Cardboard Testimonies

We do this at my parish’s Confirmation retreat, and it’s one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever known. I did it last year as a peer, and it was so overwhelmingly beautiful.

The front of my piece of cardboard said:

“I hated myself. Felt worthless and didn’t want to live.”

When I flipped it over, it read:

“He told me I was worth dying for.”

Vanity

I think I’m onto something.  You know that feeling you get when something you’ve heard countless times finally clicks?  That might be what this is.  Dear Jesus, please let it be that.  The realization is something so simple, something I’ve had to teach myself time and again because I always seem to forget: IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT ME.

I registered on WordPress about an hour ago believing that God was telling me to do it.  I had to pick a username, something that’s just second-nature to me.  I have accounts registered on more sites than I can count, and there are about three possible usernames I might choose.  They all have my name, like “katybliss”, “KaleidoKaty”, etc..  Well, maybe it was just the desire for anonymity (I don’t think that’s the case), but today I felt compelled to pick something less about me and more about Jesus, about my faith.  I decided on “thelightiswhite” (see last post).  I’m really glad.  Also, I have to choose a Gravatar, or whatever you call it.  I could just use the pretty selfie I use on every site, but no, I think that when the Gravatar picker thing actually works for me, I’m going to follow suit and choose a photo of my dear patron saint, Maria Goretti.  Or something like that.  

Yeah, these are little things, just a username and a profile photo, but for me, that’s a big deal.  What I’m thinking about right now, as I type these words, is how much stock I put into myself, how damn much I care what everyone else thinks about me.  That’s the problem with my Facebook, my Tumblr, my Wanelo.  My online profiles are “Katy domain,” places where it’s all about me, what I think, what I like.  I do my best to reblog Catholic stuff when I can, but it’s always outweighed by the bobdylanopinionsclotheshumorartmovieshorrorpsychologymusicfandom content blob that seems to take up most of my self-identity, online and in real life.  Oh, and when I do post stuff about prayer, chastity, saints, Catholicism and the like, it’s more to remind my online audience, “See, guys, I’m a Catholic.”  It’s pride more than anything.

I’m really insecure and overwhelmed, you guys.  I’m dealing with severe anxiety disorder, the recent death of my grandma, the aftermath of my parents’ divorce and the huge strain it’s had on my relationship with both parents, this incredible burden of guilt and inadequacy…and most recently, a secret eating disorder.  I’m not listing these issues to gain sympathy.  I’m listing them because I’ve been neglecting them for so long, and it’s occurring to me just now that instead of going to Jesus for help, I’ve shoved them inward and masked them with narcissism.

Lord, I’m done with being two different people.  I’m done with pushing aside my problems and silencing them with self-destruction.  I’m ready to instead lay them at Your feet.  I know that You told me to create this blog for a reason.  When I feel tempted to make myself throw up, when I want to hurt myself, please, Jesus, give me the strength to post it here instead, to pray about it and trust that You, my Savior, will carry me in my weakness.  Amen.

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us

Agnes in Agony

Today is the saint’s day of one of my dearest saints, St. Maria Goretti, who along with St. Agnes, I invoke every day. She is a modern virgin martyr, a patron of chastity, teenage girls, and crime victims, and a witness and model of purity and forgiveness.

Maria was eleven years old, a poor Italian farm girl, when in 1902 Alessandro Serenelli, a nineteen-year-old farm hand and neighbor, tried to rape her. Alessandro had approached Maria a number of times before seeking sexual favors, but she had always refused; he had tried to rape her at least once before. This time when she refused him, he became enraged. She fought him, imploring him not to do what he wanted to do, a mortal sin, insisting she would rather die than submit. In the end, Alessandro stabbed her eleven times.

Before she died some twenty hours later, Maria forgave her…

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