Love the Lord

Yeah, that’s nice, but how? I don’t know about you, but this whole love thing is really difficult. We are living in a time when many of us really don’t know what love is. How can we possibly know how to love God with our whole heart, our whole being, and our whole strength when our divorce rate is so high, our children are being raised in single parent households, and there is perpetual strife in family life. The closest thing many of us knows to love is our pets. Is that what God means, should I love him like I love Puddles? 

I think it’s important to note that the deepest forms of love are simply the intimate exchange of persons. When it comes to us learning how to love God with our whole heart, whole being, and whole strength, it starts by coming to an understanding and acceptance of the fact that God loves us with his whole heart, his whole being, and his whole strength. Take a second on that and remember that God is infinite, unlike us. His whole heart, whole being, and whole strength is so much more expansive than we could ever understand. 

The more we recognize God’s unending love through the sacraments, through the scriptures, and just through his magnificent creation, we can learn to love him more fully. Be like a child that learns from mimicking. But don’t copy the fallen man, copy God’s example of true, deep, life altering love. 

This post is an excerpt from my devotional, Reflections Through the Bible: Deuteronomy. It is available for purchase here.

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God’s Blessings

Unreal! This week’s memory verse is unbelievable; the Israelites have been messing up and dying left and right, but now they go to battle, and not one of them dies. It just goes to show the tremendous power of God. I’m just in awe of it all. This whole book really makes me stop and think about who God is. I think in the other books we’ve done in this series, I’ve had a much more introspective and comparative look at myself and the people. Not that I’m not still doing that here in Numbers, because I’m definitely like the Israelites when they mess up, but I really see the forgiveness of God in this book.

God’s timing is so perfect, and we see this week how his timing works. In chapter 14 the Israelites tried to fight a battle and they lost miserably. They didn’t wait for God’s timing, they wanted to take what they wanted without first consulting God or following his holy will. This week we will see what happens when the Israelites do choose to wait. They go to battle at the time when he determines and they take holy objects with them to war. This gives them strength as they go forward, knowing that they are following the Lord’s plan and are receiving the gifts he has been offering to their forefathers since Genesis.

In our own lives, it’s important to count our blessings. I don’t know about you but sometimes when I’m in a dark place spiritually, I look around and it’s just darkness everywhere. I can become so stressed and lost if I don’t take some time to count my blessings. I keep a page in my journal dedicated to reminding myself of the blessings of God. When I start to feel like a sour grape, I go back to it and review the things he’s done for me. A little reminder of the fact that I am a child of God like the Israelites, is all I need to adjust my attitude and take on the day.

This post is from the Book of Numbers bible study. Please join us as we go through God’s word together where we will learn so much about ourselves and our Lord. You can find out more information about the Bible-A-Day series here.

This blog is my way of sharing my faith with the world. I want to show young people, being Catholic is amazing and that God loves them infinitely. To help me in my mission to share the gospel with teens and young adults, please prayerfully consider becoming a contributor. You can find out how here.

week 7

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I’ve written a devotional for the book of Numbers. In it, I share reflections for each chapter of the book along with a memory verse, a contemplation question, and space to journal. If you’re interested in that book, check it out below!

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The Consequence of Bad Priests

I’m really struggling to write this post because I learned about a bad priest in my diocese today. A friend of mine, who has always been disillusioned with religion had a poor experience when he was going to baptize his child. The priest told him that he needed to be tithing to the church for several months before he would baptize the baby. This is NOT Church teaching, tithes are to be done according to one’s heart, and priests cannot deny sacraments for arbitrary reasons. I was sure to confirm with my friend that it was about tithe, not about going to Mass. When one baptizes a child, they commit to raising that child Catholic. To be Catholic is to attend Mass all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation. That’s not what the priest was saying, it was about the money, not the frequency at which someone frequented the Lord’s house.

Another friend of mine was married at that church last year, he also had a difficult experience. I asked him how the Pre Cana and natural family planning classes were, he had no idea what I was talk about. I asked if his wife received Reconciliation before their wedding, he didn’t have answer and wondered why that would be relevant. Him and his fiance were living together before they got married, I asked if they priest talked to them at all about refraining from sex until after the wedding. He asked me why it would be any of the priests business.

This priest has chosen not to follow the God’s prescriptions concerning sacraments as stated by the Church. I cannot tell you how furious I am. The reason I am so angry is that bad shepherds lead to lost sheep. Neither of my friends are church goers, and my one friend is not raising his son in the faith. Why? Because a servant of God did not accurately share the teachings of the Church. He denied a sacrament to a child because his father wasn’t paying tithes! He allowed a couple in a state of mortal sin to receive a sacrament! How backwards is that? I can’t blame my friends, because they don’t know any better, but it is the responsibility of the faithful, who know the truth, to stand up and be hold other members in the community responsible.

