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.

Prayers of St. Bridget

Greetings, brothers and sisters!  The memorial of St. Bridget of Sweden was celebrated on July 23rd.  St. Bridget was a holy religious who dedicated much of her time to contemplating the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through mystical revelations (which she subjected totally to her spiritual director), she was given prayers that have a certain degree of spiritual power.  These prayers were approved by Pope Clement XII.  I have prayed the seven prayers every day for the past several months and they are POWERFUL.  They are so powerful because, similarly to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and evening the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, they are an offering of the Precious Blood of God the Son reconciling us with our Eternal Father.  “And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Revelation 12:11).  The Precious Blood of Jesus is a sure way of reaching our eternal destination of heaven.  Pair this with devotion to Our Lady, and we have a real winner!

Here’s a link to to a website that lists the prayers:  https://traditionalcatholicprayers.com/2019/10/02/st-bridget-7-prayers-12-years/

J M J

Jacob

Gay and Catholic?

This blog was not written by me,but rather submitted to me by someone who wishes to remain anonymous.

As many things have come to light in our country over the past few months, I have found myself asking many questions. Injustices happen in our country, but why is it that we are sitting here arguing over them instead of having conversations about them?  As I have scrolled through social media, most posts that I see make me feel like there are only two sides to be on. It seems that our society is always pushing only two options and oftentimes to extremes. Either you are for the cops, or you are for black lives. Either you are pro-LGBTQ+, or you are completely against it. Let me be very clear- I know that this is not everyone. I know that there are people that back both good officers and black lives. I know that there are people who love the LGBTQ+ community without agreeing with everything that they stand for, but more times than not, this is not the case. More times than not, we find ourselves having to choose one or the other and fighting for that stance rather than having a conversation with someone on the other side to try and understand them. Now, I am not going to focus this article on the matter of cops vs. black lives because I have no experience in this area, but I do have a little bit of experience when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community and the Catholic Church.

Before we get too deep into this, I want to make a few things very clear. First thing, I am going to always use the phrase homosexual actions when speaking about the Church’s teaching because this is exactly what the teaching is refering to. The action. Not the person. Second thing, I am a female who is attracted to females and I am a practicing Catholic. For some of you, that may be confusing, so please just keep reading. Third thing, I fully stand behind and believe the Church’s teachings on homosexual actions. Lastly, I LOVE the Catholic Church, and God willing, will always remain a faithful, practicing Catholic. Now you are probably quite surprised. Maybe you have never thought that someone could be both gay and Catholic. Maybe you do know someone who experiences same-sex attractions and says they are happy living a chaste life, but you don’t really believe them. Maybe you think that they are just saying that or they are fooling themselves or, my personal favorite, they are “brainwashed” by the Church. I will be honest with you, I have not always loved the Church and her teaching on homosexual actions. In fact, I almost left the Church in college because of the teaching on homosexual actions. So why didn’t I leave? Why did I stay? What changed my mind? I met some people who didn’t just care about the fact that I was a girl and I liked girls. I heard a talk from a priest whom I could tell truly cared for and loved those who bore the cross that is same-sex attractions. I saw that there were people in the Church that wanted to have a conversation about who I was as a person, not just my sexuality. Most importantly, I had a profound encounter with the person of Jesus Christ and knew that the Church was my home. 

As Pride Month has come and gone, I have found myself wrestling with what it means to support the LGBTQ+ community and be Catholic. As I have scrolled through Facebook, I have felt once again that there are only two ways to live, either in full support of the LGBTQ+ community or against it. I have felt that if I am Catholic then I must not support LGBTQ+, but that is conflicting for me because I do consider myself to be gay. I saw an article one day that was about why Catholics should not support “Pride.” I’ll be honest, I did not 100% agree with the article. I’m not saying that we as Catholics should go out and participate in the nearest Pride parade, but I am throwing the idea out there that we should remember that Pride is more than just about gay marriage. There was once a time that it was illegal to identify as gay. People were (and still are) beaten and even killed or driven to suicide for being gay. The LGBTQ+ community has not always been seen as equal or even as a human being. Now, I am not trying to dog on the Church. The Church has made great strides in the work that it does for the LGBTQ+ community, but I would go out on a limb and say that most people in the LGBTQ+ community do not feel accepted by the Church. Why is this? I think that it is because so often, when we hear a person’s sexuality is something other than straight or that maybe they don’t identify with the gender that they were assigned at birth, we either stop the conversation or we start trying to tell them why that is wrong. This is not what we are called to do. Jesus did not immediately tell Matthew why he shouldn’t be a tax collector, he first reclined at table with him. He got to know him as more than just a tax collector. He shared a meal with him. We as a Church, myself included, need to be more like Jesus in this area. We are never going to change anyone’s mind or heart on this teaching by giving our best apologetic argument over why homosexual actions are morally wrong. Jesus is the only person that can do that, and we are called to be His hands and feet on the Earth. So instead of staying on one side of the argument and always pushing for what is right, enter into conversation with those around you who may be experiencing same-sex attractions. See past their sexuality. See the person. Instead of starting the conversation of “why the Church’s teaching is true,” start the conversation with “tell me more about you.”

