More Questions regarding Catholicism

Hello everyone,
I come to you for advice today on praying, as it seems to be very different from the Protestant prayers I am used to. I have been reading about the Rosary, but I don’t yet comprehend all the different prayers of the Catholic faith. Sorry if that sounds stupid of me, but there are quite a lot from what I’ve seen. What prayers should I be praying regularly? How should I “structure” my prayers? How do I figure out which saint I should be praying to and how I should pray to them? What /how should I pray for the forgiveness of my sins? I usually just prayed a short prayer asking for forgiveness if I committed a sin, as a Protestant, but I always felt like that wasn’t enough, but didnt know how else to do it. I have read about confession, and how it is for “grave or mortal sins”. What are grave and mortal sins? Are there other types of sins? What do I do if I commit one of these mortal or grave sins but cannot go to Confession? (attending mass, etc at the local parish isn’t an option at the moment, as I said in a previous thread.).

Sorry again for all the questions, there not as orgained as my last thread, bit I was lost in regards to the prayers and everything. I’m still reading about the faith and everything, so I figured coming back and asking questions whenever I needed guidance would be fine, it certainly is a very welcoming forum. :slight_smile:

Thank you for any help you can provide!

Greetings my Protestant brother. I know you’re here for the Catholic answer, but I must ask a question. How is it that you were saved? You seem to know very little of the Bible. You are operating on feelings and not on truth.

Peace,
Jerry

Hi GNM,

These are important questions. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is an excellent guide. You can read the latest catechism online. My personal favourite is the 1899 ‘Catechism Explained.’

Pax Domine.

Dear GNM… Boy! There’s a lot packed into that question. You might start by asking one or two or just read some of the posts on here about what we believe as Catholics because so many of your questions have already been asked. The prayers of the Church help us to pray whether alone or as One Body of Christ. See St. Paul is speaking to the Church… Not one person but many… So we have prayers of the Church and prayers we pray alone, most importantly a continual prayer life using different forms of prayers or just speaking to God so that we develop a relationship with God and die in the friendship of God as one of Gods children… 1 Thessalonians 5: 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray constantly, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

As for the Saints, we pray with the Saints at mass because at mass heaven ‘collides’ with us as the bridegroom comes for the bride along with His Kingdom at the wedding supper of the Lamb… So Gods Kingdom on heaven and earth become one in communion with the Saints (the clouds of witnesses)… So the Saints are with us ready to pray with us as part of the mystical body of Christ…As you grow in your knowledge and desire to learn of our Catholic faith you’ll understand more…God bless…

Hello G. I’ll take a shot at answering your questions.


"What prayers should I be praying regularly? How should I “structure” my prayers? How do I figure out which saint I should be praying to and how I should pray to them? "***

That depends on the person. Everyone’s different. I suggest reading the writings of a saint and go from there. They will show you how to meditate and pray.

ST. THÉRÈSE OF LISIEUX. Her book “The Story of a Soul” is free to read online… here >>> storyofasoul.com/
She is so simple and lovely and holy. A good book to have a hard copy of too.

"What /how should I pray for the forgiveness of my sins?.. What are grave and mortal sins? Are there other types of sins? What do I do if I commit one of these mortal or grave sins but cannot go to Confession?"

Mortal sin is sin which brings spiritual death. Venial sin is sin which is spiritually injurious, but not deady (1 John:5). All sins can be classified as either venial or mortal.
Here is the prayer that is prayed in the confessional just before the priest absolves the penitent of their sins. It is also prayed when you know you’ve probably committed a mortal sin to in effect hold you over until you can get to confession…
It’s called the “act of perfect contrition”:

O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee,
and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven, and the pains of hell;
but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who are all good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace to confess my sins, to do penance and to amend my life. Amen.

Here’s a very good explanation of this “perfect contrition” >>> ewtn.com/v/experts/showmessage_print.asp?number=370862

I hope that’s helpful. How exciting that you are discovering the Catholic Church. I’m a convert to the Catholic faith so am praying very much for you on your awesome journey. :slight_smile:

God bless you, GNM.

