20 characteristics of a faithful Catholic

Here is our opinion of the characteristics of a faithful Catholic, understanding that on any given day all of us fall short of this ideal:

  1. Faithful: Surrenders to Jesus and tries to do his will, in all life's messiness and struggles.
  2. Dynamic: Spends time in prayer with the Holy Spirit. Is not afraid that this might lead to a "surprise" change of direction.
  3. Flexible: Is not rigid or afraid of legitimate magisterial changes in the way the Church presents its timeless Dogma. Does not seek refuge in excessive traditionalism.
  4. Biblical: Reads the Bible (daily) outside of Mass and takes time for reflection and journaling.
  5. Contrite: Goes to Confession at least monthly, Mass weekly and as often during the week as is practical.
  6. Teachable: Seeks out a spiritual director and meets with them a few times a year.
  7. Magisterial: Adheres to the teachings of the Magisterium on issues of doctrine, life, sexuality and marriage.
  8. Introspective: Constantly works on one's character flaws and habits, praying regularly against the 7 deadly sins of pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger and sloth, and is quick to forgive character flaws in others.
  9. Virtuous: Cultivates cardinal virtues of Prudence, Justice, Temperance and Courage. Makes amends for harms done to others, apologizes when we've wronged someone, returns stolen things. Is honest, chaste, and doesn't cheat on hours at work, or taxes, or on a spouse, etc.
  10. Evangelistic: Tries to share the Good News of Jesus to those who don't know him, and ready to mentor new Catholics. Encourages those caught in habitual or deep seated sin such as porn, drugs, alcohol, food, gossip etc... to seek the Lord's forgiveness, freedom, healing and redemption, and is ready to help them on their journey. This is best done by sharing our own weaknesses and how we've overcome them.
  11. Prayerful: Loves receiving communion, praying with Mary (especially the Rosary), and identifying with particular saints, and going to Eucharistic Adoration regularly. If adoration is not available, many have found benefits of Adoration online.
  12. Physical: Stays as healthy as possible, eating moderately, exercising regularly.
  13. Communal: Makes an effort to belong to a Christian community and to contribute to it.
  14. Austere: Chooses an austere and sensible approach to finances, adopting an attitude that the family should be self supporting where possible.
  15. Familial: Is attentive to the legitimate relational, material and spiritual needs of family members. Daily family Rosary reaps many rewards.
  16. Responsible: Hard working and professional in one's job or vocation, and yes, full time parenting is a legitimate vocation.
  17. Socially engaged: Orients political activity and opinions, including voting, in ways that are consistent with Compendium of Social Teaching of the Church, which provides broad strokes for a healthy society while allowing a diversity of opinions on how to accomplish that.
  18. Practices Solidarity: Has a deep identification with the poor, the disabled, the unborn and is ready to "roll up the sleeves" and help.
  19. Generous: Donates generously to the Church and good causes of our choosing, which we call tithing. We suggest 10% of income. This is putting one's money where our mouth is, especially during persecution.
  20. Loyal: Prays for the Pope, cardinals, bishops and priests frequently and sincerely, especially in these turbulent times.