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To be His Sheep

Honestly just chose this photo because I thought you would click the link if the photo was less boring haha.

This past Sunday was Good Shepherd Sunday and it has me thinking a lot about the relationship between the Shepherd and His flock. Many of the Gospel readings this week have been centered around this theme of Jesus being the shepherd and we are the flock. To give you a snippet of what’s been on my mind I’m going to give a brief summary of the super awesome homily my priest, Fr. Chuck, gave this past Sunday.

My home parish priest was a Nebraska farm boy, so he knows quite a bit about sheep, and he’s a priest so obviously he knows a lot about the theology behind this Gospel. He talked about how during the time of the Jews, the sheep were kept in one common holding pen, with stone walls around it and how the Shepherds would sleep at the gate.And the sheep knew their shepherd by the sound of his voice. Don’t belive me? Look it up. Fr. Chuck also said that if a sheep falls on its back it will suffocate. So that’s why the shepherd’s staff has a hook or what we call a crozier at the end of it. Just like the staff of a pope or bishop, and hold onto that because I’m going ot come back to it . Any ways the shepherd would use the crozier to flip the sheep back over. It made me think how sometimes we suffocate in our own sin and Jesus comes and flips us back over. He flips us over because He loves us so dearly. 

Fr. Chuck described his own experience with catching sheep to be sheered and how the sheep would run, but as soon as you got ahold of them they were calm, they didn’t fight it. And then they would bring the sheep over to be sheered and it would lay their calmly. That’s where we get the saying like a lamb before its shearers.It amazes me how Jesus used this perfect analogy to describe His love for us. Sometimes in life we are scared. We do not know what lies ahead, but the good Lord scoops us up into His bosom, and carries us off to the shearers. Because amidst our thick wool, that has been blemished by sin, He sees us, and knows who we are. He calls us by name, we recognize His voice and we know we are His. He sheers away the wool and the rubbish we have dragged, and looks upon us with tender love and compassion. Then he releases us back into the flock of the faithful community, the Church. 

At the gate post He sleeps and He will lay down His life again and again for the salvation of His flock. Which brings me back to the crozier on the staff of the Pope and Bishops. These are the shepherds He has called to care for His flock. It says it very clearly in the Gospel. Remember? Jesus came to his disciple Peter, His “rock” on which He wanted to build His Church, and tells him tend my Sheep. This role was passed down through apostolic succession and rests in the hands of the Bishops and Pope who have authority of the priests who work as one to protect the flock, and nurture and cleanse them with scripture and the sacraments. They are the ones who sleep at the gate. They are the front of the line! That is why it is so important to pray for them. The devil can climb over the gate and try to steal a few, but he knows he can have the whole flock if he takes down the shepherds. That is why are priests are under constant spiritual battle. I think even more so during times like these, so please keep them in your prayers, and thank God for their beautiful sacrifice. And to all my priest Friends who read this , THANK YOU for all that you do, you have served as a spiritual Father to me and impacted my life and others in countless ways.You are always in my prayers and I mean that sincerely!

Back to the sheep though. Another common practice that was used for run away sheep was to break their legs, and carry them over your shoulders. This seems cruel, but it was what was best for the sheep. A run away sheep is a dead sheep. I firmly belive Jesus does this to us as well. I experienced this in my own conversion, and even though it was hard, and painful, the Good Shepherd carried me. I was the run away, and he broke my legs and carried me intimately close to Him. He did not act out of rage or anger, but rather out of a deep unsurpassable heart of compassion. I think people often overlook or under appreciate Jesus’s words when He describes us as His flock, and uses this analogy to describe a beyond awesome relationship. Seriously, think about it, Jesus was the son of a carpenter, He never tended sheep in His life. But His knowledge of shepherding runs deep, and his understanding of the exact words we truly need to hear, even today, illustrate fully that Jesus is Lord. The one true Messiah, the all knowing, powerful God. The One who has beckoned our hearts. The One whom we should be following whole heartedly. The One who laid down His life for His flock, so that they could have everlasting life. He deserves all of our love, praise and worship. 

Yet so often we fall short of that, we stray away. We think “I’m just one in a billion sheep”. But to Him you are so much more. When you stray He knows it, when you cry out amongst the crowd He hears it, when you have blemishes He cleanses you, when you’re broken He heals, and if you’re pride is too big He will break it, for nothing shall separate us from the love of the Father. He is the Good Shepherd. He knows it all, sees over all and endures every pain. He knows that when they strike the shepherd the flock will scatter. His flock scattered in His darkest hour, and scattered when Luther nailed the 95 thesis to His door, and when bombs were dropped, scandals were revealed, and when air planes crashed through towers, and when a virus shut down the whole world. The sheep scattered. They ran into places of refuge, they cried, they mourned, and Jesus came to them, even with doors locked. He came into their midst and He said “Peace be with You” (John 20:19). The sheep rejoiced at the sound of His voice. For sheep have no home, they are home in the presence of their shepherd. So they rejoice because they know they are home, and that they are going to be okay. They thought everything was lost when they lost their shepherd, but He rose up from the grave, and conquered death for the salvation of His people. And they do not worry about the future, not all, because their one simple task is to follow and to trust that He is indeed the Good Shepherd.

“The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want”

So be at peace my sweet beloved child. The World may have broken your heart, but they have crucified me. And remember you do not belong to the world, you belong to me. If you thirst for running waters, I will lead you there. If you long for greener pastures, I will lead you there. The earth under your feet has no hold on you and nothing that sprouts up from it shall have govern over you. For indeed you shall see greener pastures, and water that looks pure. But sheep do not follow the world, they follow the shepherd because he knows what is good for them. Wise are the sheep who do not follow other sheep, but rather the shepherd himself, for these sheep will not be scattered. 

Do not forget how deeply He loves you. Not because of what you do, but because of who you are. He looks upon you with great delight, and takes notice to your every move. Even though you may feel broken right now or lost, He is with you. And if you are feeling extra broken, He’s carrying you through. Find rest upon His shoulders, and let your heart be consoled by the sound of His heart beating only inches from yours. And if you’re feeling like a failure in the eyes of the world, remember He never asked for anything more, than to be His sheep.

Much love to you all, let the Holy Spirit rest upon you and your household

~Mikayla

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Come Fill My Joy

I was really struggling to come up with something heartfelt to write to you all about without trying to cut into my own personal secret garden of my prayer life. These past week has been pretty simple, lots of school work, prayer time, and fellowship with my roommates. I’ve really been trying to keep my heart at peace and just enjoy this time of simplicity and not much to do times. Never have I had the time to eat every meal with my roommates, and go on walks, and call people, so I’ve really started to enjoy it despite the circumstances and the huge itch I have to travel.

