Catholic In Need Of Help:

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I am a 18 year old Catholic who is need of help. I know very little about my spirituality and need to learn more. CCD for me was a joke, did nothing to learn about the nature of the Catholic faith or truth. Im trying to find information on conservative catholic practice, as was my late grandmothers practice.

Good Catholic practice still centers on the Sacraments. At your age this primarily means Mass and Reconciliation/Confession, prayer and the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

May I recommend you get a copy of The Catechism of the Catholic Church which is divided into four sections on The Creed (The Profession of Faith), The Sacraments (Celebration of the Chritian Mysteries), the moral Life in Christ and Prayer.

Four a great daily prayer dicipline may I recommend a subscription to Magnificat, a magazine that includes morning and evening prayer based on the Liturgy of the Hours, along with the Mass readings and prayers and other traditional Catholic devotional prayers. its great. I have a subcription myself and love it.

Like the Scaraments and prayer the Works of Mercy are never out of date.
In addition to the previous suggestions to focus on the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, and purchase the Catechism of the Catholic Church might I also suggest you pick up a small booklet entitled “Handbook For Today’s Catholic” (ISBN 0-89243-671-9). It is fully indexed to the Catechism but much less daunting initially than the Catechism itself.

I still think the Catechism is excellent and a “must have” as you mature in your faith and understanding of Catholicism. I’ve read it several times in the last 10 years and highly recommend it. However, it runs to about 700 pages and having a “study guide” like the Handbook to start with and then using the index references to refer to the Catechism will probably be easier at first.
I think at the age of 18 it is fantastic that you want to explore your faith more.
At 18, I was hopelessly lost, and abandoned my faith.
I applaud all the aboe answers.
I, at the age of 33, have also started reading the Bible.
And I dont mean skimming through it.
Read a passage, and see how it applies to you today.
Its amazing how such an old book can mean so much today 🙂
Love Kellie
Thanks guys see I attend mass, practice the sacrements, have a copy of the catchesim and such I just feel im lost . I didnt know what a novena was up until last night lol.
Like Kellie says, this is a lifelong (literally) journey we are on. I’m beginning to think from what you’ve written that your sense of feeling lost is really just a fervent desire to continue to learn and grow in your Faith. Keep it up and God bless you! 👍
Thanks guys see I attend mass, practice the sacrements, have a copy of the catchesim and such I just feel im lost . I didnt know what a novena was up until last night lol.
When you get to CU get in with some solid friends of a similar mind to you. You will find all persuasions at CU, but there are a lot of good people there too. I love the crypt chapel at the Basilica. Most guys at you age feel lost. I did, but I muddled through. I have finally decided what I want to be when I grow up. Retired. Elven years to go! 🙂
The above suggestions are wonderful and I just wanted to say God Bless You! How wonderful that you care enough at this age to want to learn more. I would suggest getting some info about the Rosary. I found the tapes or CD’s helpful to learn the prayers, the routine of the Rosary, and the mysteries. My parents just finished listening to the Bible on CD and said it was awesome. I often fall asleep reading and think the CD would be good for me. I’m more of an auditory learner anyway.

Good luck and God Bless!
Something I found helpful was to attend my church’s RCIA classes. They tend to be better aimed at teaching the faith to adults than CCD. Every RCIA I have ever known teaches not only to candidates, but also as a refresher to current Catholics. Plus, it is a good way to meet new Catholics. It usually consists of one night a week for 2 hours, so it isn’t all that time consuming either. It is like anything, you get out of it what you put into it.

Respectfully, Mike
Congratulations on wanting to explore and learn your faith! That is the Holy Spirit working in you, and believe me, no matter how long you live, there is ALWAYS more to learn!

I agree with what others have said. Strangely enough, some of the best books I have read that have helped explain the faith are those written by converts, especially Scott Hahn’s “Rome Sweet Home” or any book by Hahn.

Also, the Mary Foundation has tapes FOR FREE, they just ask for a donation. Their website is

They have “The Mass Explained,” “The Truth,” “The Truth About Mary,” “The Conversion of Scott Hahn,” “The Conversion of Fr. Corapi,” and more!

Also, there is a great on-line bible study, also done by Scott Hahn’s foundation, the website is:

Be excited that there is so much richness and depth to our exciting Catholic Faith, and the mysteries of Our Lord are ones that will be contemplated not only during our entire lives on earth, but for eternity!

Time in prayer before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament will also help your faith to grow and become alive. Many adoration chapels provide wonderful reading and prayer materials.

God be with you on your journey to become closer to Him!
Thanks guys see I attend mass, practice the sacrements, have a copy of the catchesim and such I just feel im lost . I didnt know what a novena was up until last night lol.
Go for the mass,sacraments,read your bible…these are constants…but also try spending time in prayer…just by yourself…without any prayer books…talk to the Lord…invite the holy Spirit, ask Him to teach you to pray…and you will find a beautiful relationship with the Lord starting to flower…
for starters one that was very helpful for me was “Miracle hour” by Linda Schubert
you can get it here…its just a small book, costs some $2 or somethign…gives you a starters format in which you can pray by yourself for an hour…

the experience is amazing!! dont miss it!!