This is a very big question! :slight_smile: I remember being a new convert and being baffled by all this Catholic stuff, too. Just remember it’s not the prayers you recite, it’s the state of the soul and heart that counts. You don’t have to mollify and angry God- that’s been done.

There isn’t a system where you only pray to one saint for A and another for B. The Saints are just those gone before us. We don’t pray “to” them the same way we pray to God. We pray to them like we would speak to someone on earth. We ask them to pray for us, especially if they have experienced something similar to us. Read about their lives. Some will resonate with you more than others, the same way people do on earth.

As for structure, you can pray any way you want, from natural prayers that come from the heart, through lectio divina, Bible study, the Rosary, through to the Divine Office and the Mass. Some people use the ACTS formula: adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.

There are a lot of wonderful prayers out there but they aren’t mandatory. Even the Rosary isn’t mandatory. It’s just that it’s very, very popular. It keeps the lips and hands busy while the mind explores the Bible stories of each mystery. I started out with little, palm sized books of prayers and just read everything I could get my hands on. You’re lucky- the internet exists now!

Read the Catechism, too. There is a LOT in there to meditate on but you can skim it, too, and still get good ideas so don’t be intimidated. Read lots. Practice prayer. Accep that there will always be more to learn and more to grow.

Let me pray with you the only mandatory prayer for Catholics:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

“can be classified as venial or mortal”
I’m sorry I did not put that very well. All sins are venial or mortal, is a better way to answer your question as to whether there are sins other than venial and mortal ones.
“Classified as” I think was not a good choice of words. Alright then. :wink:

The old Baltimore Catechism recommends…
486. What are the prayers that every Catholic should know by heart?
The prayers that every Catholic should know by heart are: the Our Father, the Hail Mary, the Apostles’ Creed, the Confiteor, the Glory be to the Father, and the acts of faith, hope, charity, and contrition.

487. How do we usually begin and end our prayers?
We usually begin and end our prayers with the sign of the cross.

To that list, I would add the Grace Before Meals prayer and the Grace After Meals prayer, below.

The Sign of the Cross:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Our Father:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.

The Hail Mary:
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed:
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

The Confiteor:
I confess to almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and to all the saints, that I have sinned exceedingly in thought, word and deed, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and all the saints, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

The Confiteor at the Mass:
I confess to almighty God and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have greatly sinned, in my thoughts and in my words, in what I have done and in what I have failed to do, through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault; therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints, and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.

The Glory Be to the Father:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Glory Be to the Father in the Liturgy of the Hours:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Act of Faith:
O my God, I firmly believe that you are one God in three divine Persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit; I believe that your divine Son became man and died for our sins, and that he shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths that the holy Catholic Church teaches, because you have revealed them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived.

Act of Hope:
O my God, relying on your almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon for my sins, the help of your grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.

Act of Charity:
O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

Act of Contrition: (prayed immediately after repenting and later during Confession)
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell; but most of all because they offend you, my God, who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.

Grace Before Meals:
Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts, which we are about to receive from your bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Grace After Meals:
We give you thanks, almighty God, for all yours benefits, who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.

Also, two helpful booklets (PDF) on prayers and spiritual habits from CatholiCity.com:

Seven Daily Habits for Faithful Catholics
Topics include:

  1. The Morning Offering. (Also see Morning Offering prayer in the Prayers booklet, below)
  2. Fifteen minutes of silent prayer.
  3. Receiving Holy Communion. (Also see Spiritual Communion Prayer in the Prayers booklet, below, since you watch Mass on television and are not yet officially Catholic)
  4. Fifteen minutes of spiritual reading, especially the New Testament.
  5. Pray the Angelus. (Also see The Angelus in the Prayers booklet, below)
  6. Pray the Holy Rosary. (Also see How to Pray the Rosary in the Prayers booklet, below)
  7. Examination of Conscience at bedtime.