I’ve also had a lot of time to read some scripture, and I ‘ve recently read the wedding feast of Cana, and John 21 where our resurrected Lord appears to the disciples and feeds them fish. What stuck out to me is how the Lord not only provided for a lack thereof but He provided it in an overabundance so that their joy might be complete. Like who needs 153 fish, or 150 gallons of wine. Nobody, but God loves you that much. No, He’s not saying get wasted, or be fat, but rather be joyful. And I think God provided a great example of that this week, and it really stuck with me. 

Earlier this week a buddy of mine from NYC face timed me, and his brother was with him. They were outside getting some fresh air (and YES still minding their social distance, so hop off.) His brother’s name is Paul, and Paul has autism, so all of this chaos has messed up his routine, and canceled a lot of his plans, yet Paul was the most joyful face I had seen in a long time. This man was just so happy to be outside walking on Staten Island’s beautiful boardwalk, listening to his music on his CD player, not a care in the world. He doesn’t understand this corona virus or why he can not go do the normal things he does, and why there are all these rules that were not there before, and I’m sure he’s had his moments, but he doesn’t let it ruin his day. He dusts it off and moves forward with the smile that all of NYC needs to see (from the comfort of home of course) because a smile like that is contagious. 

I know a lot of you out there are frustrated, sad, bored, annoyed, ready to just break free, but Jesus has so much He wants to give you right now. Right in this very moment, but you are far too focused on the big change, we want the doors to swing wide open, but there’s a reason that God has us in this place right now. Do I know why? No. But do I trust him anyway? Absolutely. We need to be like my buddy Paul, and even though we don’t understand, we have to keep seeking that joy. We have to trust that when someone tells us to quarantine it’s for our own good. And even though we are not always going to get along with those we are living with, and our temper might get the best of us, we are going to forgive, and love others unconditionally.  Live simple, stay hopeful, worry less.

Yeah, I’ve had little quarrels with my roommate for the first time ever, and I really want to go mass, but none of this is worth dumping out my 150 gallons of joy and saying screw it. And if I didn’t bring this point home last week maybe this week, I will….. God has not abandoned you!!

Also, this whole be joyful, forgive, and love unconditionally, is not just a stupid corona thing, it’s an EVERYDAY THING!! And my biggest prayer is that God will give you all the grace to do just that. So we can fulfill the greatest commandment, and be one with Him. Our eyes will be open and we will realize that God is closer to us then we could’ve ever imagined.

So keep looking for God in the little things. Become childlike, and do not leave any stone unturned. Keep on smiling y’all.

Also please email me, text me, call me, and tell me the joy that God has been putting in your life. Who knows maybe it’ll make the blog. But even if it doesn’t I just want y’all to know that everything you guys share with me from your hearts really helps me to know Christ more, and helps me to help others to know Christ….. So I encourage y’all to keep sharing, not only with me but with the world. Tell them the good news, the son of God has risen from the dead……. 

“Be the joy you want to see in the world”

On a final note….Also please, please, please pray for political and religious leaders everywhere. Praying does so much more than complaining, 100% guaranteed. They are under constant stress and criticism, and they don’t need your criticism. Everyone wants to be a critic, but nobody wants to give them the compassion they need. They are human, they aren’t perfect, but they are trying their best. Everyone is trying to back seat drive, but really I don’t think anyone wants to be the one driving. It’s a lot of responsibility, a lot of backlash, and it’s not fun, but choices still need to be made. So pray for them, and be compassionate. Love you all and God bless.

“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”

C.S. Lewis
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Ignorance is Bliss

Imagine this. There’s a giant rolling stone, and it’s going to smash millions of people. The people do not see it coming, and by the time they do, it will be too late. You have been told, and are 100% certain that if you can spread the word, and get everyone to move out of the path of destruction, then everyone can be saved. But you decide that it’s much to difficult and nobody is going to listen to you because they can not see the rolling stone. So instead you spend all your time building a giant contraption to stop the rolling stone. Meanwhile, everyone else just keeps on doing whatever makes them happy, and they dance along the path of destruction without a care in the world. Then the big rolling stone comes crashing in, and then boom, your contraption stops it. Everyone is so grateful for you, you saved them. You allowed them to remain where they were within the comfort of their homes, they were not inconvenienced by you ever trying to convince them to believe you. No, you just did your thing, and they did theirs. Wow, what a hero. Then boom your contraption breaks, the stone rolls, and everyone dies. They could’ve been saved, but they weren’t and now it’s too late.

Sad story, but this folks is reality. We live in a world, where there are people who know the absolute Gospel truth but refuse to share it. They rather be loved by the world. They want to be the hero, they want to be the god who stops the whole dang world from turning and somehow saves us all. There are people out there who see God, but refuse to tell anyone, because why would anyone believe in some God that not everyone sees? 

So what do they do? They start making bandages because ignorance is bliss, but eventually the wounds become so big you can’t cover it. I mean take a look around everyone wants to be happy, and so many people claim to have the answer. Oh, you got pregnant at 16? Well here have an abortion. Oh, you’re sad about it now, sorry but could you move along you’re scaring our other patients? Oh, you want to be with your mistress? Here file for divorce, I’m sure your wife won’t mind. Oh, you want to have sex but never have kids? Here’s some medicine. Oh, it failed again, oh well here have an abortion. Quit having sex? No…. pshhh… how could you be chaste and happy? Ha, have all the sex you want. Oh, you feel like you don’t matter, here have this 18 pack, don’t let yourself run sober. Oh, you want to feel loved, well show a little more and don’t be so shy. Oh, he mistreats you? Here’s a book about how to be better in bed. Watch this porn, you’ll feel better. Oh, you want to do this as part of your satanic ritual? Yeah, let’s just make late-term abortion legal, ha freedom of expression am I right? Do what you want, be who you want, even if it comes at the cost of someone else’s freedom and joy. And research, Nah, rest at ease, our media has got your back, they’ll tell you all the truth you need to know. This what our world tries to tell us.

It’s sick, but it’s reality. People in this world trust anything and anyone to make them happy, but nobody wants to do the real work to solve the problem. We figure what they don’t know can’t hurt them. If they are ignorant they can live happily with all the money and bandages the world has to offer. If they stay ignorant, they don’t have to know the truth about the consequences of their actions. We can just keep the warnings in fine print. We don’t want to scare them, we just want them to be happy. Ignorance means they can’t blame us when they get cancer from the medicine we gave them, and they can’t blame us when things go wrong. If they remain ignorant they don’t ever have to know that they are being used. They will never have to know that there’s a God who loves them, who made them for so much more than this. They will never know their true worth, so they will just grow numb to the pain. Then bam their dead and gone, and we all have to face God. The God who loved them.  Then what? Spoiler alert, it’s too late to run to Mars at this point. These are His beloved children and you have kept them in the dark. You refused to be a light to the world, and have allowed many souls to be handed over to evil.

