How Do We Practice What We Learn?
September 18, 2014
Fifth Article of the Apostle’s Creed continued…
; the third day He rose again from the dead
In this post I am going to be not so much catechizing on What we believe, but more on how we put what we believe into practice. So, how we can practice and grow in our faith. It is of course an excellent practice to learn as much as one can about our beautiful Catholic Faith, but we must put this knowledge and faith into practice, to truly grow into a deeper more fruitful relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! All Catechesis, must be Christ-centered!!!
Being a member of the Marian Catechist Apostolate demands that we not just grow in our doctrinal and catechetical learning, but also spiritually. We need to have a balance of doctrinal and spiritual development, that balances ones complete make up as a Marian Catechist and as a member of the Church Militant on earth. I believe it can become a temptation at times to believe because we are learning about God, that we are getting to know God in a better way. I have to say that this is not always true. In fact, many of the so-called brightest theologians and scripture exegetes have turned out to be heretics, apostates and in some cases even atheists! One that immediately comes to mind is Martin Luther and John Calvin, their are many , many more. In fact, they are in our midst today ,and not just an anomaly of the distant past.
We can actually put into practice what we learn in the Articles of the Apostle’s Creed. How you say? Certainly, on Sundays and our Holy Days of obligation we attend Mass faithfully. Even more, if at all possible, we should be attending Holy Mass as often as possible, not just limited to the Holy Days of obligation. Their are other pious practices that will help us to grower closer to our Lord and His Holy Mother. The daily praying of the Holy Rosary is actually praying, and meditating on the Gospel itself! Another practice that Marian Catechists do is to pray the daily Angelus at least two times a day.
Traditionally, Wednesdays were a day to especially honour St Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus and the chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I can tell you from personal experience, that St Joseph’s intercessory ability is awesome! He has helped me in many tough situations. Please build a strong relationship with this most great Saint, second only to Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos) . Here is a link to an ancient prayer to St Joseph that I choose to say everyday, it can also be used as a 9 day Novena prayer. Once again, prayers to St Joseph are very powerful and always answered! This is what my patroness Saint, Teresa of Jesus says of St Joseph, “I know by experience,” says St. Teresa of Avila, “that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.”
So on Fridays, in commemoration of Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross, we are obliged to perform some act of penance or mortification. Ouchhh!!! Did you say mortify? Yes, I did! This does not mean, nor do I suggest that you whip or flag yourself half to death. Some people still may do this, but any penance or mortification should also be discussed with one’s spiritual advisor! I am only touching on a couple suggestions. This can be as simple as abstaining from meat, or having a computer fast for that day. It is meant to help unite yourself with our Lord and His Passion and death. A small token to add to the Mystical Body in Heaven and Earth. It also helps us to aquire virtue, especially in temperance. Practicing penance and mortification helps by bringing our unruly passions into check through practice. Remember, we “practice our Faith”. I have to admit, I have a sweet tooth! It is a tough one for me, but its easier when I offer it up to our Blessed Lord ! It helps to bring that particular passion into check.
Of Course, we cannot forget the day dedicated to our Lady, Saturday. Saturday is the day that we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honour our Lady, whose Faith remained unshaken on that Holy Saturday, and never faltered. She had Faith and Hope that Her most Holy Son, Jesus Christ would indeed rise from the dead, as He said He would. In honour of Her, we can light a votive candle for Our Lady’s intentions, or honour her by just spending a little more time meditating on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. For those who have a devotion to our Blessed Mother, I might suggest the book True Devotion to Mary by St Louis Marie de Monfort . This book is a masterpiece of Marian devotion and is a favourite of mine and was a favourite of St John Paul II. His papal motto “Totus Tuus”, meaning, all yours, was borrowed from St Louis de Monfort!
Til next time,
may Almighty God Bless us, and protect us from the World, the devil, and ourselves!!!