What Does Poverty Mean for Me?

St. Paul says in Ephesians 4:4, 'Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.' The reality is that for a lot of us the calling we have received requires us to have 'things' in order to carry out what God wants us to do and be who God has made us to be. It's different for everyone, because everyone has a different calling.

I will Wait: Mumford and Sons and Purity

It means waiting for the person God intended you to be with, and especially saving sex for marriage. The world says, 'Go ahead . . . do whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as it makes you feel good.' God made sex, and He made it to be an expression of free and fruitful love in the context of marriage. Don’t forget though, that it’s never too late to recommit to purity if you’ve already fallen. None of us are perfect; it’s very hard to stay pure.

The Secret to Sainthood

Do you ever feel like there's some big secret to becoming a saint and you can't figure out what it is? What did they do to become so awesome? Was there a book they read? A certain prayer they prayed? Does a diet of bread and fish help?

That's what I was wondering. (Not so much the bread and fish part.) God has been teaching me that you become a saint by . . .

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.

“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 . . .

Can Women Trust Planned Parenthood?

Planned Parenthood is targeting you, and especially you teen girls with the message that they're the ones you can trust. They say they're the ones you should go to for answers; they say they’re fighting for you. They're fighting for your trust and support.

Pentecost Should Make You Uncomfortable

It seems a little unfair honestly. There are all these crazy and dramatic details in the story of Pentecost, and my life is so mundane in contrast. I want the Holy Spirit to work in powerful ways in my life too.

So what's stopping Him?

Me. I'm stopping Him. I'm scared and I'll admit it . . .

Beauty According to Beyonce

A couple of weeks ago Beyonce was given the title of 'World's Most Beautiful Woman' from People Magazine. I feel like once you've got that award in your back pocket you can either:

  • A) Finally allow yourself to wear sweatpants all the time (at which point you wouldn't actually have a back pocket), or
  • B) Gaze at yourself in the mirror for endless hours and let your pride shoot up like jack's beanstalk.

No really, congrats Beyonce, you are gorgeous and have cleared up any confusion about how far I have to go to reach the plane you exist on.

The Miracle of Sound: An Interview With Sarah Churman

Imagine what your life would be like if you couldn’t hear your phone ring, the microwave beep, or the doorbell? What if you couldn’t go to the movie theater or hear birds?

That’s what life was like for Sarah Churman until last fall. She was born deaf and last fall received an implant that allows her to hear. You’ve probably never heard of her before, but you might recognize her if you were one of the 12 million people who saw the viral YouTube video, “29 years old and hearing myself for the first time.”

Praying for a Miracle

I begged and cried and begged more . . . 'God fix this. You have to. I know you're in charge but come on, this can't be what you want . . . right?'

That's how my prayers typically went when I prayed for Catherine, my friend's mom, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. Catherine's health fluctuated in the following years and she never left the top of my prayer list.

Her family said it was time to pray for a miracle when Catherine stopped responding to treatment last fall. So I continued to beg God for a miracle. Every time I was miserable about something – the Arizona heat, a hard workout, the flu, or heartache – I offered up my suffering for Catherine.

God and Tennis

How do you define a miracle? Is it only Jesus walking on water, raising someone from the dead, or healing people? And then there’s the saints – they did some pretty awesome things that are definitely miracles. Those miracles were such a long time ago though. We don't see too many today, huh? Or do we . . . ?

You see it all depends on your definition of a miracle. There's this amazing athlete, Emmy Kaiser; she's 21 years old and the #1 U.S. woman's wheelchair tennis athlete. She has Spina Bifida but that didn't stop her from pursuing her dream of being a professional athlete.

Standing Up For Truth: It’s Worth It

However, I've heard so many people attack what they think the Catholic Church is saying about homosexuality and gay marriage that I want to clear things up a bit.

Why I Hope We Devour the Hunger Games

Okay, listen. I really like the Hunger Games. I could not put the first book down this summer and so of course at the first minute of Friday the 23rd, at 12:01am, I was sitting in a theater to see the movie. 'But it's about teens killing each other!!!' This is the reaction a lot of adults have. (At least that's what my parents said.) Yes it is about killing. And it's terrible. It's horrific.

See, this movie is not supposed to be about glorifying killing. The two main characters, Katniss and Peeta, are horrified that they have to participate in the Hunger Games and fight to the death, much like Roman gladiators. Though the governing body, the 'Capitol', finds it enjoyable, the majority (except for three districts) of the population is appalled by these games year after year.

But I found some very inspiring themes in this story . . .

Library Thief

The idea of stealing something is totally scary to me. I can't even imagine the amount of fear that would paralyze me if I ever went to steal something like shoes, cash, or a camera. I would be shaking like a wet puppy in winter. But I would be sweating like it's Phoenix in July. And I'm also pretty sure that the sick feeling in my stomach, the shame, and the guilt would drive me to return the stolen item the next day. I'm a sensitive person.

Confession in Boots

There's a hole in the side of my parents bathtub and it's all my fault.

I was 11 years old. We had only lived in our newly built house for 2 years. On this particular evening my siblings and I were getting ready to go to a square dance. Yes, I just said square dance. Leave me alone. It was cool.

Catholic Advice for Every Girl

It's such an honor to be able to write just for you girls this time. I love being able to share with you some of the most important lessons I've learned over the past couple years about being a woman and being a Catholic. It took me a long time to learn these things! I hope you can put this advice to good use in your own life.

Don’t Sit So Close to Me

One of the things I hate about flying is the discomfort and awkwardness of sitting very close to a stranger for 4 or more hours (the typical length of one of my flights).

I'm an introvert, but I'm not anti-social. I like talking, but I hate small talk … which is what plane conversations often are. (For me, at least)

It's my luck to always get stuck next to: the creepy, flirty man, the smoker or perfume over-doser who gives me a headache, chatty Cathy who ignores the book in my lap, and many others who have left me with the opinion that I'd rather sit alone.

It Still Hurts

I want to share a video that has an powerful message of hope for those who’ve suffered through an abortion.

This is a video of a woman named Lisa who dealt with abuse, divorce, and had three abortions. She has an incredible witness about the healing she received. The beauty of being Catholic is that besides counseling, we have the Sacrament of Confession where Christ Himself forgives us. Lisa experiences peace when she stopped hiding her abortions in the dark. Her shame was wiped away.