We are called to be a light to the world. We cannot stop people from dying, and perfect happiness is not obtainable in this world. For some even if you tell them the truth they are going to quite literally spit in your face. The world will hate you, but to be a true disciple we are called to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. We need to rip off these band-aids of today’s society and let God heal our gaping wounds. There is so much evil going on in this world and it becomes completely blanketed by our rummaging for worldly pleasure and happiness. Don’t believe me, look up some up the sick satanic rituals out there (beware though, that its disgusting, and not for the faint of heart to read). But seriously though, do not be selfish. Don’t try to be a hero, because this World already has one and His name is Jesus Christ. But go ahead and spread the message, they will loathe you, but shall not die. For Christ has promised eternal life for all who believe in His name. Keep in mind also that He has warned if you deny him before others, He will deny you before His heavenly Father. 

Jesus loves you, God bless. 

P.S Also please read Isaiah 43, the whole chapter!

When you pass through waters, I will be with you; through rivers, you shall not be swept away. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned, nor will flames consume you. For I, the LORD, am your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior.

Isaiah 43:2-3
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My Brother’s Keeper

11 years ago as of the 17th, I would have first held my little brother in my arms for the first time. It was my 3rd sibling I had welcomed into the world, but my first brother, and I was much older so it was very memorable. I remember standing at the end of the hall waiting for them to bring him out of the OR. Finally, my dad came down the hall beaming with joy with the sweetest most precious baby I’d ever laid eyes on. My dad looked at me and said here hold him, and looking down at the tile floor and back at him I was terrified, like no way can you just trust a 10-year-old girl to hold something so fragile. But I held him, and instantly fell in love. Only moments ago he was in my mother’s womb, and now he was lying in my arms and from that day forth I was my brother’s keeper. I realized not only did my earthy father trust me to hold him and protect him, but so did my heavenly father.

But today the scariest thing is not the hard tile floor beneath him, it’s what lies beyond my control. My brother has outgrown my arms, but he has not outgrown my heart, and I still desire the very best for him, but I cannot protect him from this world. It breaks my heart to think he’s now at the average age of when a boy views pornography for the first time. 

Pornography is a sick thing that sucks the life out of so many of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The statistics are scary……

(conquerseries.com)

Our overly sexualized culture is breaking apart families and tearing apart what it means to be human. As Pope John Paul II says, it’s not that porn shows too much, it’s that it shows far too little. This world tells us that our bodies are the only thing we have to offer, but that is so far from the truth. We are to be loved body and soul, and we are so much more than the desires of our flesh. Pornography objectifies human beings, it takes someone made in the image and likeness of God and completely destroys it. Yet we think since it happens behind closed doors that it does not affect us, but that is such a lie. Just look at the standard women have for how they need to dress and act to feel loved, look at how commercials sell everything with sex, and how there’s such negativity wrapped around sex that it’s seen as something scandalous rather than something true, good, and beautiful. I could go on and on about why porn is evil, and how much it destroys our humanity, but I think we know that. I think most of us have seen with our own two eyes the effect porn has on us. But what we need to know is there is hope. We are not called to be slaves to despair, but rather children of God.

First, start praying that we can overcome our shame and our pride, and with humble hearts return to the Father. Let’s stop pretending we don’t see it. Let us be our brother’s keeper, let’s let the whole world know they are not alone. We are forgiven, and we have nothing left to boast, but the cross of our savior. Let us speak about our actions. Ladies, let’s call men higher, call them to the Lord, with our modesty we speak truth about the goodness and sacredness of the body. Temptation will always come knock and it will knock hard. The devil is prowling, but we are NOT alone. Together we will hold on to what we were made for, and strive to give Christ like love every single day. We will frequent the sacrament (especially confession and the Eucharist). We will cling to the rosary, and scourge the devil through our trust in the Blessed Mother’s intercession. No matter how many times we fall and mess up, we will keep on fighting.

“For God did not call us to impurity, but to Holiness”

1 Thessalonians 4:7

Are you going to answer that call?

If you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your sibling, for your future spouse, and for your future children. Do it for Christ who lives in them.

So to all my Brother’s in Christ (in particular my little hero back home),

I’m praying for you always. If you fall I hope you get right back and up and remember whose son you are. You belong to the one true King. And with every lady you see I hope you remember she is a beloved daughter of God, she’s a princess, treat her as such. I hope you remember you are never alone and I hope you remember you can always find Christ in the church, talk to your priest, find an accountability partner. Pray for the porn industry, and for the conversion of souls and remember this…

“”If anyone causes one of these little ones–those who believe in me–to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea”

Matthew 18:6

Basically Jesus wants to kick the devil’s butt, so don’t get in the way of that or you’ll go down with him. Keep up the good fight and remember God loves you recklessly. There’s a lot of doubt in my heart right now that this is even going to strike a single person’s heart, but I am going to go against that doubt and trust that Jesus has something in store. The devil is probably telling you no to give up and not even bother fighting this fight. I know he’s telling me that right now, but I also know I don’t belong to him I belong to God. And when I think about my brother and when I first held him in my arms, I remember this fight is worth fighting, because I am called to be my brother’s keeper, and so are you. I will not let the purity of my brothers and sisters be handed over to Satan when they were made for a Love so much greater. A love so great that in order to receive it we must completely empty ourselves of our worldly desires, and come to Him with arms wide open. He must increase, I must decrease.

Thank you so much for reading, and God bless!

Also would love your feedback, comments, and questions.

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Too Busy to Care

300 years from now what will our descendants think? They will have so much information on us, it’s truly endless. But when they look back at what remains will they be able to explain what they find. Will it actually make sense? When they find more black babies were aborted than born each year in America, while we meanwhile claimed to be the generation that fights for equality. What will they conclude? Will they wonder why we argued over the best way to protect our soldiers while we completely ignored that there are more of them dying out on the home front from suicide than on the battlefield itself? What will they conclude from a society that clearly wants liberty and justice for all, yet is so divided on what that looks like? What will they say about those who screamed women’s rights, but only for the women who want to be exactly like men? Will they be able to piece together what led to the American dream to becoming a bunch of broken homes? Will they look at our posts and see our smiling faces and think we had it all? Will they wonder why billionaires died of drug overdoses? 

Who will be the heroes of our time? Who will be the brave who stood up for what’s right? I hope to God our descendants are not like the media of today who overlook who the true heroes of this generation are. Maybe it’s because they stand with God, or because they actually stand for what this country was founded on…. But the heroes of this era are hundreds of thousands of people who march for the respect and dignity of ALL human life, and the millions of others who stand behind them. There I said it. And to all of you out there fighting the fight, I love you. I know it’s hard to be hated, but I promise Heaven is worth it.

I’m not done though…..

