I am reading the Catechism and I can honestly say I am fired up and really excited about soon becoming a Christian in the Catholic church. like I have written in my previous posts, I am converting, but is there things and prayers I can do now that will bring me even closer to God even though I am not officially in the Church? I want to be as close to God as possible!
Visit Jesus in the tabernacle
Devotions to saints
An Our Father in honor of all the saints
Offer up your works, prayers, joys and sufferings to Jesus for the conversion of sinners, for the intentions of the Holy Father, etc.
Offer up Jesus’ Body, Blood, and Soul and Divinity in atonement, for the conversion of sinners, etc.
Grace before and after meals
Act of spiritual communion
Acts of faith, hope, and charity
Holy Hour of Reparation
Holy Hour of Mercy
Holy Hour of Adoration
Prayer for the intentions of the Holy Father
Reading the Sacred Scriptures
Contemplation, particularly on the Passion of Jesus Christ
Veneration of the relics of Jesus and the saints
There is much which non-Catholics can do that Catholics can also do But let no soul do any pious act with the intention of not honoring God, for that angers the Father and saddens the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Can I go to confession to confess my sins?
You would have to talk to a priest about this… I think usually, if not always, people have to wait till they’re received into the Church to take part in the Sacraments… that’s because the Sacraments sort of build on each other. You need Baptism, Confirmation, Confession, and then the Eucharist (there are others too, but not involved in becoming Catholic)
One thing that really helped me when I was converting is Eucharistic Adoration. It’s basically prayer before the Eucharist, - a single Host is exposed in a special golden vessel called the “monstrance”… usually it takes place in the church or in a special adoration chapel. The wonderful thing about it is that you’re actually praying before Jesus physically present there… God is everywhere spiritually, but Christ’s risen Body is only in Heaven and in the Eucharist. So it’s like if you had lived 2000 years ago and met Jesus with the Apostles. (except you can’t see Him.) Adoration gave me a lot of peace… (and I still go when I can.) You can say any prayers you want there. The only requirement is that everyone stays silent, and you have to genuflect (on both knees) when you enter.
here’s how the ‘monstrance’ looks like: z.about.com/d/catholicism/1/0/m/1/-/-/Pope_Benedict_Benediction.jpg
only usually it’s on the altar, with candles/flowers.
Also what really helped me is the Rosary, and Catholic devotions like the Sacred Heart devotion, Divine Mercy, etc…
I also love this prayer (it’s for Catholics when we can’t receive the Eucharist, or those who are converting to Catholicism who can’t yet receive)
Spiritual Communion Prayer
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
You must be baptized first, and the water of baptism, which gushed forth from the Side of Jesus, purifies your soul of original and personal sin.
Since you are a Baptist hoping to become a Catholic, I assume you have already been validly baptized.
First of all, I want to say congratulations and God bless you for taking this important step on your faith journey! Great graces are in store for you for following the truth
Personally, I was brought into the Church from no faith, so I was baptized, confirmed and received the Holy Eucharist on the same day. So, I had to wait until after this to go to confession. However, the Protestants who were in my RCIA class were required to go through confession before being confirmed and receiving Holy Communion, so the Sacrament is allowed to those not yet confirmed. I am not sure if this is free to any hopeful convert, though. I would ask the priest at the parish you are planning to be received into, and he will let you know when would be a good time to make your first confession.
Just know that God is so pleased with you for making this beautiful decision, and you will experience the beauty of this Sacrament when you are supposed to. God bless you and good luck on your journey!