We’re in a time where our leaders and beliefs are under a lot of scrutiny. It’s not always a popular thing to stand up for the Gospel these days. However, it wasn’t easy to stand up for the Gospel back in the days of the Early Church, either.
It’s ironic because I think it should have been easier back then. I have to pull out scripture to show people what Jesus said and did. The Apostles just had to say “Guys, don’t you remember two weeks ago on the boat when Jesus said this and that?”
Sometimes light reveals things that we don’t want to see. Lent has a way of doing that. It causes a little bit of pressure and stress, and shows us just how weak we can be sometimes. In my case, sitting in the sun revealed some things in me that I needed to work on. Had I gone and escaped into the shade, I may have missed out on the chance to improve myself.
Perhaps the toughest part of forgiveness is forgiving ourselves. This Lent, I’ve made specific efforts to forgive myself for past wrongdoings. I’ve reflected on what lead me to those sins or mistakes. I’ve confessed them and have felt Jesus take them off of my shoulders. The freedom that comes with Jesus’ forgiveness is life-changing. But we have to let it change our lives. We have to accept that He forgives us. He doesn’t hold a grudge, so who are we to hold one?
So often I grasp for more and more. Things are good but I want them to be better. I have so much . . . why do I always want more?
This week has taught me to slow down and receive what God is giving me, and not complain that I want more or less. He knows what I can and can’t handle today. And He won’t give me more than I can handle – with His grace.
You see, more isn’t always better. I used to always focus on achieving, but now I want to focus on receiving. Our Lord is the Giver of all good gifts.
As a teenager, my neat little idea of home was damaged and changed by my parents divorce. So many people go through life feeling homeless. Many people, through loss of job or one unfortunate event after another, end up with no place to live. Even people who live in big houses may still feel like they have no home. Other people, who feel like no one in their house really knows them or understands them, feel as though they have a house but no home.
Instead of going into the chapel and pouring out my thoughts or trying really hard to hear Him, I’m just sitting in the silence. His calm, gentle, strong voice always comes to me if I submit to the sacred silence in the chapel.
If I can’t make it to the chapel, I can sit in silence with God in my room. My reflection this week on my silent time has flowed nicely with my reflections on not speeding.
What I’ve learned this week is this: I don’t always have to set the pace. Whether it be in the car, in the hallway, or in the chapel – I can take my time. I can slow down. I can breathe. I can listen to His heartbeat, and strive to live my life to the rhythm of that heart beat. Let God set the rhythm, and experience the freedom that it offers.
Maybe God’s calling you to reorder in that way. Or maybe He has a different way of walking with you and helping you establish order. Let Him walk with you. Let Him speak truth into situations in your life and bring calm to the chaos.
We waited all throughout Advent. We celebrated all throughout Christmas. Now we have the beautiful season of Ordinary Time to settle into a routine – but a routine that looks different than it did last year, because we’re letting God in to our lives in new ways.
Everyone wants to be remembered fondly. Have you ever thought about what kind of legacy you’re leaving behind? The truth is, your legacy is up to you. Many things in life were just handed to you and you can’t change them. Where you were born wasn’t up to you. It’s a part of your story that is already written. But you story isn’t over, and the pen is in your hand. However, our story shouldn’t just be pointing people towards us. It should be pointing people towards God, the true Author of Life.
en and women have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice everything to fight for peace and freedom. Many lost their lives, families, peace of mind, and much more. I’m incredibly grateful for all the heroic souls who fought for our freedom and how they resemble Christ in that way.
We’re called to follow in their footsteps by continually defending our freedom. Going off to war in a foreign land isn’t the only way to defend freedom. As a matter of fact, you can honor the veterans and honor God in your everyday actions.
Being able to put your phone down and not let life pass you by will certainly help you grow in virtue. God uses all things to reach us, but the twitter account named after Jesus isn’t actually Him. Remember, grace doesn’t come in megabytes. God wants to show His face and His heart to you; don’t give Him the busy signal. Be available when He comes to you.
Read that above quote again. This is a message of freedom. This is a message of hope. Brothers and sisters, we are free. Any feelings of shame or unworthiness or insecurity that you feel, Jesus took it to the cross. He felt it for you. Those feelings died with Jesus, and when He rose, they were gone.
To live weighed down by insecurities is contrary to the Gospel. We need to strive to embrace the freedom we have in Jesus Christ. The freedom to pursue holiness, the freedom to love, and sometimes the most difficult, the freedom to be loved. You are worthy.
For some of us, myself included, telling me not to do something isn’t enough of a reason for me not to do it. It helps to have some insight into why we do what we do. Sex isn’t bad and your desires don’t make you evil. We should seek purity because we know our sexuality is a gift from God and can point us to heaven. In my own journey, I’ve seen the way an impure life can damage hearts, friendships, self-esteems, and souls.
The fact is that every time I see a hero in a movie do something awesome, I want to do the same. However, thinking I’ll hit like Rocky or climb walls like Spiderman is not realistic and will likely get me in over my head. The heroes we look up to train very hard to be ready for the big moment. Firefighters train for a long time before getting on the truck and going to put out fires. The 2008 Olympics wasn’t Michael Phelps’ first time in a pool.
If you’ve been around a radio, a mall, or anyone under the age of 30 recently, you’ve almost certainly heard the song “Call Me Maybe.” It’s extremely catchy and has made countless men panic when realizing they’re singing it in public. A lot of us, when hearing the lyrics, just dismiss it as some ridiculous pop song with no redeeming value. However, as is true with most of these songs, if you listen closely you might hear something interesting that ties into your life.
Breathing doesn’t become less important as our physical tasks get more difficult; it becomes more important. It’s the same with prayer. It will most likely seem impossible to find time for a lot of prayer during finals week. I urge you to make it work . . .
In this particular relationship after my parent’s divorce, the girl I was dating became everything to me. I drew my worth from her compliments and her attention. I drew my joy from her company. I wasn’t simply finding joy in her and recognizing Christ in her, I was putting her first in my life before Christ.
She was the one I would go to with all my problems. I went to church to see her, not Jesus. And Jesus loved me through it all. When that relationship fell apart, so did I . . .
God offers us His grace and mercy every day, especially through the Eucharist. Because the tomb is empty, we have freedom. When Jesus descended into Hell he took sin and shame with Him. He left them there, where they belong. It is because Jesus rose that we are free. God’s mercy is so big. St. John Vianney put it beautifully when he said, “Our sins are nothing but a grain of sand alongside the great mountain of the mercy of God.”
“You Shall Not Kill” Exodus 20:13 As a little kid, I was jealous of my neighbor. He was my age, but he could hit the baseball better than I could. He would smack the ball into the outfield and everyone would shout “Run! You can do it!” I never heard “Run!” shouted to me. It was usually “Duck!” or “Open your eyes!” or “Put down the snow-cone until after the game!” We’ve all experienced knowing someone who’s better than you at something or has something Read more [...]
I have refused sweets many times already this Lent. I don’t refuse them because I’m scared of breaking a promise or afraid God will triple the calories for disobeying my Lenten commitment. I refuse the sweets because it’s one of the things I decided to do for Lent. I’d rather take the seemingly sad situation as a chance to run to Jesus and unite my (puny) sufferings with His. I prefer to be moved and driven by love, not fear. Remember that we are the beloved. Notice that we word beloved breaks up into be-loved.