It’s hard for me to even put into words the spiritual riches wrought for me by Catholicism. I have trouble even contemplating the depths of the treasures I have available to me and which I have only begin to mine. In addition to the vast expanse of knowledge from saints of times past and of Holy Mother Church, there have been some additions to my day-to-day life of which I am so surprised but grateful for.
There is community in Catholicism. Those of us who strive to be devout and true believers naturally attract one another, I believe. Whether you find like souls on Twitter, at Daily Mass or in Eucharistic Adoration, they are there if you keep your eye out. Be open to communicating, listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and get involved where you feel called. You will find them.
Here are just a few of the immense spiritual riches I’ve found in Catholicism that I feel so blessed to know:
Spiritual Bouquets – I’ve recently started working with a group of Catholic communication professionals — after a great gift of grace from our Mother Mary. They introduced the idea of a spiritual bouquet to me. When it’s an important day for someone — say a birthday, anniversary or something for which they need prayers — instead of offering them “physical” gifts, offer them “spiritual” gifts. Recently, this group put together a “spiritual bouquet” for someone’s birthday and each member offered up items like: a novena in their name, daily mass communion, a rosary or a series of rosaries, time spent in Eucharistic Adoration in front of our Lord, etc. Together these constituted the bouquet and were presented to this individual as their gift. Have you ever heard of anything so lovely? I am so touched and pleased at this thought of being able to support someone spiritually. Beautiful!
Prayer Groups – I’ve also found my way into a prayer group for moms with a devotion to Mary. Each day one of the members sends an email with a thought for the day, along with a link to that day’s novena prayer, and encouragement to fast if able, pray a daily rosary, offer up daily communion, etc. — all for the intention of an increase in holiness of all the families in the group. One of the members pointed out that our Mother Mary said in a vision that when praying together, the whole group merits from all the prayers. So if six rosaries are prayed you benefit from all six, not just the one you said. How blessed! If you’d be interested in joining, shoot me an email at lyn AT catholicnewbie.com and I’ll hook you up :)!
Bathing Your Work in Prayer – Another new one to me is to surround your work with prayer — whatever kind of work it may be. It can all be offered up to the Lord or Mother Mary for our gain or another soul’s gain. Ask for prayer from other Catholics when you are undergoing a particularly difficult day, pray for your fellow workers (especially for ones who would never expect it!), say a prayer before beginning work, as well as at lunch and on conclusion of the day. Sending an important email? Pray a Hail Mary and ask Mary to give you the words our Lord would have you say. You won’t believe how much more blessed your day will be and how much more smoothly it will go.
Pray for Someone You Do Not Know – Pick someone you may not personally know (pick their name out of a phone book) or choose a distant member of your family. Pray for them daily. It’s wonderful to know you are helping someone without the pride that comes along with them knowing about it. It feels so good to help other souls!
Total Consecration to Mary – I’m also doing my Total Consecration to Mary (read more here) and there are something like 1500 people going through it with me from across the world. I found this group after learning about it on the radio and am being led by Catholic author, speaker and podcaster Gary Zimak. Rather than stumbling through this alone, it’s wonderful to know so many other people are going through it with me. We may not talk or even know each other, but just the spiritual support of praying for one another is enough to lift me up.
What spiritual riches have you found in Catholicism? Please share!