What do you do?


#1

Greetings CAF!

I'm presently in RCIA at my local parish. I find myself craving going to mass even though I cannot yet receive the eucharist. I even went to the church's gift shop and bought a rosary so I could learn to pray it. :o

Like most working adults, I'm not able to attend daily mass. I did find myself praying more lately, and my priest did say I'm allowed to recieve the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which by the way, I utilize at least every other week, if not weekly.

Well the reason I'm posting is I'd like to hear from seasoned Catholics, cradle or otherwise, what they do on a daily basis to grow in the Body of Christ. I'm still learning the Rosary and I now pray in the morning and at night, and whenever I feel moved to pray for something or someone.

So, what do you do? :D

Peace be with you all, and God bless you.


#2

Set aside some time during the day for reading the Bible. Since you cannot attend daily Mass, you can start with the daily Mass readings, they are regularly posted in our weekly bulletin, or you can look them up online. Welcome Home!


#3

First off, welcome home!

In response to your question, I have a few "disciplines" I try to practice with varying levels of consistency, which I humbly present to give you some ideas.

  1. *Daily Mass or Adoration *- I know you mentioned you can't do this because of work, but may I humbly suggest perhaps skipping lunch one day a week or so and trying to find a nearby Mass? www.masstimes.org has been invaluable to me for this purpose and there are 2-3 Church's within 5 miles of my work I attend during lunch and 1 on the way to work if I get out the door early enough. If I can't make it to Mass, I at least try to get to Adoration - and there are 2 parishes (one near home and one near work) that I use for this purpose.

  2. The Rosary - Besides Mass, this is my core prayer tool. I try to pray daily at least once. I'm also a member (just this year) of the Rosary Confraternity, which you may want to consider joining since you pray the Rosary regularly (rosary-center.org/). My dear grandmothers taught and made it a habit for me to pray the Rosary, and I'm always grateful for this habit while they were alive with me as a youth. I didn't pray the Rosary when I went to college, but one day I found a beautiful Rosary she had given me years previous and started up the habit again!

  3. Scripture reading - I focus my efforts on the readings of the day which can be found easily on the US Bishop's website: (nccbuscc.org/nab/index.shtml).

  4. *Journal *- I write down my thought, questions, prayers, prayer intentions...whatever comes to me spiritually.

  5. Other spiritual reading - Writings of and about the Saints, the Catechism, Apologetics, etc.

  6. *Prayer, prayer, prayer *- I just try to pray in various forms whenever possible, before meetings, while driving, in bed, before and after meals, etc. I do novenas with friends, etc. as well.

  7. Practicing humility! - this I learned from reading St. Pio and Blessed Mother Teresa.

In any case, these are a few things and I hope they give you a few ideas. I'm kind of a revert, so a lot of these I've only started doing the last 6 months or so,

Yours in Christ,
Bryan


#4

[quote="Catholic1954, post:2, topic:287185"]
Set aside some time during the day for reading the Bible. Since you cannot attend daily Mass, you can start with the daily Mass readings, they are regularly posted in our weekly bulletin, or you can look them up online. Welcome Home!

[/quote]

That is exactly what I was going to say! Great advice!


#5

First off, welcome home!

I earlier wrote a longer message, but I wanted to simplify it.

One thing I would humbly recommend is perhaps once a week or so skipping lunch and maybe trying to find a church nearby where you work. I love www.masstimes.org which allows me to attend Mass most days now as I've found 3 churches within 5 miles. Of course, this may not be available to you in which case I'd second the recommendations of the others.

By the way, on the US Bishop's website, you can easily find the daily readings as well as video reflections - usually from a priest. nccbuscc.org/nab/index.shtml

In any case, sounds like you're doing great with the Rosary. Our Lady prays for you and Jesus listens to His mother!

Yours in Christ,
Bryan


#6

[quote="bscastro, post:5, topic:287185"]
First off, welcome home!

I earlier wrote a longer message, but I wanted to simplify it.

One thing I would humbly recommend is perhaps once a week or so skipping lunch and maybe trying to find a church nearby where you work. I love www.masstimes.org which allows me to attend Mass most days now as I've found 3 churches within 5 miles. Of course, this may not be available to you in which case I'd second the recommendations of the others.

