I have always tried to remember, as I hold this book in my hands, those who know the Lord and, especially, those who do not know him, but even more so, those who wrongly reject him.
The Liturgy of the Hours has helped me “feel” the communion of saints. I can rightly say that, as I start praying with her every day, I am distracted by thinking about so many who suffer poverty, oppression from totalitarian regimes, disease, and physical and moral tribulations. But I also rejoice with those who smile and know how to enjoy their lives of faith.
With the Liturgy of the Hours I roam the world, but not alone. The Lord keeps me company with his divine word, both when I listen to biblical readings, so appropriate to the different liturgical seasons of the year, as when she offers me the psalms so I may speak to him in his own words.
That June 29, I started praying the Liturgy of the Hours in Latin from the edition of Pope Pius XII. In 1961, when I was expelled from my country into exile and briefly passing through Rome, it was a consolation to be able to acquire the new edition published by Pope John XXIII, which gathered all four volumes into one under the name of “Totum.”
With this edition I spent my years in Chile living with the missionaries among the Mapuche Indians. I treasure this well-worn book for the many memories it always brings me of those days of evangelization.
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In 1970, I received the third edition, published by Pope Paul VI, the precious fruit of the work of Vatican II. I have grown old with the years, but my companion, as I said, has gotten younger, not in content because that is always the same, but in presentation, which makes her so appropriate for prayer at all times.
I invite those who do not know the Liturgy of the Hours to become acquainted with her, and discover the treasure she hides which is so helpful in experiencing the catholicity of the church of Christ, where Christ is for all men and all men are for Christ.
Thank you, Lord, for this half century in the pleasant company of the Liturgy of the Hours.