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Our Hope is in Christ Alone (LOH Thursday Week 1)

The following reflections are provided for individual or communal reflection in preparation for praying the Liturgy of the Hours.

Morning Prayer -> Evening Prayer -> How to Pray

Morning Prayer

Psalm 57 -> Jeremiah 31:10-14 -> Psalm 48

1. Take a few moments to reflect on the themes of the prayers this morning:

As we wake to a new day, we may become aware of areas of our lives where we experience a sense of powerlessness. This could be a challenging situation or relationship, a project we are struggling to finish, an illness, a difficult decision we are called to make, or perhaps an unhealthy habit we want to break free of. The psalmody this morning moves us from a cry for deliverance to our hope of heaven. Psalm 57 can become our own cry for God’s help as we approach the day ahead. As we do so, in Jeremiah 31:10-14 we are invited to reflect on how God has promised to deliver us. We are then invited in Psalm 48 to rejoice in the God who never abandons us. As we move into the day ahead, Saint Augustine’s own reflection on Psalm 57 invites us to acknowledge our powerlessness over our weaknesses and reorient ourselves to Christ as the end to all which we will strive for in the day ahead: “Now Christ is the end of all our striving, because however hard we try, we are made perfect only in him and by him. Our perfection is to reach him. But when you reach him you will look for nothing further, for he is your end. When you are on a journey, your end is the place you are making for, and when you reach it, there you will stay.” (Saint Augustine, Exposition of Psalm 56, 2).

2. Consider one or more of these questions for reflection:

  • From what do you need to be delivered today? (Psalm 57)
  • What promises of God come to mind as you place your trust in God for the day ahead? (Jeremiah 31:10-14)
  • How has God delivered you in the past? How might gratitude for how God has worked in your past help you place your trust in Him for today? (Psalm 48)

Evening Prayer

Psalm 30 -> Psalm 32 -> Revelation 11:17-18; 12:10b-12a

1. Take a few moments to reflect on the themes of the prayers this evening:

The psalmody this evening invites us to reflect on God’s mercy and unending aid on our journey. As we reflect on the day that has come to a close, we may become aware of things that went well and things that did not go so well. Perhaps the Lord helped us accomplish something good at one part of the day, and perhaps there was another part of the day when we did not feel we were our best selves. As we reflect on how our day went, the psalmody invites us to reflect on the grace of God that is present throughout and rejoice in the salvation that is ours through Christ. Psalm 30 and 32 speak of repentance and deliverance from sin. The canticle from Revelation invites us to embrace the joy of God’s forgiveness that is ours. Augustine references Psalm 32 in Book IX of his Confessions when he is reflecting on his conversion and his desire for others to experience what he himself had experienced: I trembled with fear and at the same time burned with hope and exultation at your mercy, Father (Confessions IX, iv, 9). When we confess our sins with humble hearts, we too get to experience the joy of God’s unending mercy and salvation. We too should have hope that others get to experience what we do.

2. Consider one or more of these questions for reflection:

  • As the day comes to a close, is there a sin that you desire to be freed of? Perhaps an unresolved habit or something that happened during your day for which you need forgiveness? (Psalm 30)
  • Has there been a time when you experienced God’s forgiveness in the past? (Psalm 30 and 32)
  • Do you place all your trust in God’s mercy as you prepare to close one day and begin another tomorrow? (Revelation 11:17-12:12)
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