“Lord, open my lips/And my mouth shall declare your praise.”
It’s hard to believe, but we’re already into the fifth week of Lent.
As one priest once asked me, “How have your Lenten resolutions going?” If you’re looking for something extra during these last two weeks of the Lenten season, I have a suggestion: Take up the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
And if you’re wondering “What is ‘the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary?’” then there’s no better time to find out than during the remaining days of this penitential season.
The Little Office is exactly what it sounds like — a short group of Psalms and Scripture readings (as opposed to “the Greater Office” or “the Divine Office”) that pretty much stays the same each day.
And good news: The Little Office, unlike the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours, did not get hacked to pieces after the Second Vatican Council. Surprisingly, in fact, readings were actually added to the “Hinge Hours” — Morning Prayer (“Lauds”) and Evening Prayer (“Vespers”) — in the newer edition.
Even better news: There’s a revised English/Latin Version of the Little Office, so you can prayand practice your ecclesiastical Latin according to the 1962 rubrics.
One of the things that makes the Little Office so appealing is that it reminds us of the humilityof Mary and the humility we should have when we approach God. Sure, Jesus said, “Come to me,” but as St. Louis de Montfort has pointed out we humble ourselves a bit more by approaching Jesus through his blessed Mother.