Saturday, August 30, 2008

Emptying Ourselves to Pray In the Name of the Church

A reflection on praying the Divine Office by Mother Maria-Michael Newe, OSB.

When we come to pray, it's important that we empty ourselves. As Benedictine nuns we have statio*-- that's a very important time for us. It must be a time in which we empty ourselves of ourselves-- of our cares, our jobs, everything we're doing. Our hearts have to be empty because when we pray the Divine Office, we don't pray our own words. We pray the psalms, and we must be empty enough that our hearts can take up the psalms as if they were our own, because we pray as the Church before the throne of God. The psalms carry every person in the world, every emotion, every situation.

Mary prayed the psalms, Christ prayed the psalms! When we pray the psalms, it's the Holy Spirit within us praying. But if we're not empty, how can that happen?

*Statio is the five minutes before Vespers which the nuns use to recollect themselves before entering the Church to pray.

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