If you are trying to learn more about the Catholic Faith, it is very important to pray frequently. One of the dangers that we can encounter by studying our faith is an increased sense of pride. We can easily feel that we are better than others or that we are solely responsible for our increased knowledge. We can also begin to ignore Our Lord’s promise that the Holy Spirit would guide the Church and question certain infallible teachings, saying things like “That’s what God gave me intelligence for”. Unfortunately, that line of reasoning totally disregards the inspired words of the Holy Spirit in Sacred Scripture:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD. As high as the heavens are above the earth, so high are my ways above your ways and my thoughts above your thoughts (Is 55:8-9)
According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):
“No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” Now God’s Spirit, who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance, but the Spirit does not speak of himself. The Spirit who “has spoken through the prophets” makes us hear the Father’s Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movement by which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. The Spirit of truth who “unveils” Christ to us “will not speak on his own.” Such properly divine self-effacement explains why “the world cannot receive [him], because it neither sees him nor knows him,” while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them (CCC 687)
In other words, we must trust the Holy Spirit, whose gifts were first given to us in Baptism and completed in Confirmation, to help us interpret the “thoughts of God”. This desire to follow God’s plan will ultimately lead us to closer communion with Him. One of the best ways to increase the gifts of the Holy Sprit is to pray. As we strive to learn about our Faith, we should pray for the guidance to follow the right path and to choose the correct material. We should also pray for an increase in the virtue of charity so that we don’t begin to look down at others who may be less knowledgeable about the Catholic religion.
What does the Catechism have to say about prayer?
It is always possible to pray. (CCC 2743)
Prayer is a vital necessity. (CCC 2744)
Prayer and Christian life are inseparable. (CCC 2745)
Sounds pretty important, doesn’t it? Furthermore, St. Paul instructs us to
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17).
While that sounds impossible, a simple prayer called the Morning Offering can make it a reality. The Catechism goes into a lot more detail about prayer and I highly recommend that you read it, but for now the words of the Morning Offering are a good place to begin. Get into the habit of praying it daily and you will find yourself getting closer to Christ, the founder of the Faith that you are studying.
through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer You my prayers, works,
joys and sufferings
of this day for all the intentions
of Your Sacred Heart,
in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
throughout the world,
in reparation for my sins,
for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,
and in particular
for the intentions of the Holy Father.