So, on Monday, I published a post about why people are leaving the Church and how we can get them to come back (click here to read it). You might not be drifting away from the Church, but you’re thinking of deepening your relationship with God. Well, keep reading to see some ways to deepen that relationship or get involved in your faith.
I want to let you know before we go any further that I am just a lay person with no special training. I am not trained to be a spiritual director. I am not a missionary.
So as a normal parishioner like you, here are some things I might suggest to not drift away from the Church and to deepen your relationship with God:
- Set aside time each day to pray. This doesn’t have to be a ridiculously long time. I think the recommendation is at least 15-20 minutes a day. But I also know people who pray for at least an hour a day. I personally try to hit between 15 and 30 minutes a day.
- Try to make it to a daily Mass as well as Sunday Mass. It’s mandatory that we go to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. But I would recommend trying to go to Mass sometime during the week as well. This will allow you to take a break from the outside world for a few minutes. And it’ll also let you connect even more with Jesus.
- Read about the saints. I personally have books on Mother Teresa, Pope Saint John Paul II, Joan of Arc, and a few others. Reading about the saints can help to learn about those who have come before us. And reading about them can show that we’re not alone. We’re not the only ones going through struggles.
- Read Scripture. I’ve heard that Scripture is God’s way of talking to us. I’ve also heard that the Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit. So, the Bible is God’s way of talking to us through text.
- Read other spiritual documents. There are quite a few documents that could fit into this particular category, so I’m only going to list a few: the Catechism of the Catholic Church, letters, papal documents, books like The Discernment of Spirits, etc. These documents have a variety of different purposes: Catholic teaching, Catholic standing on social issues, spiritual growth, etc. So by reading these, you can learn about the Catholic faith or learn where we stand on certain topics.
- Journal. I personally like to keep a journal/notebook and a pen with me when I go to pray. This way I can keep up with if I prayed, what I did in prayer, what I prayed about, and what I feel like God was saying in prayer. Journaling can also be a place to write letters to God, writing down everything that’s on your mind or what’s troubling you.
- Practice silence in prayer. I struggle with remaining quiet in prayer. I’m the type of person whose mind can go a million miles a minute. I’m always thinking of what I need to be doing, what I could be doing, or just letting my imagination wander. But practicing silence in prayer allows for God to speak to us. I’ve heard that, like every other relationship, our relationship with God requires communication. And how can God communicate with us if we’re not listening?
- Go to Eucharistic Adoration. In Eucharistic Adoration, we are face to face with Jesus, who we believe to be present in the Host. God is everywhere, so we can pray anywhere and He’ll be present and hear our prayers. But when we’re in a chapel, church, or in Eucharistic Adoration, we are in the physical presence of Jesus, so that adds a deepness to prayer.
- Participate in the Sacraments more. And I mainly mean Reconciliation and the Eucharist because these are the two that we can receive the most. The Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders, and Matrimony are only meant to be celebrated once in a lifetime. And the Anointing of the Sick can be received more than once (I have received it twice), but it’s not as common to receive. But going to Confession and receiving the Eucharist bring us back to Jesus and unite us with Him.
- Find a group of friends who are Catholic and are active in their faith as well. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again: I was active in the Catholic Campus Ministry for Murray State University. So I had Catholic friends that went to Mass, went to Reconciliation, went to Eucharistic Adoration, went to spiritual direction, and were overall active in their faith. Having people who share our Catholic faith helps keep us accountable and provides a good support system for carrying out our faith.
- Get involved in church activities. This could be Bible Studies, church hosted social activities, Stations of the Cross, conferences, etc. Becoming involved in activities like these can help you grow in your relationship with God. Not only that, but by attending church activities, there’s the opportunity of meeting potential friends.
These are by far not in any particular order and this is definitely not a complete list.
Find things that work for you. Find a Mass time during the week that you can go to. Find a church nearby where you can go to Reconciliation. Find people that will help hold you accountable. Find time everyday to pray, even if it is just 15 minutes a day.
The point is:
So, until next time, I hope you have a good day and week! And if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to put them in the comment section below! And please share if you think someone you know can benefit from these ideas.