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What Are the Pillars of Catholic Life?

Question:

What values are the pillars of an authentic Catholic life? I am looking for a basic start and renewal of my faith.

Answer:

The foundations or pillars of an authentic Catholic life are summarized in the traditional four pillars of Catholic catechisms: faith, liturgy/sacraments, life in Christ, and prayer, which Peter distills in Acts 2:42.

In that light, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) is an essential “playbook” or guide for any Catholic, and its table of contents, along with it subject, Scripture, and other indices, are useful in helping even the novice gradually and confidently navigate its contents.

We need to know the Church’s teachings on faith and morals, which encompass the sacraments and prayer as well. We also need to implement those teachings in our lives, relying on the sacraments—the fundamental source of grace in the life in Christ—and an ongoing prayer life in general to grow closer to Jesus and his Church.

So frequent reception of the Eucharist and regular reception of the sacrament of reconciliation are highly recommended, and a daily prayer life is a must, including personal prayer and Scripture or other religious reading. In this regard, one should be mindful of one’s state in life, meaning a husband, for example, should pray regularly with and for his wife and children.

Fidelity to Church teaching, which provides us the truth that sets us free (see John 8:31-32), is non-negotiable, which means the authentic formation of our conscience does not give us veto power over any Church teaching, contrary to misguided doctrinal views to the contrary (see CCC 1776, 783-85, 1792). Rather, one should grow in the three theological virtues (faith, hope and love), the four cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude) and the other virtues as well, and seek the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit to aid the cause—all of which are all addressed in Part Three of the CCC.

If one faithfully uses the CCC as their basic guide to life, they will do well in the life in Christ.

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