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Vivienne Smith wrote:

Hi, guys —

I am very uneasy about the many different Catholic posts I see that say that Jesus or Mary will make special promises to people who pray a certain way, receive Communion only on the tongue, or wear certain medals, etc.

It's almost seems like they are hoops that have to be jumped through to get closer to God. This bothers me a lot. It seems that my closeness to God is measured by employing different activities rather than how sincere my heart is.


  { Is my closeness to God measured by the sincerity of my heart or doing these various activities? }

Paul replied:

Dear Vivienne,

We must always steer clear of superstitious practice.

We cannot force God to answer our prayer in the way we want by performing formulas of prayers or acts. God knows what's best for us and will answer our prayers accordingly.

There are some things that spring from private revelations, like wearing certain medals, scapulars, or attending Mass on certain days with certain prayers, etc. Nevertheless, private revelation, while they may communicate ways to become closer to God, are not something Catholics must believe to be saved.

It would behoove us to remain united with the Church's Sacred tradition, and to ask the Holy Spirit to guide our prayer life and show us how we can best please God with our prayers and actions.



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