What I come back to in between my spontaneous invocations, conversations with God, rosaries late at night when I can’t sleep, prayers of desperation and intercessory pleas, examens of consciousness and conscience, praise and song. The Office gives my faith life structure, the liturgy of the hours from dawn and breaking fast, through noon and into evensong, the liturgical cycles and seasons, the feasts of the saints, the rhythm and pace of the Church at prayer.
When I was a convert in the early 1980s, I was given a dark-blue Collins edition of the breviary and missal and a leather cover to protect whichever volume I was using. I used the coloured ribbons to mark places in the text and read the Office on buses, trains, in hotel rooms and at home, in the workplace unobserved at lunchtime. Now I read online with Universalis and sometimes Sacred Space. It has shaped my life for so long at so many levels.