By the way, on the US Bishop's website, you can easily find the daily readings as well as video reflections - usually from a priest. nccbuscc.org/nab/index.shtml

In any case, sounds like you're doing great with the Rosary. Our Lady prays for you and Jesus listens to His mother!

Yours in Christ,
Bryan

[/quote]

I agree with trying to find a Mass close to your work, when I worked in the city I went to Mass on my lunch hour, it was an easy walk. I've known people who have found parishes with 6 and 7 am masses that are on their way to work.

Others have made great suggestions!

Welcome home!:)


#7

I also am going through RCIA. I have never had the connection with my faith that I have now. It is not just an emotional experience, rather it is a deep knowledge that I am where God has called me and where I can truly worship Him. My whole life I have sought the "perfect" church, the right fit for me--I never found the right church and have lived a life assuming that I could only be content in a church setting on the other side of heaven. Then, I found a Magnificat at the chapel in the National Cancer Institute in Maryland ( I go there every few months to get my tumors assessed). I was impressed with the amount of scripture in Mass, and when I returned home, my husband, family, and I decided to try going to Mass. We have been Catholic since, and I feel more at home there than anywhere in my life.

I have found deep joy and spiritual growth by participating in morning and evening prayers. I have a subscription to Magnificat and read the morning prayers, mass readings, evening prayers, devotionals, and saint biographies. This little publication has revolutionized my spiritual life. I highly recommend it.

I have a great reading plan that takes you through the Bible and catechism in a year. You can find it here: chnetwork.org/readguide04.pdf It's the best plan I've found so far.

Because Catholicism is new to me, I have been adding new things gradually. I have found great joy and benefit from memorizing prayers like the Apostles Creed. I have found particular devotion to St Faustina, my patron saint, and pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy each day. Now I am trying to memorize the prayers of the rosary so I can pray without distraction. I find much comfort in reading about the saints and in reading the great writings of the likes of de Sales, a Kempis, St. John of the Cross, etc. I highly recommend the Diary of St. Faustina.

I am only able to go to Mass on the weekends, and I am often sick because of my cancer disease so I miss Mass more than I'd like. But with the practices outlined above I still feel that there is spiritual and personal growth (although I really miss Mass when I cannot go). I am excited for the day I can take Eucharist and have my marriage official in the church's perspective. My 1st grader will get baptized and my 3rd grader confirmed. Can't wait. Yay!


#8

An excellent way to enter into the spirituality and prayer life of the Church is to pray Morning and Evening Prayer: Divine Office. It takes you through all the Church seasons, solemnities, and gives you an understanding of what the Church believes is important for us to focus on in our prayer lives.

The Divine Office, as I've recommended, consists of praying Psalms, Canticles, and Intercessory Prayers, as well as a hymn and a reading. You can offer your personal prayers/intentions just before reciting the Our Father. I think you will find it will steady your spiritual life just as eating 3 square meals a day gives you the strength to live each day.

Once you've learned to pray using an online website, you can graduate to using the books. Christain Prayer is best to start out on, but you can buy the 4 volume set if you want to once you become accustomed to how to use CP. God bless your journey into the Church. You have my prayers. :D


#9

All good suggestions! I'm one of the lucky few that can get out of the office on my lunch hour and go to daily mass, but I also find that doing something just as simple as looking at the Crucifix on the wall opposite my bed and just silently talking to Our Lord, helps me tremendously. And sometimes, I don't even silently talk; I just try to clear my mind and think of myself as being in His presence.


#10

[quote="bscastro, post:5, topic:287185"]

In any case, sounds like you're doing great with the Rosary. Our Lady prays for you and Jesus listens to His mother!

Yours in Christ,
Bryan

[/quote]

Whoa, let me clarify! I pray "regular" prayers more often! I didn't realize that I implied I was praying the Rosary that often! :o Though it is my goal to get all the prayers memorized (I'm good with the Hail Mary now) so I can focus on the meaning behind each decade.

But you're absolutely right Bryan! :D That seems like pretty good motivation! :thumbsup:


#11

[quote="lifeandhope, post:7, topic:287185"]
I also am going through RCIA. I have never had the connection with my faith that I have now. It is not just an emotional experience, rather it is a deep knowledge that I am where God has called me and where I can truly worship Him.

