Catholic Spiritual Practices

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See more posts by Alfred J. Subscribe now. Facebook Twitter Pinterest. Top Content This Week. What do Muslims think of Jesus? By Marianne Farina, C. Article Your Faith. Article Justice. What is in the Bible? By Joel Schorn. Praying the rosary beads to aid in saying prayers. Lighting candles. Be aware of cultural differences in observance and practice, especially in the large and growing number of Spanish speaking communities. Daily practices. Dying and death. Funeral Mass is the norm but can be replaced with a funeral version of Liturgy of the Word Graveside service is also typical.

Traditional Christian holidays as well as observance of special holy days when attendance at Mass is viewed as an obligation. Pregnancy and birth. No amount of mediation or renunciation of the world, no amount of right living or the following of laws, will achieve for us the spiritual growth we yearn for. We must understand that our spiritual growth comes from one source, that we grow spiritually in one way alone: by accepting the infinite outpouring of love and grace offered to us through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


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For the Catholic, spiritual growth can be nothing but a continual turning to Christ. In this we come to understand an astonishing truth, that spiritual growth is really a growth in relationship, a constant deepening of our relationship with Christ. We must trust him not only with our present need but also with the salvation of our souls and those we care about. And here we have spiritual growth in a nutshell. We grow as our trust in him grows. We grow as our will becomes one with his. We grow as we repent the many little ruptures in our relationship with him that our sinfulness has caused.

Spiritual growth becomes spiritual surrender — a surrender to infinite love. We surrender to the One who gave himself for us out of love. We grow through becoming closer to him. Christ offers us many paths to meet him, many means to grow closer to him. Primary among these, of course, is faith itself. Then come the sacraments.

Catholic Spiritual Practices: A Treasury of Old and New

It is the ultimate offering of intimate relationship to sinful man. In the Eucharist, Christ comes to us under the appearance of bread and wine, entering our bodies and our souls. Here we encounter him in a way that is infinitely more profound than any other meeting we will have in our earthly lives. In the Eucharist, Christ offers us the intimate relationship that causes spiritual growth, that should make us yearn to be in unbroken intimacy with him.

It is up to us only to turn to Christ, to accept the gifts that he offers us. If we do, if we turn to him and away from sin we will find that we no longer need to worry very much about spiritual growth, that such growth will become an integral part of our lives. Spiritual growth will turn out to be simply our earthly journey to God.

Daily Catholic Prayer and Reflection

He writes from New York. Human life is imperfect. Human will is weak. Human beings are hopelessly divided creatures. If this is so, how can we hope to turn to Christ constantly? In fact, how can we hope to do anything constantly? We must face the fact that we really are imperfect and will fail over and over again as we attempt to grow in our spiritual lives. We will backslide, and we will have dry periods during which we may feel absolutely helpless and hopeless. So what? That is our earthly lot, and, like it or not, we must accept it.

It is he we depend on, not us, and he is always ready for us to turn to him again. Through his Church, Christ offers us many ways to deepen our relationship with him. It is up to us to take them seriously. We have the sacraments, of course, each one of them a unique and inexhaustible fountain of graces.

We also have the sacramentals and the many prayers of the Church. They will bring us into deeper intimacy with Christ. It is sad but true that many Catholics today do not really understand this. As they strive to grow spiritually they ignore the most important pathways to the only One who can offer them true spiritual growth.

Truly participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: Many people attend Mass in a distracted frame of mind. Yet in the Mass we encounter Christ in a unique and unsurpassable way.

What every Catholic needs to know about spiritual growth - OSV Newsweekly

We must be fully present and prepared. We should not rush into Church thinking of a thousand things.

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We must enter Church filled with joy and gratitude, knowing that we go to meet our great love. Our time at Mass should be suffused with prayer.

What every Catholic needs to know about … spiritual growth

It should also be filled with anticipation, for during Communion Christ comes to us and lives with us and offers us infinite love. After Mass we should linger before the tabernacle filled with thanksgiving for what we have so graciously been given. Take advantage of confession: Sinfulness is part of the human condition — one that separates us from Christ. Christ offers us a way to put our sins behind us and to experience once again his loving embrace through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. What possible reason can there be for ignoring this? If we stay in our sins we push Christ away from us and we have no hope of growing in the spiritual life.


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Our sins should weigh heavily on us; we should yearn for confession, which offers us Christ again. The Blessed Mother is our mother. She should be our constant companion in the spiritual life. Develop a life of prayer: Every moment is an opportunity for prayer. How often do we take advantage of these opportunities? Each time we pray we draw closer to God. Every moment of prayer, whether it involves the Rosary or the Liturgy of the Hours or simply a few spontaneous words of our own is a conversation with Christ.

Encounter Christ in the Scriptures: Reading the Scriptures meditatively can be of enormous help in coming to know Christ. Here we find his earthly words, his actions.

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Here we see again and again his enormous love for us, his great sacrifice for us. Through the Scriptures we come to know Our Lord in a deeper and deeper way and thus our relationship with him grows. Learn from those who came before us: The Church has canonized innumerable saints. These are our examples. They have walked the road of holiness, and their lives show us the many ways that closeness with Christ can be achieved.