The Pertinacious Papist, aka. the esteemed Dr. Philip Blosser aka. my father, has tagged me with a request to list my “favorite five devotions.”
This is a real challenge, and more than a tad embarrassing. In all honesty, I’m not even half as knowledgeable in such matters, nor do I possess his stamina — as illustrated by praying “five decades of the rosary every day, nearly without exception” — something which I find commendable and can only aspire to at this time. (I’m lucky if I can make it through a single decade).
That said, here are five devotions which have touched me in my (admittedly relatively young) spiritual life:
- “The Jesus Prayer” (Well, “Catholic” in the loose sense). For its honesty and brevity. When all is said and done in this life, there’s nought else I can do but fall at the feet of my Savior and plead his mercy. (I’ve both seen and used this prayer as a last resort in the Confessional, when too tongue-tied to recite a formal act of contrition).
- “Stations of the Cross”. And yes, if you have an IPhone, “there’s an app for that” courtesy of Ave Maria Press.
- Prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas “For Ordering a Life Wisely” – Aquinas wrote many beautiful prayers; this is but one — allegedly recited daily before an image of Christ. I was introduced to it by way of a book, Devoutly I Adore Thee: The Prayers and Hymns of St. Thomas Aquinas — which I think may have been a confirmation gift from my father (Thomas is my saint’s name). Recommended reading.
- “Holy Hour”, where and when the opportunity arises. Precisely because it’s a welcome chance for me to “let go and let God”; to quiet, as best I can, my chattering mind and to render what is properly owed. Eucharistic adoration in general is a treasure — growing up as a Protestant (“4 walls and a sermon”), I didn’t realize what a blessing Catholics had in The Real Presence.
- Hymns. Again, not necessarily or distinctly Catholic — and it is a rare occasion that I’ll hear anything in a Catholic parish that truly inspires me to belt it out with gusto, apart from the traditional hymns of Christmas. But there really is something to be said about those soul-stirring (if largely Protestant) hymns of old. Here are a few of my favorites.