Thursday, February 28, 2013

Farewell, Benedict XVI!

A year ago, I saw Pope Benedict XVI in person twice. I was overcome with love and respect for him as the leader of the Catholic Church on earth; the successor of St. Peter. Today, this man is resigning as Pope and following God's call to live quietly and simply. I know a lot of people will do nothing but hate him and spread lies about him for this decision, but I only respect him more for it. 

I, too, am in a position right now where I am making decisions that people think are stupid, or cowardly, or a waste of my time. But I am trying to follow God's will for me, so it doesn't matter what people think or say. Pope Benedict has done an incredible job leading the Church through times of trial in the 8 years he has been reigning. No one has any right to judge him but God, and I will not judge the people who lash out at him. I will continue to love him and pray for him as he slips into the shadows to pray for every one of us for the remainder of his time here on earth. 

Of course, I am sad to see him step down. I was ten years old when he was elected, and I remember sitting in the living room, watching the news coverage of the reelection, waiting to find out who our new pope would be. I was bouncing up and down on the couch and shouted, "This is so exciting! I've never seen a re-poping before!" I had no idea who Joseph Ratzinger even was when he walked out as the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI, but I immediately loved him and couldn't wait to see what he would do.

God bless you, Papa Benedict, and may you live in health, peace, and joy as you leave the papacy at the promptings of the Holy Spirit! Thank you for all you have done!

 I also pray for whoever will succeed Pope Benedict. Holy Spirit, come over the Cardinals, and please help them choose a man who will be like Jesus for us; someone who will show us how to be like Jesus. Give us a saint, someone with fierce holiness and unending love for Your people. 

Through the intercession of Bl. John Paul II, Bl. John XXIII, Mary our most Holy Mother, and all the angels and saints in heaven, I pray, Amen.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day 2013

Today has been wonderful, especially because I am loved by God. In response to this, I made Him a Valentine.

"A VALENTINE?" You may say. "For GOD!?"
Why not? I love Him more than anyone else in the universe, so the least I can do is glue a little paper Valentine into my journal for Him!

In other news, I received plenty of chocolate to keep me from being overly penitential during this Lent (thank you, Steve!), and watched the movie Anastasia with my younger sister instead of writing history and literature papers. It has been a LOVELY day.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone, and may God bless you and show you how deeply you are loved!

"In this is love: 
not that we have loved God, 
but that he loved us 
and sent his Son 
as expiation for our sins."

- 1 John 4: 10

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Satisfied by God

I hope all of you are having a good, holy, and relatively happy Ash Wednesday! Fasting can be painful, but I'm pretty sure dying on the Cross was INFINITELY more painful for Jesus than anything we're going through right now. I am giving up my Tumblr for Lent, so I will definitely stop neglecting this blog and flood it with posts, I promise : )

Anyway, today I have come to a realization that God has a perfect plan. I have been aware of this for a long time, and I talk/think/pray about it a great deal. However, TODAY, through an e-mail from a friend, I came to the fullest awareness I have ever experienced of the fact that GOD HAS A PLAN, that is living and active in my life. 


You remember Melina, my dear sweet wonderful friend who I met last month? She mentioned me and my blogs in her latest video (this is the sweetest thing ever, Melina, thank you!). I have been keeping in touch with her via e-mail, and she has been so kind as to pray for me as I wait patiently for God's will for me this year to be revealed. She asked me how this discernment was going, and I told her that so far I have come to be at peace WITH waiting on God, but I have also deeply discerned my call to marriage in a way that was unexpected and beautiful.

In response, with the theme of waiting, Melina told me about this amazing reflection that is attributed  to St. Anthony of Padua:

“Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone, to have a deep soul relationship with another, To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.
But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied, Full and content with being loved by me alone, with giving yourself totally and unreservedly to me. With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with me alone.
Discovering that only in me is your satisfaction to be found, Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship, That I have planned for you. You will never be united to another until you are united with me. Exclusive of anyone or anything else. Exclusive of any other desires or longings. I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow me to give you The most thrilling plan existing… one you cannot imagine. I want you to have the best. Please allow me to bring it to you.
You just keep watching me, expecting the greatest things. Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am. Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you. Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry. Don’t look around at things others have gotten or that I have given them. Don’t look around at the things you think you want, Just keep looking off and away up to me,  Or you’ll miss what I want to show you, And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love Far more wonderful than you could dream of.
You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready, I am working even at this moment. To have both of you ready at the same time. Until you are both satisfied exclusively with me.”
-St. Anthony de Padua
I think I've heard about this reflection before, but it wasn't until Melina told me about it that I looked it up and read it. 
This has convicted me to the core.  The root of this conviction is the partial realization of the PLAN that God has for me. Three years ago, I went to my first NET retreat. It was an all-girls retreat, and I remember in my small group, we started talking about boys. Trust me, at a girls retreat, boys are discussed in depth. One of the girls told a story about how when we deeply desire to find the person we're called to marry, we have to fall in love with GOD before we can fall in love with a man. 
I think it's safe to say that I fell in love with God on that retreat. I was swept up in His goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and love. Through that retreat, I came to a point in my faith where it was MY OWN. It no longer mattered whether or not my parents stayed Catholic and made me go to Church and pray. I was going to pursue God FOR MYSELF, because I had tasted what He had for me, and I WANTED Him.
Today, it has been three years after that retreat where I heard this idea for the first time, that before we can find the person we're made to love, we need to find God and fall in love with Him. I have since  made the best friends I've ever had, deepened my relationship with God step by step, and actually applied for NET. Everything is connected somehow. And now, when I have truly, deeply, insanely discerned my call to marriage, I have my dear Melina, who sent me to these beautiful words from St. Anthony. 
I have had a beautiful and crazy year so far, and its only February. I am praying and praying about what my future holds, and I keep finding I have only been satisfied by God Himself. Yes, I'm called to marriage, but I can't find and love my future spouse until we are BOTH satisfied by God. 
God alone satisfies our every human desire. This post is ridiculously long, but if you stuck it out this far, I pray that you will let God satisfy you, no matter what He is calling you to. 
Have an awesome Lent! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I just realized that my dear Anne Marie has been waiting to hear whether or not I got accepted to NET Ministries!

I did not. I received a letter two weeks ago saying that while I was not accepted for this coming NET year, they are going to contact me this October and ask me to strongly consider reapplying. The same thing happened to my older sister when she applied, and she was accepted the second time around and served for two years.

Will I reapply?

I have no idea. I really don't. I want to, but at the same time, I feel like maybe I'm just not cut out for it. The demanding lifestyle of a missionary sounds really awesome to me, but also really scary and difficult. I only applied this year because I knew God was asking me to. Now?

Well, now I am waiting. Waiting is super hard. It's boring. And it's also kind of scary. Because I have no idea what God wants of me anymore. Fortunately, God has given me peace about waiting, but's WAITING. I have no idea what this year holds for me. All I know is that just hours before I read that letter, telling me I would not be serving on NET this coming school year, God promised me an adventure.

And He's promised that it will be amazing.

So. That's what I've been up to. Sorry for totally leaving you hanging, Anne Marie!

Sunday, February 3, 2013


I love this beyond all words. The music. The animation. The love story. 

Perfect in every way. 

Enjoy : )