Burdens

hands of christDear Jesus,

I feel ambivalent about everything these days.  Just unsure of myself, I guess.  These last few weeks at Mass, I’ve just had this burden on my chest, this overwhelming feeling of unworthiness.  It physically hurts.  I don’t feel like I’m good enough for Your love, Jesus.  I feel like I’m just letting you down, like my sins are going to eat away at my faith little by little.  It’s terrifying, Lord.  I need Your love so much it hurts.

I don’t know what You have waiting for me.  I know I’m not supposed to worry about tomorrow, but it’s hard not to worry when everyone around me is moving in such a blur, getting ready for their futures, making plans, writing application essays, seemingly so ready for real life.  I don’t know whether I’m ready for what’s to come, Jesus, nor do I know what’s coming.  I hope I’m making the right choices, heading in the direction You’re pointing me.  Life’s overwhelming me right now, and I need to cling to You.

Lord, what am I supposed to do about the guy?  He’s sweet, he’s smart, he’s funny, he’s cute, he likes me.  I worry that I’m blinded by all the good and failing to see the bad.  Is he pulling me from my faith?  The conversations we’ve had, the photos I’ve sent (nothing risque, but not quite modest either).  He knows about my faith, he knows about my chastity.  He supports it.  He’s Jewish, but not too serious about his religion.  He’s older than me and he lives far away.  He always makes me smile, and I love our Skype calls and his bad puns and pet names.  I’m just so confused right now, and I don’t know what I’m doing.  I really like him, but I firmly believe that “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”  I don’t want to do that, Jesus.  I want to listen to Your voice in every area of my life.  I can’t give You my full heart while looking for Your loopholes.  That’s not who I am, and that’s not who You created me to be.

Jesus, You know that all this is just the beginning of my worries right now, just the tip of the iceberg.  I’m just begging for Your help at this point because I fear I’ve lost all direction.  Make me humble, Lord, but at the same time, help me to see the good and beautiful in me so I don’t have to rely on boys for validation of my own worth.  Please stay with me and help me to listen to Your voice among the crowd.  I trust You to lead me home.

Amen.

“That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.”

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A Confession Testimony

I look at my Tumblr, and it’s sad to think how seldom I use it to share my faith.  I have 275 followers, so I certainly would have an audience, but I guess the truth is that I’m afraid that if I “Catholicize” my blog too much, I’ll lose followers.  That’s something I need to work on.

Anyway, I have found a few posts that I feel are worth sharing here.  This first one is about confession, one I wrote last year.  I used to seriously struggle with chastity, but I’ve never, ever told anyone about that, except for the priest and one friend who, at the time, was recovering from the same thing.  I guess it’s really hard for Catholic girls in particular to talk about those problems.  There’s this idea that only guys look at porn, that only guys have lustful thoughts, that only guys masturbate.  It’s not true.

I went to an all-girls Catholic high school after three years at a public middle school.  I had worn a purity ring since 7th grade, and I was proud of it.  In public school, people asked me about the little silver ring I always wore, engraved with “True love waits” and two tiny hearts.  I told them it meant that I was saving sex for marriage.  That’s what I thought it meant.  That was the extent of my knowledge of chastity, and at the time, simply saving sex for marriage seemed like a huge thing to me.  I didn’t care about modesty in dress, speech or behavior.  Freshman year was a huge change for me and my perception of what it means to be pure.

Anyway, that’s like the prologue to my freshman year conversion of heart, but I can talk about that another time.  This is the blog post I wanted to share:

So, I haven’t said anything about it, but I’d been carrying around this giant burden for a while now.  I hadn’t gone to Confession in months because I knew that if I did, I wouldn’t be able to make a complete confession, and I decided that it was better to hold off on confession altogether rather than go and not say everything.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve witnessed firsthand the miracles, the graces, the joy that comes with Reconciliation.  Just after my 15th birthday, I made the hardest confession of my life, something that had been eating at me constantly for months.  I was really struggling, and I felt I couldn’t tell anyone about it.  I tried to reason with myself that the sin wasn’t that bad, that God would forgive me even if I didn’t try to do better, but I knew I was wrong.  I think that’s the hardest thing ever, accepting that you’re wrong, that Jesus is right, that no matter how you try to justify what you’re doing, you just can’t.  The choice is really, really hard: a) keep fighting an internal battle you’ll never win, or b) put down your damn pride, your need for self-gratification, and ask God for help.

That’s where Reconciliation comes in.  For months, I put it off, I pulled a St. Augustine: “Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet.”  Eventually, though, I just had to do it.  I went to Reconciliation, I was shaking and sweating, I confessed to God, through the priest, what I’d done, and I really, really begged Him for help.  I needed help.  I didn’t know what to do, how to stop, I was terrified of falling back into it.  That’s just it, though.  The difficulty, the total humility that comes with making a real, soul-emptying confession.  It’s powerful.  I went home that day, and I think I just cried.  For just over two years now, I’ve been entirely free of the burden I was carrying.  God’s helped to fight the temptations I thought would never end, and I feel free.

You guys, I ramble like crazy, but please, please, please, please understand the importance of Reconciliation.  If you’re struggling with your prayer life, with temptation, internal war, if you feel completely lost and don’t know what to do, go to Confession.

God bless! ❤

Katy

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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