Over the past few months I haven't been praying my offices. There are countless reasons why I haven't, but those really don't matter. Along with not praying my offices, I haven't been reading any spiritual writings. A few days ago I came out of whatever "funk" I was in and went to pick up where I left off reading in Fulton Sheen's "A Priest is not his own," and it just happened to be that the chapter that I left off on was talking about praying the divine offices. (That's God!)
A lot of people have trouble praying the offices because it is sometimes tiresome and not as intimate a prayer as one can achieve (in most cases). But we need to remember that in it we gather up not only the intentions of the Church, but also all of the the sinners, those who turn away from God, and those who physically and emotionally can't pray.
Sheen relates this to Our Lord who was sinless, yet he took on the sins of the world. When we pick up the breviary we are picking up all unbelievers, fallen-away Catholics, and the burden of the Church throughout the world.
The breviary is not a personal prayer; it is an official prayer, that's why it's called "The official prayer of the Church." When we pray the divine offices we are praying for everyone else, and in a sense, isn't praying for others over our own personal prayers a good thing? If all of our prayers were personal wouldn't that be selfish?
In the breviary we are making an act of love not only for the Church, but for her enemies. The breviary is a test of our strength. It helps one to die to oneself for the betterment of humanity, the good and bad. We shouldn't look at praying these prayers as some kind of consolation, but rather as a struggle, as a little piece of the cross. In doing so, we will in turn learn to enjoy it and turn it to the glory of God.
What is so amazing about the divine offices is that it is the universal prayer that all religious take vows to pray all around the world. That means that 24/7, 365 days a year every second someone is praying for the Church and for the whole of humanity.
Not everyone is called to pray the divine offices, and that is perfectly fine! The clergy take care of that for us (the laity). They pray the offices for us who can't, who don't have time. The majority of the laity work inside "the world," and aren't able to pray for their redemption and the world's redemption all of the time. That's why there are monks and nuns! They take care of us who aren't able to pray. While we in turn carry out our lives in a christian manner and spread that faith to everyone else.
It is a bloodline that pumps the faith through the whole of humanity.
The church is the Body of Christ. So to have a body you need a heart, and that's the cloistered nuns and monks who pray for us who can't pray all of the time. They pump the blood (the faith) out to everyone else. The skin is the laity. The laity (or skin) is what everyone sees, it is the face of the church. We need lots of people to be laity so that they can spread the good news and live a christian life. Likewise, we don't need as many people to be the heart and live a cloistered life. Then all of the other religious are at different locations in the body, the diocesan priests are like the muscles who are closest to the skin (we need lots of muscles, but not as much as we need skin), while the deeper you go into the body the more of a monastic life you live until you reach the heart.
So, there are many reasons to pray the divine offices, and I'm going to try to get back to praying them, I really do love to pray them.