28 May 2012

Bad Days and Good Opportunities

Today I had a bad day. Not just a "not good" day, but an actual bad day. It's been a while since I've had one, so I'm sure I was due for one.

Bad days are good opportunities in disguise. Opportunities to grow in love, holiness, and humility. Today I failed at these things, but I'm sure that the God of Second Chances will give me another bad day sometime soon in which I can practice these virtues.

I'm so glad that when we die, the Judge is also the Defense.

Saint Justin Martyr, pray for us!

26 May 2012

Holiness... and a Lack Thereof

Have any of you figured out how to be holy? I've been working on it for a while but I think I'm doing it wrong. If anyone has any suggestions, PLEASE share!!

I'm going to go to the Source and see if He'll tell me.

Blessed be Jesus Christ, now and forever!

Saint Philip Neri, pray for us!

23 May 2012

Evangelization Gone Wrong

Sometimes I worry about how the things I do (or fail to do) accomplish the opposite of my goal. I used to believe that only pride would allow someone to feel responsible for pushing another person away from God. (You're not important enough to be able to completely push someone away from God or His Church.) I still hold to some aspects of this line of thinking, but I also know that God entrusts our souls to one another, and I know that I'm a sinner and have fallen short of the glory of God. Sometimes I fail to pray adequately for and love well the souls which have been entrusted to me.

One of the people who receives my quarterly newsletter has recently written me to tell me that she has officially left the Church. I must admit, I wept at this news. I do not know this woman very well, in fact we have never met face to face. But this letter emotionally overwhelmed me.

I will use this as a sort of wake up call. I think God is asking me to pray more vigilantly for the souls entrusted to my care, and to bring to them the Good News of the Gospel and the saving grace of the Sacraments of Christ's Church.

Saint Francis de Sales, Patron of Humility, pray for us!

10 May 2012

New Direction and the Mercies of God

For the past year, my blog posts have been mostly my prayers and things I think about.  I think one of the reasons for this is because as a sanguine (my dominant temperament... if you don't know about temperaments check out The Four Temperaments by Dr. Stephen Montgomery or The Temperament God Gave You by the Bennetts) I sometimes feel pegged as shallow. Because I'm loud and outgoing, people in the past have failed to recognize that there's more to me than just a charming personality and a contagious laugh. ;)   Anyways, I actually prefer intellectual conversations over boring small talk and I love learning.  You, as my faithful blog readers, know that there's more to me and that prayer has transformed the way I see the world.

All that being said, I want to begin to use this blog as an outlet for me (and you) to see how God is using my life to change the world, and I feel like I need to take a step back from posting about my interior thoughts to recognize the ways in which He is doing so. From now on, my posts will probably be shorter, hopefully more frequent, and more filled with my day to day happenings (especially for my sweet Auburn Tigers who want to know about my life post-Auburn). Starting after this post.

Lately I've been meditating on the phrase my brilliant Team Director Katie O'Donnell would say so often in morning prayer: Thank you Lord, that your mercies are new every morning.

Woah. Every morning?! New?

Heck... the only good mornings I have are when they're spent in bed in a cold dark room. I can't even begin to imagine new mercies every morning!

And yet, it is true. His mercies are new every morning. But don't they have to be? If there's any chance of my poor soul making it to Heaven, his mercies for me must be new each day.

I've been asking the Lord to allow me to see His people as He sees them. And let me tell you something... be careful what you pray for!

You know that feeling you feel for someone when you see them sick and dying in the hospital? Or elderly and unable to get around? Or mentally disabled? I think that's how God sees us. So helpless and in need of Him. Yes, we are culpable for our sins, but because God is outside of time, He sees us eternally at our hour of death, and I can't imagine the love He feels for us in that moment.

Today, I saw a little old hispanic woman in Mass. During Communion, she held her daughters arm as they walked up to receive the Lord. She attempted to cross her arms over her chest, and the Priest gave her a blessing. I thought... what on earth could she have done that would leave her unable to receive the  Eucharist? (Normally I close my eyes during Communion so I don't think these types of thoughts... I'm too judgmental!) But today, I thought, Lord, there's no mortal sin that this sweet woman could have committed, I wish she'd just receive You! And that's when it hit me. I don't know this woman's soul at all...  but I think it pleases the Lord for me to assume the best of people. I've said this a few times, mostly to myself: instead of being offended for God that His people don't keep His commands, He desires that I beg Him on their behalves to have mercy on their souls. Maybe this is something I should have figured out and put into practice a long time ago.. seeing as I am, by occupation and vocation, an evangelist. But sometimes God has to tell me things a few times for me to really get them!

I hope that I can learn to see the best in everyone... to see how desperately the world needs the love of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The holiest of saints thought they were the worst of sinners, and if I want to be a saint I have to both recognize the severity of my own sins, and look with eyes full of mercy on others.  Even Christ Himself said to the Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.