to shape how we believe. Also how we believe shapes how we pray. The two go back and forth. And in a sense, what we do at prayer is fostering our relationship with God, and also fostering somehow our image, our model of what God is, and also our image of what church is, and what we are as church. So these things are not unimportant. The details are pretty significant. If you might recall this saying of Taft that I used quite a bit in the early days, this is our interpretation of reality, and it's also our passing on of reality, what we do in our liturgical services. So we're fostering something, and we're also communicating it on.


And secondly, to study the liturgy of the church, also bearing in mind this first principle, alexa randi, alexa credendi, to study the liturgy of the church is also to study the history of the church. So we understand the church's self-knowledge, the church's understanding of herself by how she prays, how she presents herself. We learn all kinds of things about the history of the church as we learn how she's prayed over the centuries. Part and parcel of that is, as you see I've named this section, liturgical, historical liturgical and monastic perspectives. So we're also understanding some of the history of monasticism as we discover how monks have prayed over the centuries. And that blends right into my third point. The third point is to understand our prayer tradition is to tie us into the tradition. First of all, to tie us into the tradition of the church. There's a certain comfort being a part of this 2,000-year-old tradition.


There are reasons why we do what we do, why the things aren't necessarily unimportant. But then also to tie us into this great tradition of monastic prayer that's been going on since the time of Christ. And this word tradition winds up being very important when we start talking about the difference between people's and monastic office, for instance, which we talked of some. Because as monastics specifically, we don't think of our participation in the office as obligation primarily. We think of it as tradition. Now we'll hear it come up that religious, especially clergy, are obliged to say the divine office as the official liturgy of the church. That's not our primary focus. Our primary focus is it's part of our tradition. We do it not because we're obliged to, but because it's what we do as monks. It's what we have always done as monks.


The ultimate goal, of course, in this is each of our individual prayer lives, to understand what we do and to develop it. I've told you, also warned you in the past, you should never trust my historical sense. So I've written this brief not-to-be-trusted outline on the board, and we'll kind of get to it. The centuries kind of blend together for me intuitively, but I'm sure what... The chronology. Yeah, the chronology I got down, yeah, exactly when. Why is this prehistory? All of this takes place before the printing press, and way before the Beatles. So this is somewhat of a review, but a refresher for all of us, and for you guys who haven't heard this. Really, two... No, watch. Don't look at the board yet. I'm sorry. That's why I put it over there. Two types of monastic offices. We use the word office to refer to the liturgy of the hours.


The old word for it is office, really meaning something that is given to somebody to do. What's your office? Your office in the community, you hold an office, our office, psalmody, the divine office. From the earliest days of Christianity, two very different strands of monasticism were developing, and in each of those they had their own specific style of prayer. One of them, from the earliest days, there was the practice of praying seven times a day, taking very literally some of the allusions to that in Scripture. You'll hear some of the patristics write about it being a common practice to pray seven times a day. From the earliest days, there are going to be certain members of the Christian community who are going to take this more seriously than others, and who are going to be more committed to spirituality than the majority, who wish to live a life of particular asceticism


and commitment to the Church, based around their parish church. They're going to develop into their own order, the order of virgins, the order of celibates are going to come out of this. These are also our monastic roots. These are the urban monastic roots, mainly developing Palestine, Syria. So the people who are free of family ties, free of marriage bonds, are going to be also freer for public liturgy. So they can band together at the local church and pray these seven hours a day together, different times of the day. These came to be known by various names. I mean, most of us know them as the order of virgins, but some people, I just ran across this term I hadn't seen before, some people call them the devotee, which I kind of like the ring of that, where you know it from other traditions, the devout. By the 3rd and 4th century, these devotees had begun to evolve strong liturgical characteristics


of their own, and were beginning to live in community, even though continuing to worship in the local church. Second, of course, the other strand is this eccentric flight of hermits into the desert, 3rd to 4th century, especially in Egypt. This is a quote from an Episcopalian scholar. This considerably sharpened the whole picture, raising the business of commitment to a more dramatic and aggressively challenging plane. So besides leaving behind this incredible wisdom tradition, the monks of the deserts of Egypt, they brought this new and surprisingly radical commitment to prayer, taking very literally St. Paul's exhortation to pray constantly. Now, incidentally, this is also the motive of the praying seven times a day, is trying to fulfill the exhortation to pray constantly. But the monks in Egypt are going to pray constantly.


And for them, that generally meant reciting the whole Psalter every day, quite often. And often by memory, de Vogtwe, the great Benedictine scholar, will say that the Egyptian monks have no office, per se. Their whole waking life is centered on a perpetual recitation of the Psalter, or in some other instances of some other kind of prayer that goes on, but the Psalter. De Vogtwe says the reason they got together at all were really opportunities for performing together the continuous psalmody that they were already performing on their own. So, when these hermits came to be organized in more centralized monasteries, for instance during Procomius, late 3rd century, early 4th century, their times of common prayer developed from this tradition, this tradition of praying constantly, coming together as


part of their continuous prayer. Not taking into account the secular hours of prayer, still their services were in essence the simple continual meditation on the Psalms, read through in number, numerical order, taking into account for morning psalms or evening psalms. They had two offices, using that term loosely, as I said, according to de Vogtwe, morning and evening. We found out for the Egyptian monks, way down south, their morning office would be before dawn, for Procomius it would be at dawn. For the Procomian tradition, a little farther north, daily, they would get together daily. In the morning, the whole group together. In the evening, they would gather in little houses and say the evening psalms together. They were living in clusters, maybe a dozen monks at a time in a house. In Egypt, only on weekends.


We had the famous stories of if a monk died, they wouldn't find out for six days, because he didn't show up, you know, for the kolatsione. So, otherwise, in Egypt, they prayed individually, and the monks, so, of course, you read through the lives of your fathers, you see they all come together from time to time, two will sit together and pray the psalms. They worked all day, and they continued to recite the Psalters. They worked. Here's a long quote from, I think it's from Geiber, it seems fair to say on the basis of this, that two types of monastic office were to be found in those early years. One, the daily service of the devotees, centering on the services of the local church. Two, the rigorous ascetic labors of the Egyptians, who were perpetually running off the whole Psalter in their desert exile. The Egyptian type of monasticism, now you can consult my fabulous diagram, spread to Europe,


finding particularly sympathetic soil among the Irish and the British Celts. But in the end, really fading out and having no direct heirs outside of Egypt itself. It's the devotee, these urban monastics of Palestine and Mesopotamia, who were to be the model for the future, in the cities of Europe especially. Heavily impregnated, however, as we'll see, with the ideals of Egyptian monasticism, because you'll see how much Benedict and the rule of the master are influenced by John Cashion. As they came, so what happens is the devotee, once they get to Europe, start, in the Benedictine centuries, pulling more and more away from the churches, being in more and more remote places as they take on the Benedictine ideal. They garnish from it some of the virtues of the Egyptian way of prayer. It's that kind of monasticism that's out of that hybrid that the office that we know


