Heavenly Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and transform me into
the Christ-like holiness you desire. Increase my zeal for your kingdom
and instill in me a holy desire to live for your greater glory.

Amen.

What Lent Meant to Me. 4.8.12

It’s been a long 40 days full of struggles, temptations, and finally redemption. This year served as my third year practicing lent, however it was my first actually Catholic. I was very anxious for Lent to come this year. I was ready to fully partake in this Lent season. But I didn’t realize how much God would show me about myself. Lent truly was a season of rebirth; even for the girl baptized just a year ago.

To begin Lent, I gave up what distracted me most from God, social networking. Facebook. Twitter. Pinterst. Tumblr. Gone. The lack of connection to the outside world allowed me to connect more deeply to the one above.  

During Lent, if we allow it, our God reveals to us every aspect of our life that we can improve on. Through His son, Jesus Christ, we are shown an example of how we are to live.

How Lent changed me…

  1. Given the time to reflect on myself and my relationship with God, I was able to see how focused I am on how I am seen by others. I have always felt the need to prove to people that I am good person and a firm follower of Christ. But the truth is, I don’t need to prove anything to anyone. My life was not placed here to win the approval of the world, but to glorify my father in Heaven.
  2. I now realize that I am not as righteous as I first believed. Avoiding major sin and going to church does not make you a holy person working towards sainthood. Lent is about dying to one’s self and leaving behind worldly desires to follow Christ.
  3. Suffering is actually a good thing. It is through suffering that we come to truly know Christ and become one with Him through His suffering on the cross. We cannot expect to be risen with Christ without suffering with Him too.
  4. The most holy people who made a contribution to the world through their faith focused on one thing. They focused on not this life, but the next. The eternal life with God. We can truly experience grace when we live this life focused on the next.
  5. A worrier by nature, God showed me how to place my hope and trust in Him this Lenten season, which consequently showed me how to loosen my grip on materialistic things.
  6. I now know that no matter how hard I try to please the world with my work, my looks, my words and whatever else I spend too much time on trying to impress people with, God sees not with the eyes, but with the heart.

With all insecurities and distractions set aside, I realized the most profound enlightenment of my 17 years, I am worth dying for. Even if I was the only person in the world, Christ still would have came just to save me from my own sin. And that is love.

It is my prayer and hope that everyone else’s Lent season was one of spiritual renewal and rebirth.

God’s Peace,

Hailey

"Why people are so eager to reject God’s love and discourage those who are happy accepting His love, I’ll never know."
"Our desire for happiness was placed within us by God and can only be satisfied by loving God and doing God’s will."

Who’s Your Daddy? 1.3.12

Today’s Readings:

Do you remember your baptism? Most “Cradle-Catholics” probably don’t; but for the ones who were old enough to remember, you know that it was a pretty epic day. You were cleansed of original sin, you accepted Jesus into your life, and… you became a child of God.

So what makes the child of God so special? You are the son or daughter of the King of Kings. The creator of the universe knows you by name and loves you exactly the way you are. From every detail of your DNA to knowing what you did last Friday night, He loves you anyway. He sees more than your appearance and hears more than your voice. He knows the very depths of your soul. He loves you and wants to lavish His love on you. When you are a child of God, you are offered an out of this world love that lasts for an eternity.

What does God ask in return? For us to abide by His law and put our hope in Him. That we may believe that He does everything in our lives to bring us closer to His everlasting love.

More Than a Friend 1.2.12

Today’s Readings:

The first reading for today is very blunt. Basically, it says that the Father and Son are a package deal. It is not possible to have one without the other. In order to know the Father, we just confess the Son. It is through the Son, Jesus, that we can come to the Father. Also, the reading talks about liars. Who is a liar according to the bible? Anyone who denies Jesus Christ as the Son of God, or the Father and Son; And this kind of liar is also referred to as the Antichrist. Sounds pretty harsh. Are there times in your life when you deny Jesus? Maybe by your actions, thoughts, or even lack of faith?

Responsorial Psalm: All the ends of the earth have seen the saving power of God.

In our Gospel for today, it is the time when the priests and Levites came to John. They asked if he was the Christ. He admitted and denied that he was not the Christ. John also stated that he was not worthy to untie the sandal strap of the one coming after him, Jesus.

Sometimes we can get a little too casual with Jesus. He is our friend, but He is also so much more than a friend. He is the Son of God; meaning he is fully human, and fully man. We should come to Jesus at all times in life, but we should also be very reverent towards Him as well. After all, He’s God.

(Source: usccb.org)

Mass Readings Reflection 12.28.11

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents and Martyrs.

Today’s Readings:

In more plain words from the our first reading, we are told that we cannot say we follow Christ and lead a life that shows the opposite. Jesus wants not a part of us, but all of our being. He wants our hearts, minds, and souls. Following Christ is not hobby or a way to spend an hour and a half on Sunday’s. It is a full time commitment. However, God understands that we are not perfect. There is hope, because…

"If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just
and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.”

Our responsorial psalm proclaims, "Our soul has been rescued like a bird from the fowler’s snare."

In the reading from the Gospel of Matthew, we read about when the angel of the Lord came to Joseph in a dream warning him to leave Bethlehem, and escape to Egypt to protect Jesus from Herod’s attempt to destroy Him. As fate would see it, King Herod ordered his soldiers to kill every boy under 2 years old in the area. Jesus was safe, and consequently, what was said by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled.

God always does what He says He will. Always.  

(Source: usccb.org)