The Spirituality of the Divine Office

The Spirituality of the Divine Office

When we pray the psalms in the Divine Office we join the universal Church in sanctifying all the hours of the day. In addition to Psalms, the Divine Office contains Old and New Testament readings, prayers, petitions, and meditations from saints, scholars, mystics, doctors, martyrs, popes, and apostles throughout the Church’s rich and extensive history.

The benefits of praying in common with the universal Church are vast. This type of prayer is vital to fostering spiritual growth in the life of Catholics. Praying these fixed prayers of the Church strengthens the Mystical Body of Christ.

Praying the Divine Office is a way of reading the Scriptures in a meditative, lingering way, so as to savor every word of Scripture. We do not read the Divine Office for information. We stop on certain words or phrases in order to contemplate. We allow the Psalms, Scriptural passages and writings of the Fathers of the Church to spiritually form on our souls and to transform us.

When we pray the Divine Office, the quality of our prayer does not rely upon our own sentiments. Rather, we become one with the voice of the Church to give praise to God and to sanctify our day. While in private prayer we speak our own words, in liturgical prayer we pray with the ever-ancient, and unchanging truths of Sacred Scripture, making a loving dialogue between Christ, the Bridegroom and the Church, his Bride.

Rev. Scott A. Haynes, SJC