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Letter from the Editor

One surprise for Wendy and me when we moved from Pasadena to Wheaton 20 years ago was the strong Catholic presence here—not surprising, really, despite all we'd heard about this "evangelical hub," given the town's proximity to Chicago and the history of immigration to the Midwest. In downtown Wheaton there's a store serving the Catholic population: "religious supply," books, icons, and so on. Wendy and I often dropped in there for one reason or another, and at some point we encountered a devotional magazine called Magnificat. It was small (like a paperback book) and beautifully produced. (Each issue is devoted to a single month; there are special seasonal issues as well.) I picked up a copy.

Neither Wendy nor I had ever practiced the "liturgy of the hours," though Wendy had used a daily devotional for years. We were attracted to this format, and we began using it every day, praying and reading Scripture (and reading some of the essays and meditations in each issue, including the piece on the cover illustration). Eventually we subscribed to the magazine. We liked it very much—why hadn't we started this much earlier?—but after a couple of years, the emphasis on Marian devotion became too heavy for us. We had routinely skipped certain prayers from the outset, but there was a sense of disjunction, even as we were nourished by truths that all Christians, in all streams of the faith, share in common.

Around this time, Phyllis Tickle's The Divine Hours was published. The three volumes covered the span of the year, with prayers and readings adapted from the Book of Common Prayer and other sources. We took this up with gratefulness (and we have since given many copies as wedding gifts). We have never done anything like the full course; we do the morning reading and compline, and occasionally one of the others. For some years we kept this up very faithfully; in recent years, our practice has been much ...

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