St Francis Q&A

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"How to Be a Better Catholic"

Eucharistic Adoration this Friday will be from 7:30-8:30 pm in the SAA Church.
The following comes from “How to Be a Better Catholic” in the Daily Roman Missal (6th Edition, 2003).

Spiritual Game Plan

- Get up at a fixed time, as early as possible. Eight hours of sleep should be enough. More than this or less than seven hours of sleep is usually not healthy.
- Offer your day to God through the intercession of our Lady.
- Work with order and intensity during the day as a way of serving God. Set goals and establish priorities in order to develop a practical schedule. Sanctifying ordinary work is the goal of our life.
- Try to attend Mass, receiving holy Communion, as often as possible. This is the best sacrifice we can offer to God. Prepare yourself for the Mass by spending some time in prayer.
- Spend some time in mental prayer before the Blessed Sacrament (15 minutes, if possible).
- Pray the Angelus at noontime (During Eastertime, say the Regina Caeli instead).
- Pray the Rosary – if possible with your family – offering each decade for a specific intention.
- Do some spiritual reading, Start with the New Testament or some well-known spiritual book. Ten to fifteen minutes is sufficient.
- Make a short examination of conscience at the end of the day before going to bed. Two or three minutes is enough. Follow these steps: Humble yourself in the presence of God. Tell him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean”. Ask for light to acknowledge your defects and virtues and to see the dangers and opportunities of the day. Ask for repentance, amendment, and encouragement.

- Center all activities around the holy Mass on Sunday, the Lord’s day. It is also a family day – for rest and spiritual growth.
- If you do not receive holy Communion every day, receive at least on Sundays and holy days of obligation.
- Saturday is traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Honor her and some special prayer, such as the Hail Holy Queen.

- Go to Confession at least once a month. It is a sacrament of joy. Pope John Paul II says, “God is always the one who is principally offended by sin – ‘tibi soli peccavi’ (‘Against you only have I sinned’) – and God alone can forgive.” He does so through the ministry of the priest in the sacrament of Penance, which “is the ordinary way of obtaining forgiveness and remission of mortal sins committed after Baptism.” “every serious sin must always be stated with its determining circumstances, in an individual confession.” (Reconciliation and Penance, 33).
- Seek and follow the spiritual guidance of a wise, prudent, and knowledgeable priest.
- Spend a few hours in recollection, best done before the Blessed Sacrament. Consider how you are directing your life toward God.

- Spend two or three days each year in silence, speaking with God only. A few days of retreat are necessary for the soul in the same way that the body needs a vacation. It is a yearly opportunity for conversion.

- Stay in the presence of God: be aware that he is always close to you. Try to please him in everything as a child tries to please his/her parents.
- Thank God for the graces that he constantly gives you.
- Do everything for love of God: this is purity of intention. Always purify your intention. Make acts of contrition and atonement for your sins and sins of others.
- Try to live as you would like to die. We shall die as we have lived.


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