So I wrote the priest an email asking to set up a meeting. I hope he is receptive to what I have to say. I will, of course, be respectful and also prepared. We, as members of the Body of Christ, cannot allow bad shepherds to lose sheep for any reason. It is because of bad priests and the laity’s silence that many of our brothers and sisters choose not participate in the sacraments, and don’t even know what they are missing out on. This was the case during the Protestant Schism, it was the case when it was discovered priests were violating the fundamental human rights of children in the church, and it may even be happening now. We must protect the souls of our brothers and sisters, by respectfully holding Church leadership accountable.

I will meet with priest. If he chooses not to meet with me, I will go to the bishop. If he chooses not to meet with me I will meet with the cardinal. If he chooses not to listen to me, I will write a letter to Rome. I will not tolerate anymore of my brothers and sisters being lost.

This post is from the Book of Numbers bible study. Please join us as we go through God’s word together where we will learn so much about ourselves and our Lord. You can find out more information about the Bible-A-Day series here.

This blog is my way of sharing my faith with the world. I want to show young people, being Catholic is amazing and that God loves them infinitely. To help me in my mission to share the gospel with teens and young adults, please prayerfully consider becoming a contributor. You can find out how here.

week 6

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I’ve written a devotional for the book of Numbers. In it, I share reflections for each chapter of the book along with a memory verse, a contemplation question, and space to journal. If you’re interested in that book, check it out below!

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But Who Do You Say God Is?

Our Lord is so big and he has so many attributes. One of the greatest things about our journey, we have the opportunity to discover more about God every single day. His love is so endless and we will never be able to describe the fullness and depth of him while we are on Earth. I have been asked several times what the day of my baptism was like. It wasn’t just baptism, though. As a convert, I received all three sacraments of initiation all in the same day: baptism, confirmation, and Eucharist. It was the most amazing day of my life and I’m not entirely sure how to describe it. It was like having Gandalf the Gray hand delivering my Hogwarts letter and having The Doctor take me to school where Sherlock taught Defence Against the Dark Arts. It was basically skipping through a field of tulips with a puppy on a spring afternoon followed by ice cream that never melts. Full of sparkle and sunshine!

The point is, God is so big and beautiful that the day I received my sacraments I was so overwhelmed at the notion that I was chosen by God from the beginning to be his daughter. He loves me so immensely he went to Calvary’s hill for us to be together forever. The two places we come to get to know the person of God is in the sacraments and in the scriptures. At my baptism I felt God’s love and mercy, but he’s so much more. More than words could ever adequately explain. He’s gentle, protective, he’s knows how to challenge me enough that I grow, but never pushes me to break. His grace and his presence are constant, even when I’m unaware.

One of the most important things we can do is know we are loved, loved infinitely and completely. He is kind, generous, forgiving, creative, expressive, and so much more. We are called to dive deep into our relationship with him. This week, I hope you come to know the Lord and to make not of some of his many attributes.

This post is from the Book of Numbers bible study. Please join us as we go through God’s word together where we will learn so much about ourselves and our Lord. You can find out more information about the Bible-A-Day series here.

This blog is my way of sharing my faith with the world. I want to show young people, being Catholic is amazing and that God loves them infinitely. To help me in my mission to share the gospel with teens and young adults, please prayerfully consider becoming a contributor. You can find out how here.

week 5

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I’ve written a devotional for the book of Numbers. In it, I share reflections for each chapter of the book along with a memory verse, a contemplation question, and space to journal. If you’re interested in that book, check it out below!

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Learning to Forgive Myself

In my experience, forgiving myself for past mistakes is far my challenging than forgiving others for the poor choices they have made. I strive each day to be better than the day before but I often fall short of that goal. There are so many things we struggle with that seem like the silent battles we face throughout the day. But even the wounds that can’t be seen, can still cause us pain and suffering. We should put all of our challenges at the foot of the cross, especially these hidden ones.

Learning to forgive ourselves is an important practice. We have to understand that, although we are children of God, we are still fallen creatures and will fall into the temptations of sin. You are not perfect. As long as you are here on Earth, you will never be perfect. It’s a fact of life we need to face, but it isn’t one that defines our existence. God is the one that defines our existence. The scriptures tell us that he will remove all sins, including the little secret one’s we hold on to. Psalms says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our sins from us” (103:12).

