This page is designed for those who may not be completely happy with their current situation in life and/or faith. One very important milestone is obtaining the desire to live life for God rather than for oneself. We should all be thankful to Him for our lives and everything we have here on earth. Below, I have included some things that have helped me to feel closer to God.
"You cannot please both God and the world at the same time, They are utterly opposed to each other in their thoughts, their desires, and their actions." -- St. John Vianney
Being Catholic is a huge part of my life. My biggest goal in life is to be the person that God wants me to be. The Church is where I learn who that person is. Since Jesus (God in the flesh) gave us the Catholic Church, I do believe this is the TRUE Church. It is very difficult to be good in today's society which teaches us that "good is bad" and "bad is good". This is because we all want instant gratification without taking responsibility for our actions. In addition, for fear of hurting someone's feelings by telling them that what they are doing is wrong, we are pushed to accept anything and everything. There are some basic, fundamental things that we all know are wrong and/or immoral and we are pressured to accept them as ok. We are actually doing these people more harm than good by not letting them know that what they are doing is wrong so that they might be able to confess their sins and amend their lives. It is important for us to think of the big picture. Life here on earth is not all there is. There is life after death here on earth and our behavior here determines where we will have eternal life (in heaven with God or in hell with the devil). It is also important to remember that the glory of heaven is infinitely better than the best possible thing we can imagine here on earth. Now, that is something to work toward!
There are some things that my husband and I do daily to remind us of these facts and help us to keep our focus:
Keeping the Sabbath Holy
It is extremely difficult to keep the Sabbath holy today. Many of our stores, entertainment facilities, and even bars are open on Sunday and on Holy days. As a result, it is very tempting and very easy for us to use these few sacred days for shopping, dancing, drinking, etc. in place of spending that time attending mass, praying, meditating, and spending time with our families. In addition, because there are so many of these places open, many of us are required to work on Sunday and on Holy days. In this case, we should devote an alternative day of the week to God.
In an effort to combat our heathenistic culture, I have decided to refrain from all shopping on Sunday and on Holy days with the rare exception of an emergency item. This is because the more we shop, the later the stores will stay open, and the greater the temptation will be to shop even more, and the later we will have to work, and so on until Sunday is just another day of the week. We are very close to that point right now. I really do not want to see it get any worse.
The Brown Scapular
Our Lady's Scapular Promise:
"Whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire."
I believe Mary will keep her promise. That is why I wear the Brown Scapular every day. Also, every time I see or feel the Scapular, I am reminded of my ultimate goal.
We say prayers in the morning when we wake up and at night before going to sleep. We also say grace before every meal/snack. These small acts help us to remember to thank God for everything He has given us.
The Daily Rosary
Saying the rosary every day is great for our souls. First of all, we receive special graces every time we say the rosary. Secondly, the act of saying the rosary helps me to feel like I am doing something for Mary and for Jesus. Reflecting on the mysteries reminds me of what God did for us. He sent his Dearly Beloved Son here to die for us.
Click Here for the Prayers and Mysteries of the Rosary
I highly recommend this CD by Dana, which can be purchased at CatholicMusicNetwork.com to assist in saying the rosary daily.
We attend mass on every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation. Sometimes we go during the week or on Saturday also if we are able to. It is such a priveledge to be able to receive Jesus's Body and Blood in Holy Communion. We make sure we do that at least once each week. Mass at the Monastery is absolutely beautiful. The Sisters have wonderful voices. Also, Father Jacob is the best speaker that I have ever listened to. After listening to Father Jacob, I want more than anything to be good and to make God happy.
I must admit that this is one of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to being a good Catholic. I find it very difficult to go to confession often. I also find it very difficult to prepare for confession. However, it is very important for any Catholic person to go to confession as often as possible. My husband has told me that the more often you go to confession, the easier it becomes.
Jesus gave us the gift to be able to confess our sins to a priest and be completely forgiven of them. This is why we go to confession. It is a fantastic thing to be able to completely clear our souls of all previous sins. I know that anxiety can really build up while you are preparing for confession. Click here for some questions that may help you sort your thoughts.
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One more note...
This really works if you feel it in your heart.... Whenever you are discouraged, say "Jesus I Trust in You!" three times or over and over until the discouragement has passed (whichever is more realistic).
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