Lent reflections.

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Hello all!
I hope Lent is going well for you. We are into the 3rd week of Lent and continue to trek along to get closer to Christ. Fish sandwiches seem to be all the rage on Fridays, haha.

But you want to hear some hard honesty?
I’ve been sucking at Lent lately.

I originally had planned on many different goals to do during Lent this year. I was going to give up soda, read scripture every day, and go to adoration once a day. Well… let’s just say that hasn’t stuck with me. But I have been fasting on the Fridays like we are suppose to.

This fasting and sacrificing for Lent has got me thinking. We have people within the Catholic community who give up trivial things like sugar, soda (like myself), or junk food. And while this sacrifice is a good way to show devotion and love towards God it made me think… is this really what Lent is about?

While I haven’t yet made any real personal commitment to sacrifice or dedication to God quite yet, I am thinking deeper on the meaning of Lent. It is a time to retreat from the world and really dive into the junk drawer of our sins. How are we going to clean out that junk drawer before Jesus arrives on Easter Sunday? I deeply desire to do something truly meaningful and life changing this lent… but I want to make sure that I am doing them for the right reasons. It’s never too late to start. Even after Lent we can continue to sacrifice our worldly pleasures for the Lord.

Next week I am off to Denver to attend a discernment retreat. I am very excited and eager to see how religious life live their day to day lives! While right now I’m not leaning towards religious life I am still open to it. I’m excited to see where God directs my attention and I pray that I will be open enough to see His will pull me. I hope that if God exposes His will to you that you respond with peace and joy!

If today you hear His voice, harden not your heart.
Til then. God bless!

– Carleigh

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Catholic Communication: Speaking with God

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Hello all! It’s been awhile, hm?

Here at home the winter has been getting a little bit chilly and school is starting to wrap up for the semester (thank goodness!). So I’ve been a bit busy!

I just wanted to quickly write up something that’s been on my mind recently…
How do you know when you’re actually communicating with God?

This question has puzzled my mind since becoming Catholic. Actually it wracked my brain when I was agnostic as well. I’ve always had trouble figuring out how to really talk and listen to God. However, I think I’ve finally got it figured it out…to some extent.

But what does scripture and the saints say?
St.John says that we know all things through the Holy Spirit. “But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.” And St.Paul says that God enters our very thoughts. “Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.”

God inspires our will without us even realizing it. I’ve come to notice that God speaks to me through my thoughts and desires. Granted, God will not speak evil to you. So if you are having evil thoughts… that’s definitely not God talking to you. But many are not aware that God speaks to them because they simply aren’t listening.

Notice I’ve italicized the word listening twice already? It’s important.

The way we speak to God can be through many different ways. Just simply talking to Him while alone is what I tend to do. I have formal prayer, but while I’m driving I like to mull over the happenings in my day and hash it all out with God. He’ll listen. He LOVES listening to us! However, with that in mind, we should be returning the favor. No relationship deeply develops if just one person is doing all the talking, right?
In order to fully connect with our Lord we need to listen. Be silent in prayer and just let God speak to you. This doesn’t come easy as first; I remember having so many thoughts jumbled in my head I couldn’t imagine how the heck God was going to squeeze Himself into that mess. But with practice it’ll come. Just ask the the Holy Spirit to help you and slowly that relationship will deepen. Just don’t expect to come to you quickly. It takes sweet and precious time.

This article from Catholic Exchange is a wonderful resource and goes further indepth about the topic: http://catholicexchange.com/how-to-hear-god-speaking-to-you

With Advent beginning within a couple of weeks I challenge you to draw closer to God! I promise He won’t lead you astray.

Til then! God bless!

– Carleigh

Curse of a lukewarm Catholic.

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I think the sin I grapple with the most is being lukewarm.
I’m pleased to know it’s nothing to deal with sexuality…but a sin is a sin regardless.

I have been lukewarm ever since I was first introduced to the concept of God. Even when I was a self-proclaimed unbaptized protestant I was lukewarm. I would believe and be passionate about God for about 3 months and then that desire would suddenly fall off the face of the earth.

It’s terrible.

But first of all, what is a lukewarm Catholic?

They go the church out of habit and don’t understand why.
They typically don’t pray (guilty!)
They don’t see a problem with missing mass.
Don’t stick up for their faith when confronted.
They mortally sin, or have no clue what a mortal is actually is.
Usually have beliefs that flow alongside with the world and not what the Church teaches.

I, personally, am terrible when it comes to daily prayer. It’s something I just typically don’t think about from my day to day. When I do realize I haven’t hardly prayed I feel terrible because I know I’ve neglected the Lord! Prayer is the only way to become closer to God, if that is what you desire. Going to mass is what is going to kick start that fire.
Often I pray to God to set me ablaze with passion so that my flame can kickstart others as well.

