I don’t really know how to say this… but when you called me a few weeks ago and asked me if I was okay, I lied…[pause]… The truth is that I’ve been making myself throw up after I eat, and it’s like I can’t stop… I think I need your help…”
The fact that you are reading this proves that God has planted a desire in your heart to serve Him in a radical way. Praise God. Not gonna lie, I love camp… it’s where I first encountered the love of Christ many years ago in high school. I loved that it was more than mud […]
Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said, “Man! I’m really Catholic!”
Do you reference the Catechism in everyday conversation?
Do you give your friends saint nicknames based on their charisms?
Does your Catholicity bleed into every aspect of your life?
Then, you’ve probably been guilty of doing most everything on this list.
You know you’re Catholic when…
In college, I learned I had been stealing. Not shoplifting. Not downloading music illegally (that wasn’t even really possible with our dial-up internet.) Not even neglecting to claim my tips as a waitress (the computer made us to it.) My senior year of college, I realized I was stealing from the poor.
I am one of the freshmen fortunate enough to have landed a job my first semester of college. I started working at the bakery two weeks before school started, and I love the job! One day, as I was sweeping the flour-and-crumb-covered floor, my joy poured out of me in a silent prayer of thanksgiving.
Five minutes later, as if God was saying, “let’s see how sincere you really are.” I was sent to the most dreaded place in the bakery – the dish room.
The more we pursue Christ, the more the devil pursues us. He runs after us, looking for blood. But our Father runs faster, and has already shed every ounce of His blood — so we wouldn’t need to.
As Pope Francis said, to realize this endless love, we must guard our hearts from the devil “just as you protect your home.”
Have you ever had a day where you felt like it would never stop? Test after test, friendship and relationship struggles, projects, practices, games… you get the point. I’ve experienced days like that and they are insanely busy, tiring, and just kind of annoying. Often times I wondered, “What if I just ran from all of it?”
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 __?
If we are to call ourselves Christians, then we must believe that God loves us and would never allow for us to experience suffering without purpose. Therefore, there has to be purpose in the cross of unhappiness. Whether we struggle with depression for months on end or just experience a day lacking fulfillment, perhaps these are opportunities to shine brighter and cling tighter. Perhaps there is purpose in our pain.
The good we see in each other is the evidence that we are God’s creation. If we fail to see that in one another then it’s a simple lack of clarity, not gift. What I notice more than anything even as I write this, is what a necessity it is for us to understand who we are and therefore who were called to be.
Fall… it’s that time of year best known for its pumpkin spiced lattes, orange leaves, and crisp, cool air. It’s also that time of year when stores start selling Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving napkins, and Christmas trees… all at the same time. While the holiday season is definitely exciting, it can also be a distracting season…
After two years and the loss of the use of her legs it became clear that Chiara Luce wouldn’t survive. Despite her pain she refused morphine so that she could remain lucid and offer all her suffering up to Jesus. She encouraged her parents to go out to dinner together, trying to prepare them for life after her death. Paralyzed in her bed, she kept loving.
In October 1990, Chiara Luce died at home. But her story doesn’t end there.
People became so inspired by the life and holiness of this “average” girl that her bishop opened the cause for her sainthood. In September 2010 she was declared “Blessed” (or one step away from becoming a saint) at a ceremony attended by over 25,000 people from 57 countries. Not bad for a small-town girl who never sought fame.
We put on this tough exterior in order to try and hide what is really going on. We try to broadcast something completely different from what’s going on in the inside. We think that if someone knew what we really felt, what we really experienced, what we’ve really done, then we would be cast out. That no one could possibly love us.
The next few Sundays looked the same. Each week I was presented with an opportunity to tell them more about my faith but each week, I responded with a one-word answer. After a month of this happening, my siblings caught on. They noticed that instead of cramming for a test on Sunday night, I was at church. They called me anything from “church freak” to “soon-to-be-nun.”
This false life of never enough permeates every aspect of our culture. When we pick out what to wear to school we ask, “Will others notice me?” When we step into the locker room to change out for sports we compare our body with that of others. When we get report cards… sports awards… drama or music evaluations… We are never enough. And when we do excel, there’s always some way we can (and “should”) improve.
This never enough culture consumes us with shame. We feel that we are never enough and so we believe that we are not enough.
It was a Saturday night and I was completely alone. I had cash in my pocket and gas in my truck but I had no friends anymore. The phone was not ringing. The silence was a deafening reminder to how ‘sad’ my social life had become in a very short amount of time. This had never happened to me in my previous three years of high school. My senior year was supposed to be epic! Instead it was growing increasingly lonely and there was only one person to blame: Jesus.
I turned around, and drove back to my house, wiping my eyes so I wouldn’t freak my mom out too much. But as I got out, it wasn’t Mom, or even Josh to meet me outside first. It was my Dad. And I had told myself I wasn’t going to cry anymore, but the concerned look on his face made me start to sob again and I sputtered, “I didn’t forget anything, I just missed you guys.”
The truth about uniforms/dress codes is they help us see who we are, they bring out our personality and true character. The unity in uniforms allows the unique dignity of our person to be truly seen. That is what we all desire most – to be seen. If you have ever met a group of religious sisters, you know that they each have a unique personality; each sister is so different from the others. And yet, they all wear the exact same habit, cut their hair the same way, don’t wear make up and follow all these dress code rules with joy. Why?
Whenever you begin to feel the temptation to sin and you don’t have those accountable people around, have an alternative activity that is your “go to.” You’ll have to do it right away. When you’re tempted to look at someone and judge them, think to yourself, “They are a child of God.” It’s important to train or condition yourself to avoid sin, so you might have to start by making a conscious effort to think that about every single person you see. Maybe you are a musician, and you grab your guitar or your drumsticks.
To make matters worse I began struggling with even more anxieties, anxieties about: past worries, college decisions, the future, and even my faith. I wrestled with these anxieties for a while and though I have certainly been able to manage them better, this is something that I still struggle with today.
Often I wonder why did this happen? I felt fine in the beginning of the school year. I’ve had worries like this in the past, but nothing that has trapped me as much as these anxieties did. After praying and reflecting on this question a great deal, I strongly believe that this was Jesus telling me to wake up.