Catholic life outside of mass


#1

I hope I am posting this in the right forum.

I am a Catholic and attend Mass regularly. But outside of Mass I don't feel a connection to my faith. I want to try to adopt some of the older traditions of the Catholic life. Things I think a lot of American don't do anymore...Something to help me feel more connected to my faith. Also I am wanting to have children and I want them to be more connected to their faith than I was growing up. In my house Mass was all we did.

I was thinking of starting with the rosary, make sure I attend all Holy Days of obligation, abstain from meat on all Fridays not just during Lent.

I want my faith to be apart of my whole life! Help on where to start.


#2

Read Catholic books. You can go to Barnes and Noble and find many good Catholic books. The more Catholic books you read, the more informed and more confidence you feel in your faith.

You can also make it a point to read scripture regularly. My dad read the whole bible twice in one year by reading a few chapters or books each day at lunch.

I also like to debate religion with people. It keeps me on my toes and helps me to learn to appreciate my faith more and to defend it better.


#3

What helps me is frequent confession(about every 3-4 wks).Daily praying the Rosary,daily Devine Mercy Chaplet,Prayerfully reading Sacred Scripture,I attend Mass on Sundays and when I get off work early enough I go on Wed.evening.I watch EWTN,Catholic Television.org.I find praying for others(Prayer intentions here on CAF)helps me.Now having said all this,I don't want to give the impression that I'm perfect.Its just that I desire to be close to our Lord,to not do things that are not pleaseing to him.My desire is to be an example of His Love and Mercy.Here are some "tools"that help me: www.comepraytherosary.org . www.catholic.org/video/?v=220 .Re-reading The Imitatation of Christ.Hope this helps,Rocky.


#4

I find that fasting is very helpful, even if you just reduce your intake to one normal sized meal a day. I do not recommend that you start out by trying to do something too extreme at first. Start small- get in the habit of praying a novena every day and go from there.


#5

What you need is a Plan of Life. Start small and add things to it (just like someone starting to exercise - don't try to do everything at once because you will fail). Start your new day with the Morning Offering and a few vocal prayers (I say the Our Father, a Hail Mary and the Glory Be). Set a time for some mental prayer (this is talking to God in your own words, silently). Start off with 10 minutes once per day. You can, over time, extend this to 10 minutes twice a day, and later make each prayer session a little longer.

Spend about 15 minutes each day on spiritual reading - perhaps 5 minutes reading the New Testament and 10 minutes reading a good Catholic spiritual book.

Each evening examine your conscience - look over the day just ending and determine what you did wrong, what you did well, and where you can improve. Say an act of contrition, repenting of any sins you committed.

You can add devotions like the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, etc., as you like. And, as time goes on, you may feel like going to Mass during the week as well as on Sundays.


#6

whatever you do, don't go overboard. I learned the hard way. Pray, be charitable, and do God's will.


#7

I was told the following and it really has helped me.

Imagine a set of telephone poles connected by a telephone line; the farther the poles are apart, the more sag in the line there is naturally, and the more tension you'll find at the poles themselves.

The poles are our approaches to God. C&E Catholics (those who only go to Christmas Mass and Easter Mass) have poles very far apart. Good tendency to sag. Sunday only Catholics less so.

The Church gives us such a rich set of telephone poles (ways of approaching God):

[LIST]
*]Sunday Mass,
*]Daily Mass,
*]Frequent Confession,
*]Holy Scripture,
*]The Rosary,
*]The noon Angelus,
*]an evening exam,
*]prayers at meals,
*]mental prayer,
*]visits to the Blessed Sacrament,
*]Adoration,
*]the Stations of the Cross,
*]Aspirations (very short prayers)
*]Spiritual Communions,
*]Novenas
*]Spiritual Reading
*]Acts of Thanksgiving, Contrition, Charity, Reparation, Fasting, etc.

*]etc.
[/LIST]

As someone said well above, go slow and small. The goal is not to pile on these forms of prayer (they are all forms of prayer). But to pick a few in order to maintain a more constant awareness or presence of God in your every day life.