is going to develop. A mixture of, for lack of a better term, the peoples and the monastic prayer. Sometimes we call it the cathedral versus the monastic prayer. Early on we are going to see some differences between monastic prayer and cathedral prayer. Really it's out of this devotee tradition that the cathedral thing comes. The hinge hours for the cathedral tradition, meaning parish churches, is going to be morning and evening. The vigils, which we think of now, interestingly enough, as really typically a monastic prayer, that grew out of the cathedral tradition, not out of the monastic tradition. It was originally a vigil on the resurrection of the Lord, held once a year, Holy Saturday, and then every Sunday, and then sometimes on the Feast of Martyrs. But that gets taken in by the monks and becomes a regular practice of the monks. But early on we can see this distinguishing between the peoples and the monastic prayer. In some sense it's a little misleading, and we always want to put a little caveat in that


to talk about a monastic office as if it were some kind of independent species, but we can talk about different trends and different styles that develop. So if you remember from the cathedral style, the principal services are morning and evening with the resurrection vigils on Sunday. They used a very small number of psalms. There was not a great interest in doing the whole Psalter. And they were specifically applied to morning and evening. There was usually no use of scripture, except at the vigils when they were recalling the resurrection. And there was a great importance put on intercession, and also a certain kind of a nebulous thing, this consciousness of praying the prayer of the church. In terms of style, more emphasis on ceremonies, processions, incense, vestments, music, singing in the cathedral tradition. It's out of the cathedral tradition that the Fosholarion will come, which we still sing


on Saturday nights, the O Radiant Light, for Illusinarium, the use of light in the evening. The raising of our hands with incense, singing Psalm 141. This all comes out of the cathedral tradition. The monks, on the other hand, at least in the West, early on, are going to take on the seven offices a day. And in some sense, all being of equal importance, aiming at prayer without ceasing, the monks are going to be able to really enflesh this idea of prayer without ceasing by keeping what are called the canonical hours, breaking up the day, sanctifying the whole day with pretty even increments of when to pray. The little hours are not going to go back to the cathedral tradition until the Middle Ages when it's going to be imposed, after it is announced. The monks use the Psalter in numerical order, and also systematic reading of the Bible throughout


the year. As I said, the cathedral tradition was important even to read necessarily a piece of scripture for the monks, systematic reading of the Bible, especially throughout the night office, the vigil office. Again, you'll see this is a practice we kind of maintain to this day. We do not read the entire scripture at the vigils, but the old way would have been Alexio Continuo, started Genesis and with Revelation in the night office when there's these big chunks. Style-wise, in spite of later developments, the monastic style is always very simple. Minimal observance of ceremonies in the earliest of days, and music of any kind was very restrained. Indeed, the early monks, for example, like St. Jerome, were very suspicious of music in general. I found this great quote by Abba Pombo, I thought Augustine would like this especially.


What kind of contrition does a monk have when he raises his voice like an oxen? Singing, or so it was thought, was appropriate for secular priests as a means of, here's an important point, as a means of attracting people. So the ceremonies were a means of attracting people too, but monks didn't need to attract people. Monks are living far from the noise of the world, and actually, I don't know where I got this saying from, such things are not even good for them, you know, any kind of ceremonies. Chanting, of course, grows out of this tradition of sober music. Chant is, in a sense, it's just, speech just elevated a little bit. So chanting, even as we do, probably in those earliest days, chanting for them would be more like what we call recto tono, just chanting the whole thing on one note like this, and


could be that what they sang in cathedrals was as fancy as we sing now. The whole world is different now with organs and instruments of all sorts of kinds, in harmony as we understand it. But still in all, this is not totally unapropos today. People come here and think of our music as being very sober, and compared with what goes on in an ordinary parish, you know, well because it's a cappella, but also it has a certain simplicity to it. We don't have trumpets, we don't have organ, we don't have lots of guitars and groups. In an ordinary parish, there's a whole lot more commotion going on with the music that is here. So in a sense, it could still be considered the monastic style, that certain sobriety about the music. And yes, a cappella does have a lot to do with it, though a lot of monasteries don't. It's more common that monasteries don't sing a cappella nowadays. But when they hear us, I mean, it has a certain sobriety about it.


The attraction to it, though, is its own sobriety. But anyway, that's a whole different topic, I don't want to get carried away on there. John Cassian, of course, brings Egyptian monasticism to whom? To the devotees in Europe by way of France in the 5th century. Perhaps by a different route, Egyptian monasticism is also going to affect Celtic monasticism, which tended to be rather dour and disciplinary, and especially in regards to the liturgy. But the devotee type of life in Palestinian Cappadocia is what finds its strongest base in Rome, for instance, the Roman basilicas. And the forms of offices used by those quasi-monastic communities in Rome were quite close to what they were going to stay for the next 1,500 years, from whom were going to inherit the Roman office. And of course, the central point of this whole story is the rule of St. Benedict, who is


going to combine what he inherits from all the monastic traditions. He inherits the Roman basilican office, these groups of, some people want to call them quasi-monks, but monastics who are living around cathedrals and having this office that they've developed, with the kind of fervor coming out of Egypt, combines these two together, inherits the rule of the master, and puts together his form of the office, which is going to become the norm for the West, period. It's an end of story, in a sense, for monasticism. It's going to sweep. In a sense, Benedict signals the end of the monastic experimentation and the beginning of monasticism as we know it in the West, the arrival of this new development, a balanced and very humane rule which is possible for anyone to follow. So also the daily office that he prescribes becomes the basis of all monastic prayer in


the succeeding varieties, in the succeeding centuries, and all the old varieties are gradually going to get swept away. The rule of Benedict is going to gain more and more ground, especially under the rewriting by Benedict of Avignon, by Charlemagne wanting to spread it everywhere, and it's bringing with this kind of subtle revolution in monasticism, also liturgically. Why? Because monasteries themselves are becoming self-sufficient liturgical units with no dependence, less and less dependence on a local parish. Devotees are pulling farther and farther away from parishes, though in the rule of Benedict we're still assuming that they're going to Mass at their local church, because there aren't that many priests in the monastery. But they are becoming self-sufficient liturgical units, monasteries are, as they pull away and as they have this whole liturgical structure built by Benedict, a very subtle thing. The monastery becomes a local church.


In a sense, it's its own little parish. In a sense, heck, it's its own little diocese in some instances, because dioceses are much smaller in Medieval Europe anyway, you know, a walled city could be a diocese with a mission parish, you know, 20 miles out. So monasteries are becoming these self-sufficient little local churches. Where do we come into the picture? Romulus leaves us under the rule of St. Benedict, doesn't just found hermitages, he also reforms monasteries and puts these monasteries and hermitages in relationship to each other. We don't have a whole lot of evidence about exactly what the liturgical life was like in the earliest Romualdian reformed monasteries, but he comes out of Santa Polonaria in Classe, which is a Cluniac monastery, high liturgical observance. He stresses the monasteries are supposed to go back to strict observance and live soberly


and heavily penitential. He leaves the hermitages with this combination of cenobitic and anchoritic life. We can pretty safely assume that they're celebrating the canonical offices, probably in the monasteries together in choir, probably seven hours a day. In the hermitages, we don't know. We have some evidence of what went on in Fonte Avalona, and this all took on a whole kind of new life for me when I saw Fonte Avalona. Nowadays it just looks like a humongous mega cenobium, it's so big, but it's still called the hermitage of Fonte Avalona, the hermitage of the Holy Cross. Fonte Avalona in the days of Peter Damian, something like this, three different groups of monks, they're professed brothers, at least some of whom are priests, who are living as recluses in semi-distant cells, none of which remain. Or if their duty is demanded, they're living in cells that are closer to the church.


