I am very forthcoming about the positive effect the Catholic Charismatic Renewal had on me. Our name Catholic literally means "universal, all-embracing;" and the charisms that the Lord brought back to our attention through the Renewal continue to be valid and valuable for the Church of today. (See CCC 800-801, and CCC 2003). That said, there are so many beautiful spiritualities within the Church - Carmelite, Franciscan, Dominican, etc., etc. - some demonstrative and others more oriented in silence. The Lord calls us to Himself along different "roads," and we may change the one we travel several times in the course of our lives. Each road passes through the Sacraments though; that is common to every Catholic's journey. Other than the seven Sacraments however, it would be incredibly shortsighted of me, of anyone, to try and absolutize his experience, and require it of someone else (1 Cor.12:29-31). Jesus is the Good Shepherd, not me - He knows what each of His sheep need far better than anyone else. (Omniscience is funny that way.)
What is my prayer life like in 2012? Morning offering with my kids. Daily Rosary on the way to work. Conversational prayer throughout the day. The charism of tongues to praise and intercede. Read the Gospel of the day. Chaplet of Divine Mercy on the way home. Some spiritual reading before bed. The Eucharist every Sunday, and the occasional weekday Mass when my work schedule allows. Each November, I start the 33 days of preparation for Total Consecration prescribed by St. Louis Marie De Montfort and renew my consecration on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I also enjoy getting together with a good friend every other week or so to study the Carmelites -
Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Elizabeth of the Trinity, Therese of
Lisieux, and Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein). I've never felt a pull toward becoming a third order religious and don't feel any desire to refer to myself as anything other than "just a Catholic" - a person who wants to embrace all of the spiritual treasures our Father has deposited in the Church.