Every story seems to focus on the villains and the heroes, but I’d like to take a moment to talk about the bystanders. The ones who were too busy to choose what side they were on so the world chose for them. The ones who walked right over the hopeless every single day, without an ounce of themselves to give. And what’s their overwhelmingly, disgusting excuse? “I’m too busy” 

Busy doing what?

They’re all in a rush to get nowhere, make another dollar, get another adrenaline rush, get another follow, another like, or earn some shiny gold medal. And you do all this for what? So you can go home and have sex with a screen instead of your spouse, so you can brag about your daughter on Facebook while she sits unknown to you in the other room crying because she feels like she’s never enough, so you can go on another vacation and scroll through your phones, or maybe cry alone in the night because you’ve come to realize that the rush of this world does nothing, but take. Then when it all fails you scream, “why, God? Why?” 

Then He looks upon with mercy and says, “where have you been? Don’t you know that I love you?”

To which one might look back and realize “I guess I was lost. I was too busy to notice the little graces, the good morning texts, the friendly coworker, the sunset in the traffic jams, the blue jay in my window, to notice how beautiful my family is. I was too busy to blame the good things on you, yet when my world is shaken I blame it all on you without hesitation. Who am I? Who have I become?”

Or for most people they won’t even bother to acknowledge God, they will open the door to blame Him and then swing it right back in His face. They will keep on being busy and pretending they are okay.

Each and every day God wishes to bestow so much grace into our hearts and to do good works through us, but we have forgotten. We have forgotten that we have a free will, a choice. And that choice has to be made every single day. To chose Him. To claim He is the way, the truth, and the life. Yet so many of us say “I’m busy”, I’ll take care of that when I have more time….. God gave you that time and what do you have to show for it. And I hate to burst your bubble, but nobody is too busy. Your life is full, yes, but busy is a choice. We all have 24 hours in a day and you choose how to use them. Your life is just go, go, go and it emptied you of everything except that last little piece of pride that says, “I don’t need God, I got this.” But don’t forget this. The Devil prowls like a roaring lion looking for souls to devour (1 peter 5:8). And we are called to resist him steadfast in faith. So start praying. And pray hard. Pray for the humility it takes to say Lord I need you. 

Yeah, there are millions of future saints out there, but God still wants you. He sees you. And unlike the world, He doesn’t love you for your looks, or your abilities, or to use you, or only when it’s convenient, or when you’re happy. No, He loves every square inch of you, body and soul. 

I know there’s some of you out there right now who are thinking, “well I would pray, but I never feel anything, or I never get anything out of it.” If you say that let me kindly point out that you are saying The Bible is a lie, and you are also missing the point. Let me show you. I am sure many of you have heard of Mother Theresa. The cute Holy lady that people remember because she was such a God-loving soul. Would you look at that woman and think she had any trouble praying? Well she did, she’s called the patron saint of darkness for a reason. She suffered from desolation, and for over 50 years felt no spiritual consolation or anything in prayer. Yet she committed herself to Christ. In those 50 years, she prayed for hours every day, and still served others and showed them the reckless love of God. Nobody else has ever recorded in their life such a long period of dryness in prayer. So if she can pray from the pit of darkness for years, you can pray too. Your life may be crazy and hectic, but what are you here for? What would you do differently if you knew your life ended tomorrow? I hate to tell you this, but even busy people at some point in time die. “Busy” people one day have to meet their maker and what’s their excuse then. “Sorry, God I was too busy”?

 So I leave you with this, start reading the bible every night, pray, keep his commandments and live out moral authority every single day. And KEEP the sabbath day holy folks, and stop putting false God’s like money and porn before Him. Wake up America, stop letting the devil take the innocent. Quit being hypocrites, quit saying tomorrow. Be His hands and be His feet. Be that someone who’s not to busy to tell someone “I am here for you.” If we continue to build up a culture of death, abortion will continue, sex trafficking will continue, child abuse will continue, anything violent and cruel will continue because guess what? When we stop caring for the human dignity of a single soul, we stop caring for any human soul, and when we stop seeing dignity in each other, we stop seeing the God who lives in them. We no longer will see the God who loved us so much that He died an agonizing death or the cross. We will run out of hope, faith, and love, and I don’t know about you, but that’s not a world I want to live in. The most important moments and right now and your death, do something because this world does not wait. You can fight for the culture of life or you can drown yourself in the culture of death, it’s your choice. God bless, and do not let your heart forget He loves you.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch to wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.”

John 15:5-6

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Loved into existence

Nobody has ever earned the right to exist. It’s impossible, for to earn anything one must exist. So prior to you existing, you had no dignity, no worth, nothing. Life itself and everything we are and ever will be is a gift. Loved into existence, conceived and bore form your mother’s womb, you have been chosen. That itself is a beautiful thing. Yet so often we forget that. The gift of our existence, and the joy of being called His beloved slips our minds because we become to “busy” existing. We forget who we are and what we were made for, and therefore we have forgotten our Father.

Fortunately for us God not only gives life, but he loves us enough to give us grace and mercy. Therefore we are able to return to Him and His arms will be wide open ready for a sweet embrace. Then what… did God make us just so we could fall and come running to Him…. Certainly not. No He made us for so much more than that, but to simply put it we were made for relationship with Him, and with others, so that all may know Him and all can be one with Him in His Kingdom.

This all either sounds super basic or super far fetched depending on where you are at in life. Either way though, think about this. An orchestra is not an orchestra without all of the instruments, and then even with all the instruments the volume does not increase unless the number of them increases. The orchestra led by their conductor can play the sweetest of songs, and the more they play the better they get. Then let’s say we take out the cello, and the violins, and slowly they fade to nothing, but a conductor. How sad it would be to no longer hear something so beautiful. That’s the church without you, one less instrument conducted, one less decibel reached, and one less person who’s to far away to hear of the song of the Lord’s glory and salvation. Each one of us is loved and chosen to spread the good news, that there is a place where all of our sorrows end, that there is hope, that you are loved.

I was recently in New York, and I’ll admit it I love people watching. So naturally I loved Times Square, even though it was a vastly different scene then a mid-western girl like me was used to. Being catholic I was also a huge fan of the statue of the priest. Besides my point though. My point is this. As I stood amidst the most populated city in the U.S, my mind began to wonder and think about how many of these people feel unseen, unloved, and unknown among all the millions of other people. How many of these people actually know their worth? How many of them know their loved? How many of them know what they deserve? Oh how I wish I could tell every single soul how much God loves them, and how he thirsts for them. Everyday around the world people rush to make another dollar, make another amazon purchase, fall in love, break up, take their first breath or maybe their last, yet how many of them turn to God in the stillness and the silence. When they do not know how to lift up their hearts to him, do they just crumble or become numb? Do they even know who they are?

