The other day, I had a meeting for my job (I work with the Catholic church near my school) and our director said something that stuck with me. She said that one of the biggest reasons why people walk away from the faith is that they don’t grow out of their second or eight grade faith.
What she means by that is that people learn about their faith, but stop after those grades. She says this because so often, once you make your First Communion or Confirmation, going to catechism & youth group is “no longer relevant.” So many people assumed they’ve learned what they can learn after those grades, and so they stop. Sure, they might go to church, but so many of them don’t try and reach out to learn more. And guys trust me, there’s soooooo much more than what you learn when you’re young.
Not trying to grow in faith causes so many people to leave the Church, because they aren’t getting the answers they need. As my director put it, people aren’t asking questions, because they either think they already know the answer or they’re afraid to look dumb to others around them. They don’t search out the big convictions they’re having between what society says and whatever the Church says. (Think marriage, LGBTQ+, Abortions, the big things that become really important to us as we get older…) Instead of figuring it out, they just leave. They assume there can’t be a good reason for the Church believing this, or the Church must just be wrong.
I mean, how true is that!?!? How many people do you know, maybe even yourself, who don’t really go to church anymore? The last thing you’ll find them doing is reading a Bible! (This was me. So me.) Life just gets in the way. There’s sports games. There’s too much homework or work. Sleeping in sounds better. Netflix sounds better. (These were my excuses. Totally my excuses.) I understand all of this!
And even if you just leave the Church because you don’t agree with some of the things it teaches, I can understand that too. It’s hard to feel like the whole world is against you. It’s so easy to feel like the Church is trying to discriminate, even when it’s telling you the cold-hard truth.
The bottom line, though, is that I believe so many people aren’t taking the time to seek out their faith in the same way they did when they were in Catechism when they were younger. I mean, I know I didn’t for a long time. Look around you. So many people are still stuck with that second or eighth grade faith. Maybe they’re stuck with the twelfth grade faith when they graduated from Catholic school. And that was it for them.
But we’re older than that now and just like we grow & change, so should our faith. God knows this and invites this. He wants us to question things. That’s how we learn. No wonder why so many people fall away from the Church!
And of course you’re going to have questions and maybe you won’t feel pulled to God anymore. That takes time and effort. And trust me, there are good answers out there for your questions, and there are so many people out there who would be happy to answer them. Maybe just reading the Bible can start to do that for you. And God will fill you with that Holy Spirit again.
Personally, the amount that I have learned about my faith that I never knew, during this past year…is incredible.
I’ve asked a ton of questions. I’ve googled things. I’ve read books. I’ve mostly, though, spent the time to read the Bible and really pray. Being a Catholic is something you have to work at every day, it doesn’t just come to you. But trust me, it’s worth every second of it.
So, I decided to put together a mini list of the way I read the Bible and a few other resources I use to pray or even find answers to things. My hope is that you can take something away from this blog today that you weren’t using before, even if that means just praying again.
Highlighters & a Pen
One of the things that helps me stay organized when I’m reading the Bible is to highlight different parts of a verse, in different colors. I like to do this when something really stands out to me, because I can go back and know exactly what kind of message it’s bringing across to me. I don’t highlight everything, although you probably could when it comes to the Bible, but I try to keep it to key statements and words. I’ve listed the colors & what they correspond to below.
- God’s Promises/Wisdom/Prophecy=Orange
- Holy Spirit=Purple
I also use just a simple pen, while reading, to mark down anything important. Sometimes, I’ll underline or circle something. Sometimes, I’ll write little notes. I go crazy with this sometimes, but it helps to mark up what’s important!
Here are the pens I use. I swear by them: Pilot G2 Pens
I also use a notebook while I’m reading the Bible cause ya girl loves to write! I find this is such a good way to get my thoughts and worries out, as well as thanks that I have. Without realizing it, writing can truly help you to figure out what’s going on in your mind or just relieve some stress. Why not do it while reading the Bible!?
I don’t try to limit my writing to anything perfect or uniform, I write whatever, whenever. I usually don’t go back and look at what I wrote too often, it’s just a way to get my thoughts out on paper. And I know nobody else will be reading it either, so I don’t pay mind to what or how I’m writing. It’s just an extension of me.
Here’s some cute notebooks I’d use to write in: Click here!!
I get a DD sent to my inbox every day and guys, I love it. They send you the readings for that day and then a little blurb, written by different bloggers, about the readings. It’s such a great way to start my morning, or something nice to read while I have a break. It doesn’t take long to go over & it’s nice to take some time just to pray for a second, as well. The DD I use is by Blessed is She. Go check it out.
You could also purchase a book for this. I’ve used one before that was a year-long devotional and omits the readings, but just gives you something to think about every day. Each month was a different theme, and that was wonderful. There’s so much to pray and think about.
I try to use the DD with my Bible, but that doesn’t happen a ton. It’s nice, though, when I don’t know what to read, because I’ve got a few readings right there, already laid out for me. Plus, it helps me focus on what’s important in the readings, because it’s so easy to get lost in it all.
Okay, this is only kind-of a devotional, but here is a CUTE coloring book I found: Color The Psalms: Catholic Coloring Devotional
This sounds kind of odd, but music is another great way to pray & praise! I say Spotify, because it’s the music app that I use the most. They have all types of genres on there, including Spiritual & Worship genres, which I love! They find music that you sometimes would never find yourself, which is great. I hate hearing the same songs every day. There’s a ton of playlists on there, so it’s worth a listen.
Tip: Even if you don’t have Spotify premium, if you use Spotify online (search for Spotify Web Player on Google & log in), you can listen to whatever song you want, whenever you want. Let’s hope this NEVER changes! I think there’s still ads for this, but it’s so much better than the app, where you can’t skip many songs or pick what you want to listen to.
I needed to add this one in, because it’s the number-one way I get my questions answered. I come up with a lot of random things I wonder about, but Google is the best. If you search for your question, there are a ton of Catholic sites that will come up with answers. Trust me, you aren’t the only one wondering what you’re wondering. My favorite sites are the forums where other Catholics answer the questions, because I love seeing answers from a lot of people. Sometimes, they’re great to read actual experiences people have had with the Holy Spirit or other things. It’s crazy, but so cool. This is one great thing I use to grow my faith.
Be careful, of course, that you’re reading a trustworthy & reliable site!
Do not be afraid to look for answers. Whether or not it seems like it, I bet your church is happy to answer them too. Ask your priest/pastor, ask other members of the church, ask others who work in the church. There’s so many things you can do get your questions answered.
Is there something else you guys do to pray? Leave me a comment below,