Ready to Change

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What is the biggest lie in the history of Christianity? What are we getting wrong? What’s something huge we can improve on?

I wanted to know how to be better, confident that I could pick out the biggest lie. Humbled as usual, I couldn’t have guessed the lie. It was something I could’ve known, but something that wasn’t completely obvious to me. Matthew Kelly does an incredible job of explaining Christianity, defending the faith, and discussing what we need to start changing. This book allowed me to see God in so many different ways, and not put Him in a box.

“If we step into the classroom of silence for a few minutes each day and make ourselves available to God, he will guide, encourage, and lead us. And the more we make ourselves available to him, the more clearly we will hear his voice.”

Matthew Kelly, The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity

As Catholics, we should be striving for more, always. Asking God, “how can I be better? How can I do more for You? How can I accept Your graces to enable me to praise You more?” Though our attempts are sweet songs a young child would sing, nothing professional, God will hear it. Others will hear it. And we can change the world, with His grace.

Buy The Biggest Lie in the History of Christianity and find out what the lie is. I promise, you will feel empowered and ready to live as a Christian in the world. Encouragement, love, and a lot of truth. The book releases August 15th!

 

Holding suffering and holding joy.

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Those hands that held Jesus’ head when He was a baby. The hands that helped Him put His clothes on before He went outside. The hands that made food, poured water, washed His body. Those hands that hugged Him and wiped His tears.

The Monsignor who had the vision for this Marian statue told us he wanted her hands to be ready to take on anything. To receive any burdens.

The hands that wiped away her own tears, watching her Son be killed. The hands that held His broken and bloody body. The hands that were passed on to be taken care of. The hands of a mother.

This past February I was encouraged to open my hands up when I was being prayed over. To be able to receive more from God. When I saw these hands my first day of my internship this summer, I knew I was witnessing God’s promise being fulfilled in my life.

When Mary opened her hands and her heart to receive what God wanted for her, she gave birth to the Savior of the world. Along with pain. When I open my hands, I desire to give Mary’s yes to God. The hands holding suffering, and the hands holding joy. 

My prayer for myself and for you is that you open your hands. No matter what that means for you and Jesus, I pray that you are open to the happiness that comes with following truth as well as the pain that comes. We are handling imperfect humans, ourselves included, which means there are glory stories and there are dark times. Open your hands to receive it all, God wants to show you every side of glory.

When you sign up for Jesus.

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When you sign up for Jesus you sign up for truth. You sign up for love. You sign up for prayer and time dedicated to a relationship with God Himself. You sign up for a lot of adventures. You sign up for joy and belonging.

You also sign up for rejection, mockery, and exclusion from the world. This can come in any form to any degree, but if we are called to be the Body of Christ, we are called to be beaten. But what an honor it is to suffer in the name of truth. To carry a cross alongside our Savior.

This study from Endow goes into Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul VI’s encyclical on the beauty of marriage and life. It was not very popular because of its truth on the dignity in intimate relationships and God’s hand in procreation. I encourage you to look into the mission of Endow and to study what the successors of Christ have written, inspired by the Holy Spirit.

We sign up for a sometimes difficult life, but truth is well worth being counter-cultural.

“If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world; in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hated. My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh. If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world. Look for the Church that is hated by the world as Christ was hated by the world. Look for the Church that is accused of being behind the times, as our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned. Look for the Church which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth. Look for the Church which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils. Look for the Church which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God. Look for the Church which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself the Truth. Look for the Church which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men. Look for the Church which amid the confusions of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly it is other worldly. Since it is other-worldly, it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself. But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved. Therefore the Church is Divine.”

– Fulton Sheen

To learn more about this study, you can find Humanae Vitae here.

To explore the mission of Endow, you can read about them here. They have many different studies on multiple church teachings.

The Consecration.

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This started as a curious flicker in my heart to go deeper. I wanted to give Jesus a huge romantic gesture (as one does for the King of their world). My good friend Kelsey had gone through this solo-retreat before, and recommended it to me. So when the desire in my heart came for me to really do something for Jesus, I decided on this little book.

Written by Fr. Michael Gaitley, this book takes you into the life and theology of Saint Therese of Lisieux. You get the opportunity to really study her way to Jesus, The Little Way. I don’t really want to say more about the consecration itself, because it is a treasure to be discerned and truly prayed with in order to know if you’re called to this consecration.

What even is a consecration? Great question. I wasn’t familiar with the tradition of consecration until this past year. A consecration, in our terms, is to dedicate something to a higher purpose. In my case, to dedicate myself to a higher purpose. To devote myself to getting to Jesus a certain way, while allowing Him to actively guide my life and my journey to holiness.

This book, 33 Days to Merciful Love, is a consecration to Divine Mercy. The Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ. It’s simply a way to devote yourself to Christ using St. Therese’s “Little Way” as a road map. The saints have always done a great job of teaching me how to get closer and closer to God, but St. Therese has had a special pursuit of my journey. She’s been looking at my trips along my walk to Jesus, and knew I needed to be little. Just as she was.

I encourage you to look into consecrations: to learn about them, talk to people about them, maybe even do one. Look into the lives of the saints. They are saints for a reason, and they each had their special and unique way of getting straight into the heart of Jesus.  And that’s what we’re called to do now, today, here.

This book has changed the love I had for Jesus into a true romance and dependence. Thank you St. Therese for being my best friend and truly showing me such a big piece of your life.

Check out 33 Days to Merciful Love, and Story of a SoulSt. Therese’s autobiography.

