I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to the prayers of the Divine Office, wondering how the beauty of the breviary can be brought to more people. There are a number of barriers, after all: the cost of the book(s), as well as the complexity of this form of prayer, can be daunting for some. On just a purely pedagogical level, it would be worthwhile to have some sort of “little office” to help people be gradually introduced to the liturgy of the hours, before they jump into the full Divine Office.
One of the reasons the breviary books are so thick is because they contain a large number of biblical and patristic readings for the (appropriately named) Office of Readings. If these could be separated out, however, it would make things manageable. It was then that I got a brain flash: why not use the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the basis for part of a “little” Office of Readings? After all, if a “little office” is for beginners in prayer, why not be introduced to the riches of the Catholic faith at the same time?
While I am still working on the “little office”, I thought I’d share some of the results so far. I’m pleased to make available a year-long reading plan for the Catechism of the Catholic Church, indexed to the numbered paragraphs of the Catechism. Anyone who owns a Catechism can simply print out these pages (back to back, as they make a booklet) and follow the schedule. And if you don’t own a Catechism, there is always the version available on-line from the Vatican. Enjoy!