P.S If you would like to have a conversation about this topic or go more in depth with it, please reach out to Mikayla and she will be able to connect us. Also, please take 40 minutes to watch the documentary The Third Way. It would be a great first step in understanding the Church’s teaching on this topic.

Fascinated

There are so many things in this world to be fascinated by, but I want to be fascinated by Christ alone. We can turn our eyes to the news, politics, violence, drama, money,the way we look, or relationships, but fascinations pull us. And if we are not we are being pulled toward Christ we are being pulled away. So lately my simple prayer has been Jesus help me to fall more in love with you. 

So often it feels that when I pray I am fascinated by my sins, the hurts in my heart, the stones in my way and I’m  focused on everything but him. Prayer should be me looking at Jesus, not me sitting in front of Him looking at myself. If I am looking at myself, how am I supposed to know where to go. My eyes need to be on the one I am trying to follow. 

Yesterday for example was one of those days. I went to work and I had kids have major melt downs, then I came home and didn’t realize the construction crew had moved further up, and there was no driveway on this part of the road and I ended bashing the back of my car trying to turn around, then I came in and got in a fight with my mom. I could feel my heart racing just trying to keep up with my anger. Then He stopped me right there. I had become fascinated by my sin, all that had gone wrong, and all these things that could not be undone. It was like being a kid again, you know when your parent comes in and you’re all upset, and they say  “look at me,” except it was Jesus speaking to me. Speaking to my upset heart, telling me “Look at me, everything is going to be alright”. And in that childlike moment I had the opportunity to fall more deeply in love with Christ, and I seized it. I turned all my fascination towards Him, and I wish I could say I do this every time. The devil wants us to be distracted and fascinated by ourselves and our own wants and needs, but when we are striving for heaven we can’t do that. 

So how do we avoid it? We pray. And Ignatious of Loyola’s 5 step method is so helpful. Because the first step is to ask for God’s light and grace to look at your day through His eyes. Then the second step is to find things you are thankful for. So already within the first two steps you have turned your eyes towards God and His goodness that is at work in your life. Then the third step is to review your day, fourth step: ask for forgiveness, and the final step is to make amends,  and pray for others. Praying this method before mass yesterday got me good. Because as I reviewed my day and looked for things I was thankful for, I found that the same kids who had driven me up the walls that day were the same kids I was thankful for, and the sins that I found myself in throughout that day were cast as far as the east is front the west as soon as I handed them over to Christ. Praying in this way helped me to focus on how much He loves me, and helped me to fall all the more in love with Him. As we conversed I could feel His gentleness, His mercy, and I knew that no matter what He was going to provide. For example looking back at the moment I bashed my car, rather than seeing it as a punishment for something I did I was able to look back at Jesus with me in that moment. I could see Him standing there and He wasn’t clapping His hands, no He was feeling my frustration with me and wanting to console me.

He was not going to just leave me empty handed. He will provide all that I need in order to do His will. Why? Because my Father is a good father. And He loves me even still. He holds my heart, casts away the wrongs of my past, heals what is broken and holds the key to my future. And all I have to do is be little and look up at my Father’s face. How could I not be completely fascinated by the Father’s love for me?

Zeal

God constantly opens these doors for me, (such a gentleman) but there are some doors I don’t want to walk through, but despite my fears I’ve never regretted following His call. One big God moment in particular happened this week. It was a co worker of mine and she asked me how I felt about the new pro life bill our Governor signed. I really do not like to talk politics at work, but God kept pushing in. And He didn’t really need me to talk. He needed me to listen. 

In that moment I could feel His mighty hand working this conversation like clay. I resisted His push, and my heart raced, but I’m so glad I’m the clay and not the potter. Out of this conversation He molded something beautiful, something of pure love. This woman ended up sharing with me not only that she feels very pro choice, but that ten years ago she was a victim of rape, and ended up getting an abortion. I could feel her pain. And even though I still told her that I’m very unapologetically pro life, she didn’t try to fight me. Instead she looked at me and said “I appreciate you, I’ve never met someone like you whose pro life but willing to listen. And you should feel special, not even my family knows about my abortion.” 

I just remember looking into her eyes and feeling this sense of pain, but yet so much love. I could also feel the mercy flowing in the room, reaching out and healing a deep wound. I went home and decided to write her a letter because I just felt God telling me that she doesn’t know of His love for  her. So I thanked her for her vulnerability, affirmed her and told her that God still loves her, and despite your pain and hurt He has never abandoned you. I will never understand this woman’s pain, but God does. And yes abortion is wrong, but God does not call us to condemn, but to love. Is it easy to love like this? No. I was terrified she would get mad that I wrote this faith filled letter, that ended with me clearly stating that I still think abortion is wrong. But like always God provided and consoled, and after I returned to work she thanked me for the letter. She said she loved it. 