Peter Damian was among them. We saw a Peter Damian cell. It's actually all attached to the building at this point, it's all put together. And then there's the novices who are placed under the tutelage of one other monk, and they live in kind of self-contained units, an older monk and a novice together, and the older monk is initiating the novice into the way of life, responsible for his welfare. And then there's a lay brother who do the manual labor. So, there probably were no more than a dozen recluses at a time, and they kept whatever books were necessary. Now, here's what's interesting about it. What did Peter Damian think was necessary for the monks to have? A psalter, a breviary, and texts from the scriptorium. Why the psalter? The psalter for the fact that it was still the practice of the congregation to recite an entire psalter every day. The recluses, one for the intercession for the world, and as much of a second one as


possible for the dead. Besides that, they're doing the seven canonical hours of the office a day. By themselves, as recluses, they're doing the seven canonical hours of the church. I found this quote from St. Peter Damian in praise of the seven hours. The seven canonical hours are like seven baptismal fonts set up in the bosom of the church, which we contract in our daily way of life, and may expiate sins by the stream, so to speak, of our daily prayer. So we're talking about a lot of time spent. Somebody sat and figured these things out and has more time than I. If you do all seven hours, do a whole psalter and another half a psalter, it could be like six to seven hours of vocal prayer every day. That's a good chunk of the day. For the recluses, this is what it was meant to be, a hermit, an early Romualdian hermit. The recitation of the canonical hours, the brothers who lived in the cells nearby probably


did all these, as far as we could tell, together in church. So in the one property, there's the two practices going on at once. They're all doing the hours. Some are doing them together. Some of them are doing them all by themselves. So the rest of the church, what's going on in the rest of the church? We have all kinds of information on the ideals that are held by the church of the daily offices in the different periods, but it's not always easy to see how they're actually practiced. We can read the documents of Vatican II, and then we see what's going on at St. Mary of Kounagoundas. It could be two totally different things. We do find out from councils of the church, Spanish councils, the French councils of the church in the 6th and 7th century, that since ancient times in those places, at least they're


assuming up to the 6th and 7th century, there is still a people's office being celebrated in the cathedral. The cathedrals are still having morning prayer and evening prayer as a public prayer of the church. It's a mixed situation. The clergy are expected, parish clergy, are expected to maintain the daily office in their own church, and in some places to take turns singing the office in the cathedral besides. Again, remember, the diocese is a whole different unit than what we think of it now. By the 8th and 9th century, the clergy in all the parishes are required to sing the seven-fold office every day in their church, and it's assumed that people are going to attend. The point being, it's still a public prayer of the church, though. It's gradually loosening its grip as a public prayer of the church, but it's still a public prayer of the church. People are assumed to attend. Music, by this time, is getting more complicated.


This is the age when Gregorian is really catching on. Charlemagne is wanting to spread all over Europe as a theme, really, as a way to unite the kingdom through liturgical practices, through sending these bands of monks out to teach them all the same music, armed with this story of St. Gregory the Great with the Holy Spirit on his shoulders saying, everybody should sing this way. Charlemagne's regulations are that the priests had to also ring the bells of their churches at the proper hours, celebrate the sacred offices of God, and teach people how and what hours God's to be worshipped. St. Peter Damian, also, who serves as a bishop, the cardinal, writes in the 11th century that the daily office is an obligation for all Christians. So by medieval times, you have people building their whole lives around the ringing of the bells in the monasteries and the churches. Why are they ringing? They're ringing to differentiate the canonical hours. In England, I think this is carried out even more, where people actually still refer to


some of the hours of the day as the hour of terse, or sext, or none, or prime, Christos being the little hours. It's in England that it's going to catch on, and still to this day, the liturgy of the hours is much more important to the English people, because they really were evangelized by the Benedictines, and Anglicanism itself is very heavily Benedictine. Then, of course, there's the development of the breviary, which is a major thing for the church. The first evidence of the breviary actually comes out of a monastic tradition. I brought this, actually, as my little visual aid here. There's all kinds of stories I could tell about this, but you see them all gathered around one little book, singing. At San Benito, where Renier and I were staying, they still use these things in the middle of... They don't sing out of them, but they actually read their lessons out of them. It's a big turntable. It was like stepping back a thousand years.


What I'm pointing to here, it's interesting, is what do you have for books before the printing press? You have these huge psalters that you're going to gather around a bunch of monks together and sing out of them. Maybe one book that has just all the music in it, for example... It's a handwritten page back there. This is an illuminated manuscript. God knows how big this page originally was. We saw some of these, too. Incredible books, sometimes this big, and they all sing the antiphons out. Then you have another book that has just all the psalms in it, and you have another book that has the scripture in it, and you have another book with the prayers in it. To celebrate the office, it's going to take some muscles besides anything else. The monks start developing this thing called a breviary, brevis, meaning shorter, of course, where they would combine all the texts into one book.


We're talking about before the printing press, even. Handwritten little things. You have these little books of the hours. That's what the books of the hours are. They were also developed for kings and princes and for nobility and things like that. But without music in them, just texts. So you'd have the Psalter, maybe the scripture readings and the prayers all together. Different types of developing. Also as literacy is increasing among monks. This idea gets picked up by the papal household, who obviously, apparently, didn't have time – they were so busy – to do all the hours by themselves, and also because the entire papal court would be moving from place to place, following the weather and the clôt-de-bois, cabernet sauvignon, I assume, following the grape seasons. So the papal household picks up this idea, too, of condensing everything into one book,


but shortening things a little bit so it can all fit into one book. Where this idea of the breviary really picks up, though, is with the mendicants, with the Franciscans, who are the first order of religious who are non-monastics in the sense that they're not tied to a place. They're tramping the roads. So they put everything together, short versions of texts into one book that they can take with them, hang from their girdle, and pray the office still on the road. What we're having developed here, too, is people praying the office not as a public prayer but as a private prayer, though Franciscans are probably traveling two or three at a time always. Probably, in the early Franciscan breviaries, there would be just one or two lines from the psalm. You were supposed to memorize the rest of it. They give you the antiphon and then the hint for the first few lines. From there, this idea of the breviary, of everything being caught in one book, is going to catch on with the secular clergy, ostensibly only for the times when you can't be at the public office in the church. It's still assumed that it's a public office in the church, but if they're traveling or


something. Official acceptance of this isn't going to be too long after the Reformation. The point is, though, Liturgy of the Hours is stopping being a public prayer of the church and slowly becoming a private prayer. Even the idea that you would pray it on your own if you missed the office. Monks out in the field would stop, perhaps, but they wouldn't necessarily pray the whole office. What for me is interesting is coming together is, I wonder if this is such a bad thing. In a sense, it's bad that the church is losing another public prayer and everything gets focused on the Eucharist. Then finally, it's going to even lose its focus on the Eucharist because the Eucharist is going to be taken away from the people, too, by language and rubrics. The church has lost this public prayer, this idea of gathering to celebrate the morning and the evening together, slowly becoming a private practice again.


