Yesterday morning we had a very beautiful homily. Father L. talked about 4 different ways which helps us get to Heaven.
The first way to get to Heaven is to follow the Catholic Church's teachings. Christ founded only one Church on earth. That doesn't mean we're better because we're Catholic, we're just more blessed. He talked about the early Church Fathers and how many protestant ministers have converted by reading their writings. The Catholic Church still teaches today what they wrote about in the early Church. He talked about a show on EWTN on Monday nights called "The Journey Home" hosted by Marcus Grodi, a former Protestant minister. We should also pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be for the conversion of one family member this Lent.
The second way he mentioned is of course, the Sacraments. The first being the Holy Eucharist. He said we should try to go to Holy Mass more than just once a week. We should also go to Confession at least once a month. This would be a great way to make the First Saturday devotion. Every First Saturday at our parish we have the First Saturday devotions. It begins with meditations before Mass, The Holy Sacrife of the Mass at 9 am, followed by Confessions, and then we have a pot-luck breakfast in the hall afterwards.
The third way to get to Heaven is to spend 1/96th of our day in prayer. This means spending 15 minutes of quiet prayer time by yourself. This can be done by praying the Rosary, reading the Gosples, or maybe reading the lives of the saints. I usually get up before the kids and pray the Rosary in bed or in our prayer room, depending on how the baby is doing. Last year I purchased Praying the Rosary with St. Therese of Lisieux so I can pray while I'm nursing the baby, but so far I haven't been able to coordinate it. Elizabeth wrote about praying the Rosary here. I'm also reading a beautiful book given to me by our dear priest Fr. C. called The Reign of Jesus Through Mary. Our three oldest girls have been doing spiritual reading in their rooms before they come downstairs. Our 11 year old and our 18 year old are reading The Imitation of Christ by Fulton Sheen. Our 14 year old is reading Catholic Girl's Guide by Fr. F. X. Lasance. As soon as our boys are old enough we're going to give them A Young Man’s Guide by the same author.
The fourth way to get to Heaven is to make an examination of conscience every night before we go to bed. We can do this by going over the 10 Commandments and the Seven Deadly Sins. This can also help us the next time we go to Confession. Before we put the kids to bed, we should help them go over the 10 Commandments and make an act of contrition with them. Here is a wonderful Examination of Conscience for Adults, which is based on twelve virtues for the twelve months of the year, and here is an Examination of Conscience for Children for ages 9-13, but I'm sure it can be used for older kids as well. We haven't been doing this every night, but I am now inspired to do this and I will be purchasing these two booklets.
He said his job as a priest, and every priest, is to help us get to Heaven. He should be able to take our hand, and place it securely in God's hands. Let's pray for our priest every day as they as they strive for holiness and help us on our journey to Heaven.
Prayer for priests
O God, Who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the eternal High Priest for the glory of Thy Majesty and the salvation of mankind; grant that they whom He hath chosen to be His ministers and the stewards of His Mysteries, may be found faithful in the fulfillment of the ministry which they have received. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.