Friday, August 13, 2010

The "devotions" meme

Zoinks! I've been tagged by TSO on the favorite devotions meme.

Well, the last few years I haven't really done off-the-shelf devotions. I keep one of these excellent little rosary booklets on my bedside coffee table, but I haven't gotten into it in a really long time, and I never did get into the various chaplets and whatnot. So what passes for my devotions nowadays are -

  • reading the Psalms and Canticles - in the King James or the old BCP on the old Benedictine schedule (the weekly schema in the Psalterium Monasticum) along with Neale & Littledale's magnificent old 4-volume commentary. Not every day - I just drop down into them now and then. Note the recurring refrain: old, old, old. Speaking of old, I have a handy rule of thumb: never join a new Catholic movement that's less than 500 years old. Saves a lot of hassle.
  • reading the Fathers - I try to keep up with the week's Gospel in the old calendar by reading through the relevant commentaries and sermons in The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers. For each week's Gospel, the relevant part of the Catena aurea of Aquinas is given, followed by a few of the complete sermons from which Aqinas gleaned his excerpts. I appreciate the old calendar's slow and steady emphasis on one reading per week over against the new calendar's frenzied whirlwind of daily readings. With SSOTGF you get the Gospel on Sunday, then you have a whole week to work through the Catena and a few patristic homilies before another Gospel comes up. Each of the homilies is from a preacher such as John Chrysostom or Gregory I, whose chief delights are stepping on toes and calling people to their senses. Works for me.
  • reading Divine Intimacy - it's a mid-20th-century Carmelite book, keyed to the old calendar, with a short 3-part daily devotion. It's organized like Opus Dei's In Conversation With God series, but with more fundamental theology and less of something I can't put my finger on. It does come with lots of references to the chief Carmelite writers, which (grumble) I guess I can live with. Carmelites always read as though they've been translated out of French.
  • quick Hail Marys - when I converted, I spent a lot of time with St Louis de Montfort's True Devotion and works of similar piety that I'd found at the Marian Center in Springfield, Illinois - a delightful mess of a bookstore. Somewhere, de Montfort emphasizes the power of a single Ave, and that has somehow stuck with me.

I basically read myself into the Church, and I guess I continue that today.

No comments:

Post a Comment