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.'
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.
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:
Like accomplishments, boys only filled me temporarily. After another meaningless fling with a younger boy ended, I ended up breaking down in front of a sorority sister I barely knew. I told her everything: the boys, the partying, my poor judgment as well as the impossible mountain of insecurity that I could never fully conquer.
Let me set up a common scenario in my life. I sit down to pray to God, whether it is before or during Mass, during Adoration, or just in my spare time. I find myself starting really strong and then my mind wanders. I coo over the cute baby five pews behind me. I plan out what work I am going to be doing later that night. I wonder what on earth was I thinking when I answered that question in class. I try to figure out what I’m going to wear tomorrow.
Let’s just say I get distracted easily.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand the pro-choice perspective. I don’t say this because I am closed-minded. I have tried to grasp it, I promise. But the thing is, I was nearly aborted. And if the pro-choicers are right, then I had no value. I should have been aborted. If the pro-choicers are right, I would be dead.
And considering how things have gone so far in my 17 years of not being dead, I’d have to say life’s a pretty cool thing.
What makes us, the ordinary high schoolers, heroes is what we do every day, even when nobody is watching. So you think it would be easier to be brave if you didn’t have to do it in front of those guys who already think you’re weird? Well, get over it. Yes, it would be easier to do great things if we could fly, or if we had other superpowers. But that’s never going to happen, so we have to make do with what have.
When it comes to this, “what happens on spring break stays on spring break” couldn’t be further from the truth. The decision to abuse alcohol and drugs aren’t just harmful to you and those around you — the consequences can follow you long after your flip-flop tan fades.
“Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders”?
That border for me starts wherever people are left out, ostracized, lonely, and vulnerable. The people who most need love are not always the ones with the flashing neon signs that say “OPPORTUNITY TO LOVE GOD HERE!!!” Oftentimes, it’s the quiet orphan on the fringe of the crowd, waiting to be recognized and loved for the child of Christ that he or she is.
Interviewing for a job can be tough, especially if you’ve never done it before. Having been on many interviews in my life so far, I’d look to offer you some tips to make sure your next job interview is a success.
To be honest, I felt lost. Some days I would think that being a priest was my calling, others that having a giant family (thirteen kids to be exact) was. In my life I would see signals everywhere — a bible verse that told me to be a priest and a baby that told me to be a dad. It distressed me; I was frustrated a lot of the time, and it began to wear on me. I was asking God why he didn’t just tell me what was up.
For a long time, it wasn’t unusual for me to stand in the mirror and tear myself apart. I would also tear myself apart when I inevitably sinned. I am the kind of person that always wants to be perfect and I’m not. Neither are you. I make mistakes, and when I do, I’m my own greatest critic. This separated me from God more quickly than any other thing in my life. I didn’t feel like God could love a sinner like me.
I didn’t care if it was illegal. In high school I loved to drink and party. A few years ago I was tailgating in the parking lot of the concert venue waiting to see Lady Antebellum open for Rascal Flatts. The opening band didn’t start for another three hours and I had already had […]
As I got older, I think it was around 6th grade, when I started really anticipating Valentine’s Day. Why? Maybe because it was the first time I had a huge crush on a guy. I still remember the feeling, the butterflies in my stomach when I saw him… Of course this boy didn’t know I existed… (surprise, surprise). But I would close my eyes and imagine that he was my valentine and I was his. Gross I know, right? Anyway, needless to say I didn’t receive any Valentine’s that year from any boys, except the ones from my daddy and little brothers.
Every year I found myself somewhat disappointed in my Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had a boyfriend or any guy in a position to be my Valentine. But I guess I always thought well maybe this Valentine’s Day will be different. Maybe i’ll have a secret admirer, or a boyfriend (yeah right), etc…
When I was in college I decided that I wanted to do more than just go to Church on Sunday. But what should I do? My local youth group was lackluster, and I didn’t want to go to church meetings with elderly ladies who knew me when I was a toddler. My short attention span meant that I wasn’t going to join anything that required me to spend hours at home praying.
I was stuck… so I prayed.
But there were definitely things I could have done better.
I procrastinated worse than I ever have — pulling all-nighters at some points and sleeping in class the next day because I was so tired. I didn’t get off my campus as much as I wanted to and explore my new city (Boston), mainly because I was too lazy or stuck inside with homework. One of the biggest disappointments for me last semester was that I only went to adoration twice.
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 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.
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).
I never thought I’d be able to admit this out loud… let alone on the internet… but after talking with some friends and praying with 2 Corinthians 12:9, I’m finally ready to say it. I have struggled with an eating disorder. I was pretty athletic when I was growing up. I wasn’t a superstar or […]