“I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.” – Revelation 3:15 

Yep. It’s not a good thing. Nobody wants to be ‘spewed’ from anything.

So if you’re reading this and having the same problem; it’s a sign! It’s a sign to get up and off your computer and say a quick prayer. Jesus loves ANY kind of prayer because he desires to deeply to talk to you. He wants to be connected to you in all ways. And if you worry that you’ll never get out of this funk; don’t worry. Whatever you ask God with good intention you’ll receive in a way that God has planned for you! Go to adoration if you can. I swear you won’t forget it!

Til then. God bless!

– Carleigh

New Beginnings.

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Hey guys!
Long time no blog, huh?
Life got a little hectic since school started. A lot of big changes have happened and it’s taking me a little awhile to get used to it. God is definitely working in my life and right now and I’ve having a bit of a hard time trying to decode all of his desires for me.

So, to put it simple, my boyfriend of almost 3 years and I broke up about a month ago. It was bit earth shaking moment to me because I was fairly certain he was the one I was suppose to be married to. But God had been pulling on his heart for awhile to follow His will, and after several days of meditation I finally accepted it. I decided to not fight against what God is calling him to do. And no, he’s not becoming a priest haha.

Sometimes what God wants for you isn’t really what you want to do. I’ve learned that over the past few weeks. I’ve also learned that what God wants for you is SO much better than you could ever imagine. I keep telling myself that when I’m having my rough moments. Right now, I can’t fully understand God’s plan for me. But that’s okay because I know I’m not the first one to struggle with that.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6

For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. – Psalm 48:14

In my time of weak moments I am learning to rely more on the Lord everyday. Through this separation I’ve noticed that my relationship with God isn’t near as strong as it should be. I want Jesus Christ’s love to completely fill my heart and I want that love to glow so brightly that others can see it. I want to stable and secure myself down as a woman of Christ and in the past I haven’t been able to do that. I need to fall completely in love with Jesus Christ before I could even consider becoming a wife or mother…because I want to be the best wife or mother possible, and I can’t do that with a second rate version of myself.

Through all of this I’m learning to trust God and His plan. I’m learning to discover parts of myself that I like and don’t like. Aspects I want to change or improve. This journey has been tough, but honestly I’m happier this way. Plus, I’m pretty excited to see what God has in store of me.

I hope all of you guys are doing well. I’ll try to get back on track and regularly writing! Til then, God bless.

– Carleigh

Explaining the Catholic Faith to semi-curious Non-Catholics.

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Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you. - Proverbs 9:8

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you. – Proverbs 9:8

The other day during work I had a discussion of religion with a coworker. 

It had been awhile since someone had been asking me about questions concerning Catholicism. What was humorous about this discussion is that my coworker didn’t know I was Catholic til about half way through the conversation, haha!
I love it when people bash on Catholics in front of me without realizing my religion because I honestly just take it with a grain of salt. I used to be the same way (but let’s save that for another blog post!). The way I look at it, they bash and speak poorly about Catholics because they just really don’t fully understand how deep and touching the faith is. So, I try to explain and answer their questions to the best of my ability. 

What I noticed, however is that my coworker had several questions. She mentioned her curiousness about where one would be able to find out about praying to saints in the bible. So, with the best my memory could muster up, I attempted to answer her. (By the way, if you want to know why Catholics pray to saints there an article that explains why here.) When she got her answer, she seemed a little disgruntled. 
She asked a few other questions that I don’t remember. All I really got from our conversation what that she wasn’t ‘buying’ it. But there were other factors that were brought up that got me thinking a little deeper about her situation. 

There was something mentioned about how she hadn’t gone to church in 2 years because she didn’t enjoy the pastor and viewed him as someone who shouldn’t be in a higher position. Also the view she had of Martin Luther was, in my opinion, a little skewed. Like most protestants, she believed that if you just believe in Jesus Christ that you would be saved. But what struck me the most about our conversation is that even though she asked many questions she never fully accepted my answers for her. 

I’ve realized that over time that sometimes as Catholics we can fully explain and answer others in either detailed or simplified ways. I mean, we have a freaking reference book for our church! It is a book that is fully detailed and outlined every single aspect of our religion instituted by Jesus Christ himself! But sometimes people are just not going to accept your answers. Some people can question all they want and receive an answer they were asking for, but they are not open to fully accepting that answer because it doesn’t go along with their picture (whatever that may be).

I’m sorry, but no matter what your opinion is you can’t tell me that as a believer of Jesus Christ that He would build a faulty church. 

