I wrote this article five years ago, and it was previously published at RealLifeatHome.com. Enjoy it again here!
Putting faith into action isn’t as hard as it may seem. We are all called to be holy and to live lives of grace, but how do we put our faith in Jesus Christ into action on a daily basis? Here are some ideas that may help you get started:
1. Receive the Sacraments. As Catholics, we are so blessed to be able to have guaranteed ways to receive grace. That is the gift of the sacraments. Attend Mass and go to confession. These acts not only bring grace, but tend to lighten any burdens you may be carrying.
2. Limit your TV/screen time. Don’t watch TV that portrays the marriage relationship–or any relationship–in a negative light. When you stop to really think about it, most sitcoms, dramas, and reality TV show sin as normal and even preferable to living a holy life. Ask yourself: Does watching this TV show bring glory to God? If it doesn’t, consider giving it up.
3. Pray for someone who has wronged you. And forgive them. It doesn’t really matter if they are sorry for what they did to you or if they even know they hurt you. God shows mercy to us every single minute of our lives, and it is our duty to pray for and forgive others.
4. Don’t gossip, and stand up for someone. When the conversation with your friends starts veering toward bashing others, sharing juicy details of someone else’s troubles, or anything of the sort, either stop the conversation by standing up for the person or just walk away. I know I have friends in my life who tend to gossip and not listen even when I try to defend someone, so sometimes the best option is to just walk away from the conversation.
5. Donate used clothes, toys, kitchen items, canned food, whatever to charity, and do so with a heart for Christ. We live in a world of constant surplus. I know I have a constant need to de-clutter, and “things” can take over if I don’t keep them in check. Our local Ladies of Charity and food pantries are in desperate need and always looking for donated items. Check to see if your church has a food pantry or a recommendation on where to donate. If you don’t have extra stuff to donate, maybe you can serve God by giving of your time and volunteering at church or at a charity.
6. Read the Bible. This one may seem kind of obvious, but many Catholics are not as familiar with the bible as most Protestants I know. A good place to start is Proverbs. There are 31, so you can read one each day for a whole month.
7. Stop complaining and start thanking God for your blessings. If you are reading this (on a computer or smartphone, with an internet connection), chances are you are in the top 10% of the world’s wealthiest people. Many people in the world today don’t know where they are getting their next meal, don’t have a bed to sleep in or an extra set of clothes. You are blessed physically and spiritually. Be sure to recognize those blessings and thank God for them.
8. Hold your tongue. A big part of being patient is just shutting up. I get along with my husband and am kinder to my children when I take time to really think before I speak instead of just spouting out whatever comes to mind.
9. Organize your house and your mind so that your family receives the best you. I know when my house is a mess and I have a million things on my to-do list, I get stressed and tend to take it out on my family. They don’t deserve that. If I keep the house clean and organized, keep close track of the calendar, and don’t wait till the last minute to get things done, the entire household seems more peaceful.
10. Pray without ceasing. This one’s from the bible. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians, “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” As you may have heard before, prayer has four general parts:
- Adoration – Praising God
- Contrition – Confessing your sins
- Thanksgiving – Thanking God for blessings
- Supplication – Asking for things
Adoration is the first because it’s the most important. God is our creator, our savior, our healer, our everything and He deserves to be praised all the time. So don’t just ask, adore Him.
What are some practical ways you have found to put your faith into action?