Now I’m just one person, but I hope till the day I die I can live a life that glorifies Him and tells everyone I love that my redeemer lives. My hope and prayer is that we can all do that, because nobody earned their existence, but by love alone they do exist and therefore just as much as you and I they deserve to be loved. Now I will end with this. There was a prayer on the last column at ground zero in NY, from a priest by the name of Father Mychal who died on 9/11 giving people their last rites. The prayer read as follows: “Lord, Take me where you want me to go. Let me meet who you want me to meet. Tell me what you want me to say, and Keep me out of your way!” This prayer really touched me because it speaks the truth. If we want people to know their loved by God we need to be willing to be lead, and be willing to let go of ourselves completely. God loved you into existence, and He is calling you. Will you go?

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

St. Augustine

Mercy

PC: Abbey Hugo

Imagine you’re on a big cruise ship, and you look out to see someone who has fallen overboard. Any good human is going to grab a life preserver and toss it overboard. By no work or merit of their own do you choose to save that person. You see them struggling and about to drown, so you save them. The only choice they have in this situation is to allow themselves to be saved. It’s not even a matter of whether or not they can see you, or believe in you, it is simply choosing to grab onto the life preserver. Pride may tell them they don’t need help, or sloth may say it’s not worth trying, but the choice is theirs.

Now if we change the story to be Jesus holding out that life preserver to you who is drowning, suddenly many of us think that by our faith or merit, Jesus decided to throw the life preserver out to you. That you some how earned the right to be saved, or that because we know Him or have seen Him that He chose to save us. I am here to tell you this image of Jesus is wrong and it’s a toxic trap. Jesus chooses to save us by His own grace. Did He not die for us while we were still living in sin? People receive mercy, when they choose to surrender. Mercy is for you, mercy is for everyone, as long as we are willing to surrender our entire selves.

His mercy alone will always be enough, yet so few souls believe that. Here we have man who was made and chosen by God to protect all of creation, yet everyday the men in our society are crumbling under the overwhelming odds they face and the constant burden of feeling alone in the battle. So he falls. God does not make mistakes, yet Satan has convinced many men that they are not capable of being good fathers, husbands or brothers. So why bother trying? Therefore they fall into abandoning or abusing these duties.

Then on the other side we have the crown of all creation. The only one not made straight from dirt, the grand finale of creation, woman. Woman was chosen to be the connecting piece, the intuitive one, the bearer of new life. And now woman has put her trust in the wrong places, and because of that, has fallen. Now the crown of creation goes everyday living in the fear of not being enough. Now we have men and women living in fear of the very thing they were made for. And our sins reflect those fears. A woman looks at pornography in search of being enough. A man drinks excessively to blind himself to the odds he faces.

The only way to fix this brokenness is through the perfect sacrifice. God sent His only begotten Son, to die for our sins in perfect love that casts out all fear. Then fearlessly we can fall into His mercy. But we have to want it, we have to trust in it. It’s the like the dirty boy who needs a bath. He will never be clean again unless he takes a bath. And he will never be completely clean unless he places his entire self into the water. Not only that, but this is a choice we must make daily. Getting clean once, does not prevent us from getting dirty later. If only we could see the filth that sin leaves on our souls. We become so dirty we are beyond recognition. Why? Because our sin does not define at all who we are. Yet the world will tell you it does. For our sins, Christ’s body was beaten beyond recognition of the eye, but the hearts of those who knew His soul still recognized Him and still loved Him. And Christ does the same for us, though we are dirty and festering with the wounds of sin. Have you ever seen an animal with dirt caked on it so bad that if you peel it off the flesh comes with it? This is what it’s like to have a dirty soul. This is why the sacrament of confession is so important. We need to be bathed and reminded of who we truly are, and we ought to do it often. Yet here some of us arey, dipping ourselves further into sin. Falling into pleasures, hoping to be understood, to discover who we are, or strive to live up to what we think we should be. Do you really think you were made to be understood in terms of sex? 

Stop letting the fear of the overwhelming odds, or not being enough stand in the way of what you were made for. It is you. It is you that Christ has chosen since the moment God said let there be light. He is not waiting for your perfection. He is waiting for your surrender. Christ stumbled three times on His journey to the throne. Will you not stumble a million times more? And was Christ not God Himself? He humbled himself to take on our wounds. He took on our sins. Instead of being the war hero who was stoic and strong, who could fight any battle with one finger, like we would expect, through His own choice, surrendered His infinite power. So that we, the weaker ones, could crucify Him. Just so that He could be the sacrifice, and in the face of death surrender to it. This is the gift He freely chose to give. To humble Himself, to be a reflection of us, in total lack of comfort or ability to fight back. All of this to simply say the truth to our broken hearts. That there is nothing that could separate us from His reach. And He rose again to show us that He has indeed conquered death. What now is left to fear, but fear itself? This choice seems easy and clear. Yet many, when given the choice, choose death rather than mercy. Mercy freely given and received by our surrender makes a saint. But he who refuses to encounter mercy, ultimately chooses hell. Be a Saint! Be not Afraid!

The Battle Rages On

Election day is a little more then a week away, and there is so much on the line. But  my heart is set on something bigger then that. I don’t need you to love Trump or Biden. I need you to love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. My main mission is not to get laws changed, or to get anyone to change their mind. I want you to have a change of heart. Who do you love? Do you love the world, or do you love Christ?

Ponder this passage 

“So Pilate said to him, “Do you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have power to release you and I have power to crucify you?” Jesus answered [him], “You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”  

John 19:10-11

We the people have a responsibility here, and the blood is on our hands. You have a choice to make, chose the lesser evil, and give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. Wake up people, there is a battle for souls going on right now. Each day in America, 2,365 babies die, and each one of those children has a mother out there who does not feel known, loved and cared for. The world says empower her, give her a choice, but society really only gives her one option. This world only wants to address the visible issues. We have this toxic “out of sight out of mind” mentality. The unborn, and mental health are constantly going unseen, and the result is death. I think as Christians many of us have forgotten that every single person will die one day, and the reality is not everyone is going to Heaven. And it’s not because God damns them there. Every soul makes that choice in the life they live. Whatever you cling to and serve in this life, is who you will go rushing to in the end. 

The Devil knows what he is doing. He’s not stupid, God even knows that. The Devil is going to convince you  to give your body entirely to temporary people and pleasures. He’s going to tell you not to worry, contraception has your back. He’s going to tell you that sitting in the pew on Sunday is enough, or maybe convince you not to bother at all. He’s going to tell you that receiving the body, blood and divinity of Jesus when you haven not been to confession in years is okay. (It’s not!!!) Then he has this whole group of people who claim to be great Catholics or at least christians, who are really not even following church teaching, and preaching false things to others. In reality they are throwing Jesus on the ground like He’s nothing. I am not hear to judge, but you know or at least should know what has been written. Do not allow these wolves to represent the church, and do not be a bystander to it. You are nothing, yet Jesus Christ has given Himself entirely to you in the Eucharist. (Read John 6:53). He understands we experience intimacy through the body, that’s why He gives it to us entirely. Wake up. Stop being the Devil’s advocate. You cannot serve two masters. Do not be afraid. Are you going to offend people? Yes. But what matters here is living the present moment, with the mindset of eternity.