[/quote]

I know the feeling! :D Feels like with all these sacraments in place I have a safety net, and have loads of knowledgeable people I can turn to. What a relief it is!

[quote="lifeandhope, post:7, topic:287185"]
My whole life I have sought the "perfect" church, the right fit for me--I never found the right church and have lived a life assuming that I could only be content in a church setting on the other side of heaven. Then, I found a Magnificat at the chapel in the National Cancer Institute in Maryland ( I go there every few months to get my tumors assessed). I was impressed with the amount of scripture in Mass, and when I returned home, my husband, family, and I decided to try going to Mass. We have been Catholic since, and I feel more at home there than anywhere in my life.

[/quote]

My decision wasn't quite as profound. Mine was subtle. I wanted to begin going to church as a family, and as the head of the household I felt I had to swallow my pride if it meant we would all go and worship together. So glad I did! :thumbsup:

[quote="lifeandhope, post:7, topic:287185"]
I have found deep joy and spiritual growth by participating in morning and evening prayers. I have a subscription to Magnificat and read the morning prayers, mass readings, evening prayers, devotionals, and saint biographies. This little publication has revolutionized my spiritual life. I highly recommend it

I have a great reading plan that takes you through the Bible and catechism in a year. You can find it here: chnetwork.org/readguide04.pdf It's the best plan I've found so far.

[/quote]

That's what I'm looking for! Something I can do from home, either first thing in the morning, or after work to help me to grow. I'll definitely look into it! ;)

[quote="lifeandhope, post:7, topic:287185"]
Because Catholicism is new to me, I have been adding new things gradually. I have found great joy and benefit from memorizing prayers like the Apostles Creed. I have found particular devotion to St Faustina, my patron saint, and pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy each day. Now I am trying to memorize the prayers of the rosary so I can pray without distraction. I find much comfort in reading about the saints and in reading the great writings of the likes of de Sales, a Kempis, St. John of the Cross, etc. I highly recommend the Diary of St. Faustina.

[/quote]

If I had my way, I'd go to my RCIA class daily. I really would. Sounds like you are WAY ahead of the curve! :thumbsup: My knowledge still has a ways to go, and as I learn them, I intend to incorporate them into my daily life.

[quote="lifeandhope, post:7, topic:287185"]
I am only able to go to Mass on the weekends, and I am often sick because of my cancer disease so I miss Mass more than I'd like. But with the practices outlined above I still feel that there is spiritual and personal growth (although I really miss Mass when I cannot go). I am excited for the day I can take Eucharist and have my marriage official in the church's perspective. My 1st grader will get baptized and my 3rd grader confirmed. Can't wait. Yay!

[/quote]

I have to say, what an inspiration! If I can't do it, then I need a lot of work! Perhaps cancer is your cross to bear so that you may become closer with Christ. I'll be sure and pray for you; for your health, and for your growth in Christ. :gopray2:

God bless you! And thanks for all the information!

Peace.


#12

[quote="Elisabeth51, post:6, topic:287185"]
I agree with trying to find a Mass close to your work, when I worked in the city I went to Mass on my lunch hour, it was an easy walk. I've known people who have found parishes with 6 and 7 am masses that are on their way to work.

Others have made great suggestions!

Welcome home!:)

[/quote]

I went to the mass times website and I did find a parish that has mass at 12:10 daily. Problem is I think my lunches would turn into 2 hour lunches if I did that. As much as I'd absolutely LOVE to go daily, I may have to just stick with reading the daily readings from home, or maybe on lunch.

And thank you! :D I can't wait until I can do start doing something productive to contribute to my new home. Pray for me!

Peace and God bless.


#13

[quote="Catholic1954, post:2, topic:287185"]
Set aside some time during the day for reading the Bible. Since you cannot attend daily Mass, you can start with the daily Mass readings, they are regularly posted in our weekly bulletin, or you can look them up online. Welcome Home!

[/quote]

Bingo! Looking like that will have to be my recourse. Well that and trying to follow that website that was mentioned. :o


#14

Wow, this forum is absolutley a God send! Thank you all so much! I look forward to implementing each and every one of these tips. Now to learn better time management skills. :eek:

Thank you all once again, and I thank the Father for each and every one of you.

May God bless you all, and may peace be with you.

