Worth the Fight: The 5 Secrets to Staying Pure

Q: I was wondering if you have any advice for guys trying to remain pure. I know a lot of my friends and I have struggled in relationships because we found it so hard to remain pure with all of the pressure around us.

A: Thanks for the email, and I want to affirm you for pursuing purity. Here are a few tips that come to mind:

Which Spring Breaker Are You?

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.

Broken Chains: Freedom from Porn is Possible

I don’t know if it was my conscience, the Holy Spirit, or a combination of the two, but in that moment I was reminded of this one issue in my life. I had struggled with pornography for the past year or two. I knew that it was sinful, and several times I had promised myself that I wouldn’t go back to it, but I couldn’t quit.

A Family as Crazy as Mine

Everyone knows the Christmas story and expects to hear it at Mass. You’d have to try really hard to live in America and not know the basics of the Christmas narrative.

But instead of hearing about shepherds scared by angels and a divine baby dressed in swaddling clothes, we hear the genealogy of Jesus all the way from Abraham down to Joseph (Mary’s husband, not the Old Testament Technicolor Dreamcoat guy). This probably leaves more than a few people wondering if maybe the priest messed up and is reading from the wrong book.

Purgatory: Heaven’s Waiting Room

Consider this analogy. Have you ever tried to put a wrinkled dollar bill into a soda machine? You try your best to straighten it out but the machine simply can’t receive it in its wrinkled, tattered state. But if you put in a crisp, new bill, the machine takes it no problem. Purgatory is where all the “wrinkles” are purged and “ironed out.” Remember, the wrinkled dollar is not worth less than the new one it just needs some help.

Put simply, Purgatory means you’ll get to heaven some day, but that you have a few things God has to “iron out” first.

Thank You God: Being the Grateful Leper

We walk into confession as spiritual lepers, wounded and scarred by sin. In the case of mortal sin, we’re even spiritual outcasts of heaven, living outside of the state of grace. But we walk out of Confession as people brought back to life and made new.

If we were to truly recognize what God is doing in us, our reaction would be one of wonder and awe followed by humble gratitude.

Abundant Mercy: How to Overcome the Shame of Sin

When we stand in line waiting to enter the confessional, it’s natural to sometimes feel a little fear, a little anxiousness, a little nervousness. After all, we’re standing in line to speak our sins aloud! Sometimes though, we walk out of the confessional and we might still feel guilty, or ashamed of what we’ve done […]

Shark Week Scares

It’s finally here. The week that the Discovery Channel brings us marathon programming meant to help us better understand sharks. As I write this, a great white shark the size of a Winnebago is chomping a seal in half while guys in windbreakers film on a rocking boat. My favorite part of shark week is […]

One of Us

Sometimes even in the Christian realm, we're segregated in a similar fashion. I recently went to a conference with 25,000 Christians who were on fire for God. It was amazing and one of the most powerful worship experiences I've ever had. However, I think my four friends and I were the only Catholics there.

God's not exclusive. He wants all groups, ethnic circles, social classes, to be brought together as one people, unified in love and faith.

Last week, a non-denominational church launched a campaign called: 'Jesus loves you and your tattoo.' They handed out koozies on the gang-filled streets of Detroit with this message. I love that because it is proclaiming the truth that our God didn't come for the cookie-cutter Christians. He came for everyone . . .

Hello Spring Break . . . Goodbye Dignity?

Life is stressful, right? Between school and work and relationships, it can be exhausting, and Spring Break is the perfect way to blow off some steam and finally relax. And over the next few weeks, countless teens and young adults will make very, very poor decisions … some that they won't remember, and some they won't be able to forget, because they'll regret them for the rest of their lives … all in the name of freedom.

Why Do Catholics Confess Their Sins to a Priest?

Priests can forgive our sins because Jesus has given them that authority through the grace of Holy Orders. With that power, priests can hear and forgive our sins by acting through Christ.

Jesus gave the Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Penance or Confession, to allow us to have an intimate conversation with our God through the priest. . . .

Why Do Catholics Confess Their Sins to a Priest?

Priests can forgive our sins because Jesus has given them that authority through the grace of Holy Orders. With that power, priests can hear and forgive our sins by acting through Christ.

Jesus gave the Church the Sacrament of Reconciliation, also known as Penance or Confession, to allow us to have an intimate conversation with our God through the priest. . . .

What Makes A Saint

Let's be honest, 'All Saints Day' does not refer to me. I have more in common with popcorn appreciation day. Or Taylor Swift fan club Mondays.

This feast commemorates all the saints in heaven and I feel like I'm so far away from being a saint. I want to be a saint though! I try really hard to not sin. In fact, I know the Ten Commandments about as well as I know the lyrics to 'As Long As You Love Me.' So . . . very well.

The Commonalities of Pancakes and Sin

I'm not sure if you know this about me but something rather drastic happened in my life a couple months ago – I found out I had an intolerance for gluten. If you follow me on the Twittersphere (LT_Christina) you've probably seen me talk about this. Scratch that, you've probably seen me complain and bemoan my gluten-less state while everyone else is so happily eating muffins and bagels and brownies.

Why Do Catholics Follow the Ten Commandments?

Catholics follow the Ten Commandments because Christ, Himself, followed them and because He told others to follow them (Matthew 19:16-19). We also follow them because they were given to us by God. In the book of Exodus we read how God himself gave these commandments to the Israelites through the help of Moses. However there is more to following the Ten Commandments than just because 'God told us to.'

We obey God's commands because He loves us! Because God loves us and loves us perfectly we can always trust His word. Also, because God created us we can trust that He always knows what is best for us.

God Doesn’t Text

That was a tough question, but the next one worried me:

'Was I afraid to talk with God, to be honest with Him, and listen to Him even if I didn't like it?'

I had to think about it for a while. I realized that while I trusted God with most things, there was still one thing that I avoided … Confession. I would go to Mass every Sunday and pray throughout the day asking for help or thanking Him, but I didn't like sharing my weaknesses with Him.

Why Do Catholics Believe in Indulgences?

Catholics believe in indulgences because ultimately we know we're all sinners and need God's mercy. When a person commits a sin, there are two kinds of punishments that they have to deal with as a result of that sin. The first is called 'eternal punishment' which means the sinner can't enter heaven because of a grave sin that is not repented from. Through Christ's sacrifice we don't have to suffer eternal punishment if we repent. The second kind of punishment is called 'temporal punishment' and every sin we commit carries a temporal punishment with it.