The church is dying. The world is becoming more relativistic each day. Yet I think about how here at this newman center I am at, people are on fire. The church in this place is alive. Full of young people, and God is adding to our number each day souls being saved. Why is it different here? Certainly Christ is present in the tabernacle in every Catholic church, so it’s certainly not a lack of Christ. Rather I believe it is a lack of yes. It’s this yes to living RADICALLY different that changes everything. You would see these young adults at these Newman Centers and think they are crazy. You have full time students making 3 am Holy hours, praying at abortion mills, leading bible studies. And if you asked them why, they would all tell you a very similar answer. They encountered something more, they encountered Jesus, some way some how in the Eucharist. I hope and pray that you do to. I hope you remember who you are and who your father is. 

The answer to poverty, fatherless society, abortion, the mental health crisis, sex trafficing, the pandemic, everything… is you. And it starts with finding Christ in you. Say yes. Look to Mary as an example who at 13 years old, living in poverty, with no husband, and risking everything, said yes to baring salvation to the world. Be not Afraid.

P.S. go vote, and if you love him, “do exactly as He tells you”

Oh you of little faith

Long time no see. The last 3 weeks or however long it has been have been full of grace and blissful suffering. It has taught me how much I truly desire Heaven. I desire to be with Him, where jealousy loses its grip, and anger’s flame is quenched, where my eternal joy is made complete.

Getting there requires death, and not just at the end but a constant death to one self. A surrender, a choice of compassion rather than wrath. There were many times in the last few weeks where I could feel my anger running up my spine like a legion of raging men. I could taste the temptation of vulgarities on my tongue, but from inside I hear a deep and gentle voice call my name. And instantly I drop my weapons, like Peter at the moment of Christ’s arrest. “He who lives by the sword dies by the sword”

Do you want to die clinging to the works of Satan? No you don’t. Because to come face to face with Satan and his bitter ugliness is worse than the human heart can handle, and you will cry an inconsolable cry. 

Hear your name be called, do not run into despair, run into the arms of the savior whose arms are wide open. Be a soldier for Christ. Fight the battle on your knees. When fury and rage knock on your door, respond with compassion. Fight like you have nothing to lose, because nothing is truly yours. Let Christ be your everything, stop trying to find the strength inside to fight a battle made for God. You fool, put down your pride. Did you really think you could keep up with God stride for stride? To act in anger or out of bitterness is to deny God’s goodness, to deny that He is just. We find ourselves in these storms, and somehow allow ourselves in misery to forget that Jesus is in the boat with us. “Oh you of little Faith, why have you doubted?”

Let us turn this anger and frustration to Christ, and let Him heal us of our inwardness. Let Him flip our hearts right side out so we can act out of compassion. Behind every act of anger, is a selfish reason. Yes it comes from a place of hurt, or a place of brokenness. But was Christ’s body not completely distorted and heart broken on that cross? And in that moment were His actions not that of complete love? Let us imitate Christ in that way. Let those who have hurt us, see our wounds as we continue to love anyway. 

Do not let the devil convince you that any form of anger is right. Whether your anger is that of a silent treatment or a heavy fist, it doesn’t matter. Don’t let the devil hold you like that, don’t let him stop you from giving what the battle between good and evil fights for. Which is the love of a human heart. Act with love and let Christ alone be your reason.

Running Club is not for Walking

Photo credits to Hannah Ousley

Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win.Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing.No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. -1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Read that again and think about it. There’s a reality we should be reminding ourselves of more often. Every single person will one day die, and they will go to Heaven or Hell. What are you running towards and who are you running with. Is your running club full of walkers, or are they running head on constantly pushing you to compete.

The communities within the Catholic church should be communities that run the race so as to win, but so often it’s full of people who just wanna walk the path just to say they are on the course. This mindset is so dangerous and it’s why not every Christian goes to Heaven.

I’ve been blessed the last 4 years to be a part of a Catholic community that runs so as to win. I was on a boat with some of my friends from the newman center reflecting on this, thinking wow here’s this group that does really fun things together, but also rides the storm together, prays together and constantly calls each other higher.We as a community spend 99+ hours a week in Eucharistic adoration. We have full time college students taking holy hours at odd hours of the night, leading and participating in bible studies that serve over 130 students total, going to mens and womens groups, praying daily rosaries, and living in authentic friendship. To campus they look like any other students, but in the light of the community they are true warriors for Christ.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take about 25 of them to an abortion clinic to pray. To ride that storm together was one of the most heartbreaking yet beautiful things I have ever done. And despite all the attacks, the tears, the pain, the first thing many of them said after getting in their cars to go home was “We must come back again.” 

This community time and time again amazes me, and I love how we are constantly pulling each other closer to Christ. These people run, and they strive to discipline their selves in every way, and are constantly reaching out to others to join them in the race. Many chose to never run, because why run when you can walk. But I’m telling you, salvation is worth leaving everything behind and running as fast as you can. You never know when your time will come to an end, you could die in an hour, you could die in ten years, but don’t let death catch you unqualified for the race. The devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for souls to devour, so be alert and vigilant. 

If you are not in community like this find one, and if you can’t make one. Keep Christ at the center and focus on discipline and sacrifice. The race has already started, are you running?

Suffering with Her

Our Lady of Sorrows Mass | Hamrun Secondary School

In terms of your salvation, suffering is the best thing that has ever happened. Suffering turns us to God, and makes us realize nobody else can save us. However let’s be honest suffering sucks, but there’s one person that makes it not feel so lonely and that’s Our Blessed Mother. When our Lord was dying up on that cross for the salvation of the world, I’m certain that it gave His heart much consolation to have His mother there.

Now I don’t know about you, but that relationship right there is relatable. Thinking back on times in my life when I’ve suffered, I’ve called out for my mom countless times. Not because she was going to take the hurt away, but rather suffer with me in sympathy. I remember one time in particular when I was about 4 years old I had to undergo a surgery, and I was in this room with strangers, and they wanted to put this mask on me. So of course I scream out for mom, she never came, but from down the hall my mom heard my cries, and cried with me. She knew I was going to be okay, but even still her heart suffered with mine. Same goes with Our Blessed Mother, she knew from the get go, that her son was going to die a brutal death, but she also knew He would be okay, and that He would rise again. But that does not mean her heart was not deeply pierced. Now having been put under her motherly care after Jesus gave her away on the cross, she suffers with us too. I think this relationship of mother and child, with deep empathizing hearts is a constant reminder that even in our suffering, we have never been abandoned. 

