Tuesday 27 February 2024

Seven Daily Habits for Faithful Catholics - Father C. John McCloskey

Seven Daily Habits for Faithful Catholics
Father C. John McCloskey

Seven Daily Habits for Faithful Catholics - Father C. John McCloskey

I stumbled across this booklet while doing research for another review. I was a big fan of Father McCloskey back when I first started blogging I have been referencing back to his Catholic Lifetime Reading Plan since 2006. This little booklet is an excellent resource. The description of the booklet states:

“The most popular Catholic booklet of its kind in America, Seven Daily Habits for Faithful Catholics was adapted from an extremely popular article by Father C. John McCloskey, "the convert maker."

It provides seven traditional ways to spend more time with Jesus on a daily basis, along with practical advice on how to approach and implement spiritual habits amidst our distracting secular culture.

Its power to transform lives is profound and simple. Any person who adopts one or more habits will grow closer to Christ in short order. Our Lord does the transforming. Even the most devout Catholics will discover principles to incorporate to their daily routine.”

The chapters and sections in the booklet are: 

A Realistic Approach to Changing Your Life
     The Only True Happiness
     What Are the Seven Habits?
     More Important than Meals, Sleep, or Work
1. The Morning offering
2. Fifteen Minutes of Silent Prayer
3. Receiving Holy Communion
4. Fifteen Minutes of Spiritual Reading
5. Pray the Angelus
6. Pray the Holy Rosary
7. Examine Your Conscience
The Time is Already There
Do Not Be Discouraged
Helpful Prayers
     Morning Offering
     The Angelus
     Prayer Before Study – Saint Thomas Aquinas
How to Pray the Rosary

I highlighted a number of sections my first time through this booklet, some of them are:

“First, remember that growing in these daily habits, just like taking on a diet or a physical exercise program, is a gradual work in progress. Do not expect to insert all seven (or even two or three) of these into your daily schedule immediately. You would not attempt a marathon without training beforehand or try to play Mozart after your third piano lesson. Haste will invite failure and God wants you to succeed at both your pace and His.”

“Gradually incorporate the habits into your life over a period of time in a way that fits your particular situation. For example, you may not be able to adjust your schedule right away to be able to attend Mass every day due to geographical or professional limitations.”

“Next, with the help of the Holy Spirit and your favorite saints, you must make a firm commitment to make the seven habits the priority of your life—more important than meals, sleep, work, and recreation.”

“I have never met a person who lived the seven habits on a daily basis who became a less productive worker, a worse spouse, who had less time for his friends, or could no longer grow in his cultural life. Quite the contrary, God always rewards those who put him first.”

I hope those quotes give you a feel for the quality of this little volume. When I was in university, I was involved with Campus Crusade for Christ, there was a series of booklets by the founder Bill Bright, called Transferable Concepts, and by reading them many times you could almost memorize them and the message so that you could share it. This volume reminds me a lot of those books, but specifically geared for Catholics. I could easily see rereading this every month for a year. Picking one of the 7 to focus on that month then circling back. I can state easily this is a booklet that can be read over and over again and each time you read it you will benefit from the reading. This little volume left me wishing I could track down more of Father’s works.

This is an amazing little resource. You can order them in bunches for a reasonable price or download the PDF for free. It is a tool that is guaranteed to help you grow in your spiritual life. I highly recommend this booklet for all Catholics!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2024 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by C. John McCloskey:
Good News, Bad News: Evangelization, Conversion, and the Crisis of Faith
Priests for the New Millennium

Contributed to:
Navigating the Interior Life: Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God (Forward)
How to Get to 'I Do': A Dating Guide for Catholic Women (Forward)
Remembering Belloc (Forward)
Lord of the World (Introduction)
The Essential Belloc: A Prophet for Our Times (Editor)
The Mississippi Flows Into the Tiber: A Guide to Notable American Converts to the Catholic Church (Afterward)
Winning Converts (Contributor)

Magazine Articles:
(Free to circulate)
Recovering Stray Catholics
Evangelization in the United States

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