CLICK HERE to read Thursday Lauds in
“Benedictine Daily Prayer — A Short Breviary” (about $50)
"The Monastic Diurnal" (about $85).
A breviary (as the term is used by monastics)
is a book containing the
(also called the Liturgy of the Hours, or the Opus Dei --- the
"work of God" ) which are psalms, prayers, hymns, and Biblical
readings to be recited at fixed hours of the day or night
according to a general and ancient structure.
this blog on getting a first book to begin praying the
divine office, I recommend
The Benedictine Handbook (about $25).
The Benedictine Handbook (TBH) you may want to use a fuller,
deeper version of the divine office than the divine office
contained in the TBH which contains several categories of
excellent introductory Benedictine information — in addition to
a simplified version of the divine office.
A commonly asked question by new oblates and
those people thinking about leading a more spiritual life is
"should I get
“Benedictine Daily Prayer — A Short Breviary” (about $50) or
"The Monastic Diurnal" (about $85)." Not to worry.
CLICK HERE to read Thursday Lauds in both books. The
excerpts will help you decide.
“Benedictine Daily Prayer — A Short Breviary” (BDP) also
contains the office of Vigils which is not in
"The Monastic Diurnal" (MD). And for Vigils the BDP
has readings many of which are from the early Church
Fathers. And in the BDP section on saints, there are also
readings from early Church Fathers. A good example of the BDP
readings (which are not in the MD) are the following.
These readings are a key reason I like the BDP.
Below are three readings from “Benedictine
Daily Prayer — A Short Breviary” (BDP)
FROM BDP, PAGE 1843
From the letters of Pope St. Leo the Great to Flavian,
The mystery of Our reconciliation.
"Majesty humbled itself, power became weak, and eternity mortal.
To pay the debt inherent in Our estate, the inviolable nature of
God was united to Our passible nature so that, as Our healing
required, the one Mediator between God and people, the man Jesus
Christ, might be both subject to death because he was a man and
yet free of death because he was God.
"The true God was thus born a full and complete man, wholly
divine and wholly human. By "human" we mean What the Creator
made in the beginning and What he made his own in order to
redeem it. Whatever the deceiver introduced into us and deceived
humanity accepted, had no place in the Savior.
"He shared our weaknesses but not Our sins. He took the status
of a servant, therefore, but of a sinless one, exalting the
humanity without lessening the divinity. For this self-emptying
in which the invisible One became visible and the Creator and
Lord of all things willed to become a mortal creature was the
stooping of pity, not the failing of power. Thus he who as God
created humanity became a man himself in the form of a servant.
"The Son of God enters Our lowly world, descending from his
heavenly throne but not putting off the glory that he has from
the Father. He is reborn in a new way — new, as man; though
incomprehensible, he willed to be comprehended; existing before
all time, he began to exist in time; the Lord of the universe
hid his majesty and took the estate of a servant; the impassible
God did not disdain to become a suffering man, and though
immortal, to subject himself to the law of death.
"He who is true God is also truly a man, and in this unity there
is no illusion, lowly though human is and lofty the Godhead.
"For as God is not changed when he takes pity, neither is the
human nature absorbed by the divinity. Each nature does, in
communion with the other, what is proper to it: the Word does
what belongs to him as Word, and the flesh what belongs to it as
FROM BDP, PAGE 1844
READING I Second Option
From a Sermon on the Nativity of the Lord by St. Odilo of Cluny
"I came forth from the mouth of the Most High, as the firstborn
before all creation. He who spoke through Solomon, saying: I
came forth from the mouth of the Most High, as the firstborn
before all creation; and again, The Lord possessed me when his
purpose first unfolded, before the earliest of his works; from
everlasting I was firmly established; he who said through
Isaiah: Do I not fill heaven and earth? — he it is who, in the
mysterious plan of his own providence, took flesh in the womb of
the blessed Virgin Mary.
"While Solomon's words teach us that Christ was eternally in
existence before the world began, Isaiah's declare that there is
no place in the whole of creation from which he is absent. And
if he exists always and everywhere, he cannot be absent from
ourselves. The testimony of the ancient prophets to Christ's
eternal being and his boundless divine presence is indeed
trustworthy and true, and is confirmed by the resounding call of
that inspired heavenly trumpet: Jesus Christ, yesterday and
today, the same forever. Our Savior himself tells the Jews in
the gospel: Before Abraham ever existed, I am.
"With God the Father from all eternity, before Abraham existed
(more accurately, before anything existed) he had his eternal
being; and yet he chose to be born in time from the stock of
Abraham — Abraham who was told by God the Father: In your
posterity all the peoples of the earth will be blessed.
"The blessed patriarch David was also granted the sublime
privilege of a similar promise. Revealing to him the hidden
secrets of his wisdom, God the Father told him: The fruit of
your body I will set upon your throne. These two received the
promise of the Savior's coming more plainly than any of our
other forebears, and so they deserved to be given the first and
most important place in the records of our Lord's ancestry
according to the evangelist Matthew, the opening words of whose
gospel are: The genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the
son of Abraham. With these sacred words of the evangelist both
the prophetic oracles and the apostolic
preaching are in accord. It is evident that when the prophet
Isaiah said in the person of God the Father: And so, Israel my
servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend
in whom I took possession of you, his message was that the
mediator between God and humankind would be born according to
the flesh from the stock of Abraham.
"The man in the gospel who was freed from the darkness of
ignorance and enlightened by faith addressed God's Son as Son of
David. Not only did he receive spiritual insight, but he also
deserved to have his bodily sight restored. Christ the Lord
desires to be called by his name, knowing that there is no other
name by which the world can be saved. And if we ourselves wish
to be saved by him who is the one and only Savior, each of us
must also say to him: Lord, son of David, have mercy on us.
FROM BDP, PAGE 177
Fifth Sunday of Lent
READING I Tract 49
From the Homilies on John by St. Augustine
"If all things were made by him, what wonder is it that one was
raised by him? Among all the miracles performed by our Lord
Jesus Christ, the resurrection of Lazarus holds a foremost place
in preaching. But if we consider attentively who did it, our
duty is to rejoice rather than to wonder. A man was raised up by
Him who made humanity: for he is the only One of the Father, by
whom, as you know, all things were made. And if all things were
made by him, what wonder is it that one was raised by him, when
so many are daily brought into the world by his power? It is a
greater deed to create people than to raise them again from the
dead. Yet he chose both to create and to raise again; to create
all, to resuscitate some.
"You have just heard that the Lord Jesus raised a dead man to
life; and that is sufficient to let you know that, were he so
pleased, he might raise all the dead to life. And, indeed, this
very work he has reserved in his own hands till the end of the
"For while you have heard that by a great miracle he raised one
from the tomb who had been dead four days, "the hour is coming:'
as he himself says, "in which all who are in graves shall hear
his voice, and shall come out of them." He raised one who was
putrid, and yet in that putrid carcass there was still the form
of limbs. At the last day he will by a word reconstitute ashes
into human flesh.
"It was, however, necessary then to do only some such deeds, in
order that we, receiving them as tokens of his power, may put
our trust in him, and prepare for that resurrection which shall
be to life and not to judgment. So, indeed, he says, "The hour
is coming, in which all who are in graves shall hear his voice,
and shall come out of them; those who have done good, unto the
resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, unto the
resurrection of condemnation."