Eventually, in my heart, the answer became clear. But it was gradual. It was never a burning bush or a voice from the heavens. And honestly, I think I grew more as a person because of it. Throughout my seemingly endless period of questioning my future, I learned to trust. God created the Universe. Did I honestly think He couldn’t handle University?
I had no idea what to say when I was first called “Jesus Freak.” So I ended up saying, “Wow, okay.” I shrunk because I didn’t think anyone would ever call me that, at least not to my face. And then I went home and cried. I didn’t know how to respond. I took it terribly.
I always tell people who are discerning their vocation to be courageous and remember Jesus said, “I came that you might have life and have it to the full.” His dreams for us are our joy. God both wants the best for us and gives us every grace and strength we need. God is the best lover, friend, guide, help, mentor we could ever wish for!
Learn to love the quiet, gentle (yet strong) way He speaks. He never forces us to listen to Him so we must learn to be quiet and to love His voice.
So when a person comes to speak to me initially, that is how I try to explain it to them. They are not signing their life away, and ultimately, my interest is their eternal joy and salvation, and if it is not as a priest, or a priest for my diocese, I want them to figure that out. So they are certainly not committing to anything with just a conversation with me.
Of course I am excited for the future, but most importantly, I am striving to be fully invested in the present moment at all times. I believe that the Lord puts a call, gifts, and desires into each of our hearts… and the world needs it! The world needs YOU… and me, and everyone.
May is when it gets real. The predictable routine of school is about to end and suddenly you realize that you’re not 100% sure what the future holds. When I started college as a freshman, I assumed that life was now on a set track — I’d meet and fall in love with my future husband around the middle of my junior year so we could be engaged by the time we graduated and get married in the summer. We’d both get great jobs, acquire a house with a white picket fence, live happily ever after with our dog and three kids and be active volunteers in our local Catholic Church. I had seen this story unfold in the lives of others, so I figured it would be mine, too.
As a freshman in college I found that my campus Catholic club left something to be desired. While it wasn’t really bad, it was definitely not what I wanted or expected coming into college. I wanted somewhere to grow in my faith and to build a community of believers and tight friendships, but my Newman Club was not the place for it. As I watched the attendance of the club’s meeting dwindle as the year went by, I knew that other people wanted more as well.
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 […]