Catholic Movie Night

You know, I never took people seriously when they said that exposing yourself to negative, morally questionable content brings you down spiritually.  Kind of stupid of me, right?  All I know is that over the past week or so, I’ve … Continue reading

Lost Causes and Signs

Just a reminder that you and I serve a wonderful, merciful, omnipotent God.  His love is unconditional and all-consuming.  He also knows that we, as mere human beings, cannot begin to understand the implications of His love and mercy, so … Continue reading

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.”

Letters to a Young Catholic >> Martyrdom (Chapter 2)

Another Tumblr post from last year.  I’m proud of this one. 🙂

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Hey!

So, as you may know, I go to an all-girls Catholic high school run by the Nashville Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia.  I absolutely love my school’s religious curriculum. Juniors take Church History, and we’re all reading Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel.  If you don’t know, Weigel is a distinguished Catholic apologist from my own hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.  Bl. John Paul II actually handpicked the guy to write his biography.  This guy is incredible.  Mind you, I don’t usually read heavy apologist writings.  I mean, I’ve read some stuff from Peter Kreeft, but for the most part, my Catholic supplemental reading revolves mainly around Jason Evert, Mark Hart, and the like. c: You know, light Catholic material intended for people my age.

Anyway, back on topic.

I haven’t yet read any of Weigel’s other dozen or so books (I plan to), but I can see why he, of all the Catholic apologists, won the late and great Pope’s favor.  He has a very unique style of writing that helps him to gently ease the reader toward his intended message.

In this book, he’ll start each chapter with a little history lesson or tell us a little about a place that holds significance in the Catholic world.  Chapter 2, for example: “Rome —- The Scavi of St. Peter’s and the Grittiness of Catholicism.”  Weigel begins the chapter with some background information on St. Peter’s Square.

The Vatican Necropolis, also known as the scavi, is a series of underground excavation sites that hold the ruins and remains of many early Christian martyrs of of Roman persecution, among them St. Peter.  Archaeologists have uncovered all of Peter’s remains, except for his feet, which lead us to believe that he lost them during his martyrdom at Caligula’s Circus.

Weigel does not, however, aim to simply give us a lesson about history: at this point in the chapter, he changes the subject to martyrdom itself and what it means to give your life for Christ.

Peter…is being told, gently but firmly, that his love for Christ is not going to be an easy thing.  His love is not going to be a matter of “fulfilling” himself.  His love must be a pouring out of himself, and in that self-emptying he will find his fulfillment.

All in all, the chapter is really about the “grittiness” of Catholicism, the reality that faith means suffering and sacrifice.  Weigel tells us that, especially in the secularized modern world, it is vital that we are willing to make these sacrifices to defend our faith.  ”Catholics have relearned that lesson the hard way, in the scandal of clerical sexual abuse and the crisis that scandal caused when it was so badly handled by some bishops—-the successors of the apostles.”  Even today, Catholics face the same persecution that the early Christians faced, and more than ever, we really are called to be martyrs, His witnesses to the Truth.

He closes the chapter with a message that really strikes a chord in me, and hopefully it will inspire you, as well.

“Weakness and failure, too, are part of the grittiness of Catholicism,” but “failure is not the final word.”

Stream of Consciousness Prayer

Lord, 
You taught the sun to shine so bright,
to hide beneath the hills and trees at night.
You made all things with a purpose,
You gave us each a soul,
and, Jesus, only You can make me whole.

I spent a long time struggling in vain
to make sense of existence based on chance,
a universe without a God to tell the skies to rain,
where chromosomes and DNA declare us all the same,
and love is the effect of raw endorphins to the brain,
and I am no creation of God’s hands.

Those hands that hold and love and give,
hands that curled in pain
as He, by His children, was tortured and slain,
so that sinners like me could live,
and choose to misuse and hate and abuse
and refuse His very name.
We hurt Him and aggrieve Him,
but He loves us all the same.

Jesus, I’ll know You’ll be with me
for whatever comes.
Like sentinels,
my soul waits for the day You’ll call me Home.

Amen.

Claudia

Claudia,
I’m writing you a letter from the front pew.
The people around me are crying.
I look at them,
and I wonder whether I should be crying, too.

Everyone expects me to be the one girl
monopolizing the Kleenex box
as she tries to write a coherent, cohesive letter
to a friend who changed her life,
a tear-stained, tell-all, pour-your-heart-out letter
saying everything I never told you.
But mostly, just to say “Thank you.”

I think my dry eyes are a product
of my belief that,
at any given moment,
we’ll all turn to see your smiling face,
hear your every-bit-as-smiling voice,
and dry our eyes.
That’s just the effect you’ve always had on people,
Claudia.

And now I’ve joined the weeping bunch,
because I’m remembering.
I know that voice, I’ve seen that smile,
I remember your scent
and the exact tightness of your hugs.

I was thirteen when I met you.
You were sitting in a canvas chair,
you wore a bandana
because you didn’t have hair.
I was skinny and pale and depressed,
I’d barely left my room in months.
But when I talked to you,
I somehow knew
that at least one person cared.

Claudia, you said
how amazed you were
to see the changes in me.
I saw them, too,
and I saw that you had hair now.
Dark, thick curls like mine.
I thanked God—
—something I had started doing more often lately.
I really was different.

I never saw you lose your hair again.

I don’t even remember the last time I saw you.

I never told you that you saved me,
but you didn’t care whose handiwork it was:
you were just happy to see me happy,
and that made me happy to know you.

I think that’s why,
right now,
at your Mass,
I’m more grateful for you
than sad about missing you.

On Metanoia & Conversion

I didn’t really find God until my freshman year of high school.  At my school, all freshmen take Doctrinal Foundations as an introductory course to the Catholic faith.  As you can imagine, that class involved memorizing a lot of Greek- and Latin-based vocabulary that only Catholics use.  That’s how I learned the word metanoiaGreek for “change of heart.”  I’ve never forgotten that word.  It was just so applicable to everything I was going through at the time, and everything I still go through on a regular basis.

Right now, though, metanoia is applicable to the theme of conversion, one of the most wonderful things I can name.  Just recently, I came across this article about Leah Libresco, a former atheist blogger who experienced a beautiful conversion to Catholicism.  In popular culture, actor Mark Wahlberg speaks openly of the personal experiences that led him to become a devout Catholic who attends daily Mass with his wife.  Do we all see how incredible metanoia is?

One of my favorite Scripture verses is Psalm 130:6: “My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for morning.”  Every soul thirsts for Christ and His love.  Often, we just don’t realize it, so we end up searching elsewhere for something or someone to take the edge off our longing.  I tried too damn long to drown out that emptiness before I found God.  Nothing worked.  God came to me in the peak of my depression and self-loath, and He blessed me with metanoia.  That change of heart has made all the difference in my life.

Goodnight, you guys!  I hope you all sleep well, remembering that Jesus knows your lowest lows and loves you all the same.  Turn your heart towards Him, and He’ll never let you fall. ♥

~ katy, thelightiswhite

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.

All Around Me – Flyleaf

So, my user name is “thelightiswhite.” I chose it because those are the lyrics to the song “All Around Me” by Flyleaf. It’s a beautiful song, if you haven’t heard it. The bridge lyrics are:

So I cry (holy)
The light is white (holy)
And I see You.