Went to my first Mass in 15 years, first confession in 16-17 years; thoughts
#21


Congratulations!!! 

Try saying the Three Hail Marys (or Three Ave Marias, if you know them in Latin) every morning and night, starting tonight, if you can.

I started this practice a long time ago and it's especially helpful when you can't concentrate long enough to say the Rosary, or know you'll probably fall asleep if you try saying the Rosary at bedtime.  You can, of course, say it any time and say other prayers with it.  It's difficult to tell yourself you don't have time to say three Aves, though, which makes it a powerful way to get back into prayer when you've been having trouble praying.

I have seen several different versions of this online (some add a number of other prayers) but one site I found tonight says:

"The Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary taught the "Three Hail Mary Devotion" to St. Mechtilde about the year 1270. It's rather simple. Pray the three Hail Mary's in honor of the Holy Trinity who lavished so many graces upon Mary and then end with: "O my Mother, preserve me this day (or night) from mortal sin."   That site said it was particularly recommended against sexual sins, and that Pope Leo XIII indulgenced it. 

I just read an article a day or two ago that said that the great Franciscan Doctor of the Church St. Anthony of Padua was one of the first to say the Three Hail Marys and recommend the practice to others. "His special aim in this practice was to honor the spotless Virginity of Mary and to preserve a perfect purity of mind, heart and body in the midst of the dangers of the world." 

The celebrated Franciscan missionary St. Leonard of Port-Maurice had the three Ave Marias recited morning and evening in honor of Mary Immaculate, "to obtain the grace of avoiding all mortal sins during the day or night; moreover he promised in a special manner eternal salvation to all those who proved constantly faithful to this practice."

St. Alphonsus Liguori was a strong supporter of the practice and even imposed it as a penance on those who weren't already saying it.  Of course, St. Alphonsus and all the holy doctors of the Church say "A devout servant of Mary shall never perish."

Here's a longer version of the chaplet, for which you don't need beads, since you have fingers to count on, but you can also easily use the crucifix and first five beads of any rosary or chaplet and then you  have a crucifix to kiss after making the Sign of the Cross:

How to Pray the Little Chaplet of 3 Hail Marys

A personal devotion chaplet for home worship.

Introductory prayer

Eternal Heavenly Father, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary I offer Thee this Little Chaplet of three Hail Maries for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory and for the souls of all poor sinners on earth, especially Bishops, Priests, and Religious, and those within my home and family; according to Thy most holy Will; in Jesus Name and in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God forever and ever. Amen.

Mary ever virgin, Daughter of the Father, pray for us.
Mary ever virgin, Mother of the Son, pray for us.
Mary ever virgin, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, pray for us.

On the Cross, make the Sign of the Cross
and pray The Apostle’s Creed.

On the first Large Bead, Pray
1 Our Father

On each of the three small beads, pray
1 Hail Mary

On the second Large Bead: Say
1 Glory be

Followed by the Fatima Prayer
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell; lead all souls into Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen

Concluding Prayer
Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, have mercy on us.
Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament, pray for us.
Holy Angels and Saints of the living God, pray for us.
Amen.


I can't always remember the words to the first prayers, but I can almost always reel off the Credo, Pater Noster, three Aves, a Gloria and the Fatima prayer easily and it doesn't take much time.  If I'm really sick,
or so tired I can barely keep my eyes open at night, I just say the three Aves,

But I always add "O my Mother, preserve me this day (or night) from mortal sin" at the end.


Vox has a very good page about Mary that you can peruse http://www.fisheaters.com/mary.html
but a search for this devotion on the main FE site didn't turn up a specific reference in the first couple of hits and I knew I could find info elsewhere.  You might be interested in some of the Scriptural references, comparisons of Mary and the Ark of the Covenant. 




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#22
Thanks for the advice everyone.   It is now quite plain to me why the church discourages mixed marriages;  most of you probably grew up around Catholic symbols, Saints, celebrations, and I know very little of that.  Maybe that is why this is harder for me. 
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#23
(03-01-2011, 12:25 AM)Robert De Brus Wrote: Thanks for the advice everyone.   It is now quite plain to me why the church discourages mixed marriages;  most of you probably grew up around Catholic symbols, Saints, celebrations, and I know very little of that.  Maybe that is why this is harder for me. 

A lot of us are converts, including me.  I just read a lot, starting when I was a kid, but not all converts get  into being Catholic as much.  It's often said that converts make the best Catholics but I think that's unfair to cradle Catholics.

It seems that many of the cradle converts here were away from the Church and then reverted, so I don't think you're too different from the rest of this school of fish.  I went through my "atheist" decades, too, by the way and have heard many others here say they had no faith for years.

Try the Three Hail Mary devotion.  Calling your Mother always helps.






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#24
(03-01-2011, 01:03 AM)Revixit Wrote:
(03-01-2011, 12:25 AM)Robert De Brus Wrote: Thanks for the advice everyone.   It is now quite plain to me why the church discourages mixed marriages;  most of you probably grew up around Catholic symbols, Saints, celebrations, and I know very little of that.  Maybe that is why this is harder for me. 

A lot of us are converts, including me.  I just read a lot, starting when I was a kid, but not all converts get  into being Catholic as much.  It's often said that converts make the best Catholics but I think that's unfair to cradle Catholics.

It seems that many of the cradle converts here were away from the Church and then reverted, so I don't think you're too different from the rest of this school of fish.  I went through my "atheist" decades, too, by the way and have heard many others here say they had no faith for years.

Try the Three Hail Mary devotion.  Calling your Mother always helps.

Yes,  my mother has always had a strong Marian devotion, but not so much any of the Saints.  I am hoping perhaps attending one of the daily low Masses will give me more inspiration to pray.

One thing I will say about my rather dry Catholic schooling, they did drill the Stations of the Cross into me very well.  The services for Good Friday, even being NO, were moving to me as a child.   Aside from that, I realize now how thin my Catholic education was.  My siblings also fell out of the faith, perhaps for the same reasons I did.
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#25
(02-28-2011, 02:50 AM)James02 Wrote: As far as prayer, say a Hail Mary.  Try to develop more, but concentrate on what you CAN do with prayer, not what you SHOULD do.
+1
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#26
(03-01-2011, 12:25 AM)Robert De Brus Wrote: Thanks for the advice everyone.   It is now quite plain to me why the church discourages mixed marriages;  most of you probably grew up around Catholic symbols, Saints, celebrations, and I know very little of that.  Maybe that is why this is harder for me. 
Maybe...lotta converts out there, tho (adult) -- it's fun to get to know the extended heavenly family :)
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#27
:clap:  Congratulations!!!  Now just keep putting one Catholic foot in front of the other.  You're working on the hardest part now.  That's developing your higher will.  Feelings are part of the lower will.  They are like the wind, changing all the time.  You're higher will is what sustains you and strengthens you and brings you closer to God.  You're on the right path, just keep to it, one small step at a time.  Thanks be to God.  :thumb:
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