Advent 2015 // A Joyful Heart

Psalm 126 Colossians 1:12-20 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 Luke 1:46-55

Today’s passages come from tonight’s Evening Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours (also known as the Divine Office). For those who don’t know, the Liturgy of the Hours is a series of prayers dating back to the times of St. Benedict. Most religious orders pray the Liturgy of the Hours on a daily basis. Leah Libresco, author of Arriving at Amen, prays the Liturgy of the Hours as part of her daily commute. During Advent, the prayers in the Liturgy of the Hours take on a joyful tone.

Psalm 126 is a joyful song of captives being set free. These particular verses resonate with me:

“Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap. They go out, they go out, full of tears, carrying seed for the sowing: they come back, they come back, full of song, carrying their sheaves.” Psalm 126:6

 We’ve all been working hard this year in different ways. Our hearts can rejoice that the Lord will reward us for our hard work and that we have this time of rest from the usual daily grind.

The passage from Colossians praises Jesus as the firstborn of all creation.

“He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

 It also reminds us that Jesus is the one who brought us out of the dark and that through Him, we find redemption and forgiveness. Rejoice, dearest sisters in Christ, and hold yourself together with Him. We can have a joyful heart and become daughters of light by being made perfect in holiness. Through Christ, we can be made whole in spirit, soul, and body, as it says in Thessalonians.

The Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours usually ends with the Magnificat. In praying the Magnificat, we pray that we can be like Mary. The prayer helps us show our joyful hearts by magnifying the Lord and rejoicing in our Savior. We find joy in the great things that the Almighty has done for us. We find joy in His mercy and in his strength. We find joy in humility and in His providence. Most of all we can pray in the answered prayers that God has delivered into our lives.

If you’ve never prayed the Liturgy of the Hours before, I highly encourage you to do so today. It’s a great way to find joy in the moment and will definitely help you in the process of becoming a daughter of light.

Study questions:

1.There are other times that people pray the Liturgy of the Hours. If you made time to pray them, when was the best time for you?

2.How do you think you can incorporate prayer into your daily commute?

3.Which parts of the Liturgy of the Hours resonate with you the most?

This year's study journal is broken into 4 parts. 

To view each, please scroll to the middle of the above link