Here’s a survival guide for new and Lukewarm Catholics
Lent is a period that many of us get back to our faith. In that case, Lent is also the time when lots of new people queue up to join the Catholic faith and lots of lukewarm Catholics remind themselves what it means to be a faithful Catholic.
For the new Catholics out there and for the lukewarm Catholics who wants a refresher.
Here are some tips for being Catholic today
Do not forget, it’s all about Jesus
Catholics do know this and know it perfectly. The Church has a very rich tradition of saints, liturgy, symbols, stories, architecture, and art. But there are a lot of opportunities to forget that fundamentally, we are Christ-followers, and everything else exists to in order to know that one person, Jesus.
Remember also, that Jesus is not alone
In that case, to properly understand Jesus, you have to understand that he is not a lone figure reaching out to you and that he is reaching out to you from the middle of a cloud of witnesses which are, Angels and saints, poems and cathedrals, incense and vestments, the poor person on the street corner, and the questioning person in your workplace.
You shouldn’t be alone in any way
There is no such thing as a one-person family and there is never such thing as a one-person Christian. Our faith doesn’t work without other faithful, therefore, find a group of Catholics to call your own. Bear in mind that your parish is your first group. Your parish is just like your family which means that even if you don’t like everyone there but sticking with them, and doing more with them, will reward you immensely. Additionally, find a group to identify with either online or preferably, in person to be Catholic in good company.
Holy Mass takes you away from starving as Confession keeps you breathing
Being at Mass every Sunday and on holy days of obligation is a must, going every day is even better. During Mass, you communicate with Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. Likewise, Confession is equally important. As Jesus breathed on the apostles to give them the power to forgive sins so as Confession keeps our souls alive and breathing. You need to go to confession at least once a year.
Be conversant with the Church’s teaching
To learn the teachings of the Church is a lifelong task. To learn the Church’s teachings you need to consult the Catechism regularly or buy some theologians’ books or you listen to a Catholic podcast. Even though you have a hard time understanding a Church teaching, avoid leading others into doubt, and instead seek to understand, either through reading more or seeking out a Catholic who believes it and can explain it to you.
To keep your faith, you have to publicly be a witness to your faith
It is highly easy to make your faith private and hidden, meanwhile, the real you remains the secular you. Get in the habit of making the Catholic in you the real you. Starting in small ways can help, like: Hanging a crucifix on your wall, putting a picture of Mary by your computer, praying silently before meals in public or making the Sign of the Cross when you pass a Catholic Church.
Then, you can progress to bigger ways like sharing some points from a great homily you heard or an inspiring saint story you read. Praying silently when the priest raises the host during the consecration at Mass, “My Lord and my God.” These and other small actions you need to do to help keep Mass alive.
Serve those in need
But bear in mind that your faith is not a personal quirk or a set of ritual actions or an intellectual exercise. Your faith is the plan of Jesus Christ to reach the world and to serve the poor in your neighborhood, at your office, and in your extended family.
Get to know and love the Mother of God
Since after Jesus told his Mother from the cross “Behold your son,” indicating St. John, Mary has never ceased to be our mother, too. She is a real mother, who is always looking out for us like she did at the Wedding Feast at Cana. She encourages us to pray as she did for the Apostles at Pentecost, and as she was in Revelation 12. Try to know her especially through the Rosary and also through the saints.