Today is my day off, so instead of cyling against the flow of morning school children to say the Office in church, I said it in my study here. I have found this a struggle since we moved . Though I spend quite a bit of time at my desk, this room still doesn't feel really mine in the way that my study at Lower Farmhouse did, and part of the problem is that my prayer space is less defined and alot less attractive. A vicious circle looms, then...since it is harder to pray here, I do it less, which means that I am slower to claim the room as truly mine.
I'm not sure I'm getting that much out of saying the Office, either...somehow I rarely manage to engage with the readings, and there are some weeks when I just feel as if I'm drowning in the words, and neither learning from them nor reflecting on them in any meaningful way. However, maybe that's not the point really....Trawling blogland this morning, I found
"I don't know how to pray, so I throw myself into the stream of those who do."
I love that. It suggests that just when I'm finding the Office most of a struggle, it is actually helping me most of all, carrying me on a tide of prayer from the worldwide Church. Maggi said something about the value of the repetition of the Office during a panel discussion at Greenbelt this year which resonated at the time, and still more today. Her gist, as it struck me, was that, come rain or shine, fair mood or foul, to find oneself saying "My soul magnifies the Lord" or "In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us" over a period of time actually effected change in oneself...the words become real and true.
My splendid boss is away for most of November, so I'll be saying the Office on my own every day,but with greater enthusiasm as a result of this morning's reading...though if anyone did happen to find themselves in Charlton Kings at 8.30 or 5.30, Monday to Friday, I'd love visible company as well as the constant cloud of witnesses.