How does one choose among so many sacramentals and devotions?

Hello all,

I’m currently in RCIA and am really looking forward to being in full communion with the church. One thing that I find striking about Catholicism is that there are innumerable pathways and patterns of devotion and worship. This seems wonderful, insofar as different people can find prayers and devotions that suit them best.

At the same time, it’s more than a bit confusing. There are so many choices in sarcamentals and devotions and daily prayers, I feel overwhelmed. I’ve tried to find an overview and been unsuccessful. Scapulars, rosaries, medals, eucharistic adoration, liturgy of the hours, candle-lighting, and so on all present themselves as worthy things. How does one choose, and why make a particular choice, when one doesn’t even know what one’s choices are? Or should one do as many of these things as one can?

Thanks, and God Bless

Dear M,

There is no hurry. Do not try to do everything. Give yourself some time and learn about whichever devotion appeals to you. Then try it. If you want to try something else, then learn about it and try it. One distinction I would make, though, is that the Liturgy of the Hours is not a devotion. It is liturgy. This means that it is the official prayer of the Church. All priests are bound to pray it. It is THE most important thing that monks and nuns do.

I would suggest that you begin with the rosary. Learn about it and how to pray with it. It is probably the most popular devotion in the Church. But feel free to take your time. What is important is that you unite your mind and heart with the Lord.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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