Miles Christi

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." -Ephesians 6:10&11

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Nicole received her new name! Guess what it is..........Sr. Catherine Marie (Catherine is for St. Catherine of Sienna). It is so hard for me to get used to calling her that. Emily guessed it beforehand, so she gets the surprise. :) The ceremony was sooo beautiful, and the priest who said the mass is the priest they'll be working with over in Russia. He happened to be in America visiting during her investiture, so he could celebrate the mass!

Us girls found ourselves pulled into singing for the mass which didn't please me very much since we had to practice for about 3 hours, and I can't sing in the first place. Alicia's voice AFTER 3 hours of practice is really not fun to listen to. She probably would have done better without a choir! It ended up fine since several singers showed up last minute. We had a harp, violins, cello, and Lizzy played the flute. It was gorgeous!

The weekend was very busy but very happy. I am so amazed at Nicole's willingness to sacrifice everything to give her life completely to serving Christ. She is so happy too-the happiest I've ever seen her in her entire life! I was thinking about why it's so hard to find young people willing to even consider the religious life, and I think it's because--First, we don't trust that God loves us unconditionally and desires that we have happiness even more than we ever dreamed. Second, Today we're constantly absorbing all this "ME" stuff. We don't know what real love and sacrifice are any more. It's easy to view God as someone watching from above but from quite a distance away. He lives His life and we live ours. When in reality, God never forgets each one of us, not even for an instance. He waits for us to run to Him (just like the prodicgal son--I constantly have to:), and give our lives over to Him completely regardless of what our vocation in life is. He is our loving Father. :)

I already miss my Sr. Catherine! :( BUT she gets to come home for a week-long visit! So it's all good, and we'll have plenty of time to make up for years of lost arguments. ;) juuuuuuuust kidding nicole!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Sorry I haven't posted in forever! That is...if I have any readers left. ;) Life has been rather hectic lately, and it's hard to find time to write, but I'll try to keep up. I certainly need the practice writing.

I love the saints. Ever since I can remember, I've been reading about their lives, seeing all their virtues, listening to what they have to say. I haven't known about Pier Giorgio Frassati for long, but he's becoming one of my favorites. He came from a prestigious family, was athletic, hardworking, had many friends, and loved practical jokes, yet at the same time, he lived totally for Christ with a sincere love for the Eucharist. He wrote, “Approach the Communion table as often as you can. Feed on this bread of angels. There you’ll draw the energy you need to fight inner battles.”Pier Giorgio also loved the poor and sick. He sought them out in the slums to help them. “Jesus comes to me every morning in Holy Communion,” he said, “and I repay Him in my very small way by visiting the poor.”

One of my biggest struggles growing up was being Catholic and trying to fit in. I found out that I'll never "fit in". I couldn't go to every party, join in every conversation, wear every passing fad, or watch every movie, but I have discovered that life is so much more exciting when it's lived the Catholic way. ;) You never know what's going to happen next. Jesus WILL hear every prayer, feel every pain, share in every joy, send you a million blessings, and certainly be with you every second of every day. Who needs to be afraid?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

This morning I got the chance to go to confession to an amazing priest. He is so Christ-like and gentle. He told me that Jesus loves me. It sounds so simple, but to actually hear it and hear the words of absolution is beyond words. I understand more every time why we have the sacrament of penance. Jesus created us as sensual human beings, and He works through those senses. I can tell Jesus as often as I want that I'm sorry, but it's nothing like hearing in return that He forgives you. Father Straub taught me a simple prayer by St. Alphonsus and told me to say it often. "My Jesus, my all. You love me, and I love you." He reminded me that it was important to make sure I said the "you love me" before I said "and I love you" because Jesus loved us first. He loves us not because we love Him, and He will never stop loving us no matter how we fail. All day long, I've been in bliss thinking about this. I feel so free and happy. The thought came to me that maybe we wouldn't struggle so much with scrupulosity (seeing sin where there is none) or laxity (not seeing sin where there is sin) if we really knew and believed Jesus' love for us. "Love casts out all fear." With complete trust in Jesus, I would never have a crippling fear of sin, because I know that Christ sees my intentions and when I do fall, He wants me to come back to Him more than I could ever desire to be back in His arms. I would never be careless with sin because I would desire to respond to Jesus's love by pleasing Him, sort of like a little girl happily bringing a flower for her daddy just to make Him happy. It's a free and joyful giving. Of course, we're not perfect and will most likely struggle for the rest of our lives to stay in the center following Jesus every step of the way. I know I certainly do. ;)

Friday, June 02, 2006

Lately, it has been very easy to see God working directly in my life. Well, I suppose it's been obvious my entire life. There have been the occasional dry moments as well, but I can look back and see that He's been there every step of the way.

