If you are a sinner like me, you sin all the time. This calls for continuous conversion or continually turning your heart away from sin and toward God. St. John Paul The Great says “We ourselves are to be converted anew every day.” So here are three simple steps to help your continual growth and conversion toward Christ.
The other day, my youth minister threw my phone out of a (moving) car window. It was his way of teaching me to be “in the world but not of it.” He’s a tough-luck kind of guy. Just kidding. He did throw my phone out the window, but it was an accident. I was shocked. […]
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:
I rode in the car for two hours with our Lord clutched to my chest. I had my knees up by my face and both my hands over Him, hugging Him tightly to myself. I could feel my heartbeat in my hands, pounding through the gold capsula. I did not speak. The hours passed like minutes as I sat there in complete awe and wonder.
Ready or not, here it comes… It’s almost 2014.
I don’t know about you, but this year for me has been a year of challenge, change, and growth with a ton of added mercy and grace. Looking back at the challenges, I am grateful; grateful that the Lord allows me to grow when I suffer and grateful that He never stops loving me.
I got rocked at Mass this morning while celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. For the first time, God revealed to me that Jesus died on the cross for His Mother. I thought Mary never sinned. Why would she need her Son Jesus to save her? Let me explain. “The most Blessed Virgin Mary […]
All I’ve ever wanted out of my relationships is to feel safe.
I’m always worried that I’ll make someone so angry that they won’t want to have anything to do with me. I want to know that I’m worth someone’s time and effort; that they’ll stick around when things get rough.
But people always fall short. We’re imperfect and broken and there’s no escaping that. Show me someone who’s got it together all the time and I’ll show you someone who’s wearing a mask. People are unpredictable and it’s scary.
As most of you know, there was an event last month that was a pretty big deal in the Catholic Church. It was a gathering of more than 3,000,000 people in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil called World Youth Day. Every couple years this incredible week of catechesis, celebrating the sacraments, and much more allows young […]
One little bump and I go from calm and collected to, 'This plane is going to crash, and I'm too young to die!'
Yes, I'm that dramatic, sometimes.
I think of all the things that I want to still do with my life, things that I want to accomplish, places I wanted to go; I think of children and enjoying the benefits of becoming an old man who sits on his front porch drinking lemonade and yelling at kids to get off his lawn (face it, you know that is going to be awesome).
Fear will grip me the rest of that flight. I can't focus on anything … not the weird in-flight movie or awkward conversation I am having with the person next to me. I'm gripping the armrest like it will actually steer the plane for the rest of the flight.
Our faith, however, is not based on hollow rituals or oppressive rules. It's based on an encounter with the person of Jesus, who changes everything. Our relationship with Christ connects us with the origin of our life and the meaning of where we are going. He desires us not to be weighed down but rather to live life to its fullest potential (John 10:10).
When He calls us to live a holy life, it's because he knows what we are capable of and is drawing our potential out of us like any good sports coach does.
The Apostles couldn't explain how Jesus rose from the dead but they still spoke the truth because they experienced His rising in person. I couldn't intellectually or scientifically prove the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (see CCC 1374) yet I proclaimed it as true because I have experienced what Jesus has done for me through the Eucharist.
This is how we can grow in holiness in everyday life. Every day gives us new opportunities for our selfish, superior part to die and for us to grow in love. Maybe we do the dishes without grumbling about it, help someone with school work even if we'd rather be doing something else, or take time to hang out with our siblings.
We’re in a time where our leaders and beliefs are under a lot of scrutiny. It’s not always a popular thing to stand up for the Gospel these days. However, it wasn’t easy to stand up for the Gospel back in the days of the Early Church, either.
It’s ironic because I think it should have been easier back then. I have to pull out scripture to show people what Jesus said and did. The Apostles just had to say “Guys, don’t you remember two weeks ago on the boat when Jesus said this and that?”
I'd probably be on my way home, too. Because, in a way, I have felt like they felt. Maybe you have, too.
We've been on the great retreats, attended the amazing youth conferences, heard the killer homilies, felt the graces of Confession, gotten into the power of the Triduum. We've heard His voice and felt His presence. Everything is working according to plan.
And then, a little time goes by . . . a couple hours, a couple days, a couple weeks. And the feelings are gone. And it feels like Jesus is gone, too.
of former way of life. After His death and resurrection, Jesus ascended into Heaven where He is highly exalted and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Ephesians 1:20-23)
If you're on any type of social media and have an opinion about anything, you've probably experienced this. You type, 'Wendys fries are so much better than McDonald's' as a status update. You walk away from your computer and return to find World War III has broken out on your wall, with friends declaring their allegiances.
There's no room for that kind of wishy-washy-ness when it comes down to deciding where you want to spend eternity. Saying 'I do' during those baptismal promises was a powerful moment for me. It meant I was recommitting to giving my life over to my bridegoom, Jesus Christ, and His Church (Ephesians 5).
Saint Peter died defending a faith that wouldn't submit to any empire. The witness of millions of martyrs over the past 2,000 years gives testimony to faith that is unflinching and love that is stronger than death.
Today when you walk toward St. Peter's Square, you can't help but notice the obelisk that was once a sign of Rome's power. In the past two millennia, empires and kingdoms, presidents and dictators have risen and fallen . . . but the Church remains standing.
What's your New Year's resolution? Are you going to study more? Eat your vegetables? Finally watch all those episodes of Honey Boo Boo clogging up the DVR?
How about a resolution to proclaim your faith a little more?
You know, proclaim. To state publicly, to announce, to shout from the rooftops. In his letter on the Year of Faith Pope Benedict XVI writes that,
'The Church on the day of Pentecost demonstrates with utter clarity this public dimension of believing and proclaiming one's faith fearlessly to every person.'
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.