In this particular relationship after my parent’s divorce, the girl I was dating became everything to me. I drew my worth from her compliments and her attention. I drew my joy from her company. I wasn’t simply finding joy in her and recognizing Christ in her, I was putting her first in my life before Christ.
She was the one I would go to with all my problems. I went to church to see her, not Jesus. And Jesus loved me through it all. When that relationship fell apart, so did I . . .
The most important part of all of this is in Jesus’ first three words to Peter, “Come after me.” With these words, Jesus is not only saying that Peter must physically follow him, but that Peter’s desires are to come after His as well. If we focus on doing what Jesus is asking us to do, our lives will change radically. Obviously, not all of us will become Pope, like Peter, but I guarantee that God will do far greater things with your life than you could ever do on your own.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, The 49th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be celebrated on 29 April 2012, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, prompts us to meditate on the theme: Vocations, the Gift of the Love of God. The source of every perfect gift is God who is Love – Deus caritas est: “Whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him” (1 Jn 4:16). Sacred Scripture tells the story of this original bond between God and man, which precedes creation itself. Writing to the Christians Read more [...]
Imagine what your life would be like if you couldn’t hear your phone ring, the microwave beep, or the doorbell? What if you couldn’t go to the movie theater or hear birds?
That’s what life was like for Sarah Churman until last fall. She was born deaf and last fall received an implant that allows her to hear. You’ve probably never heard of her before, but you might recognize her if you were one of the 12 million people who saw the viral YouTube video, “29 years old and hearing myself for the first time.”
It was about this time 6 years ago that I quit smoking. I smoked for 12 years. It’s not something that you’re typically proud of, because I certainly wasn’t. But I will say this, I think God used the experience of that, in a very profound way, to understand the nature of what it means to be an addict. And the line between an addict and a misfit is unbelievably close. As an addict you just have a craving for something and you just fixated on the wrong thing. All along what you were fixated Read more [...]
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Jimmy Mitchell about his new project “Love Come Alive” with the musical company Mysterium. “Love Come Alive” was a live concert in the Fall of 2011 that helped support 40 Days for Life and was turned into an album and a touring concert this spring in cities around the country. Listen to “Love Come Alive” by Haylee Mitchell Download “Love Come Alive” What is Mysterium? Well, at it’s core, Mysterium is a company that produces music, publishes Read more [...]
How do you define a miracle? Is it only Jesus walking on water, raising someone from the dead, or healing people? And then there’s the saints – they did some pretty awesome things that are definitely miracles. Those miracles were such a long time ago though. We don’t see too many today, huh? Or do we . . . ?
You see it all depends on your definition of a miracle. There’s this amazing athlete, Emmy Kaiser; she’s 21 years old and the #1 U.S. woman’s wheelchair tennis athlete. She has Spina Bifida but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her dream of being a professional athlete.
Although there may be times when we face loneliness, whether by choice or by circumstance, as Catholics we’re not asked to walk every aspect of our faith journey alone. This can be difficult for those of us who don’t have support at home or for someone like me who likes to do a lot of things by himself. I’ve discovered though, that as I strive for heaven everyday I need as much help as I can get. It’s your community that cheers you on in this life, encouraging you with their words and actions in the good times and the bad (Proverbs 12:25).
I recently heard someone ranting about how commercialized Easter has become and how there is “no trace of Christ” left in His holiday. I understood the person’s concerns and agreed, in part, with their assertions. The more I got to thinking about it, though, I felt like their thoughts, while valid, were a little bit short–sighted.
Christ is everywhere. His death and resurrection are everywhere. We just need to know where to look and how to uncover them.
He was laughed at for the things He said. They called Him a liar. They even spit on Him while He was hanging on the cross. What I’ve experienced in my life is that people like to laugh at my beliefs when they don’t conform to what they’re comfortable with. I haven’t been spit on but I’ve been verbally slapped for sure.
Dear young friends, I am happy to address you once more on the occasion of the 27th World Youth Day. The memory of our meeting in Madrid last August remains close to my heart. It was a time of extraordinary grace when God showered his blessings on the young people gathered from all over the world. I give thanks to God for all the fruits which that event bore, fruits which will surely multiply for young people and their communities in the future. Now we are looking forward to our Read more [...]
I’m not going to lie; I thought the movie October Baby was going to be another one of those movies that I’d be embarrassed about as a Catholic. Not that I’m ashamed of proclaiming my faith, but I was worried about how the movie would portray such a sensitive topic such as abortion. It’s hard enough to defend life in person and I didn’t think a movie could do it without coming across as unrelatable, especially because the audience is filled with people whose views oppose each other. Read more [...]
If you don’t know Audrey Assad, that’s okay. She’s only the biggest thing to happen to the Christian music scene in years, but you wouldn’t know it by talking to her. Liz Lemon appearances aside, Audrey probably wouldn’t stand out in a room full of celebrities, nor would you think that behind her quirky demeanor there’s a voice that could take on both the resonating power of Adele and the melodic soul of Joni Mitchell. It’s her small and humble heart that makes her newest project Heart such Read more [...]
“Great news! I got a promotion . . . and I’m ENGAGED!”
My friend went on and on sharing the romantic story of how her tall, handsome, Catholic man proposed. Everything in her life seemed to be the stuff of her dreams . . . and mine. As she was oozing with excitement, I smiled and was happy for her, but inside I had this strange, silent but sickly feeling of envy. There was this small part of me that wanted her to gain 10 lbs, break out with acne, or just stop talking. (Ok, not my finest moment).
7th grade rolled around, and it was time to tryout for the school team. I made it past the cut and the second cut. There were 18 of us left to fill 16 spots, and well . . . I was one of the last two cut. It was heartbreaking, but I dusted off my wounds and worked harder. I tried out for the 8th grade team the following year, and guess what? I got cut again . . . one of the last ones. The hard work continued, and I gave it a couple more shots early in my high school career, and, each time . . . cut . . . at the end.
The pain was too much, and I couldn’t bear the thought of another year of hard work only to be rejected again. So, when it came time to try out for the Varsity Team my senior year, I gave up. I quit.
In Matthew 5:28, Jesus says that, “Anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
When Jesus said this, it was completely radical, because he revealed that lust (something that happens inside your heart) is a sin just as much as an external action. What we think with our minds and desire in our hearts is a big deal.
Okay, listen. I really like the Hunger Games. I could not put the first book down this summer and so of course at the first minute of Friday the 23rd, at 12:01am, I was sitting in a theater to see the movie. “But it’s about teens killing each other!!!” This is the reaction a lot of adults have. (At least that’s what my parents said.) Yes it is about killing. And it’s terrible. It’s horrific.
See, this movie is not supposed to be about glorifying killing. The two main characters, Katniss and Peeta, are horrified that they have to participate in the Hunger Games and fight to the death, much like Roman gladiators. Though the governing body, the “Capitol”, finds it enjoyable, the majority (except for three districts) of the population is appalled by these games year after year.
But I found some very inspiring themes in this story . . .
You never know who God is going to bring into your life. This past week I had an amazing experience of God while waiting for my dinner. “Iced tea, please.” I requested with a genuine tone. “You guys goin’ to get ripped on Friday?” the waiter asked me (and my friends). “I’m sorry?” I asked a little confused and more than a little intrigued. “You know, are you guys gonna get lit up to celebrate Saint Patrick’s day this Friday?” he asked again, (obviously assuming that Read more [...]
Let’s be real, I think the Lord had teenagers in mind when He came up with the fourth commandment. It’s no secret that the teen years are often the hardest when it comes to the parent-child relationship.
But does it have to be that way?
Not at all! When we realize that we have a responsibility to honor our parents, the relationship becomes a lot easier. Here’s a little piece of my experience with the 4th commandment.