My go-to devotion is the Cloak of St Joseph, and I prefer good deed bead bracelets or other one-decade rosary tools to pray my rosary.
I’ve been forever changed by a few experiences with relics from two of my favorite saints,
St. John Paul II and St. Padre Pio. However, I think I’d like to be remembered for two particular practices that have enhanced my personal prayer but may not be recognized as official Catholic traditions or devotions (yet).
The Prayer Journal
We have learned a great deal about a number of saints through their spiritual diaries or prayer journals, even those who had no intention of letting their writing be shared or published after their death. St. Therese, St Gemma, St. John Paul II, and St. Mother Teresa (and many others) have all offered invaluable spiritual insights through their personal writing.
While we gain so much wisdom from the spiritual writing of these saints, these diaries and journals seem to be most often recorded experiences of prayer (in retrospect).
While most of us regular spiritual pilgrims don’t experience locutions or apparitions, a prayer journal can be a helpful tool to collect our thoughts and express our hearts to Jesus through writing. I can ask the Lord questions, and guided by the Holy Spirit; I can write “in my own words what I think He wants me to say” (as articulated by Fr. Gaston Courtois).
For many of us, writing helps us to focus and articulate our innermost thoughts, our heartfelt desires, and our most personal prayers. The Prayer Journal can become a tangible record of our intimate conversation with Jesus and a useful tool to remember past struggles, answers to prayer, and spiritual insights for future reference.
How easy is it to forget the moments of Grace we’ve received in the past when the present flurry of activity and concerns are pressing in? The truth is that I have recorded these moments of grace, these soft and reassuring, concise and emboldening messages gently placed in my heart and captured in Scripture or Spiritual Reading. They’re all carefully transcribed in various prayer journals.
By collecting those messages and reviewing them over time, I can relive those moments of closeness and consolation and draw from them when my prayer life gets a little distracted or dry.
Those filled-up prayer journals, and the encouragement for others to record their own prayer in a journal, can be a part of my legacy of faith.
Prompts to Pray
Many of the saints advise us to make prayer a real habit, practice the Presence of God, and “pray without ceasing” (Thes. 5:17). In our busy and distracted lives, it’s easy to forget to pray, but I think that we can develop a practice of using the things we see and hear, daily tasks and habits, and even our daily struggles as Prompts to Pray. Those struggles that we face every day and our littleness (made obvious through those struggles) are very effective prompts to pray! They are completely customized to our particular personalities, and circumstances…and are ever-present for maximum consistency!
Prompts to Pray can help us to pray more often, pray consistently, and to pray from the heart. While Prompts to Pray can definitely transform our personal prayer lives, we can also strive to BE prompts to pray, encouraging our loved ones and as many people as possible to turn to prayer at all times.
Imagine being remembered as one who always prompted others to pray! What a Legacy of Faith!
Read the full post at Equipping Catholic Families
Copyright 2022, Monica McConkey
Monica McConkey is the author of Prompt Me to Pray (https://armadei.com/prompt-me-to-pray/), as well as a large collection of Catechism, Saint, Sacrament, and Prayer-packed craft kits, quizzing cards, and Catholic rubber stamps. You can check out her shop here: www.ArmaDei.com
Our Novena Prayers for the Holy Souls In Purgatory
*May be prayed in a cemetery or from home
We’ll be using this gem I discovered in the Pieta Prayer booklet. While it is intended for praying at cemeteries (staying in your car counts), it can be done from home or at church. I have done it for years, and try to attend Mass each day as well! I love walking around the cemetery, prayerfully reading each name while I recite the following Novena Prayers:
- Five Apostle’s Creeds;
- One Hail, Holy Queen;
- One each of the Our Father (Lord’s Prayer), Hail Mary and Glory be; &
- Conclude with Requiem Prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them, and may they rest in peace. Amen.