Good for you to want to enhance your relationship with God! Take a look at the thread on “In Conversation With God,” a series of books of meditations for every day of the year. There’s a lot of doctrinal and spiritual formation in each meditation. It might be just what you want/need. There are links in the thread to places you can buy these books. I highly recommend them.

Here’s the link to the thread:

I’m not trying to be facetious (although it’s a little hard not to be, with a book title like this), but if you feel you were poorly catechised, you might want to take a look at Catholicism for Dummies (my wife has stolen my copy, so I can’t tell you who it’s by). When I called our local parish to sign up for RCIA, I mentioned that I had read that book, and the DRE commented that she wished she could put that book into the hands of a lot of the members.

What helped me after I joined the church was attending retreats at a monastery. The dedication of those in vowed life inspired me to fall in the mystery of our faith - to fall in love with Christ. Our liturgy-dogma-doctrines-then became a gift - to support me -and I’ve been raised on eagles wings.
Thanks guys see I attend mass, practice the sacrements, have a copy of the catchesim and such I just feel im lost . I didnt know what a novena was up until last night lol.
You’re already doing the right thing… you are asking questions… 🙂 …I attended Mass from 9-33 before I realized I hadn’t been catechized or formed properly and had to go through RCIA to get confirmed, so you’re doing what you need to do to become better informed a whole lot sooner 😃 . Being willing to ask questions about those things you aren’t sure about is a huge first step. It takes guts and courage (and little nudges from the Holy Spirit 😉 ) and a kind audience. You’ve got the first two (and it sounds like you’re getting the third 😛 ) and we are very willing to offer the fourth. I’ll let somebody else tackle the novena question because I don’t know what it is either. And I’d never heard of a scapular before. And I couldn’t pray the rosary to save my life before a week ago. But you keep working on it because there’s a ton of information contained out here that will answer most of your questions, and if the answer isn’t here somewhere someone will answer it kindly if you ask it. If you have your basic resources, and you are willing to read them and use them, these guys are great to help you figure out how.
Hey, you’re already 8 years ahead of me for where I was when I was were you are now.


When I was 25 years old, I realized what you’re realizing now at the age of 18.

I volunteered to be a catechism program assistant volunteer… and immediately I was now a catechist-in-training.

Talk about “to learn something, teach it!”

Okay… maybe that’s not an option for you. I mean… getting formal and informal formation as a catechist.

Um… read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Buy your own copy, if you can. Both it and the Bible are where it’s all at.

Then, check out **EWTN’s Faith ** section:

I suggest this because EWTN’s Faith section has parts for:


Catholic Q&A**


Devotions - like various novenas and litanies and prayers

And see the movie, The Passion of the Christ. More than once. On the large screen before the video and DVD come out in October.

Paperback -
Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions About The Passion of The Christ
by Tom Allen, Marcellino D’Ambrosio, Matthew Pinto, Mark Shea, Paul Thigpen

Get that little paper-back book about 100 Questions About The Passion (the movie).

Check out what it is that we do, anyway, at Mass… and why.

Like “Why do Catholics bounce on one knee?”

There’s a Catechism Internet Study Group that you could jump into –

Father Jim Mifsud, SM has many of his homilies at Queen of Apostles Roman Catholic Church videotaped for the Web. He was my pastor when I lived there… and he’s still there, giving great homilies!!

Click on the photograph of him at the home page for Queen of Apostles and you’ll get Windows Media Player playing a 30-second welcome.

There’s a whole ton of very good Websites out there for “things Catholic.”

Among them, I’d say that if you spent any time at all at these, then you’d be well on your way to a very solid direction in exploring our Catholic Faith:

** ** (also known as “the Catholic encyclopedia”)

** ** (of course, that’s the premiere Catholic apologetics Website) – be sure to check out the archived one-hour long radio episodes of Catholic Answers radio program, each with a different topic. They’ve got about 5 years of archives there… and the program runs every weekday, so they have lots from which to choose.

A **mother lode of theology ** answers at:

I especially enjoyed delving into the **Imitation of Christ ** by Thomas a Kempis (, one of the Catholic classics at:

It’s got the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola:

And **St. Augustine’s Confessions ** are classic!

Check out the Catechism of the Catholic Church, first…

Thanks guys see I attend mass, practice the sacrements, have a copy of the catchesim and such I just feel im lost . I didnt know what a novena was up until last night lol.
What helped me at certain point was teaching CCD- The challenge of sharing our Faith and accepting the responsibility of sharing it with children was an enrichment after just being confirmed . I’m not married and do not have children-so don’t let your age deter you.
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