Suffering with Mary by our side points us back to the Father, it keeps us hopeful. Just like how even in highschool I still woke my mom up if I got sick in the night, and she would laugh and say why do you need me? To which I always replied “So I don’t have to suffer alone. That’s how our relationship with the Blessed Mother should be. We should never be afraid to cry out to her, because she loves us and she does not want us to suffer alone. 

Now if you don’t believe me, just take a look at her heart. Pierced with man swords it bleeds, and whether we ask of it or not it suffers with us. You do not have to ask a mom to feel bad for her baby. LAtely in prayer I just keep seeing her heart, and how deeply empathetic it is, and inside I can feel my heart pining to be as close as possible to hers. I can hear her heart crying out for the unborn, the lost, the broken, the ashamed, and the repentance of all sinners. I look at her heart, and I’m not scared. I feel called to compassion. I smell the bitter sweetness of a hopeful suffering. To hear the heartbeat that pumped the blood around my own savior’s womb, now that is something special. It’s just like what was said to Mary when they presented Jesus at the temple, “You yourself a sword will pierce so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

Not only do I feel my own thoughts of my heart have been revealed, but the thoughts of all those suffering throughout the world. How can you look at her heart and not see that. 

Oh sweet Virgin Mary, Totus tuus

The Places I don’t Want to Go

Amen, amen, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you wanted; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go”

 I had a person recently tell me how he thought people did mission to make themselves feel good. Which really had me reflecting on why I do mission? And one answer I did not come to is because it makes me feel good. Let me ask you this. Why do you study? Brush your teeth? Go to bed at night? Is it because it’s fun? No you do it because you know it is what’s good for you. And typically these are things we try to make time for no matter what because these are things we need to do. We should see our relationship with God and a life of mission in that very same light. For a lot of us the thirst and desire for complete unity with God is not going to come until we dive head first into it.

And this mission does not start later, it starts now. Everyone’s mission looks different, but every single on of us should have a mission rooted in prayer. I’ve heard people say “Well I just don’t think God’s calling me to mission”yet when I ask them if they’ve taken a deep amount of time to pray about it? The answer is usually no. How can you expect to know what Jesus desires for you when you haven’t taken the time to listen? Or maybe you’re like me, and you struggle to not come to Jesus with a list of reasons why you don’t feel called to do something. Instead of making excuses, surrender your fears. Because I tell you what, Jesus does not change His mind. But he also knows what’s best for you, and we should not be afraid of what the father has in store for us. 

A call to mission should not look like somebody trying to give their cat a bath. We shouldn’t be clawing at the sides of the tub resisting what God has in store for us. 

I mean you should of seen the loop holes I tried to jump through to avoid going to a simple discernment retreat. I was so terrified of being sucked into the habit life, but the experience was far from that. Instead I left with a feeling of peace, and a greater understanding of my call to marriage. Or there was the resistance to going to Ecuador with a bunch of guys form my Newman center at a time in my life where I despised men, or giving up my entire summer to walk across America for the unborn, or simply going out and talking to people on campus about the God who loves them. I never want to do these things, but I do desire their outcomes, and I do desire to do the Lord’s will. And If we come to Him and sit before Him, and let Him speak peace into our hearts, He most certainly will give us the grace to say yes.

When that grace pours in, it makes saying yes so much easier. Often for me Jesus takes me back to the day I recieved my first communion, and there I am little 7 year old me singing “Yes  Lord I will come and follow you, follow you wherever you go”. And if 7 year old Mikayla can make that fiat,  so can the present Mikayla. Does that mean what lies ahead is going to make me feel good and happy? No. Was it easy to kneel outside an abortion clinic listening to a man sob beside you as his unborn child was killed? Absolutely not. Is it easy to approach strangers and talk about God? No. But I rather be a heart broken, weirdo, crazy person, then stand by while rougly 3,000 babies are aborted each day across the country, and millions go without food, and girls post pictures on the internet thinking their only worth is their body, or people are out there addicted to pornagraphy an industry that feeds the demand for sex trafficking. I’m not going to walk away when my Lord is still  upon that cross being crucified. I’m not going to stand by when I hear Him cry out “I thirst.” I am not going to stand by when I can look into His Mother’s eyes and see a heart pierced with so much sorrow yet it still overflows with hope. I will say yes. I will stretch out my hands, and let the world dress me as this monster that I am not, this person who only cares about the unborn, a hypocrite, an idol worshiper because with him I know who I am. And I will go to those places I do not want to go. I will let my heart be pierced with sorrow. I will because of who He is. He knows my heart. And no matter how hard it gets, or how many blows I take, He’s right there with me. Even if I turn away in fear, He’s right there to pull me back up to my feet and say “O you of little faith, why have you doubted me?”

St. Peter, pray for us.

Wanting to be Liked

PC: Hannah Ousley

Looking back at high school and middle school especially, I see a girl who would do anything to be liked, to feel seent, or to feel known. I see a girl who hated fruity gum, but would buy it just to pass it out to other kids, just for the feeling of being wanted. I see a girl who would dress to impress, do sports to be seen, splash on makeup to cover every blemish, and school was the one thig she excelled at so she pushed herself to accept nothing less than perfect. Because you know if your good at school the boys will sit by you in class, but just to copy your answers, but that was enough to feel loved. I thought sticking a bandaid over this gaping whole in my heart to feel loved and known, was going to satisfy me, but bandaids don’t stick forever. 

My heart longed for something more, and until I started to get to know who I was in the eyes of my heavenly Father, I was lost. It’s kind of like being sick and the last place you want to go is the doctor, but you know that’s where you should go.Yet somehow the devil has built up this overwhelming fear in you. This fear that you’re too far gone, or that God has no desire to help you, or that if you put yourself out there He’s going to leave you empty handed. Or maybe you’re so fascinated with your sin, and overwhelmed with guilt, and you’re thinking there’s no way you could ever repay Him. And you are right, because the price has already been paid on the cross, and mercy comes free. So stop fixing your eyes on fear and sin, and cast your eyes on Him. 

I think we all know what it’s like to go through something painful in life, and feel like God has abandoned us. We look at other happy Christians and think, they must not know what it’s like to be broken, but I’m gonna let you in on a little secret. The best Christians out there are the ones who have been shattered. Look at St. Augustine,St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, or St. Maximilian Kolbe. Saints who have been broken into millions of pieces, but unlike Humpty Dumpty, these people were put back together, completely restored. By no means were they perfect, these people were sinners and they were broke again, but every single time they placed themselves at God’s feet, and allowed themselves to be resurrected. So often we look to the world to fix our problems, but who could better repair you body and soul, then the very one who created you, the one who formed your inmost being, and knitted you in your mother’s womb? 

