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

High on the list of things that make me sad…

Jesus-Is-Savior.com has a lot to say about us Catholics, and none of it is flattering.  Some of it is really hard to stomach, but it’s a reminder to me that we need to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have let fear harden their hearts.  Living the faith in a world so convoluted can be confusing, and sometimes we end up condemning what is good and true in our efforts to seek the Truth.  Lord, let us be loving and compassionate as we work to steer our wayward neighbors back toward your Church.

“Gay, Catholic, and Doing Fine” by Steve Gershom

“Gay, Catholic, and Doing Fine” by Steve Gershom

I love this article!  It hurts when people say that the Church hates gays, and whenever I try to explain my position, I feel like all these misconceptions lead others to put words in my mouth.  Gershom says it all pretty well here.

Alive Again

ImageI’ve always loved being a Confirmation peer, but I don’t think I ever realized just how much it matters to me.  I really do think that leading people to Jesus and faith is the greatest joy in my life.  Right now, I’m so at peace, my heart physically aches, if that’s even possible.  Do you ever have moments in your faith when you’re just so incredibly taken by otherworldly joy that your whole being aches for more?  I haven’t had a moment like that in a while—until now.  Lately, faith has been a struggle to some extent.  I’ve been so surrounded by cynicism and bitterness and despair, it seems.  So many mixed feelings about my own inadequacy, my guilt, the burden of feeling like nobody’s on my side and I’m fighting an internal faith battle alone.

 

This past year, I think, I’ve been a little lost.  I stopped going to youth group stuff because I was busy or tired or couldn’t get a ride.  I couldn’t go on the Confirmation retreat in September, and I’ve been so worried about my sister and her apparent disinterest in faith.  But last night, I went to a retreat lock-in for Confirmation peers, and for the first time in months, I felt at peace.  I love the people in my church family, I love how close we are, I love the acceptance, I love the giggling and goofing off, I love how dedicated we are, and most of all, I love—with my whole heart, I love it!—seeing and feeling and experiencing God shaping each one of us in beautiful ways.  In my experiences as a Confirmation candidate and later as a peer, I’ve seen so many iceberg hearts just melt, so much bitterness fall in surrender to His love for us.  In my almost-eighteen years, I’ve never known anything nearly as incredible as being a part of that love and sharing it with others.  Lately, I’ve just forgotten that part of me, I guess.  I’ve been mixed up about what I want to do with my life, but last night reminded me that He knows just where I belong.  I feel so called to actively melt hearts and change people through Jesus’s love.  I’m praying that I don’t lose my way again.

 

Thank You, Lord, for everything.  Captivate my heart and lead me to You.

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 ♥

The Saint That Is Just Me – Danielle Rose

Hey, guys! Happy Friday! Sorry, I know I haven’t posted much recently. Busy.

Anyway, not sure if you guys know who Danielle Rose is, but maybe it’ll ring a bell if I tell you she’s the one who sang “Crown of Thorns” (which she wrote) at the Verizon Center pep rally for the 2011 March for Life. I’ve seen her twice, and I really like her.

This song is called “The Saint That Is Just Me.” I think we can all relate to that feeling that we want to do something BIG to prove our faith to God, ourselves and those around us. We look at the saints and see these great acts, these brutal martyrdoms, and we begin to think that if we want to be true followers of Christ, we have to follow suit.

My patron saint is St. Maria Goretti. Her story is beautiful and very famous in the Catholic world. An eleven-year-old girl is stabbed fourteen times in the stomach and chest defending her purity AND the purity of her would-be rapist. As she lies dying in the hospital, she tells the priest that she forgives her murderer and wants him to be with her in heaven. How incredible. The problem is, for a while, I actually prayed for martyrdom. I prayed that God would let me show my love for Him through some dramatic act of witness.

Then I listened to this song, and the lyrics really opened something inside of me:
“If it weren’t for all my sins and wounds and weakness, then You wouldn’t have married me upon the Cross.”

You guys, God isn’t asking me to be St. Maria Goretti or Agnes or Lucy or any other. He’s asking me to be Katy, and right now, I don’t fully know what that entails. I just have to trust God, swallow my pride, let go of the desire for my own personal glory, and accept that God’s calling me to serve Him in my own unique way.

I’m going to close with a simple but powerful quote from Mother Teresa:
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”

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.

Religious Flame Wars for Christ?

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Gahhhhhhhhhhhh.

How on earth can I keep myself from getting angry and spiteful and fired up when I come across blogs like this?  It’s really, really difficult.  Like, really.  I think Catholic hate from other self-professed Christians upsets me even more than hardcore atheists attacking religion as a whole.  I just can’t help but feel like, just maybe, running a “Christian” hate blog about Catholicism and Islam isn’t all that Christlike.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

I don’t think Jesus cries tears of joy in heaven every time one of His disciples verbally attacks another.  I just can’t really see that happening.  I mean, I know that we Catholics have done our share of casting stones, but even the one true Church—especially the one true Church—has to realize that we are first and foremost the hands and feet of Christ.  People who don’t know Christ can only come to know Him through His Body on earth.

Getting into a religious flame war with the Christian Spook guy might feel satisfying, but in the end, it’s not about what I want.  This is not about me.  This is about the God I serve.  If I’m truly His hands and feet, I have to swallow my pride, the part of me that wants to lash out.  I have to act like Christ, not like Katy.  That’s what I’m trying to do these days.