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Phyllis Tickle Responds

Phyllis Tickle is the author of The Divine Hours and several other works on the life of the Spirit. The following are responses to questions posed by those who are using The Divine Hours. If you have a question that you'd like us to consider, try our online form.

Question:
For people new to faith, the use of The Divine Hours may well be their introduction to daily prayer as a discipline. How would you suggest spinning off from the format of The Divine Hours to expand the more personal or private practice of prayer? Are the ours in any particular ways designed for this?

Answer:
The absorbing thing about this question is that it highlights--almost innocently--the changes that have occurred over the centuries in Christian prayer in general, as well as in the observing of the hours in particular, changes most of us have forgotten to remember. This question brought me up short, in other words; and I am grateful. more...

Question:
In The Shaping of A Life, you introduce prayer as somewhere your mother went. So, where is it that one goes when one prays?

Answer:
Aha! It seems I have been caught out at last. Good. more...

Question:
Could you describe your own use of "The Divine Hours." That is, do you use the books that you've put together, or the Book of Common Prayer or older version of fixed-hour prayer?

Answer:
As I sit down to write my answer to this question, I have to begin with a thank-you to the asker. It's a question I have often longed to answer in print, but have never before received as a formal question in a written format. That having been said, though, the answer really is yes, yes, and yes. more...

Question:
In a typical day, how do you use TDH or equivalent at this stage in your life and how did your daily practice of prayer work when you were in the labor-intensive, kids-at-home stage of life?

Answer:
Over fifty years of marriage and by the grace of God, Sam and I have produced seven children. One of our sons is deceased, but the others--two boys and four girls--have become so accustomed by now to my Benedictine schedule as to hardly notice. But as the question recognizes, children are not born forgiving of maternal routines. As a result, I did two things when they were young and living with us. more...

Question:
What is the overall theory of the structure of the daily office?...i.e., is it meant to reflect a structured conversation with God (greeting, hear God talk, response, etc.) or something else?

Answer:
This is a very good question, for it goes right to the heart of what the offices are. Not only are the hours in fixed-hour prayer "fixed," but so also is the format and so too, in large measure, is the content. more...

Question:
What's up with "the gloria"--where did it come from, and is there any reason it occurs in some of the offices, but not others?

Answer:
What a positively GREAT question. I love people who observe rhythms, even subtle ones like the Gloria's, and care enough to ask. In all my years of dealing with fixed-hour prayer, this is the first time someone has asked me this without my having to more or less evoke it. So thanks and blessings on somebody there who has a ready heart and a quick mind! more...

Question:
The psalms are often filled with such raw emotion, including emotion that we might not easily identify with on any given day. As a life-long pray-er of the psalms, how do you connect with the emotional undercurrent of the psalms?...that is, connect it with your own emotional experience?

Answer:
I have pondered this question for several days before actually attempting an answer. My delay has been due, not to any objective hesitancy, but to a kind of remembered and poignant empathy with the questioner. more...

 

 

© 2004 Phyllis Tickle

 
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