Thursday, February 25, 2010

Carrying your cross.

"You must try to continually overcome yourself in those daily stuggles that the Lord presents to you." "Don't desire anything but what you are; concentrate on perfecting yourself and on carrying crosses, either small or large, that you will encounter on your journey to Heaven."- Back of a Padre Pio prayer card.

Every person that is living in this world goes through suffering. Maybe a small amount, maybe a large amount. But, no matter what the amount is, it's not easy.

What is the point in carrying our crosses? What does it mean to "carry our cross"?

To carry your cross, is to give up the right and expectation that you are not the one in control of your life. When you choose to carry your cross, you're making the choice by saying: "I'm dead, and Christ lives within me. This is no longer MY life. I live for CHRIST now." It involves suffering. It involves dying to self. It involves putting all your trust in God and letting Him take over.

Carrying our cross is day to day struggle, and we all have a choices we have to make. We can make good choices, or bad choices. A good choice would be this:

Let's say you can't stand this one person at school/work. You have the opportunity to complain about this person all the time, and be mean to this person, or you can simply smile whenever you see them. You can even pray for them. You can take this hardship and turn it into a wonderful thing. You can let it transform your soul.

You see, carrying our cross is a good thing! Because through suffering, there is love! It's difficult, but it's what we are all called to do. We must suffer and die to ourselves in order to carry our cross. And the best way to get a sense of suffering is through prayer. Especially through the Rosary. Our Blessed Mother will grant us the knowledge of her Son. She will help us understand what He went through. She will grant us the graces to get through each day if we ask. She wants us to ask.

St. Teresa of Avila said:

"We always find that those who walked closest to Christ were those who had to
bear the greatest trials."

Because they understood suffering. They didn't suffer alone, instead they took it, and walked with Christ. The Passion is the greatest example of love that we have to look at.

We should strive to emulate the Saints that DID go through hardships. That DID turn to God.

That DIDN'T give up. St. Monica is a wonderful example. She prayed for YEARS for her son (St. Augustine) to come back to the Catholic Faith. That must've caused great suffering, impatience, but she didn't give up. And now look at St. Augustine! He's a pretty well known Saint!

Our problems and situations may seem too much for us to handle, but God would never give us anything that we couldn't get through. It might be possible that we need help. Maybe from a friend...someone that can pray for us, give advice, just to help ease the burden.

The best thing we can do is pray without ceasing.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love letter II

O Lord,

I breathe in the knowledge of Your mind.
I breathe in Your love. The true kind.
I breathe in Your mercy which sets me free.

I take in the light You spread.
I take in Your body, blood, soul, and divinity. For You are my love.
I take in every moment You are near.

Oh, how I want to wake up and praise Your holy name.
Oh, how I want people to believe!
Oh, how want people to see what I see.

I desire for your thirst of love to be satisfied.
I desire for people to follow you, and flee from the father of all lies.
I desire to show the world love, for You.

Lord, I love to hear your people sing praise.
Lord, I love to see your creations.
Lord, you never cease to amaze.

Teach me your ways, Lord.
Teach me the ways of simplicity.

Teach me your ways, for I want to be set free.

Let your will be done by all mankind.

Let your will be done so we can set this world ablaze.

Let your will be done so we can get rid of the evil outrage.

Lord, make me Your Faithful servant.

The Importance of Silence

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
-Mother Teresa

We live in a crazy and noisy world. Everytime we get in the car, we turn on the radio.
If we are home, we watch TV or go on the computer. We never really let silence enter our lives.

I think part of the reason is that we are afraid. When we are silent, we are confronted with feelings we've never allowed ourselves to feel.

When I stayed at a retreat at a convent for a few days, I was faced with loneliness. I was faced with fear. And I was faced with pain. I wanted to run away at this point, I didn't want to be there. I shunned the whole thought of religious life at this point. Until, I talked with Mother. She said that I was facing feelings I would always run away from. She also said that it's a bit of a shock at first....coming from a noisy world, and into a prayerful and silent atmosphere. But, you begin to get used to it. You begin to feel the peace. Which is what happened to me.

Silence may result in pain for you, but don't let it scare you away.
Use the silence to pray. Take all your sufferings, your burdens, and your pain to our Lord and Saviour. He is LOVE! And He is there with open arms to comfort His children.

It's unfortunate how noisy our world is because God can be found in silence. Silence is a wonderful time to think about eternal goods. It's also the perfect time to pray to God, seeing as this is the season of Lent.

You hear stories of the Saints spending the rest of their lives in caves to get this silence.
There's obviously something special about silence, right? Silence is a way to flee from sin.

