Developing A Plan of Life
Keeping it simple. Keeping it focused.
You know it. We know it. Getting started with a Plan of Life that’s focused on Christ isn’t always easy. It means changing habits such as getting away from time suckers such as the TV and the computer. It means managing what we watch and listen to. It means doing more for others and less for ourselves. It is a life of sacrifice and joy. That said, start small. No one expects you to start by reading the encyclicals. How about squeezing in five minutes of prayer each day? A weekly Rosary with your family? Once you start you’ll be amazed at what happens when the old habits start to change.
I. PRAYER LIFE. Seriously examine the current status of your prayer life. Pray and reflect upon how you can make improvements. Suggestion: Wake up five to ten minutes early and spend that time in prayer. Bible Verse: Matthew 7:7-11
II. CONFESSION/RECONCILIATION. By birth we are all sinners, and one of the best ways to conquer sin is through the Sacrament of Confession. God’s healing touch and grace manifests itself most abundantly through this Sacrament. Suggestion: Make a commitment to attend Confession monthly. Bible Verse: Luke 15:11-32
III. HOLY MASS AND HOLY COMMUNION. Our eternal salvation depends on allowing Jesus to save us. Jesus promises us eternal life through eating and drinking His Body and Blood through reception of Holy Communion. Suggestion: aim for daily Mass and daily Communion. Bible Verse:
IV. APOSTOLIC LIFE. To be a follower of Christ is to be a missionary. We are challenged to grow in our faith, but also to share our faith with others. Suggestion: Daily recitation of the Rosary with the family; Invite a fallen Catholic back to the Church. Bible Verse:
V. PERMANENT FORMATION. Catholics today must make a concerted effort to learn their faith more deeply. Learning the faith is a necessity for everything we do. Suggestion: Spend at least fifteen minutes every day in serious study of the faith. Bible Verse:
VI. PENANCE. To succeed, the soul needs to apply itself seriously to two practices: prayer and penance. Our Lady of Fatima insisted that all people offer sacrifices for the conversion of sinners. Suggestion: Since Friday is a day of penance, choose something from which to abstain. Bible Verse:
VII. WORK. God said to Adam that he would earn his bread by the sweat of his brow, and St. Paul exhorts us to work out our salvation. Idleness is the workshop of the devil, so carefully examine your daily work for areas to improve. Suggestion: Be punctual, hardworking, and honest, because your work is for the Lord. Bible Verse:
VIII. VOCATIONAL CALL. Every person is called by God to a specific vocation. We must discern and pray for our vocations. Suggestion: Ask yourself how you can be better and improve in your vocation. Bible Verse:
IX. SPIRITUAL DIRECTION. In addition to frequent confession, spiritual reading, and serious theological studies, those who are pursuing the path of perfection should have some form of periodic Spiritual Direction. We all have blind spots and need someone other than ourselves to help us on the demanding and rigorous path to becoming a saint. Suggestion: Seek out someone who can help you on your spiritual journey, and if you can be a guide for someone else, seize the opportunity. Bible Verse:
X. MARY: OUR LIFE, OUR SWEETNESS, AND OUR HOPE. A successful plan of life would be incomplete if Mary weas neglected. As St. Louis de Montfort asserts: “The quickest, easiest and most efficacious path to holiness is through True Devotion to Mary.” Suggestion: The Daily Rosary, Consecration to Mary through True Devotion, reading about Mary, living in the presence of Mary and imitation of Mary’s virtue. Bible Verse: