Words of Advice: From the Face in the Mirror

If your definition of beauty and worth is measured solely by what you see in this mirror, that’s your problem and it’s up to you to fix that. Take control. You are not a powerless victim to the lies of a photoshopped world. Reclaim the meaning of beauty and remind yourself all day every day so you can rewrite your own inner dialogue.

Words of Advice: From a Teacher

How many of you are uncomfortable with the idea of living with a new roommate, or even living away from home? I went to college 12-hours from home, and I was royally homesick for a full semester. But, I stuck it out, and listened to God. When I was open to learn why, He was able to show me why He called me there, and give me the necessary grace to grow more comfortable in my surroundings.

Words of Advice: From a Former Party Girl

It’s funny how fast it happened, and it’s even funnier how I was convinced that I wasn’t leading a double life, although I clearly was. I would drink with my party friends on Friday night, and then wake up to meet one of my “good friends” for Mass, breakfast, and studying. I would always drink just to the point where I would start to feel guilty, and then I would stop. I would visualize the Confession line in my brain, and weigh each choice against whether or not it would land me in that line.

Leaving for College and Heading to Heaven

Your faith isn’t your Mom and Dad’s thing anymore. If you have questions, search for the answers, I promise you they’re there! It’s up to you to respond to the invitation from Christ to draw nearer to Him. College can be one of the most spiritually transformative times in your life. If you give these next four years to Christ, He’s going to give you back more than you ever dreamed of receiving.

My Heart Can Hope Again

The reason behind my anxiety was that of a former soldier. It was just in 2011 I was on a patrol in Afghanistan. With our armored vehicles pinned between a high flowing river and a road that had just given out. We had dismounted to set perimeters on the heights around us as well as check the layout. But none the less, we were sitting ducks and this was a perfect place for an ambush. The ride there had already shot my nerves. We had gotten Intel that the Taliban had been very present there as well as the road side bombs that accompanied them.

4 Things I Learned When I Saw Pope Francis

This summer I had the opportunity to go to Campobasso, Italy as the youth ambassador and representative for the United States, to meeting of Italian immigrant descendants from the Italian region of Molise. I was excited to learn about my heritage, but I became ecstatic when I learned Pope Francis would be in Campobasso during […]

Finding Jesus Through Mary: The Power of the Rosary

When I was in 5th grade, Beth gave me a packet of Catholic magazines that she had when she was a teenager. I responded oh-so-enthusiastically by shoving them in my closet and forgetting about them. Though I believed in God, I had rarely applied that belief to my daily tasks.

I Am Not Depression.

When I did speak to some people about depression I was met with a mixed response; well-meaning people said some non-productive things. One friend, who is a faithful Christian, told me that, “It was a spiritual problem and I didn’t need a diagnosis.” I felt even weaker, “He’s right,” I thought, “If I had a better prayer life and closer relationship with God, I wouldn’t feel the way that I do.” Those feelings were what caused me to stay quiet.

20 Thoughts of a Nun-To-Be

15. Will I really be able to live without instant communication with friends and family? Goodbye Facebook and iPhone. Goodbye Tumblr and Pinterest. Goodbye email and phone calls and text messaging. Hello again, snail mail!

16. There will definitely be more people at my wedding than I ever imagined there would be.

17. So. Many. Layers. I hope they keep the air conditioning on all year long.

3 Simple Steps for Continual Conversion

If you are a sinner like me, you sin all the time. This calls for continuous conversion or continually turning your heart away from sin and toward God. St. John Paul The Great says “We ourselves are to be converted anew every day.” So here are three simple steps to help your continual growth and conversion toward Christ.

Shattering My Disbelief

The other day, my youth minister threw my phone out of a (moving) car window. It was his way of teaching me to be “in the world but not of it.” He’s a tough-luck kind of guy. Just kidding. He did throw my phone out the window, but it was an accident. I was shocked. […]

Calm in the Storm?: Living with Anxiety

I would panic. I didn’t understand what was going on. My heart would race, my palms would sweat, and my body felt like it belonged to another world, but as a little girl all that I could explain to my mom was “that I felt weird.” Throughout my childhood I experienced situations like this. I lived in fear, but not the type of fear that could be silenced by a calm voice or reason. My mind spun, my brain hurt, and I often felt panicked.

Heroic Masculinity

If we want to understand masculinity, we have to understand God’s original purpose for it. When God created the first man, Adam, He gave him three very important tasks: Adam needed to cultivate life in the garden, he was charged by God to help create new life, and he was the garden’s protector.

Thrive: Summer, Structure, and Your Spiritual Life

Summer is here. Hallelujah! I know you are enjoying putting the stress and monotony of the school year behind you.

But before you slow down too much remember this: If we want to continue growing spiritually during the summer we must maintain some routine and order. Any type of growth, especially spiritual growth, requires structure.

If we want to come to know the Lord, if we want to become the saints He designed us to be, we need to stop choosing the easy path, the comfortable path. We must step up and establish some order.

Playing with Empty Hands: Christy’s Story

When she would shoot, it was always a swoosh. When she dribbled, it was between the legs and around the back. And when it was a no-look pass, it was the slickest alley-oop you’d ever seen. Or in this case imagined. At 34 years old and a whopping 4 foot 6, she was our determined Down Syndrome winner of hearts and the star of every imaginary game she had ever played in our family room back home.

Now What?: Advice for After a Youth Conference

When you wake up, you look at your floor, strewn with t-shirts, phone numbers of friends, and your journal. You remember the moments that challenged you, the resolutions you made to make changes in your life: to delete the songs on your computer, to change who you hang out with, and to basically be the Mother Theresa of the tenth grade.

Beyond the Surface Level

But of course we all need help. Time and time again, God reminds me that it is through my brokenness that Christ’s love will penetrate into the depths of my heart. And, I have come to learn that it’s through our brokenness that we are able to know others better. If we don’t allow our vulnerabilities to show, then other people may think that we don’t need them or care about them.

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

And not only was he my teacher; he was a mentor, an inspiration in my faith life, and someone from whom I had often sought theological advice. How fitting, then, that he was there that evening to make physical God’s promise to uphold my right hand — and the right hand of each member of my beloved class.

When God makes promises, I learned, it’s anything but a metaphor.

How to Win at LTLC: Getting the Most Out of Your Week

The biggest thing I learned from last year at LTLC was to get out of my comfort zone. Whether that means being more open to prayer and allowing Christ in your life, or going out of your way to say hi to other people. I’m a naturally shy person, but once you get to know me I won’t shut up.