7th grade rolled around, and it was time to tryout for the school team. I made it past the cut and the second cut. There were 18 of us left to fill 16 spots, and well . . . I was one of the last two cut. It was heartbreaking, but I dusted off my wounds and worked harder. I tried out for the 8th grade team the following year, and guess what? I got cut again . . . one of the last ones. The hard work continued, and I gave it a couple more shots early in my high school career, and, each time . . . cut . . . at the end.
The pain was too much, and I couldn’t bear the thought of another year of hard work only to be rejected again. So, when it came time to try out for the Varsity Team my senior year, I gave up. I quit.
Then it happened. In a moment of weakness and stress, I found a Coke and failed my annual challenge once again. I was really frustrated. This was supposed to be the year that I finally got it right, the one Lent that I could finally prove to God and to myself that I could do it. I spent a day or two so frustrated that I couldn’t bring myself to pray. I couldn’t face the God who suffered and died for me when I couldn’t give up a freaking soft drink.
This Sunday’s readings reveal to us the beauty of the New Covenant that Jesus made with us on the cross. We no longer only know Him from afar, but Jesus desires to dwell within us in the Eucharist. Fifth Sunday of Lent: Jer 31:31-34; Ps 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15; Heb 5:7-9; Jn 12:20-33 Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
This Sunday it’s all about the “why.” Find out why God sent his Son, why you should care, and why it matters this Lent. Fourth Sunday of Lent: 2 Chr 36:14-16, 19-23; Ps 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6; Eph 2:4-10; Jn 3:14-21 Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
My second favorite day is Sunday. Growing up, Sundays were lazy, watch TV or movies all day in my PJs, don’t brush my teeth until 3:30 pm kind of days. Then after Mass and Life Night, I started my two hours of homework because the rest of day I was clearly too wrapped up in more important things like watching Men in Black three times in a row. I always thought, “Surely this is what God meant when he gave us the 3rd Commandment – Laziness, bad hygiene, and procrastination.”
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.
I stepped into the confessional and kneeled down at the kneeler. The priest opened the partition and I froze. I could not for the life of me remember what to say to the priest. Luckily he sensed my nervousness and walked me through the whole thing.
Because I know that sometimes we forget what to say I’ve provided a basic structure of what you should say at the beginning of your confession. I hope it helps!
I have refused sweets many times already this Lent. I don’t refuse them because I’m scared of breaking a promise or afraid God will triple the calories for disobeying my Lenten commitment. I refuse the sweets because it’s one of the things I decided to do for Lent. I’d rather take the seemingly sad situation as a chance to run to Jesus and unite my (puny) sufferings with His. I prefer to be moved and driven by love, not fear. Remember that we are the beloved. Notice that we word beloved breaks up into be-loved.
Then I realized that I was not much better than those pagan voodoo worshipers.
In my head I know that God was the only one worth my worship, but I still found myself turning to so many other relationships, habits, and even sins to save me when I was overwhelmed and in need of help. I knew that Jesus was my Savior, but often I turned anywhere else but towards Him when I needed to be saved from loneliness, hurt, or boredom.
There’s a hole in the side of my parents bathtub and it’s all my fault.
I was 11 years old. We had only lived in our newly built house for 2 years. On this particular evening my siblings and I were getting ready to go to a square dance. Yes, I just said square dance. Leave me alone. It was cool.
It’s such an honor to be able to write just for you girls this time. I love being able to share with you some of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the past couple years about being a woman and being a Catholic. It took me a long time to learn these things! I hope you can put this advice to good use in your own life.
As Jesus was led out into the desert for 40 days, so are we invited to enter into the 40 days of Lent. We ask God, “Where am I weak? Where can I grow spiritually?” in order to fulfill our end of our covenant with Him. First Sunday of Lent: Gn 9:8-15; Ps 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; 1 Pt 3:18-22; Mk 1:12-15 Podcast: Play in new window | Download | Embed
One of my favorite things about being a man is that we know everything. Or . . . no . . . wait a minute. We think we know everything. There, that sounds more like it.
But seriously, in high school I thought I had it all figured out. Why? I don’t know. Maybe it was because I got my driver’s license and drove a really cool beige minivan, or maybe it had to do with my ability to make sweet graphs on my TI-83 calculator. Perhaps my ever-increasing bench press played a role. (Ok, that last one may be a bit of a stretch.)
But yet, for some reason, I thought I knew it all. If you had a question, I had an answer. If you couldn’t figure something out, I could. And, armed with this array of knowledge, I was gonna teach the world a thing or two. That is until I started getting older and realized something: I didn’t know as much as I thought.
One of the things I hate about flying is the discomfort and awkwardness of sitting very close to a stranger for 4 or more hours (the typical length of one of my flights).
I’m an introvert, but I’m not anti-social. I like talking, but I hate small talk – which is what plane conversations often are. (For me, at least)
It’s my luck to always get stuck next to: the creepy, flirty man, the smoker or perfume over-doser who gives me a headache, chatty Cathy who ignores the book in my lap, and many others who have left me with the opinion that I’d rather sit alone.