Monday, June 06, 2005

Obedience, obligation and oblation

There is a sense in some circles of the Roman Catholic Church that abuses, particularly liturgical abuses, must be curbed. The roots of "orthodox", after all, are in "correct praising", so it's not a far reach to assume that orthopraxis will encourage orthodoxy. The The Lay Confraternity of Ss. Peter & Paul was founded on essentially this principal, "inviting the Christian faithful throughout the world to give glory to that public prayer and liturgy which is the Divine Office" in order to "restore to the faithful a means by which the praises of God may continue undefiled".

The Hours are not merely obligation, a binding contract with ourselves or our God. Saying the Liturgy of Hours, in English, or in Latin, using the current Rite or not, does not automatically produce a layperson who does not question authority, nor one who desires to worship only within the Tridentine Rite. While the Hours are indeed ties that bind, gathering a Church scattered in time, place and perspective into one single prayer, the Hours can be an oblation as well, an offering, a free gift, of our time and attention to the Creator to whom we are bound by covenant and not contract. The outward forms are not without significance, but unless they connect to our inmost beings, they are not effective.

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