Modesty is Annoying

Modesty is annoying. That's right, I said it.

And not just little brother level of annoying. It's like stand-still traffic, spilled hot coffee, only AM radio, and little brother in the back seat level of annoying.

I really, truly, feel this way. Dressing modestly is not easy. You have to search longer when you're at the mall. You can't always embrace the new fashions without a little (or a lot) of modification.

Fame, Fortune, and Faith

Do you ever look around at all the actresses, singers, athletes and reality stars and wonder why you can't be famous like them? Maybe you pray at night that you'll get 'discovered' on YouTube. Or maybe you want to get famous spreading God's word. That can't be bad, can it? After all, can't you do more for him as a celebrity than as an average person?

Why Do Catholics Follow the Ten Commandments?

Catholics follow the Ten Commandments because Christ, Himself, followed them and because He told others to follow them (Matthew 19:16-19). We also follow them because they were given to us by God. In the book of Exodus we read how God himself gave these commandments to the Israelites through the help of Moses. However there is more to following the Ten Commandments than just because 'God told us to.'

We obey God's commands because He loves us! Because God loves us and loves us perfectly we can always trust His word. Also, because God created us we can trust that He always knows what is best for us.

Now What?: Advice for After a Youth Conference

When you wake up, you look at your floor, strewn with t-shirts, phone numbers of friends, and your journal. You remember the moments that challenged you, the resolutions you made to make changes in your life: to delete the songs on your computer, to change who you hang out with, and to basically be the Mother Theresa of the tenth grade.

Catholic, Summer Book List

Now that it's well into summer you're starting to pass from the 'Yes! I don't have to go to school!' phase into the 'Wow, I'm really bored' phase. It's a great time to start digging a bit deeper into the Catholic faith, to start growing more in your knowledge and love of God. So here's a list of some awesome books to get you started.

Why Do Catholics Exclude Others from Receiving the Eucharist?

Only Catholics can receive the Eucharist at Mass because the Eucharist is the Sacrament of our unity in Christ; those who receive it need to have unity in the Faith.

The practice of excluding some people from Holy Communion is a Biblically based, ancient Christian discipline observed by both Catholics and many Protestants.

Why Do Catholics Cross Their Head, Lips, and Heart at Mass?

In the outward sign of crossing our forehead, lips, and heart, we are asking that the Word of God to pierce our mind, lips, and hearts.

We cross our forehead so that the Word of God may be in our thoughts and purify our minds. We cross our lips so that our speech may be holy and incline us to share the Gospel with others. And we cross our hearts to invite God to strengthen our love for Him and others. All of this is so that we might know, proclaim, and love Jesus Christ all the more.

How Do I Start Reading the Bible?

I used to make fun of my neighbor behind his back. I didn't want to see him do well. I secretly hoped he would strike out or the outfielder would catch his ball. Then I could get up there and hit a home run! At last, I'd have my moment to shine. I would be considered the best. Everyone would want to be like ME! I was envious and it tore me apart. I had no character. I was a bad teammate and a bad friend.

Why Do Catholics Make the Sign of the Cross?

Catholics make the sign of the cross because it is a brief profession of the Christian faith, which we received from the Apostles. 'Through the Sign of the Cross we place ourselves under the protection of the Triune God.' (CCC 2157)

As often as we make the sign of the cross in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, we are saying that we believe in God, a Trinity of three persons, and the Redemption of the Cross.

“Happily Ever After”: Does it Exist?

Today the song 'Payphone' by Maroon 5 came on the radio as I was driving. Of course since then I've had it stuck in my head . . . particularly the line, 'If ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏhappy ever after' did exist, I would still be holding you like this.'

This line annoys me. If I could say two things to Adam Levine (the lead singer) I would tell him . . .

Why Do Catholics Wear Scapulars?

According to Catholic tradition, Our Lady gave the scapular to St. Simon Stock, the Father General of the Carmelite order, in the thirteenth century. Mary appeared to St. Simon in a vision, held out a scapular and said to him, ' . . . he who dies in this will not suffer eternal fire.'

Does this mean if you wear the scapular you get into heaven no matter what your actions? Of course not!

The scapular is not a “get out of hell free” card or a magical charm. It is an exterior sign of an interior fidelity to Christ and trust in his Mother's love and intercession for her children.

Marriage Impossible?

Oh, Tom and Katie, what went wrong? What happened that made a love so exciting, so public, so strange and sort of off-putting, end? It made me wonder about the general state of marriage; about half end in divorce. It seems more and more that marriage is a mission impossible. (See what I did there?)

Baby, You’re a Firework… Sort of

But then I thought about it more and I decided that the LAST thing I want to be is a firework. As exciting as they are, fireworks don't really have a long life. There's a high-pitched hum, a crackle, and then a really cool explosion of light that lasts for maybe five seconds.

And that's all there is. Except for the smell of sulfur that lasts for another minute, and the charred out debris that lands somewhere. For all of their glory, fireworks burn out pretty fast. No matter how high they go, no matter how cool the colors are, they're forgotten when the next one goes off.

10 Fun Things to Do with Your Summer Break

One of my favorite things about high school was the last week of school. Sure there were finals, but I knew the school year was about to end, and it was almost time for summer break. Ah… summer break. Oh how I would look forward to it. Oh how I would long for it. Oh how I would plan out all the exciting things I was going to do, only to get trapped in a cycle of boredom within a week. You probably know the drill and have been there before. There's nothing to do. It's too hot, and theme parks are too expensive. So, what can you do? Well, if you're not already going to Life Teen Summer Camp, here are 10 fun things you can do with your summer vacation.

Fight Like a Saint

My goal in life is to be a saint, and I hope yours in too, so we need to ask ourselves … how do I treat people when I disagree with them?

Look actions 1 – 4 above and replace ‘Ìâ‰âÂÌâèÏSt. Peter' with whomever you disagree with. Are you more likely to gossip about the person, tell other people how wrong they are, or even fight with the person? Or are you mature enough to respectfully talk with the person and still give them the honor they deserve?

How to Pray: 6 Tips for a Better Prayer Life

Be yourself. So many people think that holiness is unattainable, and that to pray we need to look like a statue of St. Francis with our hands folded piously. The reality is that we were created to be in communion with God, and He desires to be in a relationship with us. He doesn't want you to be a carbon copy of a past saint. He created you with your own gifts and passions, and wants to shine through you uniquely in them. Come to him as you are and let Him transform you into the saint He wants you to be!

Why Should I Care?: The HHS Mandate and Religious Freedom

What is the HHS Mandate and what does the Catholic Church have say about it? Is this big debate only about contraception? Find out the answers to those questions as well as what you can do about it as a teen. Fr. Mike Schmitz explains the mandate it in a way that’s thorough but easy to understand.

How to Have a Perfect Vacation

Vacation. A time to get away and relax on a beach somewhere . . . A time to be with family and reminisce about old memories while making new ones . . . A time to hang out with friends, walking up and down Main Street and eating pizza and ice cream til sundown.

Why Do Catholics Fast before Mass?

Fasting is all about the 'disposition' of your soul. That means the 'condition' or 'state' that your soul is in. In order to prepare the soul, we have to prepare the body.

We are physical beings. When we force our body to do something hard, like not eat or drink, it reminds us that hunger and thirst for spiritual food is even more important.

Since the body and soul make up the one person that you are, they have to do things together . . . like get ready for Jesus in the Eucharist.