Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Good List for Catholics.

As I was enjoying my own quiet time today, I came across this "grout list" by Bud MacFarlane over on Catholicity. I thought it was a good list of things Catholics should do and it includes many things that we do that have long been habits! Enjoy!!

The Catholic Grout List

by Bud Macfarlane

Converts and reverts to the faith are often unaware of the little things that good cradle Catholics "absorb" as children that make day-to-day Catholic living run smoother. While not as essential to the Faith as doctrinal belief and sacramental participation, these "little things" are the grout that binds the mosaic of Catholic living in place, giving it context and texture.

  1. No, you don't have to wear your scapular in the shower. But keep it handy, so you can lunge for it in case you have a heart attack.
  2. Yes, say grace in restaurants out loud, whether alone or with others, even for breakfast and lunch. You can say it in an understated way--Catholics are not ostentatious in public.
  3. When you genuflect, you can pray this simple prayer: "I love you, Jesus."
  4. The Big Five Intercessors are Saint Joseph, Saint Jude, Saint Anthony, Saint Therese the Little Flower, and Saint Michael the Archangel. Just about every good Catholic relies on them, often daily. Why? They really, really work. Please note: Saint Philomena and Saint Escriva seem to be trying to crack this list in recent years--please give them every opportunity to do so.
  5. Yes, when you drive by a church, whether alone or with others, (and whether they are Catholic or not), make the sign of the cross, and tell Jesus you love Him interiorly. Only explain if you are asked.
  6. Carry rosary beads with you at all times. You never know when Our Lady is going to need your help (and we hers). Some Catholics hunt for just-the-right-sized leather carry pouch so it's more comfortable in your pocket (for men) and doesn't get tangled in your purse (for women). What if you don't have rosary beads? Yes, it's okay to use your fingers; that's why God gave you ten. Make a habit of giving your rosary beads away at the slightest prompting.
  7. At minimum, here are prayers that every Catholic should know by heart: Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Memorare, Hail Holy Queen, the Angelus, Saint Michael Prayer, Divine Mercy Chaplet, Act of Contrition, the Miraculous Medal Prayer (O Mary, Conceived...), Guardian Angel Prayer, Grace Before Meals, and the Apostles Creed. If you want to show off at parties, also memorize them in Latin.
  8. Make a pilgrimage to Fatima or Lourdes or Saint Peter's in Rome or all three at least once in your lifetime. Short on cash? See Grout #4; the Big Five love to finance pilgrimages. Still short on cash? There are shrines to drive to in just about every state, including Fatima and Lourdes shrines, and the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC will substitute for Rome in a pinch.
  9. If you meet the pope, kiss his ring. You can also kiss the ring of your bishop or cardinal (it makes the liberal ones squirm, but hey, that's their problem--you're honoring Christ, not them). Optional: Kissing the sacred hands of priests.
  10. When you walk or drive by a Catholic Church, even if you're running late, stop. Walk in. Pray for someone. Tell Jesus you love him. Your visit doesn't have to last more than a few seconds. If the door is locked, genuflect and pray.
  11. Keep a bottle of holy water in your house. Keep a small bottle of holy water in your travel kit--sprinkle it on your hotel bed and make a sign of the cross with water on the door of the room. Say the Saint Michael Prayer.
  12. Invite the priests, nuns, brothers, and deacons you know to dinner. If you take them out, insist on buying. This Catholic tradition has fallen woefully out of favor in recent years. Reverse the trend!
  13. Holy pictures and statues in your home and office are good for you. They remind you to pray. Buy according to your own tastes. Make your own little rules: have at least one crucifix, picture or statue of Mary or a saint, or of the pope, in every room. A stranger should be able to visit your house and be able to tell if you're Catholic in less than a minute. Keep Mary Foundation CDs handy in case they make comments. The Catholic Marketing Network has a list of Catholic retailers who sell statues and holy images in your area.
  14. To keep your scapular from flapping all over the place inside your shirt or blouse, cut a small slit in the fabric at one end and slide a Miraculous Medal and/or Saint Benedict Medal in there. It will weigh down the front and relieve you from having your medal(s) tangle in the scapular cords. Keep a back-up scapular in your travel kit.
  15. If you're not in a state of grace--especially if you're not in good health or have to travel--walk up to any priest, knock on any rectory door, call up any priest, and ask them politely if they can hear your "quick confession." Good priests will be glad to accommodate you, and you'll keep it short. In these days of sadly empty confession lines and truncated confession schedules, it's only just.
  16. If you like to pray the Rosary in the car, but find you get distracted before you start, make sure you start praying it before you turn on your radio.
  17. You can use a safety pin to attach a Miraculous Medal to your baby's diaper or clothing.
  18. If you pass an accident while driving, always say at least one Hail Mary and Our Father for the accident victims and the paramedics.
  19. Although not "required," many Catholics like to print "J.M.J." on the tops of their letters and emails to honor Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
  20. Whenever you wash your hands, say a Hail Mary.

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