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“Ask a Priest: How Can I Avoid Being a Lukewarm Soul?”
Q: After reading what Jesus said about the lukewarm, I certainly want to avoid this. I read that even if you go to Mass each week and pray often, you can still be a lukewarm soul. As a young kid in today’s world, what can I do to avoid becoming lukewarm (or cold for that matter)? Thanks. – M.J.
Answered by Fr. Edward McIlmail, LC
A: It’s great that you are already perceiving the risk of being lukewarm and having a desire to avoid it.
One answer is to have high goals. Jesus calls you to be a saint, nothing less.
That means we aren’t satisfied with just attending Mass on Sundays. We want to grow in virtue and we want to try to evangelize the culture around us. These go hand in hand. The more we share the faith, the stronger we become in it. And the first people we need to evangelize is ourselves.
A few practical steps might help for growth in holiness.
First, make time for prayer every day. Ideally we should pray in the morning, around midday and at night, at least. It helps to read a bit of the Gospels each day. Get to know the person of Jesus. He is your best friend. It would be good to pray the rosary daily, too.
Second, frequent reception of the sacraments is crucial. It helps to find a solid, regular confessor who can guide you. Aim for at least monthly confession if you can.
Third, it would be good to get involved in some kind of Church-related work, such as working in soup kitchens or visiting shut-ins. This helps us see where other people are and how much they suffer.
Fourth, try to read books that inspire you. Lives of the saints can give us great examples.
Fifth, think about doing a retreat sometime. That can be a great opportunity to go deep in our spiritual life and see where God is leading us.
Sixth – and this is crucial in today’s culture – program your time well. You want to avoid of trap of so many people who build their lives around TV, movies and web browsing.
Try to get to Eucharistic adoration, too. Time spent with Our Lord in the chapel is some of the most valuable time we’ll have in this world.
Maybe this prayer from St. Richard of Chichester is worth keeping in mind: “Day by day, dear Lord, of you three things I pray: to see you more clearly, love you more dearly, follow you more nearly, day by day.”
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