In another sense, it's tracing its roots all the way back to the Egyptian monks and it's becoming this continuous prayer on your own. So there's a good side and a bad side to it. The downside, at this point, does kind of outweigh it, and for liturgists it's a point of contention, a point of dismay, often, that we've still not been able to bring this back in the church, this idea of sanctifying the morning and the evening together as a people. And then the Council of Trent, the big revolution, which is called, of course, as an answer, a counter-reformation against the Protestant Reformation. Up to the Council of Trent, up to the 16th century, the church continues to take the choral office in parishes as a norm, at least among the clergy. Here's a quote from a liturgist named Salman. On the eve of the Council of Trent, the situation was as follows. Every church possessed a benefist clergy or a community of canons that were obliged to


ensure the solemn choral office, every parish, so that there was for each cleric a grave obligation to participate in the regular hours. It's still not considered an individual obligation, but it is considered every parish is obliged to offer this service. Now, with the advent of the printing press, more and more uniformity is going to be added to these offices, but an official Roman office will not be imposed until after the Council of Trent. With the Council of Trent, the Roman office is going to be composed. But by this time, the Roman office has gotten to be a very complicated matter, and there were all kinds of complaints against it. Just before the Council of Trent, there's a man, a famous cardinal named Quinones, who gets brought up all the time, was deputed to simplify the Roman office, the breviary,


and to somehow get it back to its sources. What did he do? He took out all the choral and communal things and reduced it almost to a psalter and a lectionary again. It's very interesting, and it was starting to catch on. Ultimately, Trent is going to suppress it and not take it. But what's interesting about that is it goes back down to a very monastic reform. He's calling for the whole church. If you're going to do it privately, well, even the hermits of Egypt did that much. They recited the psalter, and they were doing Lectio Divina, but again, here's the good and the bad side of it. He's presenting an office that's very privatized because it's taken all the communal and choral elements out. The downside is it takes it one more step away from being a public prayer of the church. The interesting part of it is that maybe a good thing is he's going back to the earliest days of the Egyptian hermits and asking everybody in the church to pray like that.


People don't like to talk about the upside of that too much, but I feel like I always need to throw that in, having been raised with saying the office by myself. Anyway, it gets booted by the Council of Trent. In 1568, Pius V is going to impose the Roman breviary on the church, the Roman office on the church. Now, monks, meanwhile, are sticking to the will of St. Benedict, but it's also gotten to be quite a complicated affair. The office that Pius V imposes, offers to the church in 1568, has to go, it's interesting, just like the rites of the Eucharistic rites. Anybody who couldn't claim a breviary that was over 200 years old had to use this one. If they had something over 200 years old, they could keep doing what they were doing. Now, with the printing press, and with the Pope having lots more money than most little


congregations, well, it didn't take long for the Roman office to catch on because it was already ready-made. In a sense, it's kind of interesting with the situation today, since 1964 or so, monks have been allowed to come up with their own offices again, but who wants to sit and do the work of coming up with an entire office? Many places have these kind of things that they've Xeroxed together in 1972, and they're still using that. They see somebody like us who has it, somebody who's put something together, same situation in Italy, and they say, can we have that, please? The law of economics and the law of the least resistance wins out quite often, and the Roman office is going to sweep through and eventually be then imposed completely for secular clergy. What we're entering into now is the age of rubrics, and Trent called for nobody to change


anything about anything, and the office now becomes an obligation for the clergy and religious subgrave, under serious fault, if you don't say your seven canonical hours a day. The thing is, this kind of mentality is going to last for the next 500 years. This is what we inherit. This is what it's going to stay like, and I don't know if you remember the term I used for ex opere operato, from the work worked, that the efficacy of the prayer is just from doing it. This kind of legal exactitude of a fixed quantity of text, it's kind of like magic. If you read this much, you're fulfilling your obligation, and the grace is going to flow, just because you've said the words. It doesn't matter if your heart's there, it doesn't matter if it's even the right time of day, because the other practice is going to develop that you could say all your seven hours before breakfast, and you've fulfilled your obligation.


So we're losing something here. What have we lost? We've lost, first of all, the sanctification of the day. Second of all, we've lost the idea of praying constantly. Now we have, if you say this formula, you are fulfilling your obligation. So we've lost our roots. And certainly, the third thing is, we've lost it from being a people's prayer. It becomes an obligation for religions. Now, it's a good old office, in some sense. It has its roots back to the 5th century. Gregory the Great is the one who put it in the form that people want to claim it stayed until 1960, because they really both come out of it. It all comes out of the same root. Gregory also wants to say you can't make so much distinction between the monastic and the peoples. Unfortunately, it was far too long, and its proportions were all wrong. I'm going to show you, I have this prepared for next week, I'm going to show you two examples of what the office was like pre-Vatican II. Two examples of what it would be like to follow, for example, mountains and logs.


And you'll see it's a very complicated procedure. I'm skipping some of this here. And the age-old problem that's going to be addressed again in Vatican II is this accretion of saints' days. Now, what's the problem with that? First of all, it makes it kind of complicated, but secondly, it got to a point where you could skip most Sundays and most weekdays also in favor of a feast or a saint day. Often the saints' days were shorter offices than the Sunday office, and also the office of the dead was the shortest of all, so you could skip, you know, sometimes the daily office or the office of the dead. What do you lose? Well, you lose the cycle of psalms, you lose the cycle of readings, and you lose the focus of Sunday as being the Lord's day and everything flowing from Sunday. So it's a mess. And Vatican II is going to address that too.


You know, remember, I don't know if you remember when St. Christopher got kicked out. It was, you know, the headline in the Chicago Sun-Times. We've lost St. Christopher. Well, finally got more and more and more saints. Part of the reason is that devotionalism becomes much more attractive than liturgy. Liturgy is so complicated, what we can attach to, we can attach to the rosary, we can attach to the Eucharistic adoration, we can attach to Novenas, we can attach to saints. What you can't attach to is Latin, you can't attach to all these fancy rubrics. This is a great quote from Thomas Cramner, who developed the Book of Common Prayer for the Church of England concerning the complication of the Roman office. Moreover, the number and hardness of the rules and the manifold changing of services was the cause that to turn the book only was so hard and intricate a matter that many times there was more business to find out what should be read than to read it when it was found out. And again, I'll show you some examples of that next week. So Tridentine reform completely overlooks the notion that the office is the prayer of


the Church and that the laity were a part of the Church. The Language Barrier, Latin, the rubrics are very complicated. There were books to explain how to use the book, so I'm going to bring one of those next week. It's a book this thick, how to use the prayer, it's just amazing. Sunday Vespers in various parishes managed to survive it all the way into the 20th century. Though on the whole, both clergy and laity alike found devotions more attractive, which is such also the case in the Eucharist, the priest is saying private mass while people are saying their rosary or doing their prayers to the saints on the side. It was intended to be definite by Pius V, but all kinds of changes and modifications happened right away, the biggest of all being this multiplication of saint states. So next time, we're going to do just a brief run from the Council of Trent to Vatican II,


which wouldn't take long, and we're going to talk about what Vatican II asked to be done with the Liturgy of the Hours, and then specifically how the monastic world reacted to it. It came this way, Vatican II, the Liturgy of the Hours from Vatican II, 1970-71, and then the Benedictine Confederation in 1976-77, it was much later. In a sense, I can't prove it this way, the monks waited to see how the church was going to figure this out, and then we based ours on the general instruction for the Liturgy of the Hours, some of which we talked about before. I like to keep to 45 minutes, and the tape hasn't ended, but my watch says 45 minutes, so that will be the end of this. If there are any questions, thanks for your patience, I know it was a lot, that was a thousand years' review. Any questions? Glory be to the Father, to the Son, to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is


