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Letter and Spirit, Chapter 4

Letter and Spirit, Chapter 4

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Published by capuchinas

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Published by: capuchinas on Aug 25, 2010
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08/25/2010

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4
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REPRESENTATIVES OF THEPRAYING CHURCH
Liturgical Life: Primary Element of theContemplative Vocation
Two Ways of Praying the Divine Office
“Reciting Without Chant”
Liturgical Life in Today’s Constitutions
Personal Prayer and Contemplation
Christ and Mary: Two Aims With One andThe Same Love and Imitation
Contemplation and Apostolate
56
 
CHAPTER III, 1-7 
1
The sisters who can read shall celebrate the Divine Office according to the custom of the Friars Minor.
2
They may have breviaries for this, but they should read it without singing.
3
those who, for somereasonable cause, occasionally are not able to recite their hours by reading them, may, like the other sisters, say theOur Father’s.
Those who do not know how to read shall saytwenty-four Our Father’s for Matins; five for Lauds; seven for each of the hours of Prime, Terce, Sext, and  None; twelve, however, for Vespers; seven for Compline.
5
 Let them also say for the dead seven Our Father’s withthe Requiem aeternam at Vespers;
twelve for Matins,because the sisters who can read are obliged to recite theOffice of the Dead.
When a sister of our monastery shall have departed this life, however, they should say fifty Our Father’s.
Liturgical Life: Primary Element of theContemplative Vocation
Every Christian group gathered in the Lord’s nameexperiences the need of giving expression to its faith and tothe Spirit’s presence by oneness of community prayer.Such has happened to the first Jerusalem community:feeling themselves of “one heart and one soul” the faithfulgathered together regularly “to listen to the teachings of theapostles, enhance the brotherhood to the breaking of breadand to prayers”. (Acts 2, 42)57
 
A religious community is a true Christian group and, assuch, is to be maintained and vivified by these fouelements: openness to God’s Word, fraternal oneness,Eucharistic celebration and community prayer. (PC, 15)The fraternity made out by St. Francis, though far on purpose from monastic moulds, gave from its very beginning utmost importance to the values of community prayer, through very spontaneous ways much attune withreal life. The Divine Office was looked upon as the dailyindispensable praise offering to the Most High from each brother as from the group itself; but the way of its recitationwas arranged according to the different conditions. Therewas no distinction between the choir brothers and theothers, but between those who could read and the illiterateunable to make use of the liturgical books. On these casesthe cleric’s Office was substituted by the Our Fathers.St. Clare could not but follow this model especially asthe St. Damian community wished to be the femalecontemplative version of the Franciscan ideal. As in St.Francis’ Rule, the first part of Chapter Three speaks too of the Divine Office. The Liturgy of the Hours, distributedalong the day’s different moments, responds to the ongoingattitude of the Church by offering to God the Father thesacrifice of prayer and petition in union with Christ her Spouse. “Communities … of religious who celebrate theLiturgy of the Hours … represent in a special way theChurch at prayer. They are a fuller sign of the Church asthey continually praise God with one voice and they fulfillthe duty of “working” above all by prayer, “to build up andincrease the whole Mystical Body of Christ, and for thegood of the Local Churches. This is especially true of those living the contemplative life.”
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