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The fourth and final installment of the Register’s annual Advent guides to the Catholic faith.
BY The Editors
This week, we offer the final of our four
guides to being Catholic. By making copies, or finding extra copies online, we
can spread the faith in the way Pope Benedict asked. Here are his words to us
from his recent U.S. trip:
“Is it consistent to profess our beliefs in
church on Sunday, and then during the week to promote business practices or
medical procedures contrary to those beliefs?
“Is it consistent for practicing Catholics
to ignore or exploit the poor and the marginalized, to promote sexual behavior
contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or to adopt positions that contradict the
right to life of every human being from conception to natural death?
“Any tendency to treat religion as a
private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect
of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the
Precepts of the Church
You shall ...
• attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation and
remain free from work or activity that could impede the sanctification of such
• confess your sins at least once a year.
• receive the
sacrament of the Eucharist at least during the Easter season.
• observe the days of fasting [Ash Wednesday; Good
Friday] and abstinence [Fridays] established by the Church.
• help to provide for the needs of the Church.
Advent, starting four Sundays
before Christmas, is a time to prepare for Christmas. Use it as a time to invite people to return to church.
Season 2 Christmas
season lasts until the Baptism of the Lord in January. Make
a New Year’s resolution to better follow the precepts of the Church.
Season 3 Lent lasts
from Ash Wednesday to Palm Sunday. Start a new practice: daily
Rosary or daily Mass.
Easter season is longer than Lent because
Christ’s resurrection is the basis of our faith. All
year, each Sunday recalls Easter. Reserve Sundays only for your family.
Season 5 Ordinary
Time includes May, the month dedicated to Mary; October, the month of the
Rosary; and November, the month of the dead. Get
a Catholic calendar and follow special feast days.
The Ten Commandments
1. I am the LORD your God: you shall not
have strange gods before me.
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD
your God in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the LORD’S day.
4. Honor your father and your mother.
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Own: The Bible (get a Catholic
edition), the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available through several
publishers, first released in the 1990s), the Compendium of the Catechism of
the Catholic Church (2005’s shorter Vatican Catechism in question-and-answer format).
try: Fulton Sheen, G.K.
Chesterton, C.S. Lewis, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Mother Teresa (books on her
sayings), Scott Hahn, Karl Keating and Peter Kreeft.
planning using moral (and effective) new methods (not rhythm) means a woman
won’t feel used or suffer side effects, and a man will be less inclined to
think of her as a sex object and take more responsibility for the consequences
of sex. To learn more:
poor are very close to Christ, and he will judge us on how we serve them.
Volunteer: Contact your local parish or local Knights of
You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s
the four joys of Christmas to last all year? They can.
A life of Mass, confession and prayer will
bring you frequent gifts — and happy surprises about yourself, your loved ones
and the world we love. Guaranteed.
There are many loving sacrifices in the
Christian life: in our time, money, sexuality and good deeds. Experience the
incomparable joy of self giving year-round.
Families are joyful when Christ is the
reason for our gathering. Prayer and faith transform family life in every
The Life of Jesus
The story of the humble Savior fills us
with joy each year. His life has many stories to inspire us — enough to fill
every day of the year.
Answers to your questions:
for the Faith
Content: National Catholic Register