now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen. Son of the Holy Spirit, Almighty and ever-living God, at morning, noon, and evening, we pray, cast out from our hearts the darkness of evil, and bring us to the light of your truth, Christ, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen. So, to bring ourselves up to date, what we did last week was come up to Vatican II with


the Roman office, what Sacrosanctum Concilium asked for in a revision of the Liturgy of the Hours, and then what actually the commission to revise the hours did. In a sense, you could say that the Benedictine world waited to see what the revision of Vatican II would actually be on the Roman office. I'm not saying that that was a conscious decision on their part. But remember that this is not something any other order is probably going to have to do, because for any other order, it's not such an integral part of their daily life. But it's a very specifically monastic thing to observe the office, to observe the Liturgy of the Hours in common. So the Dominicans or the Franciscans, they're not going to issue their own statement on


the divine office. They're going to pick up the Roman office. But remember, there's always been a parallel monastic and a Roman office. So there begins to be talk in the early 60s about renewing the Benedictine office itself. And I went back and did some research to find what people were talking about. And there are articles written in 65 and 66 about what we should do, what was being called for. Almost, well, a good chunk anyway, the vote they took in America was something like 1,400 to 200 of people who wanted English instead of Latin, for instance, in Benedictine monasteries. There was a call for an updating of the structure. There was a call for a shortening of the length of it and the complexity of it, an updating of the lessons and prayers, and a call for a pruning of the Psalms. And Benedictine scholars were already beginning to work on ways, especially taking out the


condemnatory verses, which were still said in Latin, but you didn't necessarily know that you were asking God to smash babies' heads against walls, you know, when you're in Latin. There's one that was interesting. It sounds better than this. This one, written by Maurus Auldschlager, no doubt from Wisconsin, who's asking, for example, his version of Psalm 121 would be for a portion of the Psalm to be quoted and then developed in modern idiom. So then to go, like, to use, I rejoice because they said to me, we'll go to the house of the Lord, dot, dot, dot, up until the tribes of the Lord, and then add on to it, happy are we, O Lord, for we are pilgrims on our way to heaven. Our pilgrimage was begun at baptism. May it be brought to a successful end. It's nice, but it's really a Psalm prayer. In a sense, this is exactly what Thomas did with our doxologies. Very short things, he added a contemporary nuance to it, making it Christological, pointing


back to the Psalm, including a prayer and a doxology, somehow mentioning the Spirit, asking for an updating of the lessons and the prayers, because the portions are outmoded. They needed to be better selected. The non-scriptural readings needed to be revised. They were also very, very short, of course, in Latin. And this wild thing he's asking for, my goodness, my next suggestion is an innovation. It's an incorporation of meditation into matins. So, places of silence, yeah, to respond to the word, that he would even have to call it, my suggestion is an innovation. It would be so far. The early monks kept their meditation closely connected with the liturgy. After the office, they remained in church to linger and ponder over the striking passages. Vigils, watching and prayer as meditative or contemplative character. If the lessons of the office do not stir up the reader, the reader should be allowed to


take another book if he feels more helpful. But, I mean, it seems as if he's asking for a whole time for the whole community to stay together in meditation, you know, not just after each reading. So, the credit for the renovation of the office, the renewal of the office, goes to Rembrandt Weakland, still Archbishop of Milwaukee, who was at the time Abbot Primate, from the late 60s until 70, even later, because this, well, maybe, but he called for an approval, you know, he still approved of this in 76, so he was still in office then, so around the mid-70s. What was put together was called the monastic thesaurus, which is like the Italian word tesoro, treasure, the monastic treasure for the divine office. It came in distinct parts, one of it being a suggestion of a different schema of how to


lay the psalms out, so you wouldn't necessarily have to use all the psalms in one week. A lectionary, suggesting of how you could spread the scripture readings out across the year, or across two years. A whole list of anaphans and versicles and responses that could go into it as well, proper time, proper seasons. And then this last little treasure, that really is the treasure of the treasure, which is called the directory for the celebration of the work of God, which is guidelines for monastic liturgy of the auras for the whole Benedictine Confederation. Very clearly, the Benedictine Confederation makes its own, the principles that are laid down in Vatican II for revising the liturgy of the auras, and for giving the liturgy of the auras new life and new power, and often refers with great favor to the general instruction


of the liturgy of the auras, which I also try to really pump up, because it's a beautiful document. This document calls it a masterpiece of liturgical theology, especially the beautiful notion of the priesthood of Christ, and we sharing in the priesthood of Christ by the sacrifice of praise. What is the sacrifice offered? The sacrifice offered is praise. The sacrifice offered is thanks. We share as a body in Christ's priesthood by offering this prayer of praise and thanks to the Father. So, when we hear in the Revelation Canticle, you have made of us a nation of priests to serve our God. This is the priesthood that we speak of. When we pray that we would all be priests, this is the priesthood we're praying for, to share in that one priesthood of Christ. That's the center of that document. Just beautiful.


What is important, Dame Ann Field, who translated this from Stanbrook Abbey, what is important is that until this time, a complete theology of monastic liturgy in the light of Vatican II had not been done yet. This does not propose to be an entire theology of monastic liturgy. But at least it offers reflections on some aspects of liturgical prayer which are important for monastic life. Why is a separate monastic theology necessary? It's one of these subtle little points along with the whole idea of what's the difference between monastic and people's prayer. And see if you can catch this. The way the Liturgy of the Hours is set up, and it speaks of this in the instruction, which I'll just refer to as the general instruction from now on, is this is the ideal form of


church, is to see the people assembled under their bishop and their priest, to see the people assembled in this hierarchical form. This is the most beautiful example of church, is everybody in their place. Well, the point is, the monks are not a part of the hierarchical structure of the church. So to begin with, that kind of ecclesiology is not necessarily where we want to start. Since the rule of Saint Benedict, and I've made this point before, a monastic community is a local church. It's not part of a local church, it's a kind of a self-contained local church. So we're not doing a function in the church in the sense of doing the office, our offices, to say the office, but we are an image of the praying church. The monastic community is an image of the praying church, an icon of the praying church.


The monastic community is, in a sense, the whole praying church right there. I found some articles by Fr. Fagagini, by Donna Manoelli, both, again, pointing back in praise of the general instruction of the Liturgy of the Hours, and they just love this point, this idea that the monastic community is an image of the praying church. And even that, a monastic community models to the rest of the world what it means to be a praying church, a little microcosm, a little image of the praying church. So, Anfield says, because monks and nuns do not form a part of the hierarchical structure of the church, in spite of the fact that there are clerics here who are de facto members of the hierarchy, spies, and it is an essentially lay institution. Consequently, monastic liturgy needs its own theology.


