I’ve written in this space before about how every Catholic thinks every other Catholic is an expert at prayer when in truth, most of us have never been taught how to pray. The same goes for devotions such as the Rosary or the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Luckily, there are dozens of different books, pamphlets, and how-to-videos about how to use these devotions. But here’s something that might be even more effective – your own parish’s “The Beginner’s Guide to…” whatever type of prayer or devotion you’d like to introduce your parishioners to.

What most how-to guides are missing is the personal touch, such as examples from the author’s life or the sense of humility that comes from sharing something deeply personal. Contrast those sorts of guides with this Beginner’s Guide to Adoration from LifeTeen. Author Caitlin Sica mentions her difficult moments in Eucharistic adoration, her favorite praise and worship songs, her experiences with developing a habit of prayer.

This is what your parishioners need to hear from you and your pastor. So today, think about “The Beginner’s Guide to…” that your community most needs. And set about writing or recording one that speaks not only to the ins and outs of how to engage in a particular style of prayer or devotion, but that reveals something of your own experience. You’ll be amazed at how this kind of humble sharing can put people at ease and give them the courage to begin.