Tag Archives: Christianity
7 Jun

It feels like ages ago since I last posted, but I think it’s actually only been two weeks. I volunteered to pick up any extra shifts at my new job, so I’ve been keeping myself plenty busy.

Even though it’s kind of a painful process, I’m learning a lot.

I’m learning how to quietly, patiently, and humbly bear the crosses I’m given, while also making sure that I have coffee with a friend or meet with my priest every couple days so that I can talk and express what’s going on in my heart.

I’m learning the difference between catharsis and just plain complaining.

I’m learning to see people and circumstances the way that Christ would see them. Or I’m at least trying to learn how to do that…

I’m learning that there is a time to speak and a time to keep my mouth shut. And I’m learning that I’ve got a lot of room to improve in deciphering the difference between the two.

I’m learning to keep myself busy throughout the day and then give myself fifteen minute increments of “think time.” Otherwise I go too far one way or the other – and I either bottle everything up to the point that I explode on someone or I constantly feel the need to mope and complain.

I’m learning that I am blessed beyond comparison. I have a good job that I like. I have good friends. I have a sponsor whose family has taken me in and cooked for me, spent time with me, done my laundry for me, and doted on me. I have a priest who loves me. I have a fiance who adores me and who is working to provide for our wedding and the family we’ve decided will follow soon after. I have a God who loves me -and I have plenty of people to intercede with Him on my behalf.

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Healing

14 May

Father, Spirit, Jesus – heal me.

Take my broken heart, my tears, my long lonely nights of insomnia, my hours of holding my tongue as my mother speaks daggers into my life.

Take them – they’re Yours.

And in return give me a heart of strength, eyes full of joy, nights of rest, and days of uplifting words.

But if you can’t do that right now, help me to accept more of this cup of bitterness. Hold my head and my hand as I taste more of the things I do not want.

Help my parents. You and I both know that this isn’t just about me becoming Catholic – I’m growing up and that scares my parents. They need to feel needed. And I don’t need them the way that they want anymore. Give them opportunities to feel – and be – needed.

I trust You.

I asked for a place to live and You gave it to me two hours after I asked.

I asked for another job and You gave it to me two weeks after I asked.

You have provided and I trust You to give me the things that You know I need. I also trust You to withhold the things You know I don’t need – or to give me the things I need in Your own timing.

So whether it takes two months, two years, two decades, or two centuries – please heal my family. Heal my mother’s anger and my father’s disappointment.

Heal me. Love me. Take me. Mold me.

 

28 Apr

This weekend I saw my parents for the first time since telling them about my conversion. It was awful.

My dad said “Hello,” to me. That was the one word I heard from him the entire 37 hours I was there.

My mom, however, had quite a bit to say. And ask. And micro-manage.

Throughout the course of the weekend she publicly accused me of:

  • cheating on my fiance (whom she told me she doesn’t like anyways)
  • being pregnant (I kept trying to get away from her by telling her I was tired)
  • wrecking my car and not telling her (I drove up with a friend rather than driving myself)
  • intentionally not being able to find an internship/job for the summer
  • being lazy and selfish
  • doing drugs (I have no clue where this one came from)

Not once did she bring up the fact that I’m Catholic now.

There is literally nothing I can do to fix this…except maybe a long shower and a good cry.

Pray for me, friends.

Spiritual Normalcy

23 Apr

I’m in a weird spiritual place right now. Honestly, I’m in a normal spiritual place right now. It just feels weird because for the past few years I’ve either been in a spiritual low place or in a spiritual high place. I’d forgotten what normalcy feels like. I’d forgotten the feelings that come along with being in the spiritual “middle-ground.”

I spent most of my teenage years in this same type of “middle-ground.” I hated it. I fought against being there. I was so afraid of being like the church in Laodicea that is neither hot nor cold, that John talks about in these verses, that I would do almost anything to keep my faith “hot.”

I went to camps, retreats, conventions, and Bible studies where I would grasp at anything that I thought would give me a constant desire for God. And of course, I thought that I had to feel on fire for Him. I thought that if I didn’t feel hot, then surely I wasn’t hot. I’m so glad to be free from that mindset…if I wasn’t, then life right now would be a lot more difficult.

I don’t feel God’s presence right now – but I have no doubt that He’s with me.

I don’t feel like obeying God. I don’t feel like respecting my parents right now. I don’t feel like being a good steward with my money. I don’t feel like being kind to hurtful people in my life. I honestly don’t even feel like praying or reading anything of spiritual worth.

But I am. I don’t feel like doing any of those things, but I am still trying my hardest to be respectful, to save money, to be kind, to be patient, to fill my mind with words of goodness and peace.

The other day I obeyed God and I really didn’t want to. My roommate was privy to the whole situation and she was surprised that I did what God wanted me to do – I had some pretty good justifications for being disobedient. We were cleaning the kitchen together and talking off and on about my choice. And then I had a strange moment of clarity.

