But Mary responded, "To be honest, my devotions are not going to look or sound like traditional devotions. That's why I added 'prayer practices' to the headline."
Sounds good to me. I never seem to fit neatly into categories either, so I'll follow Mary's expansive lead. And some of my answers are
1. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
I love this prayer. Years ago, before I was a Catholic, I was struggling with an enormous problem and my marriage was on shaky ground. I had stopped attending the Episcopal church, and had no place to call my spiritual home. My friend Jack gave me a copy of the chaplet saying, "Here. Pray it every day for the next month." I shrugged and supposed it couldn't hurt. I prayed daily and at the end of that month, it seemed that my problem had miraculously been dealt with and my marriage was getting a new start.
Ummm ... okay.
I knew the prayer wasn't a magic charm but it did seem to be a Catholic road sign. A big, neon one. A sign among many that had been piling up. Nine months later I was Catholic.
2. The Rosary
A no-brainer since I wrote the book on it ....
But, seriously, I do love it. I love that the Rosary meets me where I am. If I'm in a hurry, Mother Mary takes my hastily tossed up prayers and delivers them quickly to her Son, as if she were the head of a holy bucket brigade. If I have the luxury of time and contemplation, I am rewarded with sublime immersion into the life of Jesus. He visits me through the Rosary, holds me, accuses me, redeems me. And He does it all through the mysteries that are His life and the life of the woman He honored enough to ask Her to be His mother.
3. The Liturgy of the Hours
As Mary noted this isn't technically a devotion but since I do have a great devotion to the Liturgy of the Hours, I have to include it. I wrote more about it here (in the second part of that post.) And, thanks to pal Lissa, I now have iBreviary on my iPod Touch. As much as I love my set of prayer books, I must admit that iBreviary has saved Atticus and I many ribbonless minutes on busy workday mornings.
Mary also mentioned music and said that "it's a rather odd choice even as a prayer practice, but it's true." I don't think it's odd at all! I can't imagine not including music as part of my prayer life and devotions. If I am feeling that something's missing, if I am drifting from God, if my prayer life needs a booster shot, I can almost guarantee that certain songs or kinds of music will transport me to the place I need to be: gratitude, yearning, love, attachment, detachment, awe, charity, mystery, hope. It can range from Bach to Matt Maher, from chant to Jill Phillips.
And by the way, dancing in the kitchen is a holy experience, too.
5. Embracing My Vocation
This should possibly be #1 on my list. It is so very Catholic to think of life in terms of vocation. We are all called to something. In my case, I was called down a circuitous path to marriage and motherhood. When I embrace that vocation as a holy calling, when I have a devotion to my duties, seeing each duty as a prayer, when I offer up every suffering large and small, when I pray through every challenge and triumph, when I talk to God about everything from the laundry to an illness in the family, from dishes to writing deadlines, I am practicing a truly Catholic devotion.
Now it's your turn.
Instead of tagging others, I'm asking you to send me a link if you blog this meme. Then, I'll put the respondents together in a post.