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

After a Long Hiatus…

ImageWell, I haven’t blogged in a long time, I know.  Things have been pretty crazy, but I’m working them out, little by little.  I’m getting better, even though it’s difficult and I sometimes resist the changes.  The thing is, in November, on my senior retreat, I told my whole senior class about my eating disorder.  I’d never told anyone before, except the priest in the confessional, so I don’t entirely know what, if not Jesus, moved me to speak up about it.  So, yeah, my mom found out about my bulimia, which was scary and confusing, but somehow it ended up okay.  My school was understanding and helpful, and they were prepared to be flexible as I received treatment.  On November 20, I started the day program at the #1 eating disorder treatment center in the country.  Twelve hours a day, seven days a week (yes, that meant missing Mass and school).  No mirrors, monitored bathroom breaks, intensive therapy, a whole personal treatment team and a super-strict meal plan.  I spent five weeks there, and yes, it was crazy and stressful and emotionally draining, but I do think it helped.

I think my attitude really did change.  When I got there, I was so consumed with self-loath and guilt.  I couldn’t even think about getting better because I was so damn focused on how horrible a person I was.  If you’ve ever felt absolute despair, you must know what that’s like.  You can’t forgive yourself for your own mistakes, and you certainly can’t bring yourself to ask for God’s forgiveness because you’re soooooo caught up in your own feelings of unworthiness.  I just had this attitude of “I don’t deserve God’s forgiveness”—and it’s interesting because I now realize that I’m not sure whether my shame came from extreme humility or extreme pride that kept me from asking for God’s mercy.  Regardless, I’ve found it.  He came to me while I cried over myself and my own unworthiness.  I’m doing my best to remember that God really, truly does love us at our very best and very worst.  It’s so important that we allow ourselves to be forgiven, that we are open to God’s saving grace and mercy.  Right now, I’m focusing on Psalm 95:

“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”

No, I can’t think of any situation where this advice wouldn’t help.

– thelightiswhite ♥

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.”