Powerful Prayers Every Catholic Should Know

Yes, there are nearly 2000 years worth :slight_smile: In my mind, the value of “set” prayers is that they’ve stood the test of time, so there’s something about them that makes them a good exercise - putting us in the right frame of mind, or helping us to understand God better, or helping us to express ourselves. But there’s nothing magic about them. Personally, I like the Our Father (which goes back to Christ) and the “Jesus Prayer” (which goes back to at least the 400s, and is more popular in the Eastern Church). en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Prayer

What do I do if I commit one of these mortal or grave sins but cannot go to Confession?

As others have said, a perfect act of contrition “will do”, though confession is still proper. With the act of contrition, like other prayers, there is nothing magical about the words, and there are many set ones to choose from - or you can make up your own. The important parts of the prayer are that 1) you’re sorry for your sin because of the offense it gives to God, whom you love and 2) you intend to avoid sin in the future.

The prayers you are praying are just fine. Yes, Catholics do have many formal prayers. But simple prayers from your heart are also part of the Catholic faith. You can learn some Cathoic prayers, and some here have given you a good list.

But, do not believe that your spontaneous prayer and conversation with God needs to stop.

Say an act of contrition, meaning tell God you are sorry, when you know you have sinned. Sounds like you are already doing that.

I think you’ll find that in many cases Catholic prayer is not that different from what you’re already doing, we simply have names for types of prayers where you did not.

The Rosary and other chapters are forms of meditative prayer.

I have read the Bible all the way cover to cover. Including the seven" extra"books. I am a practicing Catholic I pray the rosary and the chaplet of Divine Mercy everyday and I read a chapter of Scripture everyday so how do you infer that are original poster doesn’t know the Bible? Because I am a practicing Catholic and I read the Bible on a daily basis of course there is a difference between knowing and reading the Bible and I feel kind of like you are a proselytizing which I do believe is against the rules of this forum. Please correct me if I’m wrong anyone I don’t mean to sound discouraging to anyone but when someone says something like that it makes me think that they know very little about Catholicism or Catholics and it hurts me personally because the Bible is something that I hold close to my heart

I probably could pray the act of contrition a little bit more. I also pray the rosary and the chaplet of divine mercy pretty much daily. Don’t forget to read your scriptures either I read about a chapter a day. If I forget to read for a while I read or at least try to what I would have read otherwise so some days I read a few chapters. I also pray the Jesus Prayer which is more common in the Eastern Christian traditions. As well as the Tessera for the Legion of Mary. Again though you are perfectly allowed to pray your own prayers from a Catholic Standpoint. Remember though Jesus gave us the Our Father for a reason.

Thank you all so much for all the answers! I know it was a long list of questions, and I’ll try to limit future questions. I will keep saying the prayers I have. I will also try to memorize these prayers, I have already memorized the Our Father, and I am working on The Hail Mary.

One more question, when I attend confession are all the mortal sins forgiven? If I forget to tell the Priest about one will I go to Hell? Or once I pray the Act of Contrition are all of the sins forgiven? Sorry again for all of the questions, like I said I will limit them in the future.

All confessed mortal sins are forgiven. If you remember one on the way home, just confess it at the first opportunity (you will not go to hell). Intentionally holding back from confessing a mortal sin is another matter. The Act of Contrition asks God for forgiveness of your sins, but you still need the absolution you get from confession.

The sins you confess and those you truly forget to confess are forgiven when the priest absolves you in confession. Now, if a person intentionally omits any mortal sin which they know they’ve committed then those omitted sins are still an issue (we do not omit any mortal sins at confession.)
If one forgets then they will simply mention it next time, knowing it’s already forgiven, but confessing it still for love of God (honesty in your relationship with him). If they omit intentionally though then there are other issues going on there which would need to be addressed, like why the penitent is dishonest in the confessional (present before God), which is a sin in itself.
No one can answer what God’s response to you would be for intentionally omitting a mortal sin during your confession. He loves you more than you know and does not want you fearing that he’s going to throw you into hell for struggling with confession. God is your Father, and not your warden. Have no fear. Run to him with everything you’ve got (and no omissions). :wink:

Know that you are forgiven once you pray that act of perfect contrition, but that you still need to attend confession to make it official (for lack of a better word), and to get right again with the Church that Christ built.

