Catholic Life Quick Tips

Holy Week is here. Make an extra effort to participate in at least part of the Triduum Liturgy. Thursday – The Washing of the Feet; Friday – Stations of the Cross followed by the Good Friday liturgy; Saturday – Easter Vigil.

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Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Even if the church is locked, usually the Blessed Sacrament/Perpetual Adoration Chapel is open.

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Make the Stations of the Cross on Fridays (or another day) during Lent. Most Catholic Churches have all 14 Stations on display somewhere in the church.

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 Lent is a great time to try more meatless meals. Soup and bread is a satisfying combo on Ash Wednesday and Fridays.

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No time for a weekend retreat? Try and steal a few hours midweek, to spend quiet time at a local mission, park, or other quiet spot where you can mentally unwind, pray, and meditate. Breathe deeply.

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Trouble making a good confession? Try downloading a confession app, like the one included with Laudate, free from Amazon (clicking this link will take you to Amazon.com. Any purchase will help contribute to Catholic Traveller. Thank you). http://amzn.to/2kLnbRy.

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3pm is the Hour of Great Mercy – say 3 times: O Blood and Water, which gushed from the side of Christ as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in you! (then 3 times) Jesus, I trust in you!

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Spiritual Works of Mercy:

Admonish sinners – don’t be afraid to tell someone when their actions are causing harm

Instruct the ignorant – if necessary, use words

Counsel the doubtful – share how Jesus’ mercy has worked in your life

Comfort the sorrowful – give a hug; lend an ear; just hang out

Bear wrongs patiently – especially if you don’t want to

Forgive all injuries – and again. And again

Pray for the living and the dead – the most powerful thing we can do for those we love

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Corporal Works of Mercy:

Feed the hungry – make dinner for your family; set the table; wash the dishes; share your lunch.

Give drink to the thirsty – carry extra cold water bottles, or a gallon jug and cups; buy someone a cup of coffee.

Clothe the naked – donate extra clothing to a shelter or St. Vincent de Paul.

Visit and ransom the captives – help stop trafficking https://www.covenanthouse.org/homeless-teen-issues/human-trafficking

Shelter the homeless – volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

Visit the sick – read to them, write letters, just hang out.

Bury the dead – attend a funeral in your parish. Just being there is supportive. Follow to the burial site.

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Find your Holy Door Pilgrimage Site here https://catholicpilgrimagesites.wordpress.com/holy-doors-of-mercy/

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Start a prayer list to remember all those intentions you promised to pray for.

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If you’re feeling down, make a gratitude list and thank God for your blessings.

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Fight impurity – put internet accountability filters on all your devices. Address issues as they arise. Help and support at catholicgentleman.com catholicexchange.com.

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Saints were also sinners. How they overcame their struggles can help us overcome ours.

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Too sick to get to Mass? Not enough time for Daily Mass? EWTN broadcasts Mass Daily. Not a substitute for the real thing, but better than nothing.

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Need a recharge during the week? Daily Mass is still offered in most parishes. Pick up a bulletin or call your parish office for the schedule.

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Family prayer gone by the wayside? Start with a quick morning and evening blessing – just trace a cross on the forehead, look into your loved one’s eyes and give a kiss or a hug. Move up to brief, spontaneous prayer, holding hands, each person expressing a brief gratitude and intention. Do I hear Amen?

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Want to start a daily prayer time but unsure where to begin? The Bible is a good place. Grab a cup of coffee (or chamomile tea if it is evening), start with the gospel of John and read a chapter a day. Then reflect on your reading, whisper a few words of gratitude and ask God to help you through your day.

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Need an easy mantra for anxiety relief? Inhale: Jesus, Mary and Joseph: exhale: I place my trust in you. Repeat until calm. If safe to do so, close your eyes and meditate on the words.  Continue to repeat as often as necessary.

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Find yourself in a strange church on Sunday? I don’t mean strange as in different; more like strange as in “1970’s anything goes” or “Vatican II should have never happened?” (I have been in both!) When you find a church you plan on going to, call ahead and ask if they are Roman Catholic rite. If they observe any other rite, you may want to keep looking. Note that the Tridentine Mass is an approved rite. Just be careful, if you attend a “Pius V” church, you will hear a lot of anti-vatican II rhetoric. Many Roman rite churches are now including Tridentine Masses in their Sunday schedule.

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Have a hard time fitting the rosary into your busy day?

I usually say it while driving, but frequently forget if I’m at home all day. I also tend to forget to get up and move around, away from the computer, sewing machine or practice room. I find taking a walk, for the amount of time it takes to say five decades of the rosary, solves both problems and showers a myriad of blessings upon me at the same time. Sometimes I will follow with the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

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Need to go to Confession but didn’t have time to prepare? Think about these 5 areas and if you have failed, confess it!

1 – did I purposely miss Mass any Sunday?
2 – have I been unkind in thought, word or deed to anyone?
3 – have I entertained impure thoughts, desires or actions?
4 – have I been deceitful, dishonest or untrustworthy?
5 – have I been the love of Jesus to my friends, family and enemies?

The mortal sins are easy to detect. Usually we need to work on the venial sins.
Get absolution and receive Holy Communion! Get back up and try again!

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