It was no longer possible to consider myself, abstractly, as being in a certain "state of life" which had certain technical relations to other "states of life. All that occupied me now was the immediate practical problem of getting up my hill with this terrific burden I had on my shoulders, step by step, begging God to drag me along and get me away from my enemies and from those who were trying to destroy me.
I did not even reflect how the Breviary, the Canonical Office, was the most powerful and effective prayer I could possibly have chosen, since it is the prayer of the whole Church, and concentrates in itself all the power of the Church's impetration, centered around the infinitely mighty Sacrifice of the Mass--the jewel of which the rest of the Liturgy is the setting: the soul which is the life of the whole Liturgy and of all the Sacramentals. All this was beyond me, although I grasped it at least obscurely. All I knew was that I needed to say the Breviary, and say it every day.
Buying those books at Benziger's that day was one of the best things I ever did in my life. The inspiration to do it was a very great grace. There are few things I remember that give me more joy. (329-330)
November 21, 2009
Prayer and Survival
For better or for worse--and I honestly don't know if it's one or the other or both--passages like this one from The Seven Storey Mountain have had a lasting and formative effect on me: