Reconciled to Himself

Leaving the country for a week with no access to any media, and then coming into a country that has gone into a panic is kind of scary. I turned off my phone and there was only 11 cases of corona, then I come back a week later and there are thousands. School has been canceled, many people like myself are not able to work, grocery stores are empty, and events are canceled. Somehow amidst all this chaos, I feel at total peace. I actually appreciate that America values the life of its people enough to shut things down for a while till things are more under control.

All this has me thinking though, what kind of panic would people be in if they could see the condition of our soul like we can our flesh. For many of us, there would be a stench of a long festering infection, blood pouring out, we would be fragile and malnourished. Lucky for us there’s hope. We have a savior who has come to break us from the bonds of death, and set us free. By His cross death and resurrection, has set us free. There’s only one condition ‘Repent and believe in the Gospel’

And if we truly repent and believe then we should know that when our soul is sick with sin, we need to let God heal us through the sacrament of confession. Catholics always seem to want to avoid this sacrament, but I think it’s because the devil recognizes its power and will stop at nothing to make sure we do not go. Confession makes us one with our heavenly Father, it breaks the chain Satan has around our feet. Keep in mind that the sacrament of confession was created by Christ himself, and is not just something made up. Jesus told his disciples that he has sent his spirit down upon them so that the sins that they forgive will be forgiven by Him.

If that doesn’t convince you to go to confession even though it’s literally Jesus saying that, maybe a little testimony will. This week in Trinidad while I was on mission God put a lot of emphasis on confession in my heart. During the mission we lead a couple retreats for students, and the Holy Spirit was on the move, I saw hundreds of people go to confession, and for most of them it was the first time in a long time. There was one particular man I had become friends with in Trinidad, and Father Gabe was giving a talk about being made for a relationship with the Father, and he emphasized the importance of confession, and it really struck this young man’s heart. After the talk I asked him if he would like to go to confession, and he was like yeah I’ll go tomorrow. Then I sat there a few minutes, and the subject changed, but then I said “You telling me you’ll go tomorrow, is like you looking at me with a giant hole in your neck and telling me to take you to the hospital tomorrow.” He looked at me and said “Yeah you’re right” then after a little more discussion he went to confession for the first time in two years, and he came out with a big smile on his face.

This moment made think about all the people in my life who I love and wish that they would go to confession. It also reminded me of when I went for the first time in 4 years after dabbling in lots of mortal sin. It felt like I took off a bag of bricks. And when I received communion in the state of grace like we are supposed to I was able to fall more in love with my savior. People always tell me “I can’t do it, I’ll cry” or “This is between God and I.” Let me tell you one thing I’ve heard thousands of people’s testimonies of both men and women who have gone to confession for the first time and years including myself and they cried. And that’s OKAY. I remember one time going to confession about some heavy sins and crying about them, and the priest instead of dabbling on my sin like I thought he would, he asked “Woman why the tears?” and proceeded to give me words of comfort and peace, I felt like the woman at the well in that moment, and for penance he said “I want you to go sit before the monstrance and let Jesus tell you how beautiful you are.” So I did and I wept, because I realized in God’s eyes we are more beautiful then we could ever imagine. 

GO TO CONFESSION! Feel the scales come off your eyes. People often act like it’s a walk of shame to go to confession.  I felt that way too till I was at a conference and someone said walking into confession is like a bride walking down the aisle, she’s worried about messing up her makeup, and noticing all these little flaws, but then there’s the groom who is completely taken away with awe at her beauty. His heart is so entranced, he notices not a single flaw, and he is beyond excited to call this woman his. Jesus is the groom and you are the bride, and he looks at you and says “This one is mine.”

