I admit I get a bit frustrated, when I hear someone say that laity should just be content with the rosary, the Mass, and vocal prayer, generally some saccharine verbiage out of a prayer book published before 1950. Don’t get me wrong, I like the rosary (the Dominicans are rubbing off on me, even if I get more out of making them than praying them), but purely verbal prayer doesn’t always fill a need.
It’s one instance of that “Don’t you worry your little lay head *pat pat*” attitude that you see among the generation younger than me. While the Liturgy of the Hours is important, one of the reasons why I switched to Latin was because I found myself just spitting out the words as fast as I could, without really considering their meaning. The LotH is the prayer of the entire Church. As such, it should have relevance and speak to our lives. When it works, it’s uncanny how a particular psalm (usually just one for that day) speaks to something going on in my life.
But also it should be more than just the words on the page. There should be something in the words that points to something greater than us, which is the point of lectio divina. (Or should be.) Granted, I’m a barely-closeted contemplative, but I believe we’re all called to a deeper relationship with the Divine. Hiding behind pious prose isn’t going to expose us to that deeper mystery.
Others have written about how contemplation is a gift and a calling from God. If this is true, then what possible reason is there to restrict people from that to which they’re being called?