Prayer and the sacraments— especially the Eucharist and Confession—are the foundation of the Catholic disciple’s way of life. We don’t just go to church or go to Mass on Sunday or even daily. We pray the Mass. We study it, reflect on it, try to live a life that pre-disposes us to receive Holy Communion worthily. We learn about the faith to deepen our faith, to give God the worship He deserves to the best of our ability, so that, prepared by our daily spiritual life and through our worship at Mass, He can give us and we can receive the sanctifying grace necessary for our salvation. (Receive grace, preserve it, increase it.) And through it all He is drawing us clower to Himself and changing us by degrees more and more into a more perfect likeness of Him.
Below are some links to help you develop this life of prayer and study and reception of grace in the sacraments. This is the heart of Catholicism, of Christianity. Without this, the rest of it has no meaning whatsoever.
Liturgical Prayer and Worship
- Mass Times: Don’t miss that Sunday or Holy Day obligation when you’re traveling! Find a Catholic Church anywhere in the world.
- New Mass Responses of the Congregation: Durable cards showing the responses from the new translation of the Roman Missal. Approved by the USCCB. We use these at the chapel at EWTN.
- Introduction to the Solemn High Mass in the Extraordinary Form: What is the Mass? What is its role in the Economy of Salvation? Fr. Justin Nolan, FSSP, answers these questions and more in his talks. Download the audio. Posts about the workshop: Intro. Graphics by me for listeners to the audio.
- Sancta Missa: Online tutorials about the Mass in the Extraordinary Form (which happens to be an extraordinarily beautiful form, let me tell you). Tutorials, PDF’s, videos, online store and more. And it’s a pretty site too! Below is a sample of what you’ll find there.
- Universalis: Pray the Divine Office with online help from Universalis. Also available for WAP phones, by email, and by web feed for syndication.
- Catholic Calendar Page: Gives the day in the liturgical cycle, Mass readings, and Rosary.
- Calendar page at Women for Faith and Family
- The School of Prayer: An Introduction to the Divine Office for All Christians, John Brook. An excellent introduction to the prayer of Holy Mother Church. Includes a commentary on the four-week psalter (the arrangement of the psalms in a four-week cycle). A marvelous way to develop your prayer life. Much food for meditation and prayer is to be found in the inspired poetry of the psalms.
Daily Prayer: Practices and Helps
- Basic Catholic Prayers listed at EWTN.
- Basic Catholic Prayers at Catholic Answers.
- Apostleship of Prayer. A traditional practice of the faithful is to consecrate one’s daily life to Christ upon rising in the morning. Try it for a while and see the difference it will make in your life.
- Basic Daily Catholic Prayers: These are the same basic prayers you’ll find on many sites but the page is attractive and clean and looks like it would print out well. Be sure, whichever of these pages you use, that you develop the practice of Grace Before Meals, if you haven’t already. Oh, yeah. Even in restaurants. Especially in restaurants. We are to be witnesses. Light for the world. Salt of the earth. So be brave, be bold, make the Sign of the Cross and say that blessing!
- Also see the Rosary and the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy below. These are two major Catholic prayer practices that many non-Catholics have also adopted.
- Novenas to Various Saints
The Holy Rosary: Prayer and Meditation on the Life of Christ Through Mary’s Eyes
Madonna of the Rosary, by Lorenzo Lotto, Public Domain. From WikiArt.org.
After the Mass itself and the Divine Office, there are many forms of prayer and devotion beloved by Catholics around the world. Two of the most popular forms are the Rosary and the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.
- The Scriptural Rosary App: “TThis app is a great way of praying the Rosary, because each Hail Mary is preceded by short scripture verses. These promote meditative prayer; it is easier to keep focused on each mystery. You can choose between the Knox Bible, the New American Bible, or Douay-Rheims Bible according to your preference. If you forget which mystery to pray, do not worry because the app will automatically show the correct mystery for each day of the week.” From the app page on the iOS App Store.
- Pray the Rosary, Expanded Edition, with Scriptural Meditations. This is an excellent little booklet that will fit easily into your purse or laptop bag. Contains images and meditation helps: a shorter version and a longer version with Scriptural readings for each of the 15 traditional mysteries and the 5 mysteries suggested by Pope John Paul II. A wonderful way to learn to pray and meditate on the Gospel story every day.
- The Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary: Enroll in the Confraternity and pray the Rosary weekly with the faithful all over the world. There is no cost to enroll and the benefits are priceless. The The Rosary Light and Life Newsletter is sent out six times a year and is also available on the web. I’ve been getting these in the mail for a while but lately I’ve begun to download them to have them all at my fingertips in my database application.
Devotion to Christ as The Divine Mercy
Divine Mercy in my Soul, Saint Faustina. Read the book about St Faustina, about Jesus’s appearances to her many times in her short life, and about the beautiful devotion that He asked her to make known.
Through St. Faustina, the Merciful Savior has given the aching world new channels for the outpouring of His grace. These new channels include the Image of The Divine Mercy, the Feast of Mercy (Divine Mercy Sunday), the Chaplet, the Novena to The Divine Mercy, and prayer at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the Hour of Great Mercy.
Although these means of receiving God’s mercy are new in form, they all proclaim the timeless message of God’s merciful love. They also draw us back to the great Sacrament of Mercy, the Holy Eucharist, where the living Lord, who suffered and died on the Cross and whose Heart was pierced with a lance, pours forth His mercy on all mankind, and grants pardon to all who draw near and honor Him. As Jesus told St. Faustina:
My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners…[I]t is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. For them I dwell in the tabernacle as King of Mercy. (Diary, 367)
Update April 29 2019: I’m going through these pages, one by one, to check links and make any necessary corrections. If you find any broken links, etc., please let me know. Thanks, and thanks for reading. God bless!