Hello Everyone, my name is Kimberly and I am 17 years old. I was baptized when I was 3 and since then I haven’t had a strong connection with God. Mainly because I don’t know where to start or how to start. Here and there I’ll make a prayer but I know that isn’t enough. I grew up with a mother and father who are catholic but both of them aren’t that strong with their faith. I want to make my relationship with God stronger and honestly any of your tips would help. I would like to begin reading the bible but I am unsure of which version to get, as well as I don’t know much about my faith. If someone can help me get on the right path it would be amazing and I wouldn’t know how to thank you. I also want to complete all my sacraments since I’ve only done my baptism. Once again I appreciate any tips I receive.
Get a Catholic Bible recommended by bishops. There are a few available. I have one called the Didache Bible, which is good but a little more expensive. You can get a rather cheap New American Bible, Revised Edition for a few dollars. That was my first Bible and some people don’t like it but I love all the footnotes and references in it.
If you don’t have that, you can easily get a free smart phone app that has the daily readings from mass. I use an app called Laudate, and I use it every day. if you want to start reading the Bible, I suggest you start with the daily readings, many things will start making sense to you. But don’t just read them, read them slowly, read a reflection or homily (which are also available on Laudate).
You’re also in a good point in time where many daily masses are available to stream online. You may think about viewing those, especially the Sunday mass! And when churches open up again, attend the real thing!
There is a lot I can say about praying, but I think these are good starting points.
At night when you go to bed turn off the lights and listen to these short talks. They don’t have to be in order:
pray, start attending Mass, a lot of things other people have said. Also get in touch with a local parish and explain your situation to the priest. see if you can attend RCIA which is like a class series to help you learn about the faith. congratulations and welcome!
I think a good first step is an internal desire to grow closer to God, something that you’ve shown here. Everyone has to start somewhere.
Some tips that I would recommend:
Talk to a priest. Maybe you attend Mass regularly or at least sometimes. Contact your local parish priest. If not, you can search for local parishes in your area (MassTimes.org sorts out parishes by geographic location). He can provide the necessary help as a pastor.
Start to integrate prayer into your daily routine. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to God in the mornings or at night. Say a prayer before/after meals. Offer up your joys and sorrows as prayer to God. You can even start by telling God that you’re struggling to prayer. That’s a prayer in of itself!
As per the Bible, I personally use a Catholic study Bible which includes the NABRE version. You can find a Bible app easy on your electronic device! There are a lot of different Bibles out there that focus on different dynamics. Someone more in tune to that could provide more concrete recommendations based on your own personal tastes.
Start reading about the saints. You’ll discover a lot about our faith through their holy witness. We can read the catechism or listen to apologists, (which is good!), but I personally find a great interest in the saints as models of Christian living. [Catholic Answers has a good Youtube page with a lot of answers to common questions. Ascension Presents is also another great Youtube channel that focuses on so many different issues. Matt Fradd also has a more traditional apologetic channel with speakers. Those are just a few of my favorites online] Find some saints to look up to. Mary is a popular one and the greatest saint. St. Augustine, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and St. Martin de Tours are also great witnesses.
Hello, I would suggest you speak with your priest parish and ask him what you could do to resume your sacramental life. That will help you become stronger in your faith.
Another thing that helps to become more united with Christ is praying the rosary, it a amazing what this powerful prayer can do.
Last but not least, meditating upon the sorrowful Passion of Our Lord is yet another way to become more united to Him.
I take the first sentence in the Bible to be an absolute truth, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the Earth. The rest of the Bible and the Catholic Faith is a lifetime journey; always one day at a time.
I have always felt that to have faith in God you have to do something. Mathew 25 has always been an inspiration for me.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Try the Bible Gateway
It’s free, has a few versions of the Catholic Bible. One might be easier for you to understand than another. The website, also has reading plans, quotes for day and a few thing that will help you to learn the Bible. Then when you find a version you like best, get a hard copy version, just incase the internet dies.
You should also talk to a priest, when churches reopen. Until they do, like @stephen_says, because of the churches being closed you can find a lot of them posting services on line.
Find a church closest to you, then look up their website, that way you can get to know about the church, its priest, even some of their member… itll help you know the church you want to attend when they reopen, which I pray is soon
But before you do anything anyone suggest or do anything period, I would say a pray to God.
Ask Him to help you follow His will with the power of the Holy Spirit that was given to you when you were baptized.
You are already on the right path to building a better relationship with God. Just keep going, let the Holy Spirit continue to lead you, just hold on tight and follow.
God Knows you and He is ready for you to know Him. God Bless
Just to clarify, Bible Gateway has a number of versions of the Bible, some of which are Catholic.
Kimberley, I think it is wonderful that you are answering God’s invitation to you to start practicing the faith you were baptized into. This page has links to the major catechisms, books which explain Catholic teaching.
This site offers lots of information–i have only read a few pages, but they seemed good to me
Welcome to the Church, and welcome to CAF! Feel free to ask a lot of questions here!
A good, single, easily understood, reliable, affordable source to get you back on track:
Yes, RSVCE, NRSVCE, NRSVACE… those are the versions they have, the ones that sa Catholic. They actually list 13 versions of the Catholic Bible, 2 in Spanish, 1 in Italian, and 1 in Latina. The ones I listed say Catholic.
from their website. Bible Gateway.
We do have several Bibles in the app that appeal to Catholics. The following Catholic Bibles are currently available:
English - Common English Bible English - Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition English - Good News Translation English - New Revised Standard Version English - New Revised Standard Version, Anglicized English - New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition English - Revised Standard Version English - Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition English - Wycliffe Bible Español - Dios Habla Hoy Español - Traducción en lenguaje actual Italiano - Conferenza Episcopale Italiana Latina - Biblia Sacra Vulgata
I usually use NRSVCE… didn’t know the other ones were Catholic Bibles and I can understand this one best.
You are still very young it’s not a race Kimberly.
The Lord will never leave you. He will be with you forever.
So enjoy your youth and keep yourself open to the Lord.
The rest will fall into place.