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

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

Catholic Memes Thursday!

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Hello hello! Hope everyone is doing splendid on this Thursday night!
I thought it’d be fun to post up some Catholic memes for you guys so you could have a chuckle. Everyone needs a good laugh before the weekend starts, right?!

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"Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you."

“Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.”

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This one made me laugh SO hard!

This one made me laugh SO hard!

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

Hail, Holy Queen by Scott Hahn book review.

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Have you ever read Hail, Holy Queen written by Scott Hahn? 
You should. It’s simply amazing

Excuse the backwardness of the photo, haha!

Excuse the backwardness of the photo, haha!

I check out this book from my local library (and have yet to return it sssssh). I wanted to read a Scott Hahn book because I think he’s an amazing guy. I figured his books would be just as awesome as his discussion and recorded CD’s. I definitely wasn’t disappointed! This would the only Scott Hahn book my library carried, so quickly I checked it out. 

It took awhile for me to begin reading it, and I mainly read it during my adoration hours. It’s an wonderful explanation of the Blessed Virgin Mary and how she is most certainly our eternal Mother in Heaven. This book helped me realize just how pure and wholesome she is and how Jesus wants us to respect her just as he respects her. I have several moments of grace hit me while reading this book. As a Catholic I appreciate her, but this book has helped formed me to love her. 

The book explains with scripture why we should respect Mary. Hahn explains with the Old Testament and New Testament how Mary has really been there all along. Hahn beautifully explains her to all of us and I couldn’t not help write something about it! It was published back in 2001, so the book is about 13 years so it’s probably available in any local bookstore. You can purchase it on Amazon for $11 brand new (or a $1.33 from used!). 

The art on the cover of the book is gorgeous as well. 
jpegSo, small story short, I’m not going to go over highlights of this book because I really don’t want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read it! But there are several statements in this book that took me aback and made me say “WOW“. If you a Catholic looking for another good read, I recommend this! Hopefully you’ll find an appreciate for our Blessed Mother through this book like I did! 
And since this a post mentioning Mary, I figured I’d throw the Hail Mary in to the post (because why not? 🙂 ) 

Hail Mary, full of grace the Lord is with thee. Blessed are you amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Til then. God bless! 

– Carleigh