Are we practicing our faith?


Christ’s presence is represented within the Eucharist during Mass.

A recent survey of Cathedral students asked what their definition of a practicing Catholic is. Answers varied from “someone who goes to Church and prays” to “living your life how God would want you to.” Many high schoolers think that being Catholic means following a lot of rules. Yes, there are many requirements for being a Catholic such as confession once a year, Mass on Sundays, and no meat on Fridays during Lent. However, the “rules” are really more like a guide book on practicing faith to help get through life and can apply to all, not just Catholics.

In today’s culture, high school students are dealing with a lot of negative influences and stress stemming from social media, expectations for college and career paths, materialism, body image goals, grades, peer relationships and more. Students have to manage all kinds of activities and find motivation to keep going. What some high schoolers may not realize is that “practicing” your faith is a way to deal with these everyday challenges, and that simply by being at a school like Cathedral they are actually already practicing their faith.

Just like in sports, it takes practice to get better, make your shots, and run faster. Without practice, it’s basically impossible to be a top athlete. One can have some natural athletic ability, but without a lot of practice, there will never be any mastering of the sport. Spirituality and faith can work the same way. A lot of students say they are Catholic or part of a religion but that they do not really “practice” their faith; or that they are spiritual but not really doing anything particularly faithfull. Most students just think that since they go to mass once in a while, they are a practicing Catholic. However, being a student at Cathedral means you probably are in fact practicing your faith.

Here at Cathedral, students are given opportunities to practice, develop and strengthen their faith every day. Cathedral offers countless activities, classes, groups, ministries, and programs that can help students learn, deepen and practice using faith in God to help deal with the day to day challenges of being a high school student. Regardless of one’s particular faith, every student has an amazing opportunity each and every school day at Cathedral to find, grow and pursue faith in God.

At the beginning of many classes, teachers lead the class in prayer. There are regular school liturgies. There are events such as lunchtime prayer and pizza groups with Father Matthew. There are retreats and service events. All students are in a religion class. The weekly newsletter includes faith based inspiration. There are clubs such as Dons for Life and Hearts of Cathedral. Even just being around the artwork at Cathedral like the statues of Juan Diego and the buildings all named after a saint can provide faithful inspiration. These are all examples of how to “practice” being faithful and spiritual and provide a tool box of ways to deepen our faith in God.

Going to Mass on Sundays is like going to a sports practice once a week. If you can make time for sports you can make time for one hour of mass for God and ten minutes of prayer everyday. Praying in class or at sporting events is like nourishing your body with good food to make it through the game. Going to confession and finding hope is inspirational, similar to positive thinking before playing in a game. Being a practicing Catholic or practicing one’s faith can mean a lot of different things to people, but also it is simply about doing spiritual or faithful things throughout your day to help you get through your day.

Some days there will be more practicing faith than others. Sometimes it can feel difficult to get to Mass on Sunday. Sometimes practicing faith may feel more like a chore or a waste of time than doing something fun. Practicing can be hard work sometimes and requires sacrifice of time. However, becoming better at praying and feeling the rewards of being faithful or having a faithful experience can bring so much positivity and joy to an otherwise often difficult day or week. And here at Cathedral we are fortunate to have some kind of faith opportunity every day.

So, yes, here at Cathedral, we are constantly given ways and opportunities to practice being faithful to God which can help us get through this amazing journey called life. Life is our only opportunity for us to make it to Heaven and be within God’s presence. God wants us to commit to Him and give him time in our everyday lives. There is no excuse as to why we cannot take at least fifteen minutes a day to spend time with Him.