On top of all this I just want to share a turning point I had while in Trinidad. We had gone up to mount St. Benedict, which is a mountain where Benedictines live. I had been wrestling with some wounds in my heart, and had gone in to the chapel to pray, and then I just had this burning desire to go to confession. Not because I felt shame, but rather because that’s how badly I wanted to encounter Jesus. I continued to kneel there and cry because I felt like these wounds he had revealed were just bleeding out, and I desired so much to be with him at the foot of his cross like Mary, just clinging to it. Then I had collected myself and was still there kneeling, and Father Gabe knelt down and said something about he would be hearing confessions outside, but internally all I could hear was a voice say “I will see you now.” So I finished praying, then went outside and found Father standing on the edge of this embankment that faced another mountain. The wind was blowing against us, and it was like being surrounded by the power of the Holy Spirit. I confessed my sins, and when Father couldn’t hear the first thing I said, he had me repeat it. Which is such a minor detail, but I felt in my heart the Lord so intently wanting to listen to every word I had to say. And I could feel His gentle gaze in my heart. Then Father said the usual, but also asked that I just trust Jesus, and for penance go to our blessed Mother for guidance. There was nothing profound about anything I said or in what Father said, but for whatever reason I was moved to tears. God had given me the grace to recognize the beauty of what happens every single time I go to confession, and let me tell you it makes me just want to go tell the whole world to go to confession. The way that Jesus was so attentive to my heart, and the way he looked upon my soul, and washed it clean. I felt this closeness like never before. It reminded me of the transfiguration where the spirit of the Lord comes down in a cloud, saying this is my son with whom I am well pleased. I felt so captivated and totally surrounded exteriorly, but also so fulfilled interiorly. I felt seen. I felt loved. I felt forgiven.

I know that I’m not always going to feel this way when I go to confession, but I recognize that God gave me that special grace, and I will go forward knowing that is what happens every single time even though I cannot feel it. Oh how close He is to our hearts, oh how sweet His love. Praying for you all, stay safe, repent, and God bless you all. See you in the Eucharist.

And He Rebuked Them…

This past weekend I was blessed to attend our Newman center’s  Camino retreat. It was so beautiful to watch students, some who were not even Catholic, fall in love with Christ in the Eucharist. This weekend I also was able to just sit face to face with Jesus and reflect on a lot of things. Lately, the word rebuke has been on my mind. In bible study last week we read: “When the days for his being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way, they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?”Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village” Luke 9:51-56

The girls in my bible study and I laughed at the disciples’ response. Like who did these disciples think they were? why would they ask that? But then it wasn’t funny anymore because I realized those disciples are just like me. Like myself, I love Jesus, but just like them, I have allowed myself to build up this anger. I have become angry with the evil of the world. I am angry that people do not care to know Jesus, that they continue to live in sin. I have become impatient that no matter how hard I try to get people to go on these retreats, or come to bible study, they still say no. Jesus looks at me in this anger and he rebukes me. Not because He hates me, but because He loves me. The anger I am in is a place I can not remain. No, He wants me to remain with Him and in Him. He who is love, He who is rich and kindness and slow to anger. He says to me “my daughter do not lash out on them. He who lives by the sword dies by the sword. Instead, console me, let them see you loving me, do not let them see you act in vain”. 

I also just had to sit in His gaze and remember that Jesus loves me for me. He does not love me because of my zeal for souls, or because I bring this person or that person to Him. No, He loves me. Sitting there in my frustration and feeling defeated, I heard His still small voice say “I just want you.” And in a world that wants you for all the wrong reasons, and constantly pulls and then pushes you away, it’s nice to just hear those words. Like what a beautiful reminder of the relationship with the Father that we are made for. 

God doesn’t love me because I write blogs, or because I go to mass or anything that I do. His love is freely given. And yes it hurts to see tik toks of a girl dancing joyfully in the waiting room of an abortion clinic, yes it hurts to hear ten thousand excuses as to why someone is to busy to come see Jesus, yes it makes me angry to watch them crucify my Lord. But nothing gives my heart more joy than to sit at His feet as the nothing that I am and let His love and mercy wash over me. 

And I thank the Lord for being willing to rebuke me, to remind me that I am not this mighty something I pretend to be. He sweeps me off my running raging feet and says no you’re wrong. He loves me so much that he is willing to call me out, willing to remind me who I am, remind me that I am so small that I can fit inside His hand. And I pray that Jesus continues to rebuke me, and remind me to be gentle, and slow to anger. Man, I just love him so much, and I love coming away from weekends like these where I can literally see Him loving all of you in such an intense way.

He teaches me how to be humble. Every single mass He comes down in the form of bread. And the priest says “Behold the Lamb of God” yet so often we miss that cue. That invitation to look upon The Lord who loves us, and longs to be in communion with us. We totally miss the fact that Jesus pines for us, that He loves us. He literally comes down from heaven to be in us. So I encourage you to listen in the next time you are at mass. Hear him say “I just want you.” And I also encourage you to prepare your heart fully to receive him. Go to confession, make your heart clean. Every time you go up for communion you are receiving your bridegroom. You are literally walking down the aisle to receive the love of your life. So clean up your soul, put aside the distractions, and focus on Him. Give Him your all, and remember even though you may not feel it, or hear him, you are receiving the king of kings, the God of the whole universe.Pray with your whole heart, and say Lord “I do believe, take away my unbelief.” The moment he hits your tongue, keep in mind what you have received. Be reverent, be still, and kneel not just with your body, but with your entire soul, so that the whole world knows exactly whom you are kneeling before. *heart melt*

On a totally separate note I’m reading 33 days to Greater glory, which goes through the Gospel of John and ends in total consecration to the Father through the passion of His son. And let me tell you I am only 3 days in and just barely diving into the first chapter of John and I already feel so transformed and refreshed for the love of the father. Also….. Keep my fellow missionaries and I in your prayers as we prepare to embark on mission to Trinidad. God bless you all. Thanks for reading, and special thanks to those who have given me feedback.

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

The Good, The Bad, and The Body.

This Thursday I started my normal Thursday morning with my 6 am holy hour, followed by my normal morning run with my friend Abbey, and by this point, in the week I normally already have my blog written (my week just got so full of blessings I didn’t get the chance), so all morning I was thinking of some great ideas. But it wasn’t until I was getting my butt kicked at rackett ball that I finally had this aha moment. 

If any of you know me, I’m far from athletic. I’m like 5’2 and not very coordinated, but I love participating in sports, but I love watching even more. I say this like all the time to my friends, but I love watching people do what they do best. The human body and all of its abilities truly fascinates me, and studying biology (literally life), makes me fall in love with the body even more, and more so the creator behind it. 

Like, think about it. How great is our God? Seriously, just look around. We have these ballerinas on their tiptoes, runners, basketball players (that to me are so tall that they look like they are flying as they stride from one side of the court to another in like 5 steps). And it’s not just the athletes. Every time I hear my roommate Tilena sings, it’s like the Holy Spirit just radiates from her soul. Or there are the genius minds that come up with medical advancements or figure out how the stars align. Or carpenters and artists who can do wonders with their hands. Like all of these talents blow my mind. 

I don’t think the talents even measure up to the compassion and love the bodies have too. Like have you ever seen a child come into the world and how instantly their mother rejoices after hard pain and labor? Have you seen people who go out of their way to love the poorest of the poor like Mother Teresa? Have you ever been forgiven by someone who should’ve kicked you to the curb? Have you seen how hard people work for justice? Have you ever seen someone commit themselves completely to the priesthood, religious life, or marriage and just been amazed?

Each and every day I see the goodness each and every human is capable of. I see people who give God the glory and just give themselves completely in everything they do. Whether it’s leaving it all out on the field, or emptying out your heart to the world, all of these things can be done in a way that glorifies God. It’s through the sweat, blood, toil, and exhaustion, that we finely see what passionate love truly is. Funny it almost sounds exactly like the punishment Adam and Eve were given for the fall, ha like a punishment of tough love! This passion is built through sacrifice and giving it all you got, even when you feel you have nothing left to give.

It’s crazy because these things often leave us feeling fulfilled, despite the emptying. Yet when we find ourselves in the midst of sin we feel empty and ashamed. It’s quite strange that we feel empty when honestly we know we had so much more to give. Hmmm….Maybe it’s because we are blind. Too blind to see what we were made for, and that our goodness and fulfillment can only be found in doing our Father’s will. We are made to glorify Him, and only Him. We empty ourselves out, yet our cup overflows because He is good.

There’s this passion, this zeal, this contagious love, found in the goodness of the body that is a mere blurred reflection of God’s passionate love for us. He loved us so much, that He emptied himself completely, stumbling to His throne, as He died a painful and agonizing death. And that same God comes down to dwell in us. It is He whom we receive, body, blood, soul and divinity every single mass. Every time His body hits your tongue, no matter how empty, how lost, or how broken you feel, I want you to hear Him whisper “I love you and you are mine, completely mine.”

He fights recklessly for us and claims a dwelling place within us. We are a temple in which He dwells. He looks at our bodies and sees something good. Yes, we will fall, but He will wash us clean, and make us new and whole entirely. First, we must say yes to that, and I pray that you never forget how good your body is. Do not hand yourself over so easily. Do not let them use you and abuse you. You are so loved, so beautiful, so good, and I see the most amazing King dwells within you. Do not forget that. 

So many people hand themselves over to lust. They let the temple of the Lord be defiled, and I tell you from experience it’s a dark place to be. You hand over your soul to desire and evil, it’s quite literally like letting the light of your whole world be blown out. You are the light of the world. Do not hide, shame, degrade, or defile what the Lord has made. Oh, how I wish God would convict every single soul out there to believe the truth about the human body. If only every soul on Earth knew the truth. Well, that truth has to start somewhere and it starts with you. God has chosen you. So dance, sing, run, jump, speak or whatever you do, do it with love. Glorify the Lord your God in all that you say and do. For above all things we are called to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind. What more does our God need to do to prove to you how much He loves you? Not only does He claim you as His own, but He also gives His entire self to you. To Him, you are always more than enough.

I love you all so much, and He loves you infinity. God Bless.

Blessed is the man who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proved he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him. No one experiencing temptation should say, “I am being tempted by God”; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one. Rather, each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.  Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

James 1:13-18

Beyond What I Desire

Father Chuck, my parish priest back home, gave an excellent homily this past Sunday. He talked about how Sunday’s gospel calls us to separate ourselves from sin and worldly desire in order that we might be fulfilled. He told a story about how earlier that week he received a call to go do an anointing of the sick for someone who was a non-parishioner. In his mind, he admitted, “God I really don’t want to go, like really?” Then upon arriving, he found a first grader with a brain tumor, and her prognosis was not good. He anointed her and prayed with her and her family, and left feeling fulfilled. He realized that sometimes God calls us out of a place of total convenience to a place of less convenience, but He meets us there and surprises us. He opens the door to serve Him in a very intimate way, in a way that fulfills our desires. Whether it be our desire to be loved, served, to serve, heal, whatever it may be, God sees it and wishes to fulfill it, but first, we must say yes. Say yes to a total surrender to Him, so that we can be His hands and feet.

This homily really spoke to me because over the past month it’s been trial after trial, with several periods of dryness. Every time I go pray, it’s like here I am Lord, and I know you are here and listening. I know Lord, that you love me. In my mind, I think I would rather be doing a billion other things, but instead, I get on my knees and pray. For my Father, up in Heaven promises, that even when I feel nothing He is doing something. 

I realize that sometimes God has to lead us to a place where we do not want to go in order to fulfill us. Jesus had to be scourged, beaten, carry the cross, be stripped naked, and crucified.Do you think he did it because he just wanted to or did He do it to fulfill the scripture? So that we might be saved?

If where you are now or where you might be going makes you want to turn around, or try to cheat your way through it, I want you to think about Christ’s passion. Did He take the easy way out? Or did He completely empty Himself? Could He not just as easily taken Himself down from that cross? But then again how can one conquer death if he does not first die to himself?

Think about how much He loves you, and that he wishes to fulfill you.

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.”

John 21:18

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.

Coming to Know His Voice

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”

John 10:27

We are not just anyone’s herd, we are His, and He KNOWs us, and we follow Him. Beautiful. It’s kind of ironic to write about knowing the shepherd’s voice when I just came out of the driest prayer in my life and I have to admit I was kind of childish about it. I would sit in Holy hour waiting, just waiting for Him to speak to me, begging for Him to just say something. As I sat there hoping that these few weeks of driness would come to an end I realized what a grace it is to even be able to recognize that the Lord is silent. Reflecting back on high school I remembered how I would go days without praying, I could’ve cared less whether He was speaking to me or not. I had my mind on other things, and unless something was wrong I was not going to speak with Him.  I cannot imagine how badly He wished for me to speak to Him, just to look at Him for one minute. If my weak and small heart aches to hear His voice, how much more does His heartache for us? 

So here’s a little message to all those hearts aching for Christ, and to all those who do not even know what their heart is desiring. Trust this. He has not abandoned you. I repeat He has not abandoned you. He has sent Himself down upon you, through the Holy Spirit, to bring light into your darkness. And He is looking at you. Not your problems, not your success, nor your failures, just you, just as you are. And He knows you far more than you will ever know yourself, far more. And He loves you and He is speaking to you in ways you have not even thought of. It’s important to also remember that every divine part of the Trinity is a being, not just an idea or some dogma. Therefore prayer is always a two-way street, a conversation, and exchange of love. Prayer doesn’t even have to be words, it can be the simple acknowledgment of one another’s presence. Like one of those great friendships where you don’t have to say a word, but you both can put away your thoughts and distractions and just be in their presence.

To pray is to have a relationship with God. Through prayer, we come to know His voice and recognize Him as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Through prayer, we are invited into a deeper intimacy unlike any other, and we come to know ourselves more through the eyes of our creator. A good way to start to recognize how God speaks to us in our everyday lives is to read scripture more. It makes me sad to see so many people just use the Bible to memorize some verses and then slander people with it, or condemn others for how they live. I firmly believe that the bible is the living word of God, and therefore it should never be used to condemn someone or be twisted into someone’s own convenient interpretation. We should read it and put ourselves into the Gospel, allowing Christ to speak to us, to guide us, to allow us to know His heart’s intentions. We should read it and ponder on it in our hearts, and not just read the easy ones, but also the verses that are a little harder to swallow, the ones that speak that gentle whisper of “Come and follow me”. Find those verses that allow you to hear God calling you to Himself. To hear that call for unity, peace, perseverance, and deep trust. Learn from scripture how the church ought to act in one accord, or how to pray, or His promises, or His miracles and reckless love for us.

Scott Hahn is a theologian I really admire. Through his love of scripture, he was able to recognize God’s voice and had a total conversion of heart when he recognized that scripture came to life in the celebration of the mass. It takes this kind of openness to be able to recognize His voice and where He is calling you. So often in life, we worry about the decisions we have to make, our vocations, where we should go to school, the purpose of our trials, and all these crazy things that make our minds just race. If only we could find rest in the spirit, and go forth just trusting. I keep thinking back to my first communion and how we sang “Yes Lord, I will come and follow you, follow you wherever you go.” I remember singing that and being overjoyed to finally receive Jesus in the eucharist. My young mind did not question it, my heart was set on Him, and at 7 years old that girl most certainly would have followed Christ wherever He went. I begin to ask myself what changed? Certainly, Christ has not changed. I think what changed for me and most of us can relate to this, is probably the fact that as I’ve grown older I’ve made a lot of mistakes and the worldly view of love has gotten in the way of divine love. I stopped trusting myself. I stopped trusting that my body was good, I stopped trusting that God loved me, and therefore I stopped believing I was His. So even though God was speaking to me, and calling me to Himself, I was too ashamed to answer, and over time I just tuned Him out. But thank God for the loving Father, who will leave the 99 to find the one. My God never stopped chasing me. Even after getting out of a very sexually abusive relationship and continuing to struggle with self lust, and giving up on faith, He came to me in dreams, in songs at mass, through others, until I finally had to make the choice to surrender. Till I finally had to walk back in that confessional and repent all the ways that I knew I had hurt my Lord and savior. Then for penance, that priest had me go into the chapel where the blessed sacrament was exposed and let Jesus tell me How beautiful and loved I am. It wrecked me, and I just cried a lot, to be honest. Then from that day forward, there was a lot of hurt, but so much healing. I was able to let the Lord put the broken parts of my life back together, and look back even to my moments of dark sin and see Him standing there looking at me with arms wide open, ready to take me out of that darkness. I was able to recognize His voice. I was able to hear His call for a life of mission, to love others with that same reckless love, His call to write you this blog just to give a glimpse of how much He loves you. Today I pray that whoever is reading this will recognize that you are His beloved and He delights in you. I pray that He heals any brokenness in your heart and gives you light and peace. I pray that we all hear His voice, and follow Him, surrendering everything, and diving into a love so great you could never ask for anything more.

