Prayer and devotions are the perfect focus for this feast of Mary's birthday! It's also a day of great joy for me as I have a confession and healing appt with a favorite Jesuit from my undergrad alma mater--the first in thirty years since IBM just moved ComputerGuy, and the rest of us, back to the area.
1.What are your favorite devotions?
There are so many beloved ones but right now I am taking special joy in the long-beloved Angelus and newly-discovered Morning Offering. I love the Angelus, irregularly said when I happen to notice it's 6 am, 12 noon, or 6 pm, because it helps me claim as my own Miriam of Nazareth's fierce and courageous embrace of life, love, and work for justice as God's joyously surrendered demon-fighting handmaid.
I have always greeted God lovingly and chatted a bit--or a lot--upon first waking up. And I sometimes get to official Morning Prayer, and/or last night's Examen if I was too tired. But I never prayed the Morning Offering because it just didn't fit my style and relationship with God, until a few months ago when I realized that I could customize one that did. I started with one I found online and after getting it just right have totally rejoiced in the practice, and--grace of God and total miracle--haven't missed one day because it is so short and easy to do. And that is a real comfort, as Simcha movingly wrote recently, on the days I am not able, or sometimes willing, to come back for a more in depth prayer time during the day. In the midst of the move chaos I did forget one time till right before collapsing at midnight, when I realized that offering "the precious blood of Jesus from all the altars of the world, together with my every thought, word and action of this day" is an equally good night offering closing a day of blessings!
My personal offering--and I would love to hear yours in the comments:
Holy Wisdom, my friend and God, in union with the priestly heart of Mary I offer you the precious blood of Jesus from all the altars of the world, together with my every thought, word, and action of this day. I ask for [optional special grace]. Mystical Rose, pray for me; sister Spirit, dance with me; Jesus, fiercely gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like unto yours. Amen!
2.Have any of your prayers been answered? Do you have any prayers that you are glad weren’t answered the way you’d hoped?
The amazing miracle right now is that God has answered the deep desire of my heart to come home to California, less than an hour from the sacred ocean--and have doors open for ministry and community--that I did not even consciously pray for cause it seemed impossible. The Spirit prayed in me (Romans 8) and God my loving Mother and Jesus my brother, savior, and friend granted more than I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3)!
3. How do you pray with your kids?
Very differently now that they are grown or almost grown--more for them than with them (except for the two saints always living in my heart as well as heaven). I joyfully remember the many years of rocking, singing, praying, cuddling with nurslings and weanlings and even elementary age kids as I pray for my young adult son now launched back in the Midwest. And worshipping together ecumenically, since their Dad is Presby, in so many places we have lived. And last year's bible study and morning office and Angelus for the first part of the first year of homeschooling, till we gradually came to recognize Katie's thirteen year old rite of passage to "spiritual but not religious, not self-sacrificial enough to be Christian" and release her from most practice.
She and I still share our spiritual/ethical/human journeys joyfully in hours of conversation, and the knowledge of theology and scripture I gave her shines in her understanding of literature in our classes--this fall a delightful exploration of classic Gothic literature including the stunning original Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley accompanied by the stunning voice acting of Dan Stevens in the Audible version. And she and I and ComputerGuy have adopted a previous occasional grace option, a group hug with silent prayer, before dinner as the perfect balance of loving unity and individual freedom.
I went to an amazing funeral mass at my college alma mater chapel, Mission Santa Clara, the other day and prayed for my four ducklings, feeling them so close in spirit as well as dwelling in my own flesh through the incarnational miracle of microchimerism--Julian and Rachel dancing by the altar as my grad school best friend saw Rachel at her daughter's First Communion, and Katie and Nick busy on their own adventures of study and growth in wisdom, age, and grace!
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