Saturday, May 11, 2013

Private Devotional Prayers

I pray a lot of little devotional prayers from my favorite prayer book. I have them marked with little sticky tabs so that I don’t forget to say them, and I even have a set order for them.

Sometimes I wonder if I am too obsessive-compulsive about this. It’s true that I tend to start saying a prayer, as one might for a novena, and then I keep saying it well past the allotted time. I figure if it’s good to pray it for nine days, it must be good to pray it…forever.

The trouble is, I end up with a lot of prayers to pray that way. Some days I don’t want to say them all. But I’m afraid I’ll hurt one of my saint’s feelings if I skip the one to him or her! (And when I was a young child with a bed full of stuffed animals, I sometimes wished there were more room for me, but I didn’t want to toss any of my little friends out and make them feel bad!)

But today, it was a blessing to have those prayers. I didn’t really want to pray…not anything. Those depression demons… Anyway, I did pray the Divine Office, because it is in my Rule to do so. I thought perhaps I would excuse myself from praying all the private devotions. Then, I found myself praying them anyway. And wouldn’t you know it… they seemed so much more meaningful to me today than they have in a while.

Pray without ceasing. I guess there’s a reason for that.

Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me.

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