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

Called to be Human

This week has allowed me to experience every emotion possible. I had an amazing bible study, had a wild bare handing (evangelizing) experience, received backlash for supporting the dignity of life, started a love-hate relationship with physics, and had some very difficult conversations, and lost something that was very true, good, and beautiful.

This lead me to realize there’s one emotion that I do not like to give to Jesus, and that is my mourning heart. Mourning in the world’s eyes can seem selfish, especially if you are carrying this expectation that good Christian is always joyful. I believed this lie. This lie that even though I was at a loss and I was upset, that I needed to get over myself and move on. I tried to reach out to my spiritual director in hopes of her having some whizzed up answer on how to get over myself, only to have an automated email reply saying that she would be on retreat till the end of the month and therefore unavailable. It was then that I realized what I was holding back on. 

As I lay there in my room, with tears in my eyes, cried out “Jesus what do you want from me?” Then in an instant, I heard “Mourn with me”. We find ourselves wanting to pretend we are okay, but we are not. We human, and called to act in accordance to that. And I repeat that WE are HUMAN, NOT God. When we lose something true, good, and beautiful, it’s supposed to hurt. We are supposed to mourn a little. We need to remember we are called to live as both flesh and soul, and if we think our feeling and emotions are selfish then we have forgotten that our bodies are good. In prayer, I felt very called to just meditate on the sorrow of Mary. Thinking of Christ’s cold, broken lifeless body being laid in her arms, and hearing her voice pierced to the very depths of my soul. Then I thought had Mary sat there and said here I am Lord, next big fiat let’s go. Would she really be faithful, or would she be selfish? I think the answer is clear. Had Mary not shed a single tear, it would have been selfish, it would have been a shame. To not acknowledge your own heartache before the Lord who knows all, is selfish. You are lying to Him, you are lying to yourself, and you are not glorifying Him in that at all. 

So remember this. When Jesus heard that Lazarus was dead, He wept. Even though he knew Lazarus would rise He still wept. So in those sad moments, Jesus weeps with you. And when Jesus saw hardness in people’s hearts, what did he do? He grieved. So when we refuse to mourn the loss of what is true, good, and beautiful, or grieve for the hardness of people’s hearts, we stop acting out of compassion. We stop recognizing the parts of our hearts or the world where Christ has been shut out. We go numb, we stop caring about the loss of unborn children, we stop caring about those who are at rock bottom, those affected by terrorism, even those who don’t know Jesus. If you are not willing to acknowledge your brokenness, how do you expect to realize you need saved. In this world we will experience brokenness, we will see brokenness in others, but remember God’s heart has been broken a billion times….. and why? Because His heart breaks to save yours. God loves you.

“To pray is not to evade reality and the responsibilities it brings, but rather to fully assume them, trusting in the faithful and inexhaustible love of God”

Pope Benedict XVI

About me

Hello loves! My name is Mikayla Olson. I’m from Iowa and currently attending Northwest Missouri State studying Biology education. This blog has my weekly reflections on what it means to be a beloved child of God, what it means to have dignity, not because of who we are, but because of who He is. Praying for you all. Peace, love, and joy be with you!