Read that Act of Perfect Contrition which I posted here previously. It actually answers some of your questions. Meditate wholeheartedly on every phrase of that prayer and you will begin to understand.

God bless ya, G.

All sins are an offense to God but there is a difference between venial sins and mortal sins… The scriptures identify there is a difference in sins…Mortal sins, as the name suggests are destructive to the soul hence they are called ‘mortal’. 1 John 5:16 If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. 17 All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.

Mortal sin is a sin which is of a grave nature, the person knows it is a grave sin but still does it anyway. If a person realizes a sin is mortal later they should confess it as soon as it is remembered in order to receive absolution of that sin… A venial sin is a lesser sin. One can attend mass knowing they have done mortal sin but should not receive any of the sacraments until they go to confession to be reconciled by God. It’s about receiving grace with a clean heart. To turn away from sin in order to return to God in prayer and be reconciled with Him. That comes in the sacrament of reconciliation… Those who are not cleansed, do not receive that grace fully because the sin comes between them and God. As Christians are supposed to deplete ourselves of our sins and our foolish desires in order to be purified before we receive the grace of God in the sacraments. (Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God) Thats’ the life of a Christian as Jesus says in Mark 1:15 .“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near.** Repent and believe the good news**!” Jesus also teaches about that in the parable… . Mark 2:20 The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; if he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins;** but new wine is for fresh skins.”**

So we let go of the old, ask for forgiveness with a contrite heart and it will be given to us in order to begin Anew in Christ!! Remember, we do this for our own spiritual well being not because we are told to do this… It is of our free will that we seek absolution.

Just noticed that Catholic Answers also has a tract of “Common Catholic Prayers.” Of special interest to you would be those in the “Fundamental Catholic Prayers” and “Daily Prayers” sections.

Printed Mass aid’s called missals or missalettes are usually available at Mass that contain the texts of the congregation’s prayers and responses and the Scripture readings. Since you are watching the Mass on television, I would also suggest you familiarize yourself with the Mass responses and prayers. Here’s a link to a handy guide (PDF) of Mass Prayers and Responses.

The texts of the Sunday and Weekday Mass readings are available online at www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

The Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH) is a common way Catholics pray in the morning, at noon, in the evening and at night based on the Psalms, especially priests and religious brothers and sisters. For more about the Liturgy of the Hours, see www.DivineOffice.org.

I will say these prayers and continue to practice my new faith. I have to admit, when I first started learning about mortal and venal sins, it scared me, but now I understand and will do my best to stop committing them, but I know I cannot stop sinning, and will pray for forgiveness and pray for help from God to stay away from such sins. I will continue studying my Bible and saying my prayers. Thank you all for your help. God Bless you.

God instituted sacraments like confession for our benefit, not to make salvation difficult. When they become a source of fearful anxiety rather than comfort, that means that something is wrong with how we are looking at them. :slight_smile:

Hello,

Yes, the formal Catholic prayers are great. I used them.

Asking Mary to pray for us is awesome, too. Note that this is NOT the same as worship.

Mother Angelica from EWTN, and others I have heard, have suggested praying to God and Jesus throughout the day in normal language, bringing Him your thoughts and concerns and praises and everything else. Mix it up!

A priest gave me a short prayer to say in the middle of the day from the eastern rite - the Jesus prayer - Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Lastly - priests read prayers from the Divine Office at certain times throughout the day. Certain devotions utilized the abbreviated version - The Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It might be alot for you to understand right now, but it could be an option for you.

I recommend just talking to God and ask Him to lead you. Feel free to contact if you need help.

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