Now I don’t tell you this to be like “hey look at me”. I say it to show you that God is alive in each and every one of us, and there are little opportunities each and every day to show God’s love (even in secular places). Be not afraid. The Gospel yesterday talked about going out to the lost, and the day before the Gospel talked about how Jesus looked out at these troubled and abandoned people, and He said the harvest is plenty, but the laborers are few. The Gospel calls us to be harvesters, and reach out. It’s uncomfortable, yeah, but being crucified for your sins was even more uncomfortable. The kingdom of God is at hand. Now go tell the good news. 

There is a King above all, and He loves us. 

“Worry not about your death, but rather not living in communion with Christ”

What if I Change My Mind?

Something Jesus and I have been talking about lately is changing ones mind. Everyone wants people to change their minds, but it’s so hard to change our own mind. And I’m not talking about changing your mind on big things like the faith, abortion, or things that are very black and white. I’m talking about changing your mind on mission, vocation, careers, our calling, etc. These things are not so black and white, and we like to think there’s right and wrong answers, but let’s  take that weight off your shoulders. Jesus indeed has desires for us, just like some of you have a mom who want you to go to med school or seminary, but even if that ends up not being your calling your mother still loves you and so does Jesus. We have to remember that choices like these should never be looked at as a means to an end, but rather an end in themselves. 

As you should know by now, Jesus calls us to different places sometimes just so we can learn something about ourselves. Going to Chicago and falling in love with it, and really feeling God’s presence, and maybe even discerning living there, doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t move there. But it also doesn’t mean discerning it is a total waste of time. Not discerning it would have been a waste of time, because when you do not surrender your desires to Jesus and spend time asking him what they mean, you miss out on learning not only who He is, but also who you are. This world tells us you will be more satisfied with your choice if you have less options, but Jesus says “ I did not send you into the world to be satisfied, because the world is not your home. You are in this world to thirst.To thirst for something more.” This is not ice cream flavors we are talking about here folks. And if you want a simple choice, choose Heaven or Hell.

I’ve been reading the Gospel of Luke lately, and the other day I was reading about the man with many demons who nobody wanted to be around. This man was an absolute out cast. Jesus came and cast the demons out of him and into the swine. Then the man was free, and he sat at Jesus’s feet. He desired to know more, but Jesus had to go. The people there were completely moved by fear, and they wanted Jesus out of their town. The man whom He had cured of the demons, begged our Lord to stay. He was afraid to stay with these people, and to be abandoned. And that right their struck me, and it struck me hard. Jesus turns to this man and tells him to stay, to be grateful, and share the truth with others. He sent the man home, despite his begging. 

This struck me because sometimes in life we go running to what is holy, but not by faith, rather fear. We are afraid if we don’t go on the big mission trips, go be a priest, or travel to the ends of the Earth spreading the word, that somehow we are not enough. This stayed with me for days, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. After battling the discernment of religious life, and then wondering if I’m called to go do mission after I graduate, I’ve realized there’s more fear then faith behind my desires. Not that these are not good things, but fear does not come from God. Doubt and confusion does not come from God. And as I started to realize these things the weight came off my chest. I started looking through the Gospels seeing all these times where the disciples thought they were called to do one thing, which was a good thing, but not what Jesus wanted them to do. One person that came to mind a lot, was my man St. Peter. Peter wanted to build tents during the transfiguration, he wanted Jesus to stop talking about mystical things so Jesus could live longer, Peter even wanted to follow Jesus to the cross. Yet, Jesus again and again rebuked him. I mean look back to when Peter first met Jesus, he was washing his nets, he was ready to go home. THen Jesus comes along, and drags him back out to the water, and you know the rest.Throughout the Gospel we see Peter and Jesus go back and forth, piecing together right from wrong, what desires should be followed, and which should be left behind. And the whole time Jesus loves him, even when Peter denies Him He loves him. Through and through.

So my friends, do not be afraid to change your mind. Do good, but avoid evil. Look to the Saints. St. Louis and Zelie Martin wanted to join the religious life, but God had other plans. St. Maximilian Kolbe probably would have loved to stay with his Marian militia, but he was called to bring Mary to that concentration camp. St. Theresa would have loved to go unnoticed for her work, and she hated having her picture taken, but God had other plans. Or my Newman Center director Max (not a Saint yet), really wanted to be a priest, but the seminary booted him, because God had other plans for him, and he is very much needed in his vocation now as a father, husband, and director of our Newman Center . Going to seminary provided him so many tools that he stills uses now. So as John Paul the second always said “Be not afraid”. God is with you always, and He will never let you go astray. Do not let that icky feeling of maybe I wasn’t really listening or praying hard enough drag you into turmoil. Sometimes our desires tell us what feels like home, it pushes us to leave or stay. But home is where the heart is, so place yours in Heaven.

P.S. Mission looks different for everyone, but everyone is called to it so there! That’s all I had left to say.