All posts tagged: Angelus

Advent and the Angelus

One of the most memorable lessons you learn in the Master of Arts in theology program at the University of Notre Dame is: lex orandi, lex credendi. “The law of praying is the law of believing” This was such a novel idea for me as student years ago. For my entire life as a Catholic and then as a religion teacher, I had thought of the study of theology simply as the exploration of beliefs. Prayer and worship just seemed like something extra or something expressive of what we believed. The principle of lex orandi, lex credendi helped me gain a new appreciation of how and what we pray together in the liturgy and in Catholic devotions. As we close this season of Advent, it is worth reflecting on how much balance we placed on our preparation for Christmas in both prayer and belief. In recent years I have unfortunately found myself focusing more on Advent beliefs than Advent prayers. Working for a Catholic publisher, I’ve had many Advent books and devotionals to read during the season. …

Daily Prayer, the Incarnation, and the Discipline of Harmony

Few would expect that recovering a traditional Catholic devotion would appeal to the imagination of teenagers. After all, making faith appealing to young people seems to require efforts to excite the senses and incite emotion. While such strategies of evangelization may have their place, praying the Angelus once daily with hundreds of high school students and another 70 college students last summer at Notre Dame Vision witnessed to the possibilities for renewing the Church through simple practices of the ancient faith. The genius of the Angelus is twofold. On the one hand, the prayer invites regular contemplation of the central mystery of our salvation: the Incarnation. On the other hand, it is incredibly brief. Within the span of two minutes or less—on one’s own or in the company of others—one interrupts the regular course of daily events to remember that all these things are contained within the action of God’s love come into the world. After a few weeks of praying this prayer once, twice, or even thrice daily, the words of Luke 1 and …