“You know,” I said, “Jesus made me do it. You know how sometimes as a kid you like to blame Satan for your bad choices? In this instance I can really only put the choice I made on Jesus’ back. I didn’t do it because I felt like doing it or because it would make me happy. I just did what Jesus told me I needed to do.”

I think that maybe that’s what God was trying to say when He spoke through John to the Laodiceans. I don’t think that God was worried about whether or not His people felt like obeying Him. I think He was more concerned with whether or not they actually were obeying Him. Even though I feel like a lukewarm, spiritual mess of a failure, I am not one. My feelings will never change the fact that I am God’s child, and through His strength I can seek obedience and perseverance. 

5 Things I Want My Protestant Friends To Know

18 Apr

[These are all based on personal thoughts and feelings about my dealings with Protestant friends these past few months. No arguments, or anything like that!]

1. Some of you have been absolutely amazing throughout this special part of my life. I cherish you and the beautiful, kind souls within you. Your support, prayers, and words of advice, encouragement, and honesty are worth more to me than I can describe. My relationships with you give me hope – hope for myself, hope for you, and hope for a day when Protestants and Catholics can be at peace with one another.

We have agreed to disagree – and that’s okay! We have spent so many wonderful nights sitting at our coffee tables and talking about Jesus. We didn’t always share the same beliefs, but we shared the same risen Lord – and He is the true heart of the matter. Thank you for showing me Jesus within yourselves, thank you for seeing Jesus in me, and thank you for letting Him be what is important.

The rest is for everyone else:

2. I cannot explain my faith in a ten minute conversation – especially not with you standing there grilling me. If you want to discuss the Catholic Church, you’re going to have to pick one topic at a time. It’s really confusing when you ask me about confession and then when I’m in the middle of answering your question you ask me about Mary. And then in the middle of that you ask me about two or three other things.

If you really want to know what’s going on with my faith then feel free to sit me down and ask any and all questions you want. I love talking about Jesus and I love talking about what I’ve learned in the Catholic Church.

If you’re just looking for ways to twist my words and argue with me then I’m going to stop you as soon as I realize that. I do not like to argue and I’m not going to debate you.

3. So help me if you hand me another another anti-Catholic pamphlet I just might throw it at you.

Have you even read those yourself? As an English Major most of those things are an insult to my intelligence. They’re full of grammatical/spelling errors and poorly constructed sentences. Most importantly,  the arguments in those things are not really true because they take things out of context or they twist things around

4. Trust Jesus. I know that watching me do this has scared you. It’s made you angry. It’s maybe even filled you with doubt. Know that I am simply obeying my Lord. I became Catholic because I knew that’s what God wanted of me. I trust God and His direction. Won’t you please do the same?

5. The Catholic Church is beautiful. I can’t sum her up sufficiently. Just know that as Protestants we were all taught a lot of lies. We were taught to hate, and that was wrong. We were taught to slander, and that was wrong.

Before you criticize me, worry about me, or argue with me, go to a Mass. Most Churches have Mass on Saturday nights so then you can still go to your own church on Sunday morning. Don’t worry about anyone trying to convert you, Catholics don’t really worry about that the way Protestants do.

Some Teensy Changes Around Here

12 Apr

Six years ago I had a mentor sit me down and give me some advice. I was fourteen at the time, and not nearly as mature as I thought I was, so I’m afraid most of that information went in one ear and out the other. But one phrase has always stuck with me: “Become what you are.”

I’ve thought a lot about those words over the years:

You are God’s child – become a child of God.

You are full of God’s graces – become a person who is full of grace.

You are forgiven – become one who forgives.

You are whole in Christ – become whole in Christ.

This past week I saw something in myself that I didn’t like – I am a woman who has not become a woman.

Now then, I’m not being hard on myself in saying this. I don’t feel guilty or that I’m any less of a person – just that it’s time to do some growing up.

I’m twenty years old. I have a fiance with whom I am hopelessly in love. I have held down a difficult job for over a year now (the average retention rate is a semester). Not only have I held it down – I’ve excelled. I have submitted a proposal to my school’s research committee for a book I want to write. Not only have they approved it – but I’ve had multiple professors tell me how excited they are to see more of my work.

So why do I feel like a ten year old when I see an e-mail from one of my parents? Why do I squirm when I see “Mom” or “Dad” on my phone’s caller ID? Why do I have so much trouble believing that when they’re upset it’s not my fault? I am so afraid to tell them that I’m different from them – that I want different things, like different things, believe different things, know different things, hope for different things. Why does that seem so impossible to me?

Because I have to learn how to become the daughter that I already am.

I have to learn how to become the Catholic that I already am.

I have to learn how to become the woman that I already am.

So I’ve changed my description ^ up there to remind me of this. Pray for me, dear friends and readers.

10 Apr

The world does not consist of 100 percent Christians and 100 percent non-Christians. There are people (a great many of them) who are slowly ceasing to be Christians but who still call themselves by that name: some of them are clergymen. There are other people who are slowly becoming Christians though they do not yet call themselves so.

– C. S. Lewis