My husband helped me buy a book of Christian Prayer, which is a simplified version of the Hours (or something, I'm such a novice at this Breviary thing!) When it arrived in the mail, it was sort of exciting. The book is leather and has pretty colored markers…I imagined how wonderful it would be if I prayed the hours.
And thank Heaven it came with a guide! I honestly have NO IDEA how anyone would find anything on their own with this book! I can barely make heads or tails of it with the guide and special prayer card that has all of the daily psalms and prayers on it. But, I decided that even if I was doing it "wrong", I could only learn by trying. I realized quickly that I am a perfectionist.
I began with just Morning Prayer, and I didn't even fit it in every day. But I discovered that I liked to begin my day with Morning Prayer. It seemed very complete to me, with the readings, intercessory prayers and canticles. Then I began to try to add Evening Prayer. Again, it wasn't every evening I got to it, but I liked to get to it, and I felt a rich and full sense of completeness to my day when I was able to close the day in this way.
Well, upon a very rare quiet moment in the afternoon, I picked up my Christian Prayers book and glanced at some of those other "midday" hours. Much to my surprise they were much shorter, simpler little moments of prayer for the busier hours of the day. I must honestly confess that as of yet I have never prayed all of the hours, or at least not at the right time. I was highly encouraged to think, however, that it would be entirely possible for me to do so! Maybe I cannot pray them every day at the correct hour on the hour (I do have 8 children under the age of 13 whom I home educate!), but I bet I could get it done some days, close to the hour, and I bet that it would be nothing but…grace-filled.
In short, I love it. Honestly, I do. I love that the Hours are there for me to pray, even if I can't pray them all. They are a huge gift to the Church, and I love that when I do, or can, pray them, I am joined in prayer by faithful throughout the Universal Church. I am indebted to every one of the women who inspired me and encouraged me to try. We certainly aren't required to pray them, but I'm posting this just to encourage any reader to just give them a look. See what the Spirit moves you to do.