Approach Him more. And it's good to teach young children the same, slowly, naturally.


#8

Magnificat is a great resource for your daily prayer and spiritual life.

www.magnificat.com


#9

What a great question!! i think its good to take baby steps. pick one devotion or practice and once you have made that a part of your life and routine then add something else.

i wouldnt just say, "Read the bible" because we can become lost and need help interpreting it correctly. try a bible study at church, The bible timeline by Jeff Cavins changed my life and now am more confident picking up the bible and knowing whats going on.

try praying the Angelus at noon everyday, set your phone or watch. its short and easy to memorize.

i think not eating meat every friday is great. my husband wanted to try it but i always struggled during lent so i resisted until this year. we have done it for almost a year and its so much easier, still a major sacrifice for us who always have meat, but it definitely helps me focus on whats important. We are actually all suppose to sacrifice something every friday all year, it just doesnt have to be meat. you could pick something else if meat isnt much of a sacrifice.

good job looking to life out your faith. continuing your education in matters of faith is the best way to strengthen our foundation. i grew up just going to sunday mass and have learned how little i knew about my faith.


#10

[quote="kib, post:4, topic:220309"]
I find that fasting is very helpful, even if you just reduce your intake to one normal sized meal a day. I do not recommend that you start out by trying to do something too extreme at first. Start small- get in the habit of praying a novena every day and go from there.

[/quote]

Fasting is great, but do also remember to have an awareness that you are doing it for a purpose of using the time you would spend eating on prayer and worship instead. I find that when I feel the hunger pangs, I say the Our Father and think of people elsewhere in the world who have no food, and how my sacrifice is small compared to others' very real pain.

I have just started going to confession again and I am so happy that I did. I think this forum has helped me a lot too, to understand my faith and recognize some areas of my life that need work.


#11

Doing a daily rosary can be a tough habit to start with - but you could start small with a decade in the morning, one by each meal, and one in the evening - and then you realize you have covered a daily rosary. Plus it is a gentle reminder of who is with us throughout the day. As you move on - I have also gotten a lot out of the Liturgy of the Hours but that is not an undertaking to be taken lightly - you may want to have one of the older ladies or priests walk you through the Divine Office. ;)


#12

[quote="Joan_M, post:5, topic:220309"]
What you need is a Plan of Life. Start small and add things to it (just like someone starting to exercise - don't try to do everything at once because you will fail). Start your new day with the Morning Offering and a few vocal prayers (I say the Our Father, a Hail Mary and the Glory Be). Set a time for some mental prayer (this is talking to God in your own words, silently). Start off with 10 minutes once per day. You can, over time, extend this to 10 minutes twice a day, and later make each prayer session a little longer.

Spend about 15 minutes each day on spiritual reading - perhaps 5 minutes reading the New Testament and 10 minutes reading a good Catholic spiritual book.

Each evening examine your conscience - look over the day just ending and determine what you did wrong, what you did well, and where you can improve. Say an act of contrition, repenting of any sins you committed.

You can add devotions like the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, etc., as you like. And, as time goes on, you may feel like going to Mass during the week as well as on Sundays.

[/quote]

What she said :thumbsup:.

Also, offer up your day, and then throughout the day, offer up your work, the things that are difficult or uncomfortable, etc. Work, done the best you can and for Love, is prayer. You can offer things up for specific things (eg, you can offer up an unpleasant situation for someone you know is sick, or to help someone find a job, or for the purity of your future children, or anything you want to! :) ).

In your 10 min of prayer you can just talk to God about what's going on in your life, you can ask Him for things, thank Him for things, ask Him for guidance...
If you need resources, I really like this site:
escrivaworks.org/
I really like the writings of St Josemaria, saint of the ordinary, which can be a great aid in prayer. He has some books (that can be searched through and read in their entirety on the link above) that are just several thoughts, grouped by topic, that one can read one by one and then think about (The Way, Furrow, and The Forge).


