Not too long ago, I found that I’d plunged myself into a murky sort of swamp—trapped between the jaws of the black dog and the jeers of a noonday demon of acedia, to which I’d opened myself up through sheer laziness. Beyond a daily intercession session where I asked God to give his blessing, grace, healing, or peace to many—all mentioned by name—I’d stopped praying.
Don’t get me wrong—if you’re not praying very much, if you’re not seeking out a conversation, or carving out a bit of time to simply be with Christ, then simply interceding for others is no bad thing. Even if it is done lazily with a mind distracted or stultified, such prayer is efficacious and good because intention (thankfully) carries them higher than our too-grounded hearts might imagine.
But I am a Benedictine Oblate, and part of my oblation means praying the Liturgy of the Hours as often and as well as I can within my station of life. Sometimes, that has meant managing up to three offices a day. Sometimes, it’s meant managing only one, but for decades now, the idea of putting down the breviary and essentially ignoring it has seemed unthinkable to me.