The United States is home to over 76 million Catholics!
The number is based on self-identification in a survey by CARA, a Georgetown University affiliate research center that conducts scientific studies about the Catholic Church. We are among the millions worldwide who claim to be CATHOLICS! Surely we are…
But, are we good Catholics? Do we truly live up to Jesus’, Mary’s and the Church’s expectations?
I believe that all or almost all Catholics would like to be better and more virtuous than they are, to be the salt of the earth and light of the world as Christ directed us to be!
To help you be an even better Catholic than you already are, here are 10 steps to be a GOOD CATHOLIC.
But before, I want to give you some wonderful news! Every day, Masses are celebrated for the intentions of our friends and benefactors. If you wish to have your petitions included in the intention of the Holy Masses, click here!
1. Be a Catholic of prayer
We should be Catholics of prayer. St. Augustine affirmed that prayer is the key that opens the gates of heaven and offers us all of God’s treasures. Just as bread is beneficial for the body, so also prayer is beneficial for the soul.
If we do not dedicate ourselves to God and the Queen of Heaven through prayer, we will never be able to keep the Ten Commandments faithfully.
2. Always go to Mass
The Holy Mass is the queen of prayers and the highest form of praise, for in it God offers himself on the Cross. When our body is weak and debilitated by some sickness, we find time to go to a doctor to be cured, don’t we? We seek adequate treatment. Well, we find at Mass He who is the doctor and remedy for souls waiting to cure our weaknesses.
At Mass, the Passion of Jesus Christ is renewed upon the altar, just as at Calvary. Would we dare leave Jesus alone and suffering, and go have fun at the shopping center on a Sunday or a holy day of obligation?
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3. Flee from sin: confession and Easter communion every year
Queen Blanche, the mother of St. Louis IX, said, “My son, I prefer to see you dead rather than having stained yourself with mortal sin.”
The pious queen’s desire so pleased God that it is said that St. Louis IX never committed a mortal sin in his life. We should pray like this and ask to avoid not only mortal sins, but to flee even from venial, sins so often committed during our lives.
However, if we fall, we can go to confession, just as the prodigal son returned to his father’s house.
In the Catechism, we learn that one of the commandments of the Church is the obligation of Catholics to go to confession and receive communion at least once a year at Easter.
4. Attend daily mass, when possible
As Catholics, we should go to Mass on Sundays. Nevertheless, it is very profitable to visit God in His house every day if possible. Besides ordinary everyday meals for the body, we also have feasts and banquets. In a similar way for the spirt, it is beneficial to have spiritual feasts and banquets during the week besides Sunday Mass.
Thus, attending daily Mass is a joyful nourishment and a powerful remedy for us.
5. Pray the Rosary daily with your family
St. John Paul II tells us: “The family that prays together stays together. The Rosary is my favorite prayer. A marvelous prayer! Marvelous in its simplicity and its depth. In this prayer we repeat many times the words that the Virgin Mary heard from the Archangel, and from her kinswoman Elizabeth.”
Our Lady is ready to grant our petitions! The Rosary is the means to obtain everything we need, including union in our families, the solution to our problems and even our material necessities.
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6. Read a pious book and meditate frequently
Pious reading is the sister of prayer and a great help for us. St. Paul recommended Timothy to do so regularly.
Reading spiritual literature is so important, that when we wish to help someone who is distant from religion, we normally counsel him or her to read a religious book.
Many saints affirmed that spiritual reading is a special nourishment for the soul. It produces good thoughts and desires for heaven, and frees our understanding. Pious literature inflames and enlightens our will, soothing our sadness, and causes true spiritual happiness.
Now, let me ask you something: What book are you currently reading to progress spiritually?
7. You are the average of the 5 people closest to you
Certainly, you have heard the saying: “You are the average of the five people closest to you.”
There is another saying with a similar lesson: “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.”
If you wish to be a good Catholic, examine your companions and evaluate your five best friends… Are they the measure of what you wish to be as a good Catholic?
If they are, congratulations! You will have great allies to reach your goal. If they are not, your journey on the path to sanctity may be much more difficult.
8. Have a designated confessor and spiritual director
We should have a confessor and spiritual director, to whom we give an account of our conscience, our inclinations, our passions, our affections and bad habits, without hiding anything.
Actually, a confessor and spiritual director are like gardeners. If we cut the roots of a bad plant or tear out a weed, they soon wither away. But, if we tear them out leaving the roots in the earth, the harmful plant soon starts growing again.
So, we should have confidence in our confessor that he can help us definitively to weed out our vices and bad habits.
9. Perform works of charity
Someone once asked St. Basil how to perform works of charity. He responded:
We should bear in mind that in serving our brother we serve Christ, for He said, “Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Do your works as one who serves God, not men, and in this way, you will do good for others in an upright, pleasing manner.
It is important to understand clearly that sincere and authentic works of charity come only from generous and selfless giving of oneself. In this manner, our actions find real merit before God.
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10. Always be mindful of God’s presence
There is no greater sign of the presence of God in a soul, than the boundless desire to grow in virtue, in grace and in perfection.
“Those who eat of me will hunger still, those who drink of me will thirst for more” (Sirach 24:21).
If we hunger and thirst for the spiritual things of God, we should rejoice, for this is a sign that God lives in our soul. Certainly, if you have read this article in its entirety, with the desire to learn the ten steps to be a good Catholic, your hunger and thirst for God is great!
We are delighted to pray for your intentions at holy Mass and during adoration to the Blessed Sacrament. Please pray for our association and for all of our members and projects.
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