I grew up in a divorced family with major tensions over religion. Courtrooms, fiery arguments, lots of tears, and little money. For us girls, it really came down to being a Baptist and being close to our dad or being Catholic and being close to our mom. I guess that we stayed close to mom because it was natural for us to be drawn to her affection and love, and I think we saw the huge sacrifices she was making. Yet at the same time, I see today that it was a huge grace that God gave my sisters and me. I do wish that we could've had a happy home with our dad there as well, but even so, I wouldn't change a thing now. I remember one day about 2 or 3 years after my family moved to Bancroft, stopping and thinking, "Wow, we've made it!" The constant fear of losing everything that had haunted me pretty much my entire childhood was gone. I mean all of us girls are about as close as sisters can be because of what we went through together. We love our Catholic Faith enough to die for it since we know what it's like to have it nearly taken from us, and we have a better understanding of our faith since we had to study it to defend it. Finally, the rift in our relationship with our dad is healing now that the struggles have calmed. See! God knows what He's doing, and our family is living proof that God never allows anything bad to happen if something better can't come from it. We just need to trust Him.

I have a million other stories of how I've seen God there for me, but a few of my favorites are praying to find a friend on my way to a conference and then randomly meeting one of the best friends ever, Missy. Then not long after, I met Caroline at CAT. :) Finally, my very favorite was pretty much getting pushed into ISU last minute. I was fighting almost to the end...then on the first day, I met the best guy in the world, Kyle. God does have a sense of humor. ;) -Pax Christ, you all-

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Anyone have a fantabulous idea for a theme for our pro-life fairbooth? Emily and I have 3 days to come up with an idea. Eek! It has to be attractive to youth as well as adults. Last year it was ..I think atleast..."SURVIVORS: 1/3 of every generation since 1973 has been killed by abortion." It ended up working well. Now we just need a new theme.

We could go with the whole breast cancer thing, since it's such a big issue today, but i doubt the guys would be too interested in that. ;) Otherwise, there is the Dr. Seuss "A person's a person no matter how small." However that may be too babyish....augh. I'm too tired to finish thinking right now. This'll have to do for tonight. If you have any ideas let me know. okay?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I'm SO excited because my sister's Investiture ceremony is going to be this June, and she receives a new name. She has been waiting for this day for a while now. :) She's made guessing her new name a little contest for us girls...whoever guesses it first is to receive some odd sort of surprise (hmm. that could be a bad thing knowing Nicole and her practical jokes). She said her name will include Mary, Marie, or Maria, the saint is a doctor of the Church, and the name could be masculine or feminine. Whatever she means by that! Beyond guessing her new name and having a cool ceremony, there is so much meaning behind it all. Taking a new name represents taking on a new and totally different life; the habit is there as reminder that we're not meant for this world but the next. We're here to know, love, and serve God. There is a lot more to it, but I'm not exactly sure what it is. If Nicole ever reads this, she'll probably comment and elaborate more least I hope.

Religious have always been inspiring to me. Every time I see them, it causes me to stop and reevaluate my life. They're a reminder that, as St. Therese said, "Life is a moment between two eternities." The world is so distracting and flies by so quickly that it's hard for us to come to a halt and focus. I was watching a movie on St. Teresa of Avila yesterday, and I was struck just by how in touch with God all of the sisters were. They had sacrificed everything to live a simple life of prayer and penance behind closed doors. They had their imperfections, but they were always concious of God's presence. I ran across a beautiful quote by Josemaria Escriva just a little bit ago. He said "Jesus, let my distractions be the other way round. Instead of recalling the world when I am engaged in conversation with you, let me rather recall you when I am engaged in the things of this world."

I want to be that focused!

Monday, May 29, 2006

I've never done a blog before, but I've had several friends tell me that I should give it a try. So I am! I'm sure my blog will be random just like I am, but I'm going to try to focus on faith and pro-life issues. If you know me well enough you probably could have guessed that yourself. ;)I'll try to be a consistent poster, but who knows. Feel free to comment! -Pax Christi-