So here we are. Lent 2013. Another 40 days of no caffeine, cookies, soda, candy, the snooze button, Facebook/Twitter, gossip, video games, complaining, showing up late, secular music, texting, TV, or homework (just kidding . . . don’t try it, it doesn’t work).
There could be a lot of different motivations behind those sacrifices – like a desire to lose weight, or to get attention . . . but that’s not exactly what Lent is about.
Ready to move beyond just giving up chocolate? Last year we gave you 25 Creative Ideas for Lent. This year, we wanted to expand upon that list. Except, if you know us, you know we like to make things a bit . . . well . . . more interesting. So here’s a list of weird things to do for lent. The best part is that even though they’re a bit odd, they will actually help you to be holy! Don’t eat the last bite of your food Park at the very back of the parking lot Put a popcorn kernel in your shoe Read more [...]
Maybe God’s calling you to reorder in that way. Or maybe He has a different way of walking with you and helping you establish order. Let Him walk with you. Let Him speak truth into situations in your life and bring calm to the chaos.
We waited all throughout Advent. We celebrated all throughout Christmas. Now we have the beautiful season of Ordinary Time to settle into a routine – but a routine that looks different than it did last year, because we’re letting God in to our lives in new ways.
The people of the Old Testament were waiting 400 years to hear something, anything, from God. In our Bibles, it takes less than a second to turn the page from the Old Testament to the Gospels when in reality, there was about a 400 year gap.
So what would He say? When God finally showed up, when the Messiah arrived, what would be the first thing He says? A message of condemnation? Reminding us of our sins? Telling us to be more patient? Giving us new rules to follow?
In case you haven’t seen a calendar, looked at people’s front yards, or watched enough of those ridiculous cars-with-huge-ribbons-on-them commercials (because most people we know regularly get a Lexus for Christmas) . . . Christmas is coming soon.
The Church celebrates Advent – a time of preparation – for the four weeks leading up to Christmas. I never really used to get into Advent; it seemed like an unnecessary reminder when we already have radio stations playing Christmas music, Christmas episodes of our favorite TV shows, and those red Starbucks cups to let us know that Jesus’ birth is just around the corner.
Nicholas was known for his generosity. As tradition goes, he was so selfless that (although he, too, was poor) he helped his likewise poor neighbor support and pay for his daughters’ weddings. Nicholas snuck up to his neighbor’s house at night and dropped a handful of gold coins through the open window so that the eldest daughter could afford to get married. He would later repeat the generous act two more times. From there, the Santa legend grew into what we now know today – stockings, chimneys, a belly like jelly and all that good stuff.
Everyone wants to be remembered fondly. Have you ever thought about what kind of legacy you’re leaving behind? The truth is, your legacy is up to you. Many things in life were just handed to you and you can’t change them. Where you were born wasn’t up to you. It’s a part of your story that is already written. But you story isn’t over, and the pen is in your hand. However, our story shouldn’t just be pointing people towards us. It should be pointing people towards God, the true Author of Life.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So here is my advice to you . . . be radical! Don’t go back to your old ways. It’s a sad trend that we go on these awesome retreats, have this amazing experience of God’s power, fall deeply in love with Him, but then leave it all behind when we toss our flip flops to the back of the closet.
What if after St. Paul had his conversion experience with God, he went back to his old ways of killing Christians? That would be weird (and tragic). Then why do we think that we can return to our old ways? You don’t have to sell yourself short. Be different.
As the new year began, I was still jobless and doubting that it was God’s plan for me to make such a big move in just a few months. However, I went to daily Mass one day and found myself begging God to help me understand what He had planned for me. I remember praying over and over, “Lord, give me the grace to follow you, even unto death.”
I’m not sure if you know this about me but something rather drastic happened in my life a couple months ago – I found out I had an intolerance for gluten. If you follow me on the Twittersphere (LT_Christina) you’ve probably seen me talk about this. Scratch that, you’ve probably seen me complain and bemoan my gluten-less state while everyone else is so happily eating muffins and bagels and brownies.