What's in Your Horarium?

Blog Published: March 5, 2015
By Sister Julie

The horarium has long been a great love of mine. The horarium refers to a daily schedule and is the Latin word meaning "the hours".

"From the rising of the sun to its setting, praised be the Name of God!" (Psalm 113:3)

I love honoring the hours and having a daily and weekly rhythm that I can count on and that helps me stay rooted in God. My life as an apostolic Catholic sister means I can't quite follow the traditional ways of observing a horarium, but the good news is that a horarium is still possible -- and indeed welcomed!

It's not easy developing a horarium of one's own or living it on some days! But there's help on the journey! I for one turn to my own sisters' customs around the horarium and reflect on ways to adapt the horarium to how we live religious life today as apostolic women religious. I also look to people like Sister Laurel O'Neal, Er. Dio., a diocesan hermit, who often shares her life with the online community via her blog Notes from Stillsong Hermitage.

Here are a couple reflections from Sister Laurel that I have found so helpful.

I think if someone is trying to work out a schedule for themselves they have to strive to embody balance and order. As you will see, my own schedule (horarium) is oriented around liturgical prayer, lectio divina, study/writing, and quiet prayer (which actually accompanies all the other activities either before or after them). Those are the main elements, the things without which I don't function well and/or to which I am publicly committed to be faithful. This includes related practices or activities which fit around and support them. They are meant to alternate work, prayer, study, lectio, and I try to do this even when I cannot keep to a clock schedule. (Horarium Question August 2, 2008)

Remember that your horarium is first of all a schedule which respects your own needs for rest, work, prayer, study, liturgy, and recreation as these exist today. No one creates this horarium for us, nor do we use a horarium suited to a different time in our lives or a different degree of health or illness. For most of us horaria are not carved in stone except to the extent they really serve us in living our vocation every day. They mark the things which are ordinarily essential in each of our days and weeks. (Is a Horarium Necessary? January 23, 2015)

Do you have a horarium? What hours or periods of time do you observe regularly each day or week? Why do you do it?

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