“Hold on,” you’re asking me, “Are you telling me I shouldn’t own anything fun?” Of course not. Music and movies help us relax, clothes help us express beauty, and smartphones keep us connected and informed (and yes, entertained). These are all good things.
My challenge is this: to look at the things that we’re spending money on and ask ourselves, “Do I really need this thing?” Do I need a new pair of shoes, or are the ones I have okay? Do I have to buy these songs or can I just listen to the radio?
This is how we can grow in holiness in everyday life. Every day gives us new opportunities for our selfish, superior part to die and for us to grow in love. Maybe we do the dishes without grumbling about it, help someone with school work even if we’d rather be doing something else, or take time to hang out with our siblings.
In 2011 Lauren “Lolo” Scruggs was living the life any 23-year-old young woman would dream of. She had recently graduated college and had interned at Michael Kors’ studio and the costume department of Gossip Girl. She had reported on Fashion Week in New York, Paris, and Montreal and her online magazine LOLO Magazine was generating lots of industry buzz.
Then, on December 3, 2011, Lauren was hit by the propeller blade of a small airplane and her life was turned upside down. The propeller grazed her skull and left eye and cut off her left hand. She was rushed to the hospital where her parents and twin sister anxiously waited with a room full of friends to hear if Lauren would recover.
In the Gospel Jesus compares heaven to life, light, peace, a wedding feast, the Father’s house, the heavenly Jerusalem, and paradise. But ultimately, we don’t know what it’s like. “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9). The fact is, we’ll just have to wait and see.
“What do you mean, wait and see,” you ask. “I thought people have visions of heaven! So don’t we know?” . . .
I sat up straighter. Everything I’d ever read about apologetics and answering peoples’ complaints about the Church started running through my mind at full speed. I was like a lion ready to pounce on any reason she said, convince her she was wrong and corral her back to the Church . . .
Step up and be a leader. It’s easy to participate if the year’s activities are planned out and all you have to do is show up. But do you have what it takes to work with the youth minister and other members to plan community service and prepare faith formation? It takes commitment and perseverance, especially if you know only a few people will be at meetings.
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?
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.
Bad weather, theft, sickness – no matter how well planned a vacation is, it will never turn out perfect.
It was the shoes that did me in. The cheap fashion sneakers that were good enough for mall hopping but not for traipsing four days across the cobblestone streets of Rome, Italy. By the second day of my vacation my feet were throbbing and blisters were forming. Every vacation will go wrong somehow, but what are you supposed to do when it does?
Hey! Did you know? Around 750 AD., at a monastery called St. Longinus, a monastic priest was having doubts about the Lord’s presence in the Eucharist. One day, he was celebrating Mass and at the words of the consecration the host turned to flesh in appearance and the wine turned to blood. He quickly called the astonished congregation up to the altar to see for themselves.
It’s August, and that means a lot of you are buying five-pound textbooks, packing up the car and getting ready to go to college, maybe for the first time. So please, take with you this piece of advice from someone who learned it the hard way: If you eat bacon at every meal it won’t be long till you’re forced to wear the same pair of sweatpants all week because none of your other pants fit. Trust me. OK, OK – That’s not the advice I was talking about.