Accept this form of love from our Lord. I know it’s difficult, but allow his great mercy to wash over your heart and all the things you hold in it. He waits on the cross to forgive you, to love you immensely, and to take away all pain. He seeks to build you up, not to tear you down. So many of the things we hold on to, hold us down. They weigh on us and keep us from becoming the men and women God calls us to become. Remember, you are set apart for the glory of God, to be his child and to shine his love into the hearts of all people. This is an important job that requires our full attention, we can’t harbor self-hatred in our hearts. There is simply no room for it.

This post is from the Book of Numbers bible study. Please join us as we go through God’s word together where we will learn so much about ourselves and our Lord. You can find out more information about the Bible-A-Day series here.

This blog is my way of sharing my faith with the world. I want to show young people, being Catholic is amazing and that God loves them infinitely. To help me in my mission to share the gospel with teens and young adults, please prayerfully consider becoming a contributor. You can find out how here.

week 4

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I’ve written a devotional for the book of Numbers. In it, I share reflections for each chapter of the book along with a memory verse, a contemplation question, and space to journal. If you’re interested in that book, check it out below!

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Listen to God

Moses is very fortunate to be the intimate friend of the Almighty and to have the opportunity to hear God so clearly. Unfortunately, because of the Fall, the rest of us are not so fortunate. We have to find other ways to hear God and know we are walking down the right path. As I said in this week’s video, there are a lot of ways to listen to God, and he will communicate to each of us in the way we are most receptive to it.

I hear God most in nature. I’m a very indoorsy kind of person, so I wonder what that says about the state of my spiritual journey. But in my experience, I have found that when I shut the world out and take a nice walk in nature, I feel so connected to the Lord. The wind in the trees, the birds, the sound of water, all these things put me into an attitude of gratitude for the great Creator. It also humbles me to see how tiny I am. In the grand scheme of time and space, I’m entirely insignificant if I don’t have Christ at the center of my heart. I’m reminded of the great blessing it is to be a person made in the image of God. And although these animals are special and beautiful, they aren’t human, they can’t bring glory to God the way can, they can’t unite themselves to the risen Lord like I can. I have a responsibility to serve God. Getting outside is one of the best ways Jesus gets ahold of me.

When praying there are few things to keep in mind. I don’t know about you but my prayers can sometimes be all petition, now glorification or thanksgiving. That’s one of the reasons I like to pray outdoors. Helps me get into the right frame of mind for prayer. I want to share with you a few things to keep in mind when you are trying to listen to God in prayer.

  1. Be humble: You don’t actually know what you need, you know what you want, but not what you need. God knows what you need, and only he has the power to give it to you. When you go to prayer, try to always have a heart open to his holy will.
  2. Be thankful: You are a special, beautiful, unique creature of God. He loves you so infinitely that he died a painful and shameful death, just so he could spend an eternity with you. Be thankful for his sacrifice, and all the things he does for you every single day.
  3. Be clear: I think this is one we don’t talk about enough. When you pray, know exactly what it is your praying for and why. Being specific in prayer is more beneficial to you than to God, but it helps you see things with clarity, instead of the abstract. For example, pray for $1,000 so you can pay your rent, don’t just pray for more money. I found when I do this, when I receive the blessing I ask for, I feel a strong sense of accountability to use it correctly.
  4. Be silent: There was one day I was deep in prayer and I felt the Lord say to me I talk too much. It’s true, I do. Everyone who knows me I talk to much, but I also have a mind that runs a mile a minute. The Lord needed to remind me to be still and know that I’m stressin’ for nothin’.
  5. Be receptive: This is easily the hardest one to follow. Getting into the practice of being receptive to the Lord’s will can be a challenge, but it is one that is very important. We should always be striving to unite our will to his. He knows what’s best and will bring it to fruition, but he may ask us for some things. We must work to be accepting and receptive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and the will of the Father.

Prayer is just one of several ways you can listen to the voice of God. Most of us don’t have the prophetic gift of Moses, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to discern his voice and follow his plan in our lives. This post is just about prayer, if you would like me to write about the other ways God may communicate with the faithful, let me know. I’d be happy to do so!

This post is from the Book of Numbers bible study. Please join us as we go through God’s word together where we will learn so much about ourselves and our Lord. You can find out more information about the Bible-A-Day series here.

This blog is my way of sharing my faith with the world. I want to show young people, being Catholic is amazing and that God loves them infinitely. To help me in my mission to share the gospel with teens and young adults, please prayerfully consider becoming a contributor. You can find out how here.

week 3

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I’ve written a devotional for the book of Numbers. In it, I share reflections for each chapter of the book along with a memory verse, a contemplation question, and space to journal. If you’re interested in that book, check it out below!