Another little side note. In some way, and I think Fagagini would say this, certainly Aidan Kavanaugh, in some way you can't talk about a theology of liturgy. Liturgy itself is a theology. There's liturgical theology, not a theology of liturgy, but liturgy itself is a whole self-contained theology. So, the other interesting thing about this is it is in no way meant to have binding legal force. I'm kind of surprised by that, but I'm just assuming it's because it was Rembrandt-Wiklund. No, it's because it was Rembrandt-Wiklund. The ultimate autonomy of the houses. You will almost never find a document that will come from the Federation, because every house is fundamentally autonomous. Wow. Especially in the development of their office, for example. There's no fundamental understanding. Certainly in the development of their office. This directory is meant to have not a binding legal force at all.


There is nothing to prevent anyone from seeking and finding other and better ways to celebrate the work of God. Indeed, complete freedom in details, it says. This is part of the introduction. Rather, to ensure that the work is carried out in such a way as to be in keeping with the rule of Benedict, tradition, and contemporary needs, and so to attain this goal, a commission of four abbots drew up a directory containing theoretical and practical recommendations drawn from both sources. Drawn from Vatican II, from the rule of Benedict. And in all, there's really three different introductions. There's an introduction, a forward, and a decree. And even Bede's favorite line is in here, Anything to the contrary, notwithstanding. That's from John Cardinal Knox. But this kind of insistence on ecclesiology to begin it was very important.


I'll read the paragraph which I just quoted to you a minute ago. Monks and nuns carrying out public prayer in the church by establishing a serious and assiduous dialogue with God are not merely nourishing their own spiritual life. They are also an image of the praying church gathered with Christ the bridegroom in the Holy Spirit to praise the Father. This is another theme. For instance, Donna Emanuele loved to emphasize with Christ in the Spirit to the Father. With Christ in the Spirit to the Father. The monastic community itself assembled for the work of God by that very fact constitutes the church of prayer. And I'm hearkening back too to our St. Peter Damian, the beautiful quote that we use all


the time. The church of Christ is gathered and bound by such a bond of charity that in each part the whole church, the whole body is somehow present. And here, if you'll excuse, bear with this long quote. Whatever form the office of any monastery or congregation takes, it must be the center and source of the spiritual life of each community for the building up of a vital local church. That insistence cannot be made enough, or it's mentioned three or four times later in the directory too, for the building up of a vital local church which stands before God as a body and because of this leads the individual members to living dialogue with God in which there is a perfect balance between inner recollection and external action. The office will be performed at the authentic time of each hour. So you're hearing all these points we've been talking about coming together. As the memorial of Christ celebrated within the framework of the annual cycle of liturgical


feasts and will be seen as the point toward which and from which the whole monastic day proceeds. Another point is going to get made over and over again. This is the center point of the communal life, this gathering for office. Nothing should take preference to it. And of course, Benedict says, let nothing be preferred to the work of God. So it's just reiterating a point that's ancient. Here's the big line. Since it is in the fullest sense the specific element of monastic spirituality. Now those would be fighting words for some people. This document says the liturgy of the hours is the specific element of monastic spirituality. This article by Father Vagajee that I've been working my way through wants to talk about that monks' spirituality is liturgical spirituality. Liturgy is a whole spirituality in and of itself because it contains everything, including


ascetical theology, mystical theology, biblical theology, sacramental theology, including private prayer, which leads up to and draws from. And finally, there will be a watchfulness to see that a divine office celebrated does not become petrified in empty ritualism. Another point is going to be made a couple of times. So there are 28 points. I'm not going to make them all. Don't start counting. But I'm going to try to tick through what I think was the most important of this, which is why I'm saying we need at least one more time. I think this is what we've been building up to anyway. The first 16 points that this document makes, and I'm going to try not to count them so you don't start counting, are a theology that the document lays out. And the second half, the second 12 of it, are suggested directive norms for worthy celebration. So we start out.


The first thing emphasized is that in the Benedictine tradition, first place has always been given to the celebration of the work of God. So you know, Don, Renee, when we say work of God, Opus Dei, the translation of Opus Dei from the rule of St. Benedict, which refers to the divine office of the Liturgy of the Hours. It's referred to as the work of God. Yes. Both as a source of spirituality and as the central element around which the life of the monastery is structured. The central element around which the life of the monastery is structured is the work of God, our communal life. Next, the monastic community represents the praying church in a special way. Again, another nuance in the same point. Not by delegation of the church, not in the name of the church, the community itself constitutes


the church at prayer. It's not simply a pooling of private prayers, but the means by which monastics truly constitute the church at prayer. Next, the vertical union with God is only true and authentic insofar as it includes a horizontal dimension of unity between the members of the community. There's no such thing as just a direct path to God by myself. This is liturgy which always implies community, always implies us, we. To that extent, the work of God, the Liturgy of the Hours, like Eucharist, is a sign of our communion that exists already. It brings it about, but it's a sign of something that's already there.


The vertical and the horizontal are dependent. We come as a we. Next, the essential structure of the Liturgy of the Hours is that of dialogue between God and humanity. Now, why I think this is an important point, the essential structure of the Liturgy of the Hours is dialogue. Remember, another viewpoint would be that the Divine Office is praising God, is praying to God. It's mostly from us to God, where I was trying to make the point that the first monastic element was the office as a listening to God. So, in a sense, this directory is taking both into consideration.


This is a dialogue. We listen, we respond. We listen, we respond. So, when we chant the Psalms, we're listening to the Word of God sung, and we respond in prayer. Some writers would say the only specific prayer element doesn't come until the very end when we're doing intercessions and prayers. Up to that point, we're doing a Liturgy of the Word, which is listening in private meditation. So, each monk is supposed to come prepared to enter the dialogue by personal prayer. It's part of this point. To be part of the dialogue, everyone is supposed to be prepared for that by personal prayer. In other words, what do you bring into the party? Secondly, though, the formal elements should be attended to and should never be considered unimportant, because they either help or they hinder. Next.


And this goes back to this point about this innovation of meditation. Copying, really copying what the General Instruction had said already, that there should be sacred silence to help them hear all that the Holy Spirit wishes to say in their hearts. Now, what the directory does, it takes this, which the General Instruction has said, and listen to the way it says it. We should insert liturgies of silence into the Liturgy of the Word that is the Divine Office to absorb and savor the Word they have just heard. So, first of all, this is calling the Divine Office, the Liturgy of the Hours, a Liturgy of the Word. So, that implies listening right away. But I love this phrase, liturgies of silence. Every one of those silent pauses is itself its own rite of silence, this rite of listening.


And liturgy, of course, is communal. So, it's a communal silence as a response to the Word. Next. No, with those two points you're following, you were still making a point about dialogue as an essential element, so you would consider that. No, that was another point from dialogue. But I'm saying it's tied right into it, though. Because without the silence, there is no dialogue, it's just us. Yeah. Another point that's made. Again, the monastic tradition gives first place to the art of music, but it should always be subordinated to the ministry of the Word, which is important when there's something more staid about the monastic tradition, to make sure the music doesn't take first place. We're not called to preserve the musical art of an earlier age.


There's a couple of places where the document wants us to say both things. But still, Gregorian chant should hold first place. So, I don't know how we're supposed to pull those two things together, but most people have actually just taken a good deep bow to Gregorian and listened to it, and then built their structures based on it. A lot of places have. There's a boundary between noise and music when you're chanting the psalter or whatever. Is that what that is? Yes. Yeah. It's the beginning. I mean, as I would say, even organized recitation is the beginning of music because it's structured sound. The next section wants to say, again, two things at once. First, that externals are very important, and second, that don't let them be mechanical. It's really well balanced. We participate with our whole body. We participate with our spiritual faculties.


