Study of the Faith gives me in some small way, the wisdom of God. This is not the same as wisdom of the world. I won’t know how to make lots of money or have a successful career, but I will know more strongly why following God is the way to happiness and how to make convincing arguments to nonbelievers. I should be constantly learning more each week to become strong in my beliefs. Having a regular habit of good studying is how to achieve this. If my beliefs are weak, I will be easily swayed by the secular society. Beliefs grounded in study will be firm. I will have fewer setbacks on my way to heaven.
Studying also helps in the Teaching of Others (Chapter 3). If I can make strong arguments for why I believe the Catholic way, I will have an easier time persuading people. This can naturally convert confused people. Natural conversion is when a person makes their own decision to believe without anyone having to urge them to convert. They just hear the truth in my arguments and suddenly see the truth for themselves: the Catholic faith is what’s missing in their life. On the other hand, if I don’t do any studying, I won’t be able to make good arguments. Nonbelievers will find holes in my arguments and use them as leverage to deny my arguments.
Ideal 2.1: I should recite the common prayers, the Church prayers, and the Rosary prayers from memory once a day.
While I can rely on papers and books to say these prayers, it is best to have them memorized. Then I can say them wherever I happen to be. No matter the circumstances I can pray in my mind. Papers and books are a crutch. They aren’t always available. Each day I should quickly recite from memory all the regular prayers I use. If I haven’t done this lately, it may take several days to get them memorized. Once I do though, I can easily recite them in a quick five minutes every day.
- The Lord’s Prayer
- The Hail Mary
- The Glory Be
- Grace (prayer before meals)
- Act of Contrition
- The Confiteor (I confess…)
- The Kyrie (Lord, have mercy…)
- The Gloria
- The Nicene Creed
- The Offertory (May the Lord…)
- The Preface (The Lord be with you…)
- Holy Holy Holy
- Memorial Acclamation (We proclaim…)
- The Lord’s Prayer + Doxology (For the kingdom…)
- Lamb of God
- Invitation to Communion (Lord, I am not worthy…)
Rosary prayers & mysteries
- Apostle’s Creed
- Fatima Prayer
- The Joyful Mysteries
- The Sorrowful Mysteries
- The Glorious Mysteries
- The Luminous Mysteries
- Hail, Holy Queen
- Concluding Prayer
Ideal 2.2: Once a day I should read a Catholic article.
Each day I should be growing in my knowledge of the Catholic Church and faith. An article is any short writing that increases my knowledge of the faith. It should take no longer than fifteen minutes to read per day. Stay away from news. While it is good to be informed on the happenings of the Church, news does not help with study. Opinion pieces can sometimes be okay, but they should usually be avoided also. A good argument can help me understand the faith better, but some authors won’t back up their writings with firm church doctrine. I need to stick to hard facts as much as possible.
Ideal 2.3: I should read about the feasts on feast days.
Many days throughout the year are designated as feast days by the Catholic Church. I should check the church calendar each day for feast days. When I see it is a feast day, I should search for that feast day and read about its significance in church history. Like Ideal 2.2, this won’t take longer than fifteen minutes, and it’s only a few days per week at maximum. Most feasts are anniversaries of famous saints. I should be inspired by their stories to become a better person.
Ideal 2.4: I should read a few chapters of a Catholic book each week.
Catholic articles are good to read, but once a week I should spend some time for more in-depth study. A good Catholic book is the best. I should give myself enough time to read the chapters thoroughly without being rushed. If there are any words or concepts I don’t know while reading, I should take the time to look them up. If the reading brings up any other questions or ideas, I should look those up too. A good length of time is about an hour, a half hour for reading and a half hour to study what I read. I can, of course, do more if I am really interested.