Our society values newness—new cars, new places to visit, new restaurants in which to eat. Sometimes it appears we even value novelty as much as newness: the bizarre, unusual, and strikingly different. Not surprisingly, then, we also see people and organizations resorting to the new and novel to renew their lives: a new home (or a new spouse) will make me happier; a new job will be more satisfying; a new leader will restore our company to its former glory; a new program or worship style will propel our congregation toward greater “success.”
Yet God’s ways are not our ways. In the wisdom of God and the riches of Christ’s holy Catholic Church, the old, the familiar, and the repeated play a significant role. “Why?” we wonder. “That seems so contrary to keeping things interesting; to keeping people engaged.”
One of the great riches of The Liturgy of the Hours is repeating the Invitatory Psalm morning by morning. Psalms 95, along with 100, 67, and 24 are the Invitatory Psalms, used to set the stage for morning prayer and praise. Any of them might be chosen to illustrate, but look at the glorious structure of Psalm 95, consisting of both worship (95:1-7) and warning (95:8-11)—encouragement and invitation to worship, yes, but also the solemn warning we need daily: “They do not know my ways.” God does not say we do not know about His ways. Rather, He says we do know know them. For to truly know His ways is to know Him, and to do what pleases Him. What new or novel thought would improve upon being reminded of this daily?
One of the keys to becoming a steady, productive Christian is to return repeatedly to the sources of wisdom and life God has provided in His Word. Liturgy, whether in praying the Hours or in the Mass, compels us to do this. In doing so, we give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to show us the ever new, in the “old” and familiar.
Boring? Tedious? Dull? No. Praying The Liturgy of the Hours is one of the best possible ways we can invite the Holy Spirit to lead us to the living waters Christ proposed to the woman at the well (John 4:10-11); one of the best ways for your walk with Christ to remain ever new . . . eternally.
Be faithful about heeding God’s admonition: “Be still and know that I am God.”¹ Give Him the time daily that will allow Him to open those streams of living water—bringing new hope, new perspective, and new life eternally. That is Christianity Richly!