Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Year of Living Catholicly

The title of this post refers to my planned New Year's Resolution. I intend to spend next year trying to truly live my Catholic faith. This could be a bigger undertaking than any I have thus far tried.

The idea sort of germinated for me from a few places. One of them being Matthew Kelly's wonderful book Rediscover Catholicism. In it Kelly declares that one of the major reasons for so much of life's problems being a largely listless, Godless world. A world seeking, but not knowing what to truly seek.

Another germination point for me was the realization that I want my kids to grow up as more than Cafeteria Catholics I want them to understand the Why's and How's of our faith.

After a recent difficult patch at work, I really turned to the Lord and the Saints. I knew I needed help to break past the things that were holding me back. I wasn't meeting my weekly production standards and didn't know where else to turn. I started a novena to the Sacred Heart, and to St. Joseph, and I started just praying to Therese of Lisieux. It worked I suddenly started exceeding my standard and doing much better at work.

I never do manage to pray nine nights in a row on my novenas, the weekends come and I am always too tired or distracted to say my prayers. That's a bad thing it is one of the things I want to fix.

So I have been developing a five point plan: Rosary, Fasting and Abstinence, Mass, Confession and Scripture.

I plan to start saying the Rosary, at least once a week for starters, with an intention to increase the number of days I say it.  I picked the Rosary because I know it is a devastating weapon in the Holy war those of us in the Church Militant are engaged in. I didn't want to just commit to a certain amount of time in daily prayer I wanted a meaningful prayer life.

I am going to return to the proper tradition of fasting and abstinence on Fridays, in honor of the Lord's Passion. I might just be an "early adopter" here as there is wind that Cardinal Dolan as head of the USCCB might just return all US Catholics to the proper Friday rules. Bully for him I hope he does.

As for Mass I don't think my work schedule will allow me to make daily Mass too often, but I need to desperately improve my overall attendance. I also am going to (for the first time ever) make it to Mass for all of the Holy Days. After all why shouldn't I pay proper reverence to my creator. Besides frequent reception of Communion will help strengthen me for the rest of my plan right.

Confession is good for the soul they say right. Well I know mine always feels better after a visit to the "Sin Bin". Confession can be a very nerve racking experience. But it is so nice to walk out afterwards, perform your penance and know that the Lord loves you and forgives your misdeeds.

And the final point in my plan, I'm going to knuckle down and read the Bible. The whole thing. I made good headway a couple years ago but this time I'm going to do it. I will also try and push through the Catechism too.

I figure if I can do all of that, not only will I be a better Catholic, I will probably be a better husband and father, too. Which isn't a bad thing since baby number three is on the way. I should probably brush up on my husbanding and fathering.

If I can find a few spare minutes each week I intend to sort of post a weekly report card as I go... Gives me a year's worth of weekly blog posts right.