September 3, 2010

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Challenged by a friend: Never too old to learn

Shirley Vogler MeisterRecently, I read a fellow Catholic writer’s article that shared her thoughts about devotions and prayer practices.

Roxane Salonen ( was challenged by two bloggers to do this.

What she shared was perhaps less about devotions and prayer practices, but more about what she tries to employ on a regular basis to keep her soul maintained. Here are some of her comments as well as mine:

• Adoration—At first, Roxane felt strange going to a chapel to sit with the Blessed Sacrament, but knew how much Catholics believe in transubstatiation: the host is truly Jesus, body and blood and soul and divinity! She never regrets taking time to do this.

I feel remiss because I don’t do what I once did so regularly years ago. My reason is trite. I don’t want to use a password to enter church because—knowing me—I would probably fumble the password and set off the alarm. I have done that in my own home!

• Blessing children—Roxane began this practice when her two oldest children were young. She believes this is the most powerful tool she has used to stay connected spiritually with them.

Whether done before bedtime or when parting for the day, the children take solace in this. Sometimes it is a simple sign of the cross.

How I wish I had thought of this when my daughters were young!

• Food for thought—Roxane reads books on spiritual and religious topics as a way to be sustained spiritually, and because she hosts a program for Catholic radio.

I also am an avid reader, often sharing what I read in “Faithful Lines.”

• Hail Marys—Roxane admits that she doesn’t always have time to complete the ancient prayers of the rosary. I remember well how difficult that was for me when my daughters were young.

However, she loves the 10 beads for each Hail Mary per decade and says: “Perhaps not coincidentally, we have five fingers on each hand and 10 fingers altogether, giving us no excuse not to pray the rosary wherever life finds us, whether with beads in hand or not.”

Like her, I do the same thing. I also have rosaries and religious icons in our home, which remind me to pray often.

• Spiritual direction—Monthly, Roxane meets with her spiritual director, something that she began doing routinely for about a year. She says: “It’s been one of the best commitments of my faith life so far. Having someone routinely help me complete a spiritual check, someone to whom I can throw spiritual questions and know I will be getting solid answers, has been such a helpful part of my journey.”

How grateful I am to Roxane for what she shared!

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.)

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