Friday, 30 July 2010

Prayer meme

What a lame and unreliable blogger I am.
Over a week ago, Mac at Mulier Fortis tagged me on the meme that she started. Then, about a week later, Epsilon tagged me on the same meme.
Now Mac has been tagged back on the same meme.
I think it's time I got cracking at this now or I'll have forgotten how to put up a post. I'm blaming the sudden gear change that comes with the summer holidays. That always throws me.

OK. The meme rules, as set by Mac are as follows:

"The rules, which need to be posted: Name your three most favourite prayers, and explain why they're your favourites. Then tag five bloggers - give them a link, and then go and tell them they have been tagged. Finally, tell the person who tagged you that you've completed the meme... The Liturgy and the Sacraments are off limits here. I'm more interested in people's favourite devotional prayers.

Righty Ho then.
First up:

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit
of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.

I think, for sheer  frequency of repetition, The Hail Mary has to be in my top three. These days it's often on my lips and in my heart.
During the years I spent outside the church I stopped saying the Hail Mary because I had become confused about praying in that way ( just in case it came under the category of "heaping up meaningless phrases") And also of course, the role of Mary is very much diminished in most protestant circles, and those I moved in were no exception. Saying a Hail Mary in my home group would have been a big no-no.
In fact, the only acceptable prayers, apart from the Lords prayer, were the extemporaneous ones that you made up yourself ( albeit usually according to something of an unwritten formula which one quickly adopts largely by imitation)
Sometimes, like for example when an ambulance siren went off nearby, or I passed an accident scene, I remembered, almost wistfully, that as a child I had a habit of saying a Hail Mary at those moments.
When I was ill and pregnant with the twins I had a new insight into the consolation of having favourite prayers stored in ones memory bank. It's hard to be good with words when we are frightened or depressed. Traditional prayers of the church are worded with great care and are very theologically sound, unlike some of my own homespun prayers which I suspect included some heretical notions here and there despite my best intentions.

"O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins and  for the intentions of  our Holy Father."

Although there are lots of lovely devotions and prayers, if I have to pick just three I have to include our daily morning offering. I pray this every morning with the children and even though sometimes it can be a bit mechanical and rushed, it often isn't. We try to light a candle and kneel together before the crucifix when we pray this. Often we will add our own litany of the saints at the end, naming our own patron saints, the saint of the day and any other saints whose names my children happen to call out.

"O God, who gave us our children to raise for your honour and glory
Help us to teach them to know, love and serve you
Help us to be gentle yet firm in correcting their faults
Help us to be an example to them in following the way of your Commandments
And in the daily acceptance of your cross.
And, if it is your will,  grant to at least one of them the great privilege of a religious or a priestly vocation
That our family may share more fully in the spreading of your kingdom on earth"

A friend of mine shared this prayer with me.
Many years ago, I think when she was first married, she and her husband picked this up somewhere and it became their habit to pray it together at bedtime.
I thought it was so beautiful, and so perfectly expressed the virtues that we want to be at the heart of our family that my husband and I are trying to commit to praying this together daily.

And now I tag:

Lisa at Mama Says

The Bookworm

Thinking Love No Twaddle


Elena at My Domestic Church