Sometimes even in the Christian realm, we’re segregated in a similar fashion. I recently went to a conference with 25,000 Christians who were on fire for God. It was amazing and one of the most powerful worship experiences I’ve ever had. However, I think my four friends and I were the only Catholics there.
God’s not exclusive. He wants all groups, ethnic circles, social classes, to be brought together as one people, unified in love and faith.
Last week, a non-denominational church launched a campaign called: “Jesus loves you and your tattoo.” They handed out koozies on the gang-filled streets of Detroit with this message. I love that because it is proclaiming the truth that our God didn’t come for the cookie-cutter Christians. He came for everyone . . .
It seemed like in one moment, our sophomore year, (our whole life) was changed forever. Two minutes ago we only had to think about cute boys, classes, and our plans for spring break. Now I had to think about baby diapers, stretch marks, and helping Jessica face the possible ridicule and judgment of our peers.
How was I supposed to love and support her? The selfish part of me didn’t want to face this. But the only thing I knew was that my Catholic faith asked me to take courage and stand beside my friend, to believe that God would work it out, and to hope in His promises . . . But sometimes things don’t end as you think it should.
Do you ever have those days where you feel like you don’t even know yourself anymore? You look in the mirror and think: Who am I? What is my life all about? In my freshman year of college, I faced an identity crisis. Okay, I know what you’re thinking – identity crises = 50 year old dude who buys a red ferrari and moves to the coast. My crisis was on a lesser scale. But it was a time I didn’t know who I was as a college student. In an effort to “reinvent” myself, I cut my hair off (don’t Read more [...]
That’s why it’s so exciting to think about heaven, right? The moment we are free — no more “too fat,” “too short,” or “too skinny.” We’ll never have to worry about bad hair days, annoying wrinkles, or our bellies protruding over our belts after chowing down on Thanksgiving dessert.
In heaven, we’re going to be spiritual beings, floating on white fluffy clouds (and holding baby puppies) . . . Right?
This week I found myself scavenging for loose change under the seats in my car so I could to afford a long anticipated vanilla double-shot latte. It cost me like $5! When did coffee get so expensive? (Okay, that’s another story.)
It seems like everything fun or delicious costs money. You might feel like when money is tight or non-existent the only option on a friday night is to sit and stare at the wall.
Growing up, I never had a devotion to Mary. I mean, I liked the idea of her . . . but I didn’t have a relationship with her. The Virgin Mother was a porcelain statue, a gold-etched picture on a Christmas card. She wasn’t real to me. My only connection to her, at best, was a panicked “Hail Mary” before a pop-quiz.
What I’ve learned is that Mary is way more than a boring stained glass window. She lived an exciting life and did amazing things. And outside of Jesus, she is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given as Catholics. Although I didn’t have a relationship with Mary growing up, I have fallen in love with my mother since then, and let me tell you: OUR MAMA ROCKS!
The problem with the self-help phenomenon is it can gives us the illusion that we can actually fix ourselves without the help of God. Instead of dealing with our hurt, sin, and deep issues, we learn strategies for coping and hiding. We’re just putting band-aids over our gaping, oozing wounds.
In high school, I hid my wounded-ness and deep insecurity behind my list of achievements. With three varsity sports, student council, shiny awards and leadership roles galore, I looked like I had my act together. But inside, I never thought I was enough. I was never pretty enough, smart enough, or funny enough. I believed lies about myself that bound me. I thought the shame and pain I carried inside from past hurts could never mend. So I just coped. I kept pushing through and pretending I was okay when I wasn’t.
“Great news! I got a promotion . . . and I’m ENGAGED!”
My friend went on and on sharing the romantic story of how her tall, handsome, Catholic man proposed. Everything in her life seemed to be the stuff of her dreams . . . and mine. As she was oozing with excitement, I smiled and was happy for her, but inside I had this strange, silent but sickly feeling of envy. There was this small part of me that wanted her to gain 10 lbs, break out with acne, or just stop talking. (Ok, not my finest moment).
Whether single or in a relationship, dating can be a wonderful, exciting, intimidating, and sometimes bizarre event. The stress of just figuring out what to wear can send you over the edge. Then there are all the other details. Who is paying? Where do we go? Do we show affection? How do I flirt? Or more importantly, how do we just survive those crippling embarrassing moments. Maybe you are like me and awkward moments never seem to end. If so, here are some fun tips to help your dates go a Read more [...]
Seriously, the movie How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days has nothing on me. My dating disasters have been frequent and broad in their range of humiliation: I have been taken to the hospital, spilled my drink over my date’s new couch, called the guy by the wrong name, got lost and stuck in a ditch, and laughed so hard I choked on my meal nearly causing the waiter to perform the Heimlich.
And you wonder why I am still single?
But wait there’s more. Here are my top two worst date experiences.
The irony of the materialism during the time of Christmas is that materialism (as well as other sins) is exactly what Christ came into the world to free us from! He came to take us away from our idols, our “false gods” in this world and long only for Him. This Christmas, let’s re-examine our “Dear Santa” list and look to Jesus. Ask yourself what you really need this Christmas.
Here in South Bend, people get pretty pumped over Notre Dame football. They dress in blue and gold, paint their faces, prepare food all night for the tailgates, even get up early. When the game starts, the crowd goes nuts! Cheers. Standing. Sitting. High fives to strangers you don’t know. We are fully engaged in the event. I wonder what would happen if we participated with the same heart and passion at Mass on Sunday?
Let’s be honest. Mass … it’s boring, right? Growing up, that’s what I thought.
The cheers exploded! There was singing and dancing. The outdoor arena was packed with 50,000 teens and the energy was tangible in the air because of their excitement. No, we weren’t at a Lady Gaga concert. We came for the greatest “Lady”—Our Lady, the Blessed Mother. It was the 22nd annual Medjugorje Youth Festival, and I was there to experience the pilgrimage of a lifetime!