Compare and Despair

We all fall into that trap of comparing ourselves to one another. How do we stack up against the competition? Whether we’re measuring ourselves against our siblings, classmates, teammates, best friends, or even total strangers like celebrities, we’re constantly sizing up the competition. Where do I rank? Am I as good as he is at __? Am I better than her at __?

‘Tis the Season to be Holy

Fall… it’s that time of year best known for its pumpkin spiced lattes, orange leaves, and crisp, cool air. It’s also that time of year when stores start selling Halloween costumes, Thanksgiving napkins, and Christmas trees… all at the same time. While the holiday season is definitely exciting, it can also be a distracting season…

Dress Code Drama

The truth about uniforms/dress codes is they help us see who we are, they bring out our personality and true character. The unity in uniforms allows the unique dignity of our person to be truly seen. That is what we all desire most – to be seen. If you have ever met a group of religious sisters, you know that they each have a unique personality; each sister is so different from the others. And yet, they all wear the exact same habit, cut their hair the same way, don’t wear make up and follow all these dress code rules with joy. Why?

Everyday Evangelization: Locker-bays and Catacombs

The word “evangelization” reminds me of a time I was ambushed in a parking lot. One summer afternoon I was sitting in the parking lot of Starbucks with my windows rolled down, ready to pull out. I had my iced coffee, I buckled my seatbelt, turned on my country music, glanced in my rearview mirror […]

Pitch Imperfect

Last week, as soon as Mass ended, the sweet little old lady sitting in front of me loudly announced to anyone within earshot that I (apparently) sing off-key. Totally shocked, I responded, “Well, I guess that’s why I’m out here, and not back there in the choir loft.” Listen, lady, I never promised you perfection from the pew behind you.

Boring Catholics

This doesn’t mean that you should just settle for boring friends. When Jesus promised to give us “life to the full” (John 10:10), He must’ve meant something more exciting than a youth group bowling trip. Have you prayed for good friendships? Ask God to provide friends that are pursuing holiness that you also enjoy hanging out with.

Heroic Masculinity

If we want to understand masculinity, we have to understand God’s original purpose for it. When God created the first man, Adam, He gave him three very important tasks: Adam needed to cultivate life in the garden, he was charged by God to help create new life, and he was the garden’s protector.

The Power of a Story: Inspire[d] Summer Reading

Okay wait I was NOT TRYING TO DO THAT… What had happened to my idea of a healthy relationship? I was a Catholic gal who wanted to date and marry a nice boy. And I had been to enough retreat dating workshops to know that hooking up with random strangers in supply closets was not exactly the path to my ultimate relationship goal of a man who would come with me to Mass and go on mission trips with me.

Human Heroes: How to be Extraordinary Every Day

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.

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.

Holy Crap: The Unholy Art of Outdoing Another

Here’s the thing about Lent: Your thing is your thing. What you give up and what you add on is between you and God, not you and your friends. If you want to bring them into it, asking them to walk with you or hold you accountable, all power to you. If you don’t want anyone but God to know, that’s okay, too.

If, however, you take every opportunity (consciously or unconsciously) to share just how much you’re giving up or how much you’re doing, it’s not holiness you’re seeking — it’s attention.

When God is Second

A few years ago I felt my relationship with God was kind of “meh” so I asked a priest I knew, Father Chris, for advice. “Are you attending mass every day?” Father Chris asked. Keep in mind, I worked at a church that offered mass twice a day. All I had to do was walk […]

Weakness Exposed

Sometimes light reveals things that we don't want to see. Lent has a way of doing that. It causes a little bit of pressure and stress, and shows us just how weak we can be sometimes. In my case, sitting in the sun revealed some things in me that I needed to work on. Had I gone and escaped into the shade, I may have missed out on the chance to improve myself.

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.

How to Be 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.

Greatness Comes at a Price

The fact is that every time I see a hero in a movie do something awesome, I want to do the same. However, thinking I’ll hit like Rocky or climb walls like Spiderman is not realistic and will likely get me in over my head. The heroes we look up to train very hard to be ready for the big moment. Firefighters train for a long time before getting on the truck and going to put out fires. The 2008 Olympics wasn’t Michael Phelps’ first time in a pool.

I will Wait: Mumford and Sons and Purity

It means waiting for the person God intended you to be with, and especially saving sex for marriage. The world says, 'Go ahead . . . do whatever you want, whenever you want, as long as it makes you feel good.' God made sex, and He made it to be an expression of free and fruitful love in the context of marriage. Don’t forget though, that it’s never too late to recommit to purity if you’ve already fallen. None of us are perfect; it’s very hard to stay pure.

The Secret to Sainthood

Do you ever feel like there's some big secret to becoming a saint and you can't figure out what it is? What did they do to become so awesome? Was there a book they read? A certain prayer they prayed? Does a diet of bread and fish help?

That's what I was wondering. (Not so much the bread and fish part.) God has been teaching me that you become a saint by . . .