Compare and Despair

We all fall into that trap of comparing ourselves to one another. How do we stack up against the competition? Whether we’re measuring ourselves against our siblings, classmates, teammates, best friends, or even total strangers like celebrities, we’re constantly sizing up the competition. Where do I rank? Am I as good as he is at __? Am I better than her at __?

Keepin’ It Real: Why Sunday Mass is Important

No one is supposed to work on the Sabbath – not you, not your son or daughter, not your manservant or your lady-servant, not even your donkey or ox or Chia pet… nobody.

So that means you can (dare I say… should?) sleep until noon on Sundays, right? And if sleeping ‘til noon means missing Sunday Mass, then God is cool with it, right?

Pitch Imperfect

Last week, as soon as Mass ended, the sweet little old lady sitting in front of me loudly announced to anyone within earshot that I (apparently) sing off-key. Totally shocked, I responded, “Well, I guess that’s why I’m out here, and not back there in the choir loft.” Listen, lady, I never promised you perfection from the pew behind you.

Don’t Waste Your First Kiss

In some places, the pressure to date is ridiculous. Boys and girls used to be total opposites, gross even, and now they suddenly look a little more interesting… And when they start to pair off, I know that it can be tough to be left behind on that. It would be totally awesome if someone that you liked also thought that you were cute, funny, smart, and interesting — but let me ask you a question: Would you rather have the tennis courts or the front porch? Please, don’t waste your first kiss.

Let Free Will Ring?

There is always, always, always help, and there is always hope. Since Christ came to rescue us, there’s no reason to stay a slave. Freedom is an option for us all. No one is beyond God’s saving hand.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame (…seriously, do you have tickets?)

I’m such a huge Cardinals fan because, well, it’s how I was created. It’s part of how we were all created, actually, written into our very souls. We all have this innate desire to worship, given to us by God to lead to us to worship Him. But because we’re human, and have free will (not to mention original sin), we’re all really good at worshiping other things.

Into the Garden

We are all works-in-progress. I’ve got my own weeds that need pulling, rocks that need moving, branches that need pruning. I’m a mess. And as soon as I think I’ve got one thing under control, something else pops up and knocks me down again. But God is the most patient gardener, who never stops working so that I might become what He wants me to be, and bear fruit. He doesn’t care what it costs.

40 Minutes for 40 Days

So, I committed: 40 minutes of “devotional time” every single day. You can call it quiet time, prayer time, or just… time – whatever you need to call it so it doesn’t sound like a punishment. I didn’t really know what to call it. I just knew that I was going to do it.

Think about it: 40 minutes isn’t a huge block of time. It’s one drama or two sitcoms on Netflix. We can all find 40 minutes in a day. We just have to choose to do it.

Empty Arms: Remembering the Parents Who Can’t Hold Their Children

Abortion is a traumatic event, something no one ever wants and so many deeply regret. There’s an ache in the hearts of men and women who have been through it, because they know that they have become parents – without having their babies.

Even though many try to convince themselves that their child was “just a lump of tissue” or the abortion was “just an unfortunate incident,” they still feel the pain of knowing that their little one isn’t with them. I’ve met post-abortive men and women, and when they get honest, they admit that it’s something you never, ever forget.

Home Alone? You Wish.: 10 Tips for Readjusting to Family Life Over Break

College kids – you did it! Finals are over, you’ve survived the semester, and now it’s time to kick off your shoes, relax, and… move back in with Mom and Dad? Oh, joy to the world, y’all.

You might be psyched to get back to the comforts of home, or perhaps you’re less than excited to leave the dorm behind. The transition of coming home and bunking up with the ‘rents is never easy.

I’m Thankful That He Picks Me

The word ‘eucharist’ means ‘thanksgiving’ in Greek; did you know that? It’s a meal that we come to, and I hope you come grateful. Not only grateful that He picks you, but grateful that He feeds you. And that meal is one of the ways He stays with us, always. Because as often as we come to the Eucharist, He comes to us.

HOT Halloween Costumes: Guaranteed to Keep You Warm

Halloween is quickly approaching, and while most of us will take this opportunity to get creative and eat our weight in candy, we all know that we live in a world where ‘costume contest’ often translates to ‘how little clothing can I get away with?’

In our culture, the object is often to ‘look hot’ on Halloween – which is pretty ironic, since a lingerie-plus-bunny/cat/mouse ears combination usually leaves a girl freezing.

In Name Only?: When Your Catholic School Isn’t Very Catholic

“All-school Mass today? Sweet, that means no math class first period!”“Pro-Life March? You mean three days off school and a trip to D.C.!”“Would anyone like to say a prayer to start class?” *crickets*Man . . . do any Catholics even go to this school?!I went to Catholic schools my entire life, and I’m not gonna lie: sometimes, I wondered. It often felt like we were Catholic in name only – and even then, it’s not like we wrote it boldly across our t-shirts.

Here’s to Excellence: A Back to School Challenge

All righty, kids . . . it’s about that time. Whether you like it or not, it’s time to head back to school. Oh, don’t act so surprised. You knew it was coming. This is much less shocking than Beyonce’s new haircut. Maybe I’m making some unfair assumptions, actually. Maybe you’re ready to head back. […]

The Supreme Court, Marriage, and You: Understanding and Moving Forward

The Church is clear on her definition of marriage: it's a lifelong, exclusive union between one man and one woman that must be open to the creation of new life. That's not the same definition our culture is embracing, although that's nothing new. It's not even a definition that all American Catholics embrace . . . although that's nothing new, either.

And, as of June 26th, it's not a definition supported by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Carry On

I'd probably be on my way home, too. Because, in a way, I have felt like they felt. Maybe you have, too.

We've been on the great retreats, attended the amazing youth conferences, heard the killer homilies, felt the graces of Confession, gotten into the power of the Triduum. We've heard His voice and felt His presence. Everything is working according to plan.

And then, a little time goes by . . . a couple hours, a couple days, a couple weeks. And the feelings are gone. And it feels like Jesus is gone, too.

Hello Spring Break . . . Goodbye Dignity?

Life is stressful, right? Between school and work and relationships, it can be exhausting, and Spring Break is the perfect way to blow off some steam and finally relax. And over the next few weeks, countless teens and young adults will make very, very poor decisions … some that they won't remember, and some they won't be able to forget, because they'll regret them for the rest of their lives … all in the name of freedom.