7 Habits of Highly Effective Catholics

Marcel LeJeune over at Aggie Catholics compiles his list, with a h/t to Stephen Covey.

For starters:

Habit #1 – Participate in the Sacraments Regularly.
Sunday Mass is a given. To be effective you must also participate in a regular habit of Confession (once a month is a good start) and regular daily Mass, when possible. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament can be tagged on to this as well.

**“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” -Acts 2:42

Habit #2 – Dive Deep into Prayer.
Prayer is the link between God and man. We cannot expect to be good Catholics if we aren’t in a personal relationship with God. The foundation of this relationship is a personal daily prayer life.

**”Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thes 5:16-18

Habit #3 – Build Virtue and Root out Vice.
What virtues do we lack? These are what we need to focus on. Pick one virtue you need to improve and work on it. If we can improve in one virtue, then it generally helps raise up others. While doing this try to root out any vices you have, especially those that control you regularly.

**”Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” -Phil 4: 8-9

Habit #4 – Know Scripture and Church Teachings.
The more we know about Christ and His Church, the more there is for us to love. The more we can apply to our lives concretely. But, it starts with educating ourselves and knowing what he really taught, not just what we think he taught. This is a life-long process.

**“All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” -2 Tim 3:16

Check out the rest.

Any others that he might have missed??

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13 responses to “7 Habits of Highly Effective Catholics”

  1. OOOOOH, Good Homily material for this Sundays Homily…just what I was looking for.

    Thank-you Holy Spirit.

  2. I would have to agree with you Rudy.
    Take your Catholicism seriously but not yourself.

    As for the “stiff drink” now and then…we have 2 sisters in our parish that are very close to 90 years old. Not only do they take their Catholicism seriously, they take a shot of “medicine” every night at bedtime.
    Works for them…why not us too.

    Peace to all

  3. Excellent article. And friscoe eddie, if you get right with God and His Church with these highly effective methods, then doing for others and trying to end abortion are fruits of that relationship.

    And I agree with Rudy and oldestof9. We should never forget Jesus first miracle was to change water into wine to keep the party going. I, like your two 90 year old nuns often take a little “medicine” each night and I think it has worked for me at least up to my current 77 years of age.

  4. I’m 100% with friscoeddie on this one. The list talks about “virtue” as if it were a private matter, but Jesus told us explicitly that we would be judged on our treatment of people in need. Surely, then, caring for the “least of these” should rank in the top 7 habits of good Catholics.

  5. May I gently and humbly suggest that the comments here taking exception to no mention of the poor are treating this list as a recitation of disconnected dimensions of faithful Catholic life.

    In truth, one cannot do all seven well unless one does them in an integrated fashion, as each influences the practice and fruits of the other. Social justice for the poor and the least (including the pre-born) comes under almost every one of these categories.

    Consider the fruits of the Holy Spirit:

    Long-suffering (patient suffering over an extended period)

    The fruits are actually the great virtues that are the product of a christian life lived with true integrity of all functions.

  6. Caring for the poor is not a “disconnected” dimension of faithful Christian life. It is the essence of faithful Christian life. Not my view. Jesus said it. In fact, He said that we are to find Him in the poor.

  7. Ron, the point is that the seven dimensions all lived well are done so in a connected manner and produce the first of the fruits of the Holy Spirit: Charity.

  8. I went to Stephen Covey’s website and read his 7 habits. and I see he a motivational speaker. Another person who has been a motivational speaker for last 9 years is Herman Cain. He left Godfather Pizza 2002.
    The motivational speakers are the well spoken gurus of shallow pop thinking.. they do it well. I call them Lipton soup .. all flavor but no nutrition.
    Herman’s 9-9-9 self destructed and he is now outed as pro-choice.
    lesson…Beware the glib

  9. I do think this is very individualistic, very me-and-God, with the exception of the admonition to participate in the Eucharistic liturgy. No Catholic is a Catholic alone–even hermits are united with the whole Body of Christ. Yes, the practice of all these 7 should result in a growth in caritas, but I would have liked to see something less implicit on practicing responsible stewardship (the larger lifestyle of discipleship in communion that promotes just actions and affects all our relationships with others–not just those we find ourselves sharing a pew with).

    But I second the admonition to cultivate joy. I was blown away to learn, from Matthew Levering’s new book The Betrayal of Charity, that the Thomistic definition of sloth is not just spiritual laziness, but the stubborn refusal to cultivate joy–a disposition that requires discipline. As an often too-Eeyoreish Catholic, I need that admonition tattooed on my forehead.

  10. friscoe eddie. Not sure what you have against motivational speakers. I would support one of them if their topic was closely linked with something like these 7 habits of highly effective Catholics any day. It certainly is better than supporting a community organizer who only method of leadership is creating targets for the mobs to hate as their way of motivation.

    And as to caring for the poor, that will come when we are good and faithful Catholics and grow closer to Christ. Like Christ, that should mean that you give of yourself on a personal basis and has nothing to do with big government programs drawn not from what we give, but from what is stolen by government. I once again am waiting for anyone to see Jesus calling for higher taxes on the rich so that Rome could provide care for the poor. What I am certain he called for was protection for children and killing them in the womb certainly would not sit well with Christ nor should it be accepted by any Catholic. In fact, I would suggest that a Catholic who supported the murder of babies in the womb is lacking in these identified seven habits.

  11. JKM…

    I like what Leon Bloy said (and what James Martin has recently reiterated in his delightful new book):

    “Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God.”

    Rejoice, always! 🙂

    Dcn. G.

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