This list presupposes such ordinary things like the Sacraments. “Ordinary”, because it is through the reception of the sacraments that we have life. Obviously i’d have led with “Baptism”, but since i said “Catholic”, that already presupposes the reception of fundamental sacraments. Here are the 6 things i think a Catholic must do and be doing to be on the track to heaven:
1. You Must forgive:
“Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”.
Do you know what you are telling God? “If i do not forgive others, do not forgive me”. A Catholic must always forgive others in order for God to forgive us when we ask him. It is okay if it is hard for you, but you must try, always try. Do not say “I can never for give you”, but ask God to give you the grace to forgive people who hurt you deeply. Do not seek revenge or to “get even”, do not seek to return evil or evil. Let it go, even when it is painful.
Forgiving people does not mean you must stay close with everyone.
There is need for wisdom here. For instance, if you discover that someone tried to steal from you, forgive them, but be careful with your things. If you find out someone tried to poison you (and you are absolutely sure), then please, by all means, avoid eating anything they give you and keep them far from you. So, forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean you should keep everyone close to you,even those that could harm you. Pardon them, don’t press charges (unless you are sure they could fatally harm others, then you MUST report them), help them when they’re in dire need.
2. You must pray:
This is a given. A Catholic must pray as often as their state of life permits. Willfully ignoring prayers and Sunday masses is tantamount to excluding ourselves from the Life of God and we cannot show our willingness to be with him eternally if we cannot be with him in time (on earth).
3. You must give:
To receive you have to give first; you cannot receive life unless you die. You cannot be in heaven if you don’t first kill that voice screaming “mine, mine” in your head. Selfishness must first die before you can live. We are all charged to look out for the good of others, give to them, and even make room for the next generation by caring for the environment and contributing to your community and the world.
4. Obedience is compulsory:
You must obey the laws or God, the Church and State. As long as the laws of state are not contrary to that of God or the Church one must obey them, and one must also respect legally constituted authorities. God prices obedience more than all the sacrifices you can offer. You’re better off as an obedient man than the man who works miracles.
5. You are bound to keep watch:
Do not sleep on duty, do not take breaks in seeking what is right, in seeking for justice and in doing what God wants. The man God finds watching is the one who receives his reward. The Christian life is tough, really tough, with admixtures of pleasure from time to time but always with a steady joy of soul. We cannot stand with darkness or side with anything immoral and refuse to give them up. Anything sinful we perceive in our hearts must be engaged in deadly battle, no excuses, no mercy.
6. Finally, and most importantly, believe, hope in and love God:
Loving God means becoming like him, believing in his word and acting on it (charity), to the point of laying down our lives for his love. Then loving our neighbors for God’s sake. It also means, loving everything God has made and taking care of his world. We also have to depend on God, to trust in his word and hope for his salvation. No matter how difficult things are, how much we struggle to make things work in our lives, in our struggle for heaven, we must depend on God and believe that he sees our good intentions.
Giving up is not the attitude of Saints; not the attitude of warriors. You are in a fight, you have to stay up, you can have scars and bruises, God will heal you through Penance. He will give you food in the Eucharist, and you will receive counsel from his Church. Stand up each time, read books, pray, go to see him in the Blessed Sacrament, go to Mass, go to confession. DO NOT STOP, EVER.
Remember to ask the Saints:
They are there to help you. You read about and learn from them, you ask them for prayers when you are down, and they surely aid you from above. Ask Mary most especially, it is her very special office to bring the most wretched of sinner to Christ. So no matter how low you feel, just know that a Mother is beside you to help and to bring you to her son.
Peace be with you!
Add more on the comments, i know i may have missed some 🙂