This chapter in the Rule can help to illustrate my earlier point that our Father Benedict does not intend for us to mirror the sentiments and ideas we encounter in each Psalm every time we pray. In fact, if we think practically about what it would look like to order our days in such a way that we stop and pray seven times, it's easier to perceive that the Psalms function, as Sr. Joan writes, "to wrench [our] minds from the mundane to the mystical, away from concentration on life's petty particulars to attention on its transcendent meaning." A monk stops and prays regardless of what he "feels" like when the bell rings.
One way the Psalms help to do this wrenching, this reorienting, is by confronting our minds with a different reality than the one we may be experiencing. For example, the practice of our community includes a midday office. On most days this office includes chanting Psalms 123-125, the opening lines of which declare: "To you I lift up my eyes, to you enthroned in the heavens. As the eyes of servants look to the hands of their masters and the eyes of a maid to the hands of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God until he show us his mercy." By the time the office places these words before my mind just after the hour of noon, I can almost guarantee that some task or encounter has pulled my gaze from the peace of God's presence in the two and a half hours since Matins. This Psalm invites me back to my center, to notice the "transcendent meaning" of the "petty particulars" that populate my life, and to reorient my awareness toward my true home.
One consistent value of a practice that engages the Psalms throughout the day is the way that they apply brakes to our personal freight train of thoughts and emotions before it runs away into the sunset.