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A Spiritual Playbook

In today’s world it seems there are lots of obstacles to being a good Catholic. Work hours, family obligations, and other temptations take our eyes off the prize. A couple of years ago I purchased the Daily Roman Missal to follow along with the readings during Mass. I quickly learned that the Missal is so much more than the collection of daily and Sunday readings. In the back, for example, is an entire section titled, “How to Be a Better Catholic.” A Spiritual Game Plan offers a roadmap to help make sure Jesus is the center of your life. I will attempt to summarize it here, offering commentary and a grade on how I think I am doing in all of these areas.


Get up at the same time as early as possible. In fact, the Missal suggests 8 hours and adds that more than 8 or fewer than 6 is not healthy. I consistently get 7 but more and more are managing to get 8. I wake up anywhere from 5 to 6 on weekdays and around 7 to 8 on weekends. Grade: A

Offer your day to God through the intercession of our Lady. I do not do this consistently however I do listen to Jeff Cavins’ Daily Reflection on Hallow. I use that as my daily offering. Grade: B

Work well. This guidance pertains to whatever work you do in life, whether it be a job outside the home, working for yourself, or for family. You should strive to do your very best. The Missal suggests setting goals and priorities. I am extremely organized in my work life. Grade: A

Attend daily Mass. I do not do this. I wish I could however I need to be at work by 8 a.m. and between fitting in exercise, breakfast, and sleep, even if I could find a Mass time that worked, it would be a challenge. I do, however, do this on Feast Days and just go into work late. Grade: C

Spend time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. I do not do this. There is not an opportunity for me to do so in parishes near me. Grade: C

Pray the Angelus. I do not do this however I do pray the Liturgy of the Hours in the morning and occasionally in the evening. Grade: B

Pray the Rosary. I used to do this daily for two years but have gotten out of the habit. I would like to do so again. Grade: B

Do a spiritual reading. The Daily Reflection contains a reading, as do the Liturgy of the Hours. Grade: A

Make an examination of conscience at day’s end. I have not done this but would benefit from adding this into my day. Grade: D


Attend Sunday Mass. I only miss Mass maybe two to three times a year. Grade: A

Dedicate and pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday. I attend weekly Mass on Saturday evening and we end Mass with three Hail Marys. Grade: A


Go to confession. I do not do this monthly. Maybe once a year, if that. I need to do this. No excuse. Grade: D

Seek and follow the guidance of a priest. I listen to Bishop Barron’s Word on Fire podcast, as well as Fr. Mike’s Catechism in a Year podcast. Grade: A

Spend a few hours in recollection. I do not do this. Grade: F


Spend two or three days each year in silence on a retreat. I do not do this. I’m not even sure I could!? Something to strive for perhaps. Grade: F

So, if I average out my grades, I have a C! Seems there’s more than room for improvement in my quest to be a better Catholic. I am not discouraged, though, because as I reflect on all these things I realize not everyone does even the things I have managed to integrate into my life. C is average. I think I am average! Wondering what your grade would be?

Take this quiz and find out!

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