Every Sunday morning my routine is the same: wake up, brush my teeth, fix my hair, put on a pretty dress, and head to 8:30AM Mass. But sometimes, when 9:30 rolls around, I realize I’ve completely missed it all. I missed the Creed, the readings, and even Jesus, Himself, coming down from Heaven onto the altar!
Now, I don’t mean that I sometimes press the snooze button so many times that I end up missing Mass. I mean I physically show up, but too often I am still spiritually sleeping throughout the entire Mass.
Eventually the topic of guys comes up, and, on occasion, girls begin to complain about how there aren’t any good guys left or that guys today aren’t respectful or they don’t open doors. Somehow as women we’ve created an expectation that guys, to be worthy of us, must look, act, and sing, like Prince Charming . . .
Suffering will always be hard to understand; there’s no quick answer, bumper sticker, or 140-character tweet that can totally answer all of our “whys.” But even in our grief, we can look to the crucifix and know that we have not been forgotten or abandoned by God.
“You’re out of control! I’m sending you to the convent.” Are those words that you would want to hear? A teenager named Teresa sure didn’t appreciate when her father told her that. As a little girl, born in Avila, Spain in the 1500s, Teresa tried to run off and be a martyr, but by the time she became a teen, all of that enthusiasm for the faith was gone.
Teresa loved attention – especially from boys. She had a passion for fancy clothes and jewelry and was known for being an excellent dancer. One of her favorite pastimes was reading romance novels, and she constantly had a new one. Even when her father sent her away, surprisingly the convent wasn’t a whole lot different…
What does it mean to be a hero? Would you think it’s heroic to embrace suffering? A lot of people run away from suffering but Christ showed us that if we want heaven, we have to be willing to suffer here on earth. Our crosses aren’t meaningless when we unite them to the cross of Christ.
Today begins the Year of Faith, a time that Pope Benedict XVI has called each of us to not only rediscover the truths of our Faith, but in a deeper way the Who of our Faith in Jesus Christ and to ask why He is so Good and True.
Just as in Marriage spouses give themselves fully to each other — spirit and body — so a priest gives himself to the service of Christ for the Church. Imagine trying to give yourself fully to an entire parish and have a family to take care of! You’d have to make sure your family has food on the table and a roof over their heads and are spiritually and emotionally taken care of.
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.
Did creation start with a “big bang”? What does the Catholic Church say about that? Have you ever wondered if the creation story in the book of Genesis is real? Are we supposed to take it literally and leave science behind?
No way! The Church is all about us using our faith and our reason. Just because science explains the natural world around us, doesn’t mean it disproves that God created the world.
Having grown up in South Carolina which is something like 3% Catholic, a lot of my conversations in middle and high school were about the differences between where we all went to church. My friend Meghan, a Baptist, was especially inquisitive about what we Catholics were up to. I invited her to attend mass with me.
This guest post is from Matt Fradd, a Catholic apologist and speaker who has a sweet Australian accent. He’s a convert from Agnosticism. In this blog he gives the reasons why science and God can co-exist – they don’t cancel out each other. If you want to learn more about agnosticism, atheism, and Matt, check out the video about his conversion story at the end of the blog.
The YouCat describes a creed as a “bried formula of faith that makes it possible for all believers to make a common profession” (YouCat 26).
The two most used creeds of the Catholic Church are the Nicene Creed and the Apostle’s Creed. In Mass, we pray the Nicene Creed, which was written during two of the great councils of the Church, Nicacea in 325 A.D. and Constantinople in 381 A.D. It’s the Church’s way of briefly summarizing the most important truths of the faith.
Then I thought, “This is for me.” Isn’t this what I long to hear from our Father in heaven “I will never leave you”? Don’t our hearts burn when we read the promise in scripture that God will be with us, He will never leave us, He will never forget us, He will never abandon us.
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.
Did you know that the Catholic Church actually cares about homosexuals? I even feel confident saying that we love them alot. I sincerely hope that no one has ever made you think otherwise because they were sorely misled and misinformed . . . and probably unhappy too because of this faulty way of thinking . . .
So, yes, it’s hard to be gay and Catholic — it’s hard to be anything and Catholic — because I don’t always get to do what I want. Show me a religion where you always get to do what you want and I’ll show you a pretty shabby, lazy religion. Something not worth living or dying for, or even getting up in the morning for. That might be the kind of world John Lennon wanted . . .
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.
I know the wounds can be deep; trust me, I’ve been there.
I spent six years of my life terrified to walk into school. I spent six years trying to figure out what to wear, how to act, what to do in order for the bullying to stop. I started hanging out with the “cool kids,” but it only got worse, so I joined the sport teams and clubs, and that didn’t help, so I decided to just give up.