Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Night Office

Fr. Mark writes about the "watches of the night" in Scripture and Tradition. Many monastic communities still retain the custom of rising in the night to pray Matins. From Vultus Christi:
In some way, monks do nothing other than repeat the cry that rose from Mount Carmel after the fire of the Lord consumed Elias’s holocaust:
And when it was now time to offer the holocaust, Elias the prophet came near and said: O Lord God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Israel, shew this day that thou art the God of Israel, and I thy servant, and that according to thy commandment I have done all these things. Hear me, O Lord, hear me: that this people may learn, that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the holocaust, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw this, they fell on their faces, and they said: The Lord he is God, the Lord he is God. (3 Kings 18:36–39)
So long as there are men rising in the watches of the night to say only this, The Lord he is God, the Lord he is God, there is yet hope for the conversion of the nations. You will recall that, in October 1917, when the Mother of God showed herself to the three shepherds of Fatima, there was a moment at which they recognised her as Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Various reasons have been advanced to explain this particular phase of the apparition. For me, at least, upon reflection, this was the Mother of God’s appeal to all those who, like the prophet Elias, stand before the face of the Lord of Hosts (3 Kings 18:15), and who perpetuate the cry of the adoring people on Mount Carmel, The Lord he is God, the Lord he is God. What do we chant in the Invitatory Psalm that opens the Night Office? (Read more.)
Read more HERE.

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