When people ask you the same questions over and over about the Catholic faith, don’t be short tempered with them. If they don’t accept your answer, it’s alright. At least they have enough questioning about it to even ask in the first place! It’s God trying to prepare them for something greater than themselves. It all starts with a question. It all starts with a desire to want to know the truth and we must be patience with others when doing so. It’s not always easy to be that way when others are kicking down your faith but that is why we must be strong! You can never go wrong with the truth of Jesus Christ by your side! 

Have you guys, as Catholics, realized this as well? Do you have any thoughts or suggestions about this? Let me know!

Til then. God bless! 

– Carleigh

Defending The Faith.

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As Catholics we are constantly challenged by the world to prove ourselves and our Church. When starting this blog it never hit me that I would have to actually do this. Defend and protect. It is called in our sacrament of confirmation to do this but I was unsure if God would ever really throw those challenges in my direction. None the less, He seemed to throw a curve ball my way!

When publishing my first post, my introduction, I received a comment. The e-mail popped up in my account and I was apprehensive whether to approve it or not. I’m one not to shelter away from opinions, so I thought I’d make a whole blog post about it! The comment went like this (word for word, I may add):

“well if your touting cataholic dogmas on your blog,, then i seriously doubt as to whether there will in fact be anything useful on your blog at all,, except to those that are just as deceived as you are..!!”

Upon reading this several thoughts jumbled into my head.

  1. I wonder why this person disagrees with the Catholic faith?
  2. I’m fairly sure I am not deceived by anything.
  3. The term ‘useful’ is always left up to the opinion of the person.

It does not bother me that this user has their opinion and wishes to speak their mind online. In fact, I am always open to discussion of Catholicism and I’m glad they felt comfortable enough to leave a comment! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and each opinion should be respected in it’s own way. However, there is only one truth. As Catholics we are not trying to convince anyone or trying to persuade them into converting, we are only informing. That is our job as Catholics and this is what God calls us to do (Mark 16:15).

If you don’t believe in God, that’s fine. If you do and don’t agree with Catholic teachings, that’s fine as well. Catholics, however, are not going to stop just because of this. We will continue to preach to non-believers and believers alike because that is what Jesus Christ instructed that we do.
Believe it or not, Catholics are suppose to evangelize as well.
How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? – Romans 10:14

We as Catholics can defend our faith in many ways. With the Catechism of the Catholic Church (which is all scripture sited, by the way), the Bible, and historical accounts. People may try to persuade me otherwise but because of the amount of proof the Catholic Church has it was the main reason that I decided to convert!

Here is a really informational video from Catholic Answers that I found that I think would be helpful to other Catholics.

If you’re a Catholic who actively has to defend the Church, you are in my prayers! We need more people who will stand up and correctly inform others of our beliefs! And do not give up!

“There are not more than 100 people in the world who truly hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they perceive to be the Catholic Church.” – Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

God bless!

– Carleigh

Hello & Welcome!

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Hi guys! 

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This is my friend Paige (on the left) & I! She’s pretty awesome.

Let me introduce myself… I’m Carleigh and this is my blog: The Thrifty Catholic! I’m so glad you could stumble upon my blog and hopefully you’ll be able to obtain some useful information on here! 
This blog will kind of be a cluster of things ranging from religion, lifestyle, reviews, and other miscellaneous things going on in my life. So, in a sense, this blog represents myself. 

But first, here are 10 facts about myself. 

  1. I converted to Catholicism over the past year of my life. I came home to the Church and was finally baptism, confirmed, and had my first communion on April 19th, 2014. God is great! 
  2. I am a college student majoring in Communications (currently) and my goal is to work for some sort of non-profit organization! Fingers crossed! 
  3. I really love reviewing products and giving my opinion on things. Like, a lot. 
  4. My favorite bible verse is 2 Timothy 1:7. For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.
  5. I am left handed! 
  6. I adore thrift shopping and getting really good deals! I am a bit frugal but I love shopping, so thrifting suits me very well! 
  7. My nail polish collection is HUGE. Well, in my opinion it’s huge. I would say I’m happily addicted to nail polish. 
  8. Fall is my favorite season. I love being bundled up in a scarf and throwing on a cardigan! Call me old lady-like, but I can’t help it. 
  9. I am apart of Sigma Alpha Iota. It is a international music fraternity for women. If you’re apart of it, contact me! I’d love to get in touch with a fellow SAI sister! Vita brevis ars longa! 
  10. I long to become a catechist for the Catholic Church. I love to inform people about our beautiful faith and how much meaning Jesus put into His Church. Hopefully I will be able to become one soon! 

That seems to be all for now. I am very excited to see what entries this blog entails! I’ll try to update and post frequently. Til then, God bless! 

– Carleigh