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Living the Faith: How to be a Better Catholic

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Jesus Speaking From Boat

Living the Faith:

How to Be a Better Catholic

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As Catholics, we are blessed with so many gifts. Clearly, we should strive to always take advantage of the many blessings of our Catholic faith and to share them with others. We must work daily to become better and holier Catholics, especially considering that "the whole world is under the power of the evil one" (1 Jn. 5:19). We hope the following short list of suggestions and resources may prove helpful in your quest to become a better Catholic:

  • Receive the Sacraments worthily and often. If possible, go to Confession at least monthly and attend Mass daily. Put it on your calendar so you don't forget. Click here for more information on the Sacraments

  • Pray the Rosary daily Click here for more information on the Rosary

  • Pray well and often, and do not neglect contemplation / meditation. Click here for prayer resources on this site

  • Make frequent Eucharistic visits (e.g. stop by the church for adoration, even if you can devote only a few minutes). Click here for more information on the Holy Eucharist

  • Regularly invoke the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Saints

  • Perform various devotions on a regular basis (e.g. Stations of the Cross, devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, devotion to the Holy Souls, first five Saturdays devotion, etc.). Click here for more information on popular Catholic devotions

  • Frequently read about and attempt to imitate the Saints. Click here for the Saints Section on this site

  • Perform personal sacrifices to make reparation for yourself and for others. Remember that our Lord showed us the way by fasting for 40 days and nights. The apostles also fasted. Such acts of mortification may bring a wealth of spiritual benefits, especially when combined with prayers. Mortification can take many forms, such as: Fasting & abstinence, Making small sacrifices of one's time, Performing unpleasant duties, Choosing less gratifying food or drink, Rejecting small pleasures, Purposely wearing less comfortable (albeit still modest) clothing. Remember that acts of mortification should be done privately and prudently. They should not taken to an extreme.

  • Attempt to gain as many indulgences as you are able. Click here for more information on Indulgences

  • Be sure you know the faith well (e.g. regularly read traditional catechisms, treatises written by saints, etc.) Click here for the Catholic Book Review & Exchange Section

  • Set aside time to read Holy Scripture. You should read an appropriate Catholic Bible under good direction in order to avoid the trap of personal or modernist interpretation. Truth is not subjective or subject to change. Note that non-Catholic 'bibles' may have missing books and other changes/corruptions (heresy). Do not use them! Sadly, it should be noted that some modern Catholic bibles may also be deficient in various ways. Click here for the Scripture / Parables section

  • Set aside time for other spiritual reading (e.g. classic works, writings of the Saints, 'Classic Encyclicals', etc.) Click here for the Catholic Book Review & Exchange Section

  • Put reminders of your faith (i.e. sacramentals) at home, in work areas, in your car, and on your person. The following sacramentals are especially recommended: crucifixes (for each room), picture(s) of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, statues, holy water, pardon crucifixes, etc. Be sure to wear the Scapular and Miraculous Medal

  • Participate in appropriate Catholic groups / activities.

  • Perform good works. Click here for information on Works of Mercy

  • Regularly examine your conscience. Be sure to examine your conscience at least once per day (e.g. at night).

  • Regularly take time to evaluate your spiritual progress. What sins do you most struggle with? How might you more worthily receive the Holy Eucharist? Do you perform good works? Do you set a good example for others in Mass? (Click here for Church conduct information) Do you make moral choices properly? Do you always avoid occasions of sin? Consider what lifestyle changes may help you to live a holier life

  • Pray for an increase in virtue and work on acquiring the virtues 

  • Make frequent acts of love, faith, and thanksgiving. Be sure also to begin your day with a morning offering and say grace both before and after meals

  • Frequently make the Sign of the Cross

  • Foster friendships with good, holy Catholics

  • Think frequently of the Last Things

  • Avoid wasting time on spiritually unprofitable (or harmful) activities.

  • Obtain good, traditional spiritual direction

  • Seek God's will in all things

Remember, you are at war with evil. Be vigilant. If you have trouble with a particular sin, begin at once to change. It is true that "you may have to act a certain way before you can become a certain way". In any event, never give up.

For best results, make a firm commitment to do spiritually profitable activities and write them down as a reminder (i.e. make a 'holiness plan'). You can begin with a single step and then work up as you are able. Surely, something is better than nothing. For example, if you can't pray an entire rosary each day, try to do at least a decade. If you can't read a whole chapter in the Bible each day, try to read a portion of it. 

Finally, for additional assistance & suggestions to increase holiness, consider the resources below.

Other Resources...

Increase Holiness Reflections

Spiritual Growth (Topic Page)

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