#13

these are all great ideas..

this helped me as well:p


#14

So many great responses on this thread! :thumbsup:

[quote="Joan_M, post:5, topic:220309"]
What you need is a Plan of Life. Start small and add things to it (just like someone starting to exercise - don't try to do everything at once because you will fail). Start your new day with the Morning Offering and a few vocal prayers (I say the Our Father, a Hail Mary and the Glory Be). Set a time for some mental prayer (this is talking to God in your own words, silently). Start off with 10 minutes once per day. You can, over time, extend this to 10 minutes twice a day, and later make each prayer session a little longer.

Spend about 15 minutes each day on spiritual reading - perhaps 5 minutes reading the New Testament and 10 minutes reading a good Catholic spiritual book.

Each evening examine your conscience - look over the day just ending and determine what you did wrong, what you did well, and where you can improve. Say an act of contrition, repenting of any sins you committed.

You can add devotions like the Rosary, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, etc., as you like. And, as time goes on, you may feel like going to Mass during the week as well as on Sundays.

[/quote]

Joan's post reminded me of a wonderful book I read not long ago, on this very topic:

You Can Become a Saint by Mary Ann Budnik

Mary Ann discusses many different ways to incorporate your faith into daily life, even a very busy daily life. :) It's a wonderful, readable, enjoyable book, and I recommend it highly. She bases much of it on the spirituality of Saint Josemaría Escrivá.


#15

Another idea: maybe consider praying the Liturgy of the Hours?

If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, or iPad, there is a great application that you can download for $24.99 (eliminates the need for carrying a breviary with you):

universalis.com/n-iphone.htm

You can also view the daily readings online for free:

universalis.com/-800/index.htm


#16

Have you made a Cursillo? If it is available in your area, please take the opportunity.
Cursillo refers to a three day weekend and means small course in Christianity. It doesn't stop there. After the weekend, you get together with other Cursillitas who help you in your lifelong Christian formation. You help and encourage one another.

If you were to begin an exercise program, you would want to start slow knowing that you would make bigger gains in the long run. You can look at your spiritual life the same way. As others have said, start with baby steps. You might start with monthly confession.
Sunday is the first day of Advent, the Catholic New Year. Your parish will probably have a communal penance service with guided examination of conscience. From that service you could begin going to monthly confession. The First Saturday of the month is traditional.
Just as you would set aside time to exercise when starting a fitness program, schedule prayer time into your daily life. You could start with fifteen minutes. In fifteen minutes, you can read 3 chapters of the Bible. You can finish reading the Bible in one year.
In 15 minutes, you can pray the rosary. My family prayed the rosary daily after supper. We gathered around my parents bed (the only time we were allowed in their room). When we were older we prayed in the living room. My family never started a meal without grace.


#17

[quote="Morwenna, post:15, topic:220309"]
Another idea: maybe consider praying the Liturgy of the Hours?

If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, or iPad, there is a great application that you can download for $24.99 (eliminates the need for carrying a breviary with you):

universalis.com/n-iphone.htm

You can also view the daily readings online for free:

universalis.com/-800/index.htm

[/quote]

There is a lot more available online for the modern Catholic. There are tons of Catholic podcasts and prayer apps. I know Loyola Press has a couple of iPhone apps and websites that are for prayer and meditation.


#18

"Random Acts of Kindness" that keep you engaged with fellow Catholics and people of other faiths.


#19

[quote="Catholic2Girl, post:1, topic:220309"]
I hope I am posting this in the right forum.

I am a Catholic and attend Mass regularly. But outside of Mass I don't feel a connection to my faith. I want to try to adopt some of the older traditions of the Catholic life. Things I think a lot of American don't do anymore...Something to help me feel more connected to my faith. Also I am wanting to have children and I want them to be more connected to their faith than I was growing up. In my house Mass was all we did.

I was thinking of starting with the rosary, make sure I attend all Holy Days of obligation, abstain from meat on all Fridays not just during Lent.

I want my faith to be apart of my whole life! Help on where to start.

[/quote]

.

I've been feeling the same way lately. Thanks for posting!


#20

See if your local public library carries this book:

The Catholic Home: celebrations and traditions for holidays, feast days, and every day
by Gould, Meredith


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.