So, proclamation, singing, recitation should be done as best as possible. But they should not be preoccupied with themselves. They should be intelligible. So it's not empty, but it shouldn't be mechanical. Yeah. Rubrics should be performed carefully. But rubrics aren't everything. So it shouldn't be cold, formal, pseudo-sacred, and dehumanized. That's the exact words they used. So, yes, rubrics are good, and don't do them cold. So somehow it's like, put life into the rubrics. Put intentionality behind the actions. This is brought up again later in another point, when they actually bring Thomism into it, which I thought was very funny. Next point, very short. Though the work of God, the Opus Dei, does not exhaust the possibilities for prayer,


it is given primacy of place. And this is one of these little phrases that gets brought up over and over again in the document. Because the time when it is celebrated is a strong moment, the strong moments of the day. I love that phrase, our strong moments. The General Instructions are going to call it the hinge moments of the day. They're times of special power and efficacy. Next. The hours of the Opus Dei... Oh, interesting. The hours of the Opus Dei are moments when God allows us to encounter him. Let's see if you can catch the little theme in here. There can be no doubt that we have to consecrate set times to prayer. Because it is not granted to us to pray always as we ought. So the hours are times of Christ inserted into the day, so that we may offer the Father, Worship, and Spirit in truth.


Do you hear the little argument that goes back 1,500 years? So at the beginning, there was wondering, should we set times of day aside or should we just pray all the time? And the other argument is we're setting times of day so that we can pray all the time. So this already in 1977 is facing that argument from 400 A.D. with the same thing. Since it's not granted to us weak ones to pray always, we set aside certain times of day to do it, to concentrate, to insert times of Christ into the day. Next point is link with the Eucharist. I'm going to harken back to something I've used, the same quote I've used quite a few times from Robert Taft. See if you remember this. Christian worship is not reaching out to a distant reality. Christian worship is a joyful celebration of a salvation that is just as real and active in the ritual celebration as it was in historical event.


It is a ritual perfected by divine realism, ritual in which symbolic action is not a memorial of the past, but a participation in the eternal, present, salvific past of Christ. So, like the Eucharist, the Work of God, the Opus Dei, is a prayer that transcends every other kind of prayer because it is a memorial in the liturgical sense. Not just that it calls to mind past events, it makes salvation history present. We remember. Since the Work of God is in fact a prayer memorial of the history of salvation and shares this character with the Eucharist, it is justifiably called, like the Eucharist, a spiritual sacrifice. This is its most intimate link with Eucharist.


And to think of Eucharist also as, at its core, a remembering that God has loved us this long, that God has chosen to be involved in human history. Therefore, we listen to the Word to remind us of how God has been involved from the ancient times till the time of Jesus, and that involvement is present now as we remember it, and so we respond by going to the altar. The intimate link with Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours is that the Liturgy of the Hours is also this memorial. We remember. That song by Marty Haugen, I keep wanting to quote it, so I may as well. We remember how you loved us, and still we celebrate, for you are with us here, and we believe that we shall see you when you come in glory. We remember, we celebrate, we believe. And this is the memorial acclamation we sing every day.


It's the same thing, the past, the present, and the future. So the Liturgy of the Hours is also called. It's that kind of pregnant moment where the past, the present, and the future are all lined up together. And we then are priests, and this is our sacrifice. Our sacrifice is praise. Our sacrifice is thanks. If I could instill in myself and then instill in you this one point, I would have fulfilled everything I should do as a teacher. Our sacrifice is praise. Our sacrifice is thanks. This is the sacrifice that we offer as a priestly people. And this is where our intimate link is with Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. We are offering the sacrifice of praise. This is us exercising our priesthood, which is our sharing in the priesthood of Christ. Basta. Basta. I'll say it again another time, I'm sure.


Next, we observe three temporal cycles. The liturgical day, the liturgical week, the liturgical year. The liturgical day in that we remember the events of Christ's life. It's like St. Hippolytus, for instance, loved to point out that the first conception no one all recalled in an event in the Passion. But certainly, Lodz is always a commemoration of the Resurrection. Vespers is always a commemoration of the Crucifixion. The liturgical week in that everything flows from and points back to Sunday. Very important because as I just showed Christian and you guys saw last week, Sunday somehow got lost in the whole cycle quite often before Vatican II. Everything flows from Sunday, points back to it. And then the liturgical year, which is a year-long celebration of the Christ event


throughout the various seasons of the year. Next, it is the summit and source of the monastic day. The office. So they're borrowing this term from Sacra Sanctum Concilium, which is saying the liturgy is the source and summit. But it's specifically referring to the Eucharist, but liturgy in general. And this document says that the liturgy of the hour shares in that as the source and the summit. Everything is directed to, everything flows from it. Even more important than work, it says. Even more important than Lectio Divina. Let nothing be subordinated to this. Let no communal activity be subordinated to this. So we don't think, how are we going to fit lauds and vespers in to the day? We think, how can we fit anything else in? Because these cannot be done away with.


These are the sine qua non of our day. And it is very rare that we ever let an hour go by that we don't celebrate together. Next. The celebrating of the liturgy of the hours can be thought of as a special charism given to the monastic community by the Holy Spirit for our specific ministry for building up the body of Christ. It's what we do in the church. What is our ministry? We pray. That's why it's important that we're there. Vigils and lauds and vespers. It's what we do. We have our time to ourselves and we pray. And then after that comes eat and work and everything else. This is what we do. It's our charism to pray the office together. And the directory points to that beautiful line that I love from the Gentleman's Instruction.


In this way the church community exercises a truly maternal role towards souls who must be led to Christ not only by charity, good example and works of penance, but also by prayer. What do we do? We pray in the church. And we pray for the church. And we pray with the church. We pray in the church. In the line from St. Teresa of Lisieux. In the heart of the church who is my mother, I shall be love and thus I shall be everything. So it kind of sums it all up. The directory will want to tell us that celebrating the Liturgy of the Hours together is the especially characteristic element of monastic spirituality. And this in three points. This is what the Liturgy of the Hours is supposed to carry. And I think these three are pretty interesting. The particularly monastic element,


particularly characteristic of monasticism. I'm trying to say it in just a way. One, it's an objective spirituality. Two, it's a conversation. Three, it's communion. So I especially like this point about the objective spirituality. It's not something we have to make up every day. Monastic spirituality, monastic approach to liturgy is objective. It's determined by already an unfolding cycle. It's already determined by salvation history. The liturgy provides us with a rhythm for our growth. It's our framework on which the rose bush can grow. It's objective. We bring the subjectivity to it. We don't make it up every time. Two, it's a spirit of conversation with God.


It's not just shouting at God. It's not just listening to God. It's a spirituality of conversation and contemplation. So I like conversation. For me, it's my translation of conversatio. To be in conversation with the monastic way. To be in conversation with God. It's a spirituality, third, of communion. This is what cenobitic spirituality is. It's nothing else if it isn't a sharing in life. We retain in our tradition the best elements of cenobitic spirituality. Certainly the best element of cenobitic spirituality is our liturgy. Which is a sharing in life. So it's objective, it's a conversation, and it's communion. Sixteen. Oops, I told you I wasn't going to tell you the numbers. The dangers!


