Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

January 2019 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 30 January 2019

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2019! Thanks to all who gave Universalis as a gift this Christmas. It will be with the recipient always, in fruitful times and dry ones, in good times and bad.

Universalis in conferences and retreats

At times in the past it seemed as if the Hours were almost being kept secret. Too many ordinary people’s awareness of the Divine Office was limited to it as “something that priests do”, which is exactly the opposite of the Church’s intention: “The Office is… the prayer not only of the clergy but of the whole People of God.” As much as anything, I suspect it was down to the clergy’s fear of overburdening the people with obligations, or even of boring them. Fortunately that dry season seems to have passed.

In particular, various youth conferences, retreats and so on are taking the Hours on board and we often receive messages from organizers asking whether they can give the relevant pages from Universalis to the participants, to encourage them and give them some practice. (The answer is practically always Yes, but please don’t stop asking!).

But what happens when everyone gets home? The answer (at least for me) is that the memories fade, and the pieces of paper that were so inspiring sit in a pile in a corner and gradually lose their glow while they wait for me to pick them up and look at them.

On the other hand, people always like to have something new to play with on their phones or their computers. And Universalis is accessible for a month free of charge before you have to think of buying or subscribing. So, putting the two together, we have created a page to explain how anybody can come home from a retreat or conference and carry on getting the Hours on Universalis for a month.

If you are involved in organizing a spiritual event, then do think about giving people this link.

Meditations for Lent

This Lent, the About Today pages will carry daily meditations by the renowned biblical scholar Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB, from his book of Lenten mediations “40 Days and 40 Ways”, which is published by the Catholic Truth Society. We thank the CTS for suggesting this idea and Dom Henry for kindly giving his permission.

This is the first time we have done something like this, so it is very much an experiment, but we hope that many of you will find it to be of benefit. You may also be interested in visiting the CTS Bookshop web site and buying the booklet itself or looking through all the other publications the CTS have to offer. Although they are based in London, they can send books worldwide.

The next updates of all the apps and programs will contain these meditations. If you are curious to see now at what they look like, here is the About Today page for Ash Wednesday.

How to update

There are new versions of all the Universalis apps and programs, containing the usual corrections and completions and the new illustrations for February. (The iOS update should appear in a couple of days’ time, once Apple have approved it).

Updates are (or should be) automatic on Android and iOS, while on the Mac and Windows the Universalis program checks for updates from time to time and lets you know when one is available. In case any of this doesn’t happen, we have instructions for updating manually here.

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