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

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