Saturday, January 17, 2009

Keeping Tabs. A Benedictine oblate blog

I use the book Benedictine Daily Prayer (BDP) to pray the divine office.

But BDP requires a lot of flipping from one section to another during the day and even during any particular office depending on the season or feast day.

Homemade cardstock dividers, some with text that will be used in a divine office, help avoid the flipping problems.

Some time ago I blogged about when I replaced all of my old dividers with new ones, and today I did some minor revisions and updates.

Today I added a new divider for the short little final blessing:

“May the Lord bless us,
keep away all evil,
and lead us to eternal life, Amen.

“Let us bless the Lord
Thanks be to God.”

I also added the Lord’s prayer to one of the existing dividers.

But the major change I worked on today was to redo all of the tabs on the dividers so I could change the color of the tabs.

In the past I used different colors rather arbitrarily — thinking that I needed each tab to be as different as possible from its neighbors. But I did not like that and in fact it only confused me!

So, I now have a three-color scheme based on where the dividers/tabs are in the book.

White is the color of the tabs for the dividers in the front of the BDP book, for such things as the daily Readings, Compline, the Little Hours, and a different translation for Psalm 23 for Sunday Lauds than the Psalm 23 used in BDP.

Red is the color (the red looks orange in some pictures) of the tabs for the current divine office. These tabs move in a group in the middle of the BDP book.

Black is the color of the tabs for the saints, feasts and special days which are in the back of the book.

The cardstock dividers with tabs often move through the day or the year. I also have permanent tabs on some of the pages, for the various Common for Feasts and Proper of Seasons. But I still have cardstock dividers for the Commons and Propers that I keep in the very back of the book until I need them on a particular day.

The last divine office housekeeping I did today was to print out the liturgical calendar from Universalis. While there are many web sites that have liturgical calendars, Universalis is the only one I found that has the Psalm week listed right on the calendar. Very handy. I keep the printed Universalis calendar with my stack of books I use for reading and study.

The books shown above are the ones that I am reading for the divine office and monastic study:

Benedictine Daily Prayer This book has sold for $49.95 for several years but is now on sale:
Sale Price: $34.97. Wow.

The Rule of Saint Benedict translated by Leonard Doyle

Benedictine Monachism, Dom Cuthbert Butler, 1924. Classic work of Benedictine spirituality and monasticism from the Rule of St. Benedict. Butler traces modern practices back to their origins and explains the elements of Benedictine practices.

The Love of Learning and The Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture by Jean Leclercq. The book is a series of lectures given to monks at the Institute of Monastic Studies at Sant’ Anselmo in Rome, Italy, in 1955.

OK, now I am ready to start the new liturgical year that began back in November!


  1. I'm currently re-reading The Benedictines by Terrence Kardong of Assumption Abbey (Michael Glazier 1988), which is a fairly brief but thorough introduction to Benedictine spirituality. I think it's especially useful for oblates.

  2. Joe,

    Thanks for the tip, it's always good to know of a good book. I use Kardong's "Benedict's Rule" as a technical resource when I read the Rule, but don't have "The Benedictines."