~Travis


#15

[quote="loozcannon, post:13, topic:287185"]
Bingo! Looking like that will have to be my recourse. Well that and trying to follow that website that was mentioned. :o

[/quote]

I balance Morning and Evening Prayer by doing Morniing Prayer--in the morning, of course, which takes about 15 minutes.

In the afternoon, around 3 PM to 6 PM I read the Daily Mass readings (taking 15 minutes to do it using a good online commentary plus the daily commentary provided by the site: Daily Gospel, using their text guide in the left side bar, along with reading about the major saint of the day. Then I do Evening Prayer. The whole thing ony takes 30 minutes.

If you add 5 decades of the rosary, done at a normal pace, not rushing it, at some point during the day, you will have spent a good round hour in prayer and meditation each day. Splitting them up like this makes it easier to do and it's good for us. Of course, you are free to do whatever prayers you like however it fits into your lifestyle.

But, I do highly recommend at least Morning and Evening Prayer because it is the Prayer of the Church. As wonderful as the rosary is, it is a private devotion, although it's perfectly fine for lay people to pray it along with or in lieu of the Divine Office (which is not required for lay people but most highly recommended).

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you. I just wanted to let your know of the richness the Church offers so you know you have choices. God bless you!


#16

Liturgy of the Hours, monastic flavour.


#17

[quote="loozcannon, post:11, topic:287185"]

I have to say, what an inspiration! If I can't do it, then I need a lot of work! Perhaps cancer is your cross to bear so that you may become closer with Christ. I'll be sure and pray for you; for your health, and for your growth in Christ. :gopray2:

God bless you! And thanks for all the information!

Peace.

[/quote]

I have come to accept the cancer and disease that causes it as my cross to bear. This has been a long process, but one that has finally come to a place of acceptance of my disease. My experience with churches and other believers has been very negative--in a nutshell, people think if I am not healed fully then I don't have enough faith, there is hidden sin in my life, etc. I know that God has allowed this disease into my life, my deceased Dad's life, my daughters' lives-for whatever reason. Anyhow, the bottom line is that the Catholic perspective of suffering, using the pain to unite my heart and soul to the suffering of Christ and His Passion, has changed my life and allowed me to have a higher quality of life. I have suffered less because I no longer feel my suffering is pointless and worthless. Just one more huge impact Catholicism has had on my life. I have always loved God, but becoming Catholic has allowed me to know and love Him on such a deeper level. I'm so grateful.


#18

[quote="lifeandhope, post:17, topic:287185"]
I have come to accept the cancer and disease that causes it as my cross to bear. This has been a long process, but one that has finally come to a place of acceptance of my disease. My experience with churches and other believers has been very negative--in a nutshell, people think if I am not healed fully then I don't have enough faith, there is hidden sin in my life, etc. I know that God has allowed this disease into my life, my deceased Dad's life, my daughters' lives-for whatever reason. Anyhow, the bottom line is that the Catholic perspective of suffering, using the pain to unite my heart and soul to the suffering of Christ and His Passion, has changed my life and allowed me to have a higher quality of life. I have suffered less because I no longer feel my suffering is pointless and worthless. Just one more huge impact Catholicism has had on my life. I have always loved God, but becoming Catholic has allowed me to know and love Him on such a deeper level. I'm so grateful.

[/quote]

God bless you, friend. Have you read any of Mother Teresa's writings? She (and I would say most of the Saints) understood the grace of suffering well.

Yours in Christ,
Bryan


#19

I use Magnificat. It has Morning Prayer, Daily Mass, and Evening Prayer. Daily saints, a short biography about them, and a Meditation of the Day based on the readings of the day.

Magnificat

I've spiritually adopted a priest, Father Christopher. I pray for him every day, and his intentions. A friend told me about nuns for priests in a New Mexico monastery. They pray for priests and their intentions. I emailed, received Father Christopher as my priest, with a nice prayer card. Be patient with the sisters, I emailed July 2011, and didn't hear back until March 2012. The sisters are cloistered for the sanctification of priests in Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, have periods of time, when they don't communicate with the outside world.

Handmaids of the Precious Blood


#20

I work at a Catholic Church, but due to my job I cannot attend daily mass. I do like to go visit the Blessed Sacrament in Eucharistic Adoration, though- we have 24/7 exposition!


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.