"The prophet says that silence shall cultivate justice in the soul; (Isaias, xxxii. 17) for, on the one hand, it saves us from a multitude of sins by destroying the root of disputes, of detractions, of resentments, and of curiosity; and on the other, it makes us acquire many virtues. How well does the nun practise humility who when others speak listens with modesty and in silence! How well does she practise mortification by not yielding to her inclination or desire to tell a certain anecdote, or to use a witty expression suggested by the conversation! How well does she practise meekness by remaining silent when unjustly censured or offended! Hence the same holy prophet said: In silence and in hope shall be your strength. (Isaias xxx. 15) Your strength shall be in silence and in hope; for by silence we shun the occasions of sin, and by hope we obtain the divine aid to lead a holy life."

You see, silence is not just about being in a silent room, and being prayerful. It's about silencing your tongue. It's our tongue that often gets us in trouble. When you speak, you should speak with wisdom and holiness. In other words, think before you speak.

All of us should bring the three S's into our daily lives:
simplicity, solitude, and silence.
It brings great peace to the mind and soul.

Personally, silence is something that I am attached to. I love it. I know how important it is.
When I'm in a noisy situation, I often put myself in a bubble. I first start out by noticing all the noise, then I try to find the softest sound and focus on that. I begin to fall into a trance, and I'm always left with silence.

If you're like me, you'll learn to really appreciate silence. Especially if it's hard to get.

Sometimes you just can't "tune things out" and I understand. Listening to Gregorian Chant has always helped me. It has always brought me into a contemplative and prayerful mood. For me, it always ends up resulting in silence. So many times I have felt broken, but I would listen to Gregorian chant and it would make me feel...alive again. It's like a spiritual remedy.
You forget all your worries, and you just feel like praising God. It's truly amazing.

So, I ask you to try adding some silence and solitude into your daily life. Maybe some Gregorian chant if you have to. Because, here we are in Lent, which is a time of renewal and great penance. It's a time to reflect on God. This is a perfect opportunity!
Silence is the key....

Friday, February 12, 2010

Our Vocation

First of all, what is a vocation?

"A vocation is a call to that special walk in life ordained for us by God, part of a great divine plan. It is a mystery that man accepts and lives in the depth of his being, a gift and a grace, which we cannot truly grasp or understand. God Who loves us, Who is love, is also "He Who calls". Therefore in the presence of a vocation we can only adore the mystery, respond lovingly to the initiative of love, and say 'yes' to the call. At the heart of every vocation there is always Jesus, Who Himself explained, "You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit" (John 15:16). The response depends on the generosity of the heart of the one called, because He Who calls always leaves freedom of choice: If only you would listen to the Lord, the great Friend. He looks you in the eye and He speaks to your heart in the intimacy of personal prayer.(Quotations from Pope John Paul II on Vocations)"

We all go through a period of time where we wonder: “what am I meant to do in this lifetime?”Especially those that are graduating High School and are heading off to college. But, I think we tend to focus on our career only. Which, isn’t bad at all. Our career is definitely part of our “call”.

1 Corinthians 7:7 says this:

“Indeed, I wish everyone to be as I am, but each has a particular gift from God,
one of one kind and one of another.”

We all were made in the image and likeness of God. We all have certain gifts and abilities that God gave to us to do His work. But, we don’t often ask God: “How can I do Your work?” If we are good at writing, or singing, or whatever it may be, we need to take the time to ask God how to use these gifts. Until we are doing God’s will, we will never feel at peace. A favorite quote of mine is:
“Seeking God's will for your life... that is wisdom. Going outside of His will
brings misery. His will brings peace."
-Mother Margaret Mary from the
Children Of Mary.

Your gifts are your strong points. It's what you enjoy doing, what you feel passionate about. And chances are, sometimes it’s something that people will compliment you on. God gave you these things to do wonderful work.

There is also the priesthood, religious life, and married life. This is another part of vocation discernment. Those that are discerning their vocation would probably agree with me when I say this part of discernment is harder. It involves patience, a daily prayer life, and putting complete Faith in God. Patience is a grace that we must pray for, and understanding to know what great works He calls us to do.

There are many ways to feel called. But, for most it’s through prayer and adoration. It’s through prayer and adoration you come to know God and your own self.

Some just feel it. Some hear a voice, but this also takes a special gift.

For those that do not know, I have been discerning my vocation for a while now.
I have gotten to know myself better through adoration. I have developed a relationship with our Lord through adoration. I have also had many dreams.

