Our New Pope: Humble Yet Powerful

I was expecting something 'more.' I mean, this was the new Pope's first homily since his election. On Wednesday the world tuned in to see our new Pope Francis. On Thursday we got to hear him preach for the first time.

God’s Heartbeat: Are You Listening?

Instead of going into the chapel and pouring out my thoughts or trying really hard to hear Him, I'm just sitting in the silence. His calm, gentle, strong voice always comes to me if I submit to the sacred silence in the chapel.

If I can't make it to the chapel, I can sit in silence with God in my room. My reflection this week on my silent time has flowed nicely with my reflections on not speeding.

What I've learned this week is this: I don't always have to set the pace. Whether it be in the car, in the hallway, or in the chapel – I can take my time. I can slow down. I can breathe. I can listen to His heartbeat, and strive to live my life to the rhythm of that heart beat. Let God set the rhythm, and experience the freedom that it offers.

Anything But Ordinary Time

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.

Meatless Fridays: Can You Take This Food Challenge?

I'm not what you'd call 'competitive.' My mom used to summarize my little league soccer games saying, 'yeah . . . sometimes the ball would hit your foot.' I've been known to intentionally lose a pick-up game of volleyball because it was getting cold outside . . . and after three times around a Monopoly board, I'll give you the Boardwalk and all my hotels for a chance to leave the table and do something else

Meatless Fridays: Can You Take This Food Challenge?

I'm not what you'd call 'competitive.' My mom used to summarize my little league soccer games saying, 'yeah . . . sometimes the ball would hit your foot.' I've been known to intentionally lose a pick-up game of volleyball because it was getting cold outside . . . and after three times around a Monopoly board, I'll give you the Boardwalk and all my hotels for a chance to leave the table and do something else

Live for Heaven

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.

Live for Heaven

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.

How to Be a Saint

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.

Is Your Faith Dead or Alive?

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.

Is Your Faith Dead or Alive?

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.

The Answer to Pain

And we know that we're not alone in our questions; suffering is a reality in everyones lives. Especially for us Christians, who believe in a personal God that knows and cares about every detail of our lives, suffering seems to make no sense.

The Answer to Pain

And we know that we're not alone in our questions; suffering is a reality in everyones lives. Especially for us Christians, who believe in a personal God that knows and cares about every detail of our lives, suffering seems to make no sense.

Don’t Look Back

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.

The Commonalities of Pancakes and Sin

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.

Live Simply So Others May Simply Live

This summer at all of the Life Teen Summer Camps, the hosts have been walking through the Beatitudes.ÌâåÊThe first Life Teen week, I was able to sit in on all of the sessions and was deeply challenged by the truths that the host was sharing as he talked about poverty, justice and what we are really called to as Christians. (Thanks Gomer!)ÌâåÊThe Spirit began stirring in me and in Erik, and we decided that we needed to really examine our lives, our lifestyle, and our understanding of our call as Christians to live in solidarity with the poor.ÌâåÊ

Greatness Comes at a Price

The fact is that every time I see a hero in a movie do something awesome, I want to do the same. However, thinking I’ll hit like Rocky or climb walls like Spiderman is not realistic and will likely get me in over my head. The heroes we look up to train very hard to be ready for the big moment. Firefighters train for a long time before getting on the truck and going to put out fires. The 2008 Olympics wasn’t Michael Phelps’ first time in a pool.

Pray Like a Kid

At some point when I grew up, I stopped praying like a kid. Maybe I was embarrassed to ask God for what I really wanted, or maybe I just wasn't so sure He was able or willing to take care of me. I think one of the reasons that Jesus said that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to children (Matthew 19:14) is because children still believe in a God who cares about every little detail of their lives. They are still courageous enough to ask for miracles when everyone else tells them to not get their hopes up.

Blessed the Beggar: Who Are the “Poor in Spirit”?

Ìâ‰âÂÌâÅÒBlessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.' (Matthew 5:3)

This is one of those Scripture passages that many people 'know' (meaning, they've heard it before) but countless people fail to understand. My own parochial school teacher taught us that it simply meant God loves poor people 'more.'

Ummm, to put it as charitably and bluntly as possible . . . no, that's not what it means . . .