I am skipping some of them. Oh, okay. The last part you went to big in this section. Sixteen. The danger of empty ritualism. Which gets brought up again in another section. I like this. I'm going to quote it directly. If we do not seek to celebrate each day with fervent desire, as the crowning moment of the whole day, then there's a danger of it degenerating into a mere babble of words, and the more solemnly it's carried out, the emptier it will be. I think I want to hear Albert Squire say that. The emptier it will be. History shows that private devotionalism grew out of a desire to make up for what was lacking in public celebration. Especially those of us who are called to live a pattern and a style that doesn't alternate much. We do pretty much the same thing every day.


So the danger for these to become empty is even worse for us. We don't have a lot of bells and whistles. We do pretty much the same thing every day. So it's a big danger. And this calls, the Deccari says, for personal effort. Quoting Socratsocton Cilium again. We have to approach the sacred liturgy ourselves with the right disposition. We have to put our minds in harmony with our voices. And this, especially through persevering attention to Lectio Divina. This is what's going to bring, it's going to be the antidote to anti-ritualism, is to go deeper and deeper and deeper into the word. Every time we come to it, we approach it fresh. For me, this is one of the hardest parts of the Liturgy of the Hours, is that it is so often the same every day. Okay, next section. This one's kind of heavy, but it's one of these things that I think is key again


about liturgical signs. Remember, please, the distinction between signs and symbols. You haven't been graced with hearing this lecture yet, Don. A symbol points toward a reality. Yeah. A sign somehow carries the reality inside of us. So my example is, a stop sign is a symbol. It doesn't stop you, but it points a direction out. A brick wall is a sign. It stops you, huh? A stop sign is really a stop symbol. Actually, I think Christopher Persecute Brennan came up with that one for us. So it's not quite a stop sign, is it? Smoke, on the other hand, is more than a symbol of fire. It is a sign. It carries the reality inside of it. And we say that the sacraments are signs. They don't just point toward a reality.


They carry that reality inside of us. So, these things that we do are sacramental signs. The things that we do are sacramental signs. But their actions, if they're going to be authentically human acts, and this is where they get very Thomistic, they have to proceed from deliberate intention. This goes back to the idea of the empty ritualism. Acts have the value of signs. By means of them, contact in prayer is made with the mystery of Christ. And it quotes Yves Congar. An authentic liturgy is a liturgy that's capable of being interiorized. A liturgy which is truly able to produce the reality it signifies in the souls of the faithful. And that by intentionality. And it's our intentionality that makes it an authentically human act.


We delude ourselves, the document says, see if you remember, see my little catchphrase in here, into thinking that prayer is of value ex opere operato. So it takes on the whole mentality of Trent, that you can just babble off the words and that's enough. Because where the church is not present, there is no church in prayer. And by present, I assume at this point means present in terms of an authentically human act, a deliberate intentional act. These are not efficacious ex opere operato of Liturgy of the Hours. We need to be there deliberately, intentionally. And it's the same with all the actions that signify prayer. Raising the hands, extending the hands, bowing. This document is very strongly saying, they're not valid signs unless the spirit is animated by inner awareness.


Now the other side of the argument is, the signs themselves teach us the reality. Bowing teaches me what it means to be humble. Raising my hands teaches me how to praise. But it's this, we'll say, it's not an authentic liturgical sign unless we're there doing it. Unless we're doing it intentionally and deliberately. That's quite a challenge. Because it takes so much of an interior attitude and an interior commitment. So, here's again both sides. The external signs are not to be reduced to, but the signs should be augmented by always understanding the inner reality, the inner attitude for it. Next. 18, if you must know. The liturgical assembly is superior to every expression of community in the monastery. And here's the part of this point that I like. We, when we come in there,


and I've made this point not quite as eloquently before, we deliberately and consciously relinquish multiplicity. In order to prepare for the unity, which is before else an interior unity. We relinquish our multiplicity and choose to take on even unity in action and in prayer. This is why we bow together. This is why we sit at the same time. This is why we chant in common. We signify that unity. And by willing that unity, we're willing the interior unity as well. And so, we need to prepare ourselves for this, the document says. This is part of the directive norms. By creating an intervening space between prayer and other daily occupations. Father Robert used to harp on this so much, and rightly so. Which means, even just assembling a few moments early,


a time for recollection, just before the beginning of the office, for instance. Now, the closer I live, the later I'm getting to the office, so I'm finding quite a challenge in this. But, Father Robert used to always say, get there early. Because we need a little cushion to bring the multiplicity into unity, to deliver, to do this. Exactly, and it's actually also mentioned in the document. They would gather, they do this at Kamaldoli, where they all wait in the sacristy in line. Yeah, they process in as we do on Sunday. And in total silence. I mean, even Robert wasn't giggling and whispering. Total silence. So that when you get out there, you've already had this cushion of time in between. I mean, in many communities, it's not an uncommon thing. To maintain the intensity,


be alert to the signs of weakening, empty, blah, blah, blah. And so, to maintain the intensity, we should always be alert to the signs of the emptying or the weakening of our regular gestures, of our regular actions. We should always maintain a lot of Biblical and patristic formation, so that what's being heard is being received with understanding. So, and Dr. Jean makes a great point in this, education outside the liturgy is what you bring to the liturgy, too. The more you understand Scripture, the more you're going to encounter it when it's read in the liturgy. The more you have some background on the patristics, the more you're going to really encounter Gregory the Great when one of his homilies is read. And, of course, it encourages introduction to singing and ceremonies, that all these things should be explained over and over and over again. And it says right here, it says,


and we should have choir practice at least once a week at 7.30 on Sunday mornings, specifically. That's the only juridical norm in the whole document. So, I mean, I think we're pretty good about that. 19 makes the point that Benedictine monasticism accepts pluralism. 20, there are limits to creativity. This is the sobriety and the objectivity of the Benedictine tradition, too, in the new office. Prayer starts, prayer from the start is determined by certain structures and contexts. Now, Abbot Thomas, in his perfect Midwest accent, you should have seen some of the things we were doing in the 70s. People were doing anything, you know. So there's a certain objectivity, there's a limit to creativity in the office. 21, there's a triple dimension to the celebration. It's ecclesial, it's communal, it's personal. Ecclesial in the sense that we're a community bounded by time and space


in which the mystery of church is actualized, in which we are a symbol of the praying church, a local church, an image. I love this phrase, the image of the praying church. It's communal. All are one body, yet each has their own place and function. And it's personal. This does not happen in a nameless crowd. This is to the beloved. Altogether, this is happening still one-on-one. 22, the monastic liturgy should be open to all. It should not be a closed group. It must be open to anyone who wants to take part in it and learn from it. And especially, above all, if people really want to learn how to worship, they should be able to come to a monastery and learn how to worship. I have these quotes from Emanuel Bagherjini, which I would just stretch it out too much. Bagherjini makes great emphasis on this.


He calls it the liturgical apostolate of the monastery. That there is good liturgy, that people come and learn how to pray by taking part in monastic prayer, in monastic liturgy. And the directive is then, we must seek to make the work of God an occasion for anyone who wants to, can join in the prayer. Now, we go pretty far in that, and our office is pre-accessible, even to none. even to none.