Dreams can be a way that God speaks to us, and we know this by a great example: St. Joseph.
Those dreams that you really remember and that really stand out...pray about them. Because maybe God is trying to tell you something.

Don't try to figure your life out all alone. Do it with the help of God. Put Him in charge!
He knows what's best for each and every one of us. Pray to Jesus, Mary, and all of the Saints.
Also, study! Seek answers! Get a spiritual director. If you're interested in the priesthood/religious life- visit a seminary/convent. Send emails. Make phone calls. Go on retreats.

With marriage, the best thing to do is to just pray. Pray for the perfect man/woman to enter into your life. And be careful where you look for your spouse. I believe finding your future spouse in a Church, would be better than a bar. And last, but not least, don't settle for less than you deserve. There's a great book for women that I suggest reading:
"The ABC's of Choosing a Good Husband" there is also the guy version: "The ABC's of Choosing a Good Wife"

And I think I'll end this with a prayer.

O Holy Spirit, Spirit of wisdom and divine love, impart Your knowledge,
understanding, and counsel to youth that they may know the vocation wherein they
can best serve God. Give them courage and strength to follow God's holy will.
Guide their uncertain steps, strengthen their resolutions, shield their
chastity, fashion their minds, conquer their hearts, and lead them to the
vineyards where they will labor in God's holy service.


Friday, February 5, 2010


Today I will be talking about a "hot topic". Sexuality.

My views on human sexuality match up to what the Catholic Catechism has to say. But, before I get condemned for my beliefs, let me just say that

The Church does recognize homosexuality as disordered, this doesn't really mean that the Church is heartless to those who suffer from the disorder. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: "Men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies . . . must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided."3

Personally, I'm not a homophobic. I've had two bisexual friends. I've never been one for discrimination of ANY kind. Race, religion, sexuality, whatever it is.

We have to remember that everyone has been created in the image and likeness of God and deserves to be treated as such. No matter what.
As the famous saying goes.......hate the sin, love the sinner.


"God created man in his own image . . .

male and female he created them" He blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and multiply"

So, here we have proof that God made man and female. Adam and Eve.

What was their purpose as man and female? To procreate. To "be fruitful and multiply"

"They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved."4

2332 Sexuality affects all aspects of the human person in the unity of his body and soul. It especially concerns affectivity, the capacity to love and to procreate, and in a more general way the aptitude for forming bonds of communion with others.

A woman and a woman can't bond during sex the way a man and a woman can.
A man and a man can't bond during sex the way a man and a woman can.

It doesn't work! I suppose you can try to make it work, but it's distorted!

It's not how we were designed by God, which is why it's going against the natural law.

Sex is supposed to be a beautiful thing shared between a husband and wife.

It's a way of a couple bonding, communicating, procreating. There is unity. You can actually give all of yourself to your spouse. Sex is supposed to be an act of giving: "I give all of myself to you".

But when you aren't married, or able to procreate, what left is there to give?

It's everything God had planned it to be.


Some claim to be born with this, but I digress.

Nobody chooses to become an alcoholic. But, one can make alcohol a habit.

Someone can acquire alcoholic desires by always being drunk without consciously choosing them.

So, someone may acquire homosexual desires (by engaging in homosexual fantasies or behavior) without consciously choosing them.

And think about it. Why do we find certain things stimulating? Certain scents...looks...the way someone dresses...whatever it is. It only makes sense if homosexuals have their own thoughts that they find are "stimulating".

As Catholics we need to pray for these people with distorted thinking.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

"See you in hell!"

Sometimes I hear people say things like: "See you in hell!"These are people that go out there and do whatever they want and they think it's okay. Why? Because they think hell will be one big party. They probably think they'll have a few drinks and have get to have fun with their friends.
This isn't true at all.

Socializing, friendships, it all involves love- which is of Christ. The absence of love would be loneliness. Hate.

Humans are designed to love. It's what we all seek for. Pure loneliness is probably one of the worst things a human can feel.

Just think about this-
Hell wouldn't be a place of punishment if there was love. It wouldn't be a place of suffering.
There wouldn't be fallen souls calling out for God. There wouldn't be a purpose for hell.

Satan is the destroyer. The father of all lies. And he works in very sly ways.
He doesn't care about you. He only cares about your soul. Your soul is all he truly wants.
If you have Faith, he will work extremely hard to get you.

But, we have to remember that God is stronger than Satan will ever be. We have God and He'll protect us and guide us. He'll give us everything that He feels is nescessary. He wants what is best for us....why? Because He loves us! So much!

In conclusion- flee from all evil. Experience the love of God. Pray for holiness.