It’s fair to say that my driving is always an adventure full of surprises, disappointments, and apologies to my passengers.
Whether you’re directionally challenged like me or not, life is pretty tough to navigate. Everyone has moments where we are unsure of who we are, where we’re headed, and if there is a voice that we can trust to get us there. Even prayer can be frustrating as we go through different periods where God may seem close or distant, loud or silent.
Our faith, however, is not based on hollow rituals or oppressive rules. It’s based on an encounter with the person of Jesus, who changes everything. Our relationship with Christ connects us with the origin of our life and the meaning of where we are going. He desires us not to be weighed down but rather to live life to its fullest potential (John 10:10).
When He calls us to live a holy life, it’s because he knows what we are capable of and is drawing our potential out of us like any good sports coach does.
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?
As it is with the Christian life, if we want to see clearly – as God sees – we have to look at the “big picture” of salvation. If we want to understand Jesus’ death, for instance, we need to begin with His birth and when we do, we will undoubtedly learn something very interesting . . . that He was born to die.
If you want to get technical, that “pieta” moment first occurred not on Calvary, but in Bethlehem. The manger’s wood was a foreshadowing; it is the “cross” of Christmas. There is far more going on at Jesus’ birth than many of us realize upon first glance.
Let’s be honest, “All Saints Day” does not refer to me. I have more in common with popcorn appreciation day. Or Taylor Swift fan club Mondays.
This feast commemorates all the saints in heaven and I feel like I’m so far away from being a saint. I want to be a saint though! I try really hard to not sin. In fact, I know the Ten Commandments about as well as I know the lyrics to “As Long As You Love Me.” So . . . very well.
I believe that Pope John Paul II was one of the greatest Popes to have ever served the Church. History has shown him to be a man who can be all things to all people. He was an athlete, an actor, a writer, a priest, a bishop, an activist and most of all a follower of Christ . . . In terms of leadership and bravery, William Wallace has nothing on this guy. During the years of Pope John Paul II’s service to the Church, he encountered many things that would make the average person run and hide.
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.
It seems a little unfair honestly. There are all these crazy and dramatic details in the story of Pentecost, and my life is so mundane in contrast. I want the Holy Spirit to work in powerful ways in my life too.
So what’s stopping Him?
Me. I’m stopping Him. I’m scared and I’ll admit it . . .
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.
Editor’s Note: I never guessed 40 days could fly by so fast! But here we are in Holy Week and I’m not so sure my heart is prepared to fully enter into the Triduum – the most epic time of year for us as Catholics. What about you? Are you prepared? If you feel like you need a recap of this journey through the desert we just took, listen to Fr. Mike Schmitz’s homilies from the last couple weeks. If that sounds boring to you – you’ve never heard this holy man preach! Just press play . . . you Read more [...]
I remember one of my first retreats in high school. I came home Sunday night on fire and ready to be a new person. It was time to change. I was going to go to Confession every week, get to mass everyday, pray the rosary every night, and read my Bible every morning. I was going to be holy. No more making fun of people, bad language, or laziness. I knew I could do it. I was inspired.
And that lasted until Tuesday. Yep. Tuesday. I had so much to learn.
What if during this new year we tried to accomplish just one or two things we’re afraid of? And not slightly meaningless things like sky-diving or beetle consumption. I mean things that have a ripple effect into eternity.
I’m afraid of wearing bright red lipstick. But I’m also afraid of seriously praying about a vocation to the religious life. I’m afraid of sushi. And I’m afraid to let go of resentment and love my enemies.
I think you can tell which ones are under the “slightly meaningless” category.
But when we talk about the union of God the Father with God the Son, it is not enough to just say that they are the same. They are both God – one God in three unique Persons. By asking us to now use the word consubstantial when we pray the Creed (remember, the Creed is a statement of what we believe as Catholics) the Church is reminding us of the importance of professing that the Father and the Son are the exact same substance.
Matt Maher talks to Life Teen about his new album “The Love In Between,” a collection of songs that reflect on the Catholic Christian sacramental life. There are a total of five videos. Come back each day this week to see more.
If you abide in the love of Christ, rooted in the faith, you will encounter, even amid setbacks and suffering, the source of true happiness and joy. Faith does not run counter to your highest ideals; on the contrary, it elevates and perfects those ideals. Dear young people, do not be satisfied with anything less than Truth and Love, do not be content with anything less than Christ.
I vividly remember the first time I encountered John Paul II. I was at my first World Youth Day in 2002 in Toronto, Canada. I was 17 years old, about to be a senior in high school, and I was ready to explore the world. I wanted to visit Europe, travel the big cities of the world, have an adventure of a lifetime. I couldn’t wait to get out of town and go do something different.