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Here Are Five Catholic Practices to Help Strengthen Your Faith Life in 2024

Articles | January 18, 2024 | by Catholics for Catholics

By Diego Lopez Marina of Catholic News Agency

ACI Prensa Staff, Jan 17, 2024 / 07:00 am

In the constant search for spiritual growth and connection to the sacred in everyday life, discovering new ways to strengthen your Catholic faith can be transformative. Here are five ways that could renew your life of faith in 2024.

1. Direct your gaze toward Mary.

On Jan. 1, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to entrust the new year to the Virgin Mary, noting that “she, with tenderness, will know how to reveal her fullness, because she will lead us to Jesus, and Jesus is the fullness of time, of all time, of our time, of the time of each one of us.”

The most effective way to seek Mary’s intercession in daily life is through praying the rosary, which provides spiritual protection and guidance to believers in their relationship with God.

2. Learn more about a saint.

Look for books that focus on the biography of specific saints. Many Catholic bookstores or online stores offer a wide selection.

You can also learn from them by watching documentaries or movies that accurately represent their lives. The recent film “Heaven Can’t Wait” shows the testimonies of 10 people whose lives changed after learning the story of Blessed Carlo Acutis. “Padre Pio” has also been released, which tells the story of the Capuchin friar, blessed with the stigmata of Christ, during his first years of priesthood.

Another way is to participate in prayers and devotions dedicated to the saints, to learn more about their lives and contributions to the Catholic faith.

3. Study the Bible and the documents of the Catholic Church.

Spend time studying and meditating on everything from the Scriptures to papal documents. Read the Bible daily, reflect mainly on the passages of the four Gospels, and try to apply their teachings to your daily life.

Many people find spiritual and moral guidance in the Bible. Sacred texts often provide ethical and moral principles that can serve as a guide for daily life.

Additionally, reading the Bible allows you to maintain a connection with God. It is a means to understand God’s will and strengthen your relationship with him.

The second essential book is the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the summary of the faith of the Catholic Church. The structure of this book concentrates almost all the important topics for Catholics in short readings. For an even more condensed version, you can read the abridged Compendium of the Catechism.

4. Enjoy good reading.

There are also many other books that can guide a Catholic’s spiritual life, among them “The Way” by St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer; St. Augustine’s “Confessions”; “The Spiritual Exercises” of St. Ignatius of Loyola; and “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas à Kempis.

The latter, written more than 500 years ago, is considered the second-most-read book after the Bible. The work is composed of four books, where the author traces the progress of the soul up to and including his union with God in holy Communion.

5. Spend time with Jesus.

Above all, a Catholic must spend quality time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, which means being present in front of the real presence of Jesus Christ. Prayer before the Eucharist is an act of adoration and respect toward the divine presence. It is considered a sacred time to address God, express gratitude, praise, and worship.

On the solemnity of Corpus Christi 2023, Pope Francis affirmed that the Eucharist “is par excellence the sacrament of love.”

“It is Christ who offers himself for us and asks us to do the same, so that our lives become bread that feeds our brothers,” he added.

Regular prayer before the Blessed Sacrament is a practice that contributes to spiritual growth. It offers a time dedicated to reflection, contemplation, and intimate connection with the divine, which can strengthen one’s relationship with God.

It is also an ideal time to pray for the Church, for religious leaders, for peace in the world, and for personal and community needs. It is a powerful act of intercession.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

For the original Catholic News Agency article, click here.


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