Making Disciples Today: Blog

The Making Disciples Today Blog has reflections to help you grow in your journey of missionary discipleship, reviews on recommended Catholic evangelization resources, and practical insight on how to evangelize in your daily life. 

Sacramentals are a part of most Catholics’ prayer lives.  Before we jump to how to evangelize with sacramentals, we need to understand what they are.  A quick review on the difference between sacraments and sacramentals...

Sacraments

Sacraments are actions of the Holy Spirit at work in the Church (CCC 1116). These actions are a visible symbol of invisible reality, signs that communicate the grace they signify (CCC 1127). God speaks to us through his visible creation and is incarnate (made flesh) in the visible world.  

Christ used physical signs and symbolic gestures as a visual means to help those he was healing understand the invisible reality. He used spit and clay to heal the man born blind (John 9:1-12), healed the deaf man by placing his finger in his ear, spitting and touching his tongue (Mark 7:31-37) and by spitting on the blind man’s eyes and laying his hands on him (Mark 8:22-26).

God, who created us body and soul, communicates his truth to us not only through ideas and words, but through sensible signs as well.

Sacramentals

Sacramentals, on the other hand are objects intended to strengthen our faith by reminding us of God’s presence in our lives and calling us to prayer.   They are different than the sacraments in that they are instituted by the Church versus sacraments which originate in Christ.  

Huge thank you to Amy Brooks at Prayer, Wine & Chocolate for this list of tips for staying focused in prayer - and for permission to reblog it as part of our How Do You Pray? series.  

I have never been tested for ADHD; however, I am certain, I would pass that test with flying colors. 

So, I write this post with great empathy for those who have trouble staying focused during prayer time.

(Note: Our Executive Director, Kristin, has been tested and is being treated for ADHD, so we totally understand the sometimes challenging task of staying focused.  You can also check out: Overcoming Distractions & Anxieties in Prayer.)

Most people think of Easter as a single day. It’s never had the commercial appeal of Christmas, and because it always falls on Sunday, most people don’t get an additional day off from work.

But for Catholics, Easter isn’t just a day, it’s a whole season. The Easter season stretches all the way to the feast of Pentecost.

Lent, which sometimes feels like it’s stretching on forever, is actually forty days long. Easter, on the other hand, is all of fifty days long.

The Stations of the Cross refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.  

All Catholic parishes have depictions of Christ’s Passion and death called the Stations of the Cross, The Way of the Cross or Via Dolorosa (way of suffering) In many churches, the Stations of the Cross are depicted in stained-glass windows, but other media are used as well, including paintings and stone or wood carvings and sculptures.  Often on Friday evenings during Lent, you can find a parish that’s open with Catholics meditating and saying prayers in unison before each of the 14 stations.

The Stations of the Cross is a Lenten devotion that offers witness to Jesus’ Passion and Death. Often, the Stations of the Cross is an action prayer. Catholics walk to the fourteen stations of the Way of the Cross and stop to pray at each one.  At each station we use our senses and our imagination to reflect prayerfully upon Jesus’ suffering, Death, and Resurrection, and to simply experience the visual images to reflect on Christ’s love for us.

We've listed the best Way of the Cross prayer resources for...

    • busy adults who may not be able to join your parish Stations of the Cross prayer time.