Welcome the Lord's Embrace.
To be ready for the Mission we have as Catholics, there are several things we can do to prepare, but also to renew our faith and remain engaged. Here are some ideas to help you on your way:
Prayer – What is it?
It is a way to enter a relationship with God. In other words, by praying we are entering into a conversation with Him. In the same way that talking to a friend deepens our friendship, speaking with God through prayer deepens our relationship with Him. Just like in a regular conversation, prayer should include times of speaking, and times of listening; God wants to speak to us also! We can pray individually no matter where we are, or in community at specific times (for example, at mass or as part of a prayer group).
How do I pray?
There are many ways to pray, and different people prefer different styles. Prayer, at its most simple, is a conversation between us and God in our words; you don’t need a script to pray. You can say what’s on your heart, listen to prayerful music, or even sit in silence.
There are other more formal ways to pray too. These are especially helpful when we are struggling to find the words, feel overwhelmed, or want to refresh our prayer life. See the next section for suggested forms of prayer.
One of the best ways to pray is through scripture, which is God’s word to us. This is called Lectio Divina. It involves: reading (lectio), meditation (meditatio), prayer (oratio), and contemplation (contemplatio).
You can learn more about this type of prayer by joining a prayer group such as X, but there are also courses on the topic for those who want to master this practice.
When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.
For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
Don’t forget, Jesus also calls us to pray together. This is one of the reasons we attend Mass.
What kinds of prayers are there?
There are a variety of prayers recognized by the Catholic Church. In the catechism they include: “prayer of blessing or adoration, prayer of petition, prayer of intercession, prayer of thanksgiving, and prayer of praise.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324 2623-2649).
What are they?
“A virtue is an interior disposition, a positive habit, a passion that has been placed at the service of the good” (YouCat § 299)
Why do I need them?
Virtues ‘become the motive force of a life of fighting for love and justice” (YouCat § 294)
How do they help me to become closer to Jesus?
They allow us to follow Christ’s commandment: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5:48)
What is fasting?
It is the abstinence from food or drink or both for health, ritualistic, religious, or ethical purposes. The abstention may be complete or partial, lengthy, of short duration, or intermittent.
Why should I fast?
To imitate Christ who fasted for forty days after his baptism by John. To be in soladirty with those who suffer hunger and thirst. “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ (Mt 5:4)
When do we fast?
One hour before receiving holy communion. The Church requires fasting on Ash Wednesday and on Good Friday. Whenever one wants to do penance to receive forgiveness.
What is it?
Charity is the Love God wants to give to all his children. It is also the answer we give God. Thus the great commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ […]‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Mt 22:37,39)
How to I demonstrate my charity?
By accepting my neighbor for God’s sake as unconditionally and sincerely as we accept ourselves. (See YouCat § 309)
You can demonstrate charity in a variety of ways.
“Jesus places love above all Laws, without however abolishing the latter. Therefore St. Augustine rightly says “Love and do what you will.” Wich is not at all as easy at it sounds. That is why charity, love, is the greatest virtue, the energy that inspires all the other virtues and fills them with divine life.” (YouCat § 309))
Learn more by checking out https://www.youcat.org/ The books can be found in Canada at a variety of bookstores, online, at libraries, and even little libraries in communities across town.
Feed Your Spirituality.
Feeding your spirituality is also important. Why?
There are a variety of groups and organizations that offer opportunities to meet Christ through diverse activities both inside and outside church walls.
There are also many Catholic media organizations and publications that provide information to grow in our faith and learn more about what Catholics everywhere are doing to build the Kingdom. You can feed your spirituality through their work. Here are a few resources to get your search on its way:
This association represents the French catholic and oecumenic media in Canada. Its members publish a variety of French newsletters, videos, magazines and other publications.
This is the publication of the Catholic Press Association. You will find news about the various media outlets that produce catholic news.
Founded in 1893, it is the oldest English Catholic publication in Canada.
This is a website that uses different media to share, explain and defend the Catholic faith.
EWTN is the largest Catholic media corporation in the world. It is available in more than 150 countries and territories in several languages.
Source for all things liturgic. Living with Christ has been around for over 80 years.
Source for all things liturgic in French.
Blogue created by Novalis that provides spiritual readings on a variety of topics relevant to Catholics.
Catholic voice in the United States of America that provides avenues for expression of diverse perspectives, promoting tolerance and respect for differing ideas.
Media organization that airs catholic content on television and online.
News organization that reports from the Vatican.