Turning to God is always the best option, but because we have tried to make ourselves equal with God by eating from the  tree of knowledge of good and evil, we have realized our own nakedness, and we hide with shame. Now sin did not deem us unlovable, but broke our relationship with God. But God looked at us with compassion, and set His only begotten son to die on a cross for us, so that we could be restored, and spend eternity with Him. The only catch is you have to chose it, you have to want it. You have to wake up and realize that in His gaze, and His only, you are fully known. For so long I tried avoiding His gaze. I thought if I stopped going to mass, buried myself within the wrong crowds, and drowned myself in self loathing then I wouldn’t have to face my sin and pain. But nobody can out run God, and I grew weary and tired, and reluctantly found rest in His arms. And it was not an instant fix, it took time to peel back the wounds, but I knew running on broken legs would get me nowhere. But as I’ve let Him in, and let Him touch my wounds, there was not a moment where I felt unknown or unloved. There was and still is pain at times, times of exhaustion, times where I want to give up, but the fruits of dying to oneself to be one with Him, make it all worthwhile. In Him I have found my identity, in Him I have found rest. With Him there will always be storms that try to shake your faith, but with Him as your stronghold, there is no fear of death.

Why Bother Being Catholic? Part 2

Now there are people in the world who don’t believe in the Eucharist, in fact that person may be you. Truly you’re missing out. Outside the Catholic Church there is no Eucharistic presence (with a few exceptions). And to many people they don’t seem to care, but Jesus is Lord. And if He is Lord he cannot lie so why would He say ““I am the living bread, who descended from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread, he shall live in eternity. And the bread that I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.””

——And further more, “Jesus said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.”

‭‭People get to this point and just like the disciples did we murmur amongst ourselves, and try to pick apart this hard teaching. Yet Jesus looks at them and says there is no need to murmur. Then at that point a lot of them turned away, they were done with Jesus. It was cool when he was helping them and performing miracles, but this was just too much. Now if He was not being serious, why would He let them go. Why would Jesus not say hey it’s just a symbol come back? 

And John 6:53 is not the only part of the Bible that references the validity of Christ in the Eucharist. It’s origins and prophecy go all the way back to Exodus. And I could go on and on about it, I’m super passionate about it. In fact I went through a whole shrine/museum that went through all of the Eucharistic references in scripture down in Alabama that was set up by Mother Angelica because she so badly desired for others to know of the power and love that she had found in the Eucharist. 

Now I know reading this blog is not going to be a life changing moment for any of us, but I hope it encourages you to read the one thing that will. The Bible. 

In conclusion though my greatest desire for each and everyone of you is to know Christ. And I’m not talking on an intellectual level I’m talking about being one with Him. So as we continue on this little journey of discovering more about the faith, I want you to all take time to pray and talk to Jesus about what it truly means to be known. 

To start off let’s look at the first time the word “knew” was mentioned in scripture. Genesis 4:1 “Truly, Adam knew his wife Eve, who conceived and gave birth to Cain, saying, “I have obtained a man through God.”” From there I encourage you to look for known, know, knew, throughout scripture and just chew on it for an hour or two instead of watching Netflix. 

Now you may be thinking hey Mikayla the title to your blog is misleading, like where’s the whole explanation of why one should bother being Catholic. Well a good teacher does not tell someone how to see it, but rather shows them where to look. And I’ll just leave it at that 🙂

Why Bother Being Catholic? Part I: The Eucharist

Alas in you I see my goodness. And what is left but to surrender myself completely to you”. That was my simple personal prayer before communion yesterday. And in its simplicity I think it highlights why I love the Eucharist. 

Soil doesn’t see its goodness till a seed has been planted in it. And that seed germinates and takes root and flourishes, and with its life it gives back nutrients to the soil and gives life to those who come to graze on the sweetness that grows on that soil. I am the soil, and that seed is the Eucharist. 

And like that seed, Christ doesn’t need me, there is an Earth full of soil. But He chooses me, so that when I receive Him, I can see my own goodness, I can see my purpose. I can see the gifts He has given me, and what those gifts can do for others. And when I see His beauty growing within me I quench every weed, and toss out every stone, and focus on giving all I have to Him. 

Without Him, I would let the weeds grow. I would let sin take over, I would let people use me, I would go a lifetime without knowing my goodness, without seeing that I have been created to give God glory. I would feel useless, and would nourish nasty weeds just so I could feel wanted. I would dry up in the sun longing for a day where I could feel known, where I could feel needed. I would just be dirt, no one would come and graze on my fruits. I would bare nothing. But with Him I can bare anything.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I will only have the my house next door to the chapel for 3 more months (I’m leaving my college town to begin student teaching). For the last 3 years I have gone to spend time in adoration with Jesus at odd hours of the night, bare foot, still in my pjs, and I’m going to miss that closeness. Countless times I have come before Christ true presence in the Eucharist in tears,or to make a big decision, or simply just because. I’m not ready to lose that privilege of being able to just walk 20 feet across the yard and down some stairs to see Him. His true presence in the Eucharist is something powerful.

Now there are people in the world who don’t believe in the Eucharist, in fact that person may be you. Truly you’re missing out. Outside the Catholic Church there is no Eucharistic presence. And to many people they don’t seem to care, but Jesus is Lord. And if He is Lord he cannot lie so why would He say…….

To be continued next week. Until then read John 6:22-71. And let it penetrate your soul with truth, we need to be reading less blogs and more Scripture so I’m keeping this week short and ending on a cliffhanger. Now go read that Bible!

Not Everyone goes to Heaven

As I wrote the title of this blog, I think wow that sounds cruel, but yet gain it’s true. The World talks about Heaven as if everyone was going, but the sad reality is not everyone makes it. Jesus even said so Himself. I’m not here to judge though, I’m just here to point out the facts, and the scary reality that not everyone who cries out Lord, Lord is going to Heaven.

Now I know my readers are mostly Catholic and if not they are practicing Christians, so I’m not super worried about them being super materialistic, but rather that we are too comfortable. 

We are too comfortable where we are at in our Faith. And we are comfortable with just keeping to ourselves when it comes to our faith. Faith without works is dead. Simply believing is not enough. Believing that someone is my spouse doesn’t make them my spouse. Making a commitment for better or worse and working hard at a relationship that you vowed before that person and God to uphold till death do you part is what makes a marriage. And by the way you live and act around that person people know that’s your spouse. 

Same goes for faith. By the way you live people should know that God is the center of your life. Faith is not about what you want it’s what God wants. We as Christians need to wake up and stand strong, deeply rooted in our faith. We should be reading God’s word DAILY. It’s powerful, by word alone the universe was created. And we should be praying. And constantly calling each other higher. And for those out there who don’t know there is one church, and with God there is only one truth. And if you are deeply rooted in scripture and are praying daily asking God to lead you in your faith, I’m sure you will find yourself in with His bride, the one Holy and Apostolic Church. 

And that’s all I have for this week folks. Keep on striving. I’ll be praying for you and I hope you pray for me as well.