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Generosity

This has been the hardest post to write in the book of Numbers. Probably because I’m not a very generous person. I spoke in this week’s video about the three different ways one can be generous. Like all of us, I’m better with some than others. I’m typically pretty generous with my treasure. I live at home and don’t really have any bills so I don’t mind giving money to those in need. I always tithe 10 and give to an second collections when I can. I also love giving to the local women’s health center. They do a lot of good work, especially considering there is a Planned Parenthood right around the corner. The things they do in my community, especially in post-abortion counseling and care, is so important. We also do collections for under funded churches in the city or around the world. My home parish has some partner parishes where we help raise money for them. I’m happy to do that.

When it comes to talent, I’m not really sure what my talents are. I think I have a talent for talking, I can talk A LOT, always have. Although I’m not sure if this is a God given talent, or the test of patience for the people around me. I do have a lot of words and I have used them to start a blog and YouTube channel. Of course, it is a goal that these things will help me earn a living, not necessarily for purely philanthropic purposes.

Finally, there’s time. This one is by far my hardest one. I’m an introvert and one of my primary love languages is quality time. I have found I have a difficult time receiving love so I’m very cautious…selfish, about how I spend my time and who I spend it with. Although I’m a talker, I’m not much for social interactions. I’m not the person anyone calls when they are going through a rough patch, I am not the girl who will take you out for a cup of tea to discuss your breakup. I think this is the one I’d like to work on. In general, I’ve been wanting to do better with my socialization and being a friend to people. It’s a struggle, but I know it’s important.

Any tips on how I might be more generous with my time?

This post is from the Book of Numbers bible study. Please join us as we go through God’s word together where we will learn so much about ourselves and our Lord. You can find out more information about the Bible-A-Day series here.

This blog is my way of sharing my faith with the world. I want to show young people, being Catholic is amazing and that God loves them infinitely. To help me in my mission to share the gospel with teens and young adults, please prayerfully consider becoming a contributor. You can find out how here.

generous

Contains affiliate links.

I’ve written a devotional for the book of Numbers. In it, I share reflections for each chapter of the book along with a memory verse, a contemplation question, and space to journal. If you’re interested in that book, check it out below!

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God’s Path for You

My brother is in that phase of life where he is trying to figure out what his best case scenario is. He’s contemplating how he wants his life to go and what he needs to do to achieve that scenario. He has asked me a few times what I think of my best case scenario and how much time I spend thinking about the future, what I want to do with my life, etc. He’s also asked me what I thought of his dreams and plans, which I’m always careful how I respond.

I’m now at the place in life where I don’t need to contemplate the future. I know that God often laughs at our plans because it is really all about his plan for our lives. I want to live a life dedicated in service to the Lord of my life so that I can become a saint! I’m not here on Earth to muse about the future, but to buckle down and get the business.

It’s important for the faithful to take a couple minutes to stop thinking about all the best and worst case scenarios in life, and ask the Lord what his plans actually are. Remember God’s plans are always for good, he wants to unite you with him in heaven and, if you let him, he will only allow things in your life to bring about that end. We (myself included) need to stop having this idea that we don’t want to experience any challenges or adversities on our journey, these are sanctifying! They can bring about a great testimony that will help draw more brothers and sisters home.

The last point I want to make this week, I said in the video, but I think it is worth repeating. When it comes to discerning the will of God, there are few things you need to check it against.

#1 Is it in love? All things that come from God are to be done in love. If there is a sense of self promotion, pride, or anything negative, it probably  isn’t from God and you need to do some more soul searching.
#2 Is God sending the same message to someone else in your life? In my Reflections book I talk about how, although my family doesn’t understand what I’m doing, Father Sports and some close friends of mine are being very supportive.
#3 Are you being patient? God’s plan is consistent, I’m going to be talking about that in this study. He isn’t going to put something on your heart and then take it off. You will have a pull in the direction the Lord wants you to go for a long time.

These bible studies are my mission. I know that all my life, God has placed a desire on my heart to pursue him. I’ve had my ups and my downs in this, but I know this is where he wants me to be. I’ve always loved reading God’s word and I think it’s important to share. The internet is definitely a place that needs more of the Lord and less of the world. So this is my mission, to act in love to bring about the glory of God.

This post is from the Book of Numbers bible study. Please join us as we go through God’s word together where we will learn so much about ourselves and our Lord. You can find out more information about the Bible-A-Day series here.

This blog is my way of sharing my faith with the world. I want to show young people, being Catholic is amazing and that God loves them infinitely. To help me in my mission to share the gospel with teens and young adults, please prayerfully consider becoming a contributor. You can find out how here.

week 1

Contains affiliate links.

I’ve written a devotional for the book of Numbers. In it, I share reflections for each chapter of the book along with a memory verse, a contemplation question, and space to journal. If you’re interested in that book, check it out below!

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