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.

Stuck in a Rut: Advice for When You’re Going Nowhere in Prayer

That’s when desolation hit. Prayer became pretty challenging, reading Scripture felt like doing homework, every single thought distracted me and I felt an overall darkness. This lasted for about 4 months and after recognizing my “dark night” I knew what I had to do for a “bright morning.”

Take Me Out To The Ballgame (…seriously, do you have tickets?)

I’m such a huge Cardinals fan because, well, it’s how I was created. It’s part of how we were all created, actually, written into our very souls. We all have this innate desire to worship, given to us by God to lead to us to worship Him. But because we’re human, and have free will (not to mention original sin), we’re all really good at worshiping other things.

Divine Mercy Sunday: God’s Mercy is Bigger Than Any Sin

God offers us His grace and mercy every day, especially through the Eucharist. Because the tomb is empty, we have freedom. When Jesus descended into Hell he took sin and shame with Him. He left them there, where they belong. It is because Jesus rose that we are free. God's mercy is so big. St. John Vianney put it beautifully when he said, 'Our sins are nothing but a grain of sand alongside the great mountain of the mercy of God.'

JP2 to the Rescue: Transforming My Treehugger Theology

I didn’t believe in God until I was 15.

I was raised Catholic and got dragged to Mass and religious education and I hated it. I went to public school preK-8. By the time I went to a Catholic high school I was already formed in my beliefs.

What did I believe?

All my life I loved animals and Nature more than anything. I planned on spending my life doing conservation and working to save animals and the environment. I was into Greenpeace, recycling, living in harmony with Nature. I was a card-carrying member of the Audubon Society.

Be Not Afraid: Accepting the Challenge from JP2

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. He was a man who was deeply in love with Christ and the Church. He was willing to do whatever it took to lead the faithful into the victory that Christ has won for us.

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:

25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years

Afterall, I was born in the 80’s. That pretty much makes me ancient. (I was around the first time slap bracelets were a thing.) And as an ancient, blog-writing, birthday girl, my gift to you is 25 pieces of advice that I’ve learned in my 25 years.

I’m Sorry I Walked By: An Open Letter to Peter

I don’t know how many thousands of people walked by you, never looking at you, even turning their eyes away from you. I don’t know how many people insulted you to your face and behind your back. I don’t know your past, where you had been, or what brought you to that corner on that day.

All I know is that I was one of those thousands of people who just walked by.

Confessions of a (Reformed) Catholic Hipster

I loved (and still love) being Catholic. I loved belonging to my parish, to my youth group, to the choir, and to the picnic committee. I wanted to be involved in anything that allowed me to express my faith. However, I now realize that sometimes my zeal for my faith made me act like I was part of an exclusive club — not the Body of Christ on earth, commissioned to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19).

A Beautiful Offering: Choosing to Glorify God in Our Suffering

“Just get over it.” Sadly we hear phrases such as these from our friends in answer to our suffering. I don’t think these are the words anyone wants to hear when they are suffering, having a bad day, or feeling down. I love a lot of things about the Catholic Church, but one thing I […]

What Are You Living For?: A Letter from Heaven

What if I told you that your life was halfway over? I’m guessing you’re 15 or 16, maybe 17 years old. What if I told you that your life expectancy was to live until you were 32 years old? I know what you’re thinking – “dude, most people live past 32. You’re being way over-dramatic.” […]

3 Promises That Will Change Your Life

These promises changed my life. Don’t rationalize or make excuses for yourself. Push yourself a bit, work a little longer, sacrifice something else, persist, and persevere! Following through on these promises will not only bring you joy, but freedom to live the life God is calling you to!

The Sidewalk Missionary: My Divine Appointment from Finland

It was a scorching hot summer day. We left the shade of the high Barcelona city buildings and crossed over a plaza on our way to the pier. It was while we were joking around, probably complaining about the heat and our naive decision not to bring water bottles that God provided a divine appointment.