Befriend a saint. Learn about their life. See how they decided to fall in love with Jesus Christ. Maybe do the same. And in the process, you will learn more about yourself than you expect.

Intercede for me.

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During discipleship I found this prayer through St Joan of Arc’s intercession and I wanted to share it with you all. It makes my heart really happy and gives me hope in the paternal love of the Father, the limitless compassion of the Son, and the ignited friendship of the Holy Spirit.

 

Sit with this prayer. Re-read it. Illustrate it. Tape it on your mirror. Handwrite it and mail it to a friend. Frame it for your mom. Talk about it with your dad. The more we talk about and share prayers, the more our lives become them.

 

Dear Sweet Patron Saint,

I implore you in the name of God

to intercede on my behalf and guide me.

Help me to be strong when people are against me and question my belief in God.

Help me to stand by my faith

and my decisions concerning my faith.

I wish to do only God’s will,

and I beg of you, O Patron Saint,

to help keep me on His true path,

and guide me in His will.

I need friends now, more than ever before,

and I choose God as my first and foremost best friend, above all others.

But I also choose you as a close and special friend to relate to and to talk to.

Please counsel me by any means necessary that is in the will of God to do.

Please let me have the wisdom and understanding to receive his message

and the patience and virtue to listen so that I may understand his word. Amen.

How generous is our God?

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How generous is our God to hand-pick the color of the sky. To give a shimmer to everything gold. To love creation before it was made. To have His place of worship be a home, sturdy and safe. To make sure we know He’s present even when we are on our own. To place us in front of people reaching for Heaven. To tell us that we belong to more than this world, but still make it a wonderful journey. To give us something as simple as the sunrise. To inspire our curiosity help us gain knowledge. How generous is our God to have thought that the world should have our heart exist in it. A place for us for a short time, before going to rest for eternity in Him.

The timelessness of Christ.

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We must never discredit the timelessness of Jesus Christ. He was countercultural when He began His ministry, and He is now. Church teaching is not outdated, truth is not dependent on time. Truth does not live in the past, or change for the future, truth is goodness, life, God, holiness. His heart is here, the wood of His cross is now, the presence of His flesh is present. We do not change His word, because of our world. We change the world, because of His blessed truthful word.

Choosing silence.

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I’ve always felt busy, like there is always noise. Whenever I’m by myself, I usually make sure the silence is filled. If I’m cleaning my room, then I put on a Spotify playlist. If I’m driving in my car, then I listen to music or a podcast. If I’m sitting in front of the Lord, I’m thinking or journaling, or humming when I’m on my own. In fact, silence has almost always scared me.

But Jesus does this beautiful thing where He takes our fears and has the ability to redeem them or explain them. He’s asked me to rest my heart, and to be still in His presence. He’s taught me how silence allows my ears to hear His voice. He’s helped me to recognize the importance of prayer.

Thank You, Lord for allowing us to sit in silence with You. For loving our praises, and blessing our lessons taught in the quiet.

 

A Message from Him.

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“Maclaine. Look to me. Look at the beautiful creation and community I’ve placed on earth. Look at my people. They want heaven for you. They’re praying for you. They’re saints and they desire for you to join them one day. And look at me. Get lost in the Mercy my eyes narrate. Drown in the reckless and sacrificial love I’ve poured out for you. Understand when I love you so much and want more for you. I won’t stop spilling out my love for you, you just have to unplug your ears and hear my song. I am the King of Heaven, and you, a princess. I died for you. These saints were so inspired by the truth that they dedicated themselves to goodness. I want that for you. I am the vine and you are a branch. You do not live alone. Every goodness is because of me. Rely on me. I love you so. You are not alone.”

Why Jesus Is Better Than That Boy.

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To all the ladies out there:

How many men did you marry in your head today? Was it the cute boy who held the door open for you at the IMU? Is it the dreamy guy who sits across from you in K201? This sounds kind of funny right, when you say it out loud, but it is totally something we do! Let me tell you three reasons why it’s not fair for all parties to create a list of all the boys in the Catholic center of who you would marry.

First, you are precious. You are beautifully and wonderfully made in the image and likeness of a perfect God. Wisdom 13:5 says, “For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.” Catechism 41 says, “The manifold perfections of creatures – their truth, their goodness, their beauty all reflect the infinite perfection of God.” The manifold perfections of creatures – you are the most beloved created thing! So you, who you are reflects the infinite perfection of God. It is not fair to you to emotionally invest your heart in someone who may not even know your name. You deserve the greatest of loves, not an imaginary love.

Second, they are real men. The boy who you have created him to be in your head is not real. It is not fair to them because they could be a really great guy but if he doesn’t live up to who you created him to be, then you will find it hard to even be his friend.

Finally, its not fair to your future husband (if you are called to the vocation of marriage!). Your future husband is real, he exists, and right now you are spending your time emotionally investing yourself into a boy who may not even know your name or may never pursue you in the way that you deserve.

If you find yourself spending time creating a fake life with a random guy or worrying about what the future holds, write a letter to your future husband. Even better, tell it to Jesus. Jesus is incredibly in love with you RIGHT NOW. He is pursuing your heart perfectly at every moment. He knows every desire you have, everything you need to make you happy. He knows all of this because He created you to be in relationship with you. He created everything! Think of the most beautiful thing you have ever seen – mine is a South Dakota summer night in the middle of a cornfield where you can see every single star in the galaxy. That was created by God to woo you, because he LOVES you. He is love and He sacrificed Himself for you. Let Him love you in the perfect way that you deserve to be loved. Never let your standard be less than Christ on the Cross for you. You are loved.

Written by Kelsey McCann