Pope Pius XII on the Divine Office


What follows is one of the greatest Papal teachings ever given on the Divine Office. Much of what was said in Sacrosantum Concilium from the Second Vatican Council, in the General Instructions on the Liturgy of the Hours promulgated by Pope St. Paul VI, and in the teachings of Pope St. John Paul II concerning the Divine Office originated with Pope Pius XII and his encyclical Mediator Dei written in 1947.


"The ideal of Christian life is that each one be united to God in the closest and most intimate manner. For this reason, the worship that the Church renders to God, and which is based especially on the eucharistic sacrifice and the use of the sacraments, is directed and arranged in such a way that it embraces by means of the divine office, the hours of the day, the weeks and the whole cycle of the year, and reaches all the aspects and phases of human life.


Since the divine Master commanded "that we ought always to pray and not to faint,"[132] the Church faithfully fulfills this injunction and never ceases to pray: she urges us in the words of the Apostle of the Gentiles, "by him Jesus let us offer the sacrifice of praise always to God"[133]