30 Ways to Live a Holier Life
We are called to be holy. On this simplest level, that means living a life centered on God. This is done by talking with him a lot, imitating his behavior, and developing a love and respect for his creations. It also means loving and participating in the Church he established on Earth to help us be holy. When Jesus called us to be holy, he wasn’t just talking to his Apostles. He was speaking to all of us. For the next 4 weeks, we will be sharing up to 30 ways to live a holier life as taken from Growing in Faith Publication.
Make more time for prayer. Spending time together is the best way to get to know God better. Get up early, pause before meals, go to bed later.
Go on a personal retreat. Plan a pilgrimage to a holy site. Visit area shrines and other historical churches and religious sites.
Keep the Sabbath. Try not to work or travel on Sunday. If you’re on vacation, find a church locally to attend Mass. Make Sunday Mass the highlight of your week.
Be a voice in the wilderness. Don’t worry if you are the only one saying or doing the right thing.
Share and share alike. God wants us to take care of each other. Look for more ways to share your money, time, and talents with someone who needs them.
Celebrate the Sacraments. Do whatever you need to do to be able to receive Communion. Go to confession and celebrate God’s forgiving spirit.
Practice respect. Treat all people with the dignity they deserve as children of God. Use respectful language with everyone in your life.
Learn to let it go. Think carefully before arguing, fighting, disagreeing, or criticizing. Be an instrument of peace.
Share your faith. Talk about God with anyone who will listen. He doesn’t want us to keep his love all to ourselves. We have to pass it on.
Read Scripture every day. Give up some of the time you use reading newspapers and magazines and devote the time saved to studying a book of the Bible.
Speak words of encouragement. People’s lives are filled with harsh criticism and very little praise, bad news, and sad news. Be the one who lifts spirits with encouraging words.
Take on self-denial and sacrifice. In our society, it’s fashionable to accept fast and easy ways to satisfy our desires. Model self-denial and sacrifice. Shed excess possessions, practice fasting, give to the poor, avoid buying what you don’t need.
Take on Justice. Don’t stand by and witness an injustice. Often it takes just one person to take action and thereby begin changing the situation.
Practice forgiveness and learn to be forgiven. Examine your conscience, and practice fasting and sacrifice. Take part in the sacrament of reconciliation regularly.
Actively participate in Mass each Sunday. You can’t be an active member of the club if you don’t go to meetings. Sing the songs, pray the prayers. Register with your parish and look for ways to get more involved.
Serve the poor. Look for ways your gifts can be used to serve others. Call your local Catholic Charities office to find out how you can help.
Be a domestic church. Offer your home as a place for friendship and hospitality.
Know your faith. Study the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Visit a Catholic bookstore or the Internet for resources on faith and the Church.
Keep your faith visible. Add candles, Christian pictures and statues to your home. They serve as visual reminders of who is really the center of your life.
Walk Away Leave when the conversation or jokes get vulgar, racist, or intolerant. If you stay, and say nothing, you give silent approval.
Avoid gossip. Work hard to avoid gossip and or speculating about other people. Remember, there’s no way to know someone else’s heart—leave that to God.
Pray some more. Write your prayer-intentions on a slip of paper or a post-it and put it in your wallet, on your refrigerator, on your desk pad or bulletin board — wherever you’ll see it often.
Share faith. Talk about God’s presence in your life with other people. Try getting involved with your parish Faith Formation program for those learning about the Catholic faith. Invite non-Catholics to church with you.
Pray for others. Pray for those involved in a passing funeral procession, an accident, or whenever you hear an ambulance, fire, or police siren. Cross yourself and ask God to help all those who are ill or in pain—and those who work to heal them.
Visit churches when you travel. There are beautiful churches almost everywhere. For example, visit the immigrant churches like St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City or the old Spanish missions in the West and Southwest. (There are 121 churches in the Diocese of Lafayette. You can easily visit many of them during a weekend drive.)
Share your gifts. If you sew, crochet, or knit, donate homemade items to children in hospitals or the elderly in nursing homes. If you love to read, record books for the blind. Cook or bake homemade goodies with a single working neighbor or a busy young family. If you’re handy—offer to help a neighbor with minor fix-it jobs.
Look for evidence of God’s love every day - then share what you see with someone.
Dress modestly. Avoid outfits that call attention to yourself inappropriately. For example, don’t accent body parts with clothing, piercings, tattoos, jewelry, etc. That kind of attention distracts people from noticing the practice of your faith.
Don’t give up. Serious problems like drug abuse, gambling, alcohol addiction, or money trouble can drag anyone toward despair. No matter what your struggle, remember that no matter how many times you fail God will never leave you. Keep trying. Many of our greatest saints were sinners first.
Fear not. It’s human to fear trouble, illness, pain, or even death. But God’s children know that he will always provide what we need. “Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32) “...seek first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides” (Matthew 6:33).