Friday, 8 December 2017

Advent - A Time for Peaceful Contemplation

In the Old Testament, the Jews waited hundreds of years for the coming of the Messiah. They watched, prayed, and hoped one day Our Blessed Lord would come to the earth. I am sure at times, with all the trials they faced, the years could not go fast enough and Jesus' coming seemed it would never be a reality. They went through an immense amount of suffering and tribulation, and finally, when the time was right, Our Blessed Lord came down from heaven and was born in a manger.

Advent will soon be upon us, the time in which we will prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ, just as the people of the Old Testament did. Yet unlike the Jews who did not know Our Lord, we know Him! We know Him in all His miracles, in His resurrection from the dead, and all the proofs we need to know He is the true Lord. The Jews had none of this, all they had was hope and anticipation for Our Lord. They clung to the prophecies of His coming, but could hardly imagine the immensity of good He would bring through His life. And yet, we not only have proofs, but Jesus Himself sits within our tabernacles waiting for us! If the Jews could see into the future, I’m certain they would be shocked. When God would come down for them, only a single High Priest would be able to go into the Holy of Holies to see Him. God wanted to prove after His coming how merciful He is after His coming. His Sacred Heart burns with the desire to make His presence and grace available to all who seeks it. Let us then remember a few simple points to help us keep the spirit of Advent.

The Old Testament was a time of justice and order. After the fall of Adam, God wanted to show the human race that through His will, all good things would flow from. Men were hard in their ways, and God had to use His justice in order to help men return to Him. Yet in the New Testament, when our great God came down to earth as an innocent baby, He wanted nothing more but to embrace tenderly the human race, in order to show His infinite love and mercy. In our modern times, He rests in the tabernacle, sits in the confessional, looks down from heaven waiting for our gaze to fall upon Him. Yet because our world can be so distracting and noisy, and God is so forgiving, we can often forget all these amazing realities. Life becomes tedious and boring, and we forget we are under the gaze of a God that is far more beautiful and wondrous than we could ever imagine! Do not let the world convince you God is not present, but remind yourself every day that He is watching. He watches, not in wrath and anger, but in a love we will only be able to comprehend in heaven. Let us then do our best to make our morning offering, say our prayers through the day, and try our best to stay in the presence of God. It may

seem like a chore at first, but when you realize all you’re doing is staying in the presence of your dear Father and best Friend, your perspective will change. Advent is a time for preparation for the Messiah, for the coming of Our Lord who can heal any ailment, and forgive any sin. Bring all your troubles to the crib of the Infant Jesus, for He is fully capable of granting you all that you need.

The other error we can commit in comparison to forgetting Our Lord during the day, is becoming too fixated on the mortification side of the Faith. We must consume ourselves with penance and root out the evil, until there is nothing left and we surrender completely to God. In truth, surrendering to God is the goal, but what the meaning of surrender is can often be confused in our minds. We have this picture of denying ourselves to the point of not caring for ourselves mentally and physically. We have a duty to our bodies and minds, just as we do to our soul. Penance is good, but is never the focus. The focus is always God, and the greater good He can pull from what we give him. It is as if we have a beautiful patch of grass. We hope to grow flowers from this patch, so we begin digging it up until there is nothing but a deep hole. We could keep digging and digging, in order to root out everything, but the digging is not the point. We won’t get anywhere if we don’t plant the flower and make it beautiful again. Let us pray during Advent for the grace of joy, so that the Devil cannot overwhelm us with discouragement or pride because of the magnitude of suffering we put ourselves through. Our true end is joy, and the message of Advent is the coming of this joy! Let us do all things with a spirit of peace and happiness, just as God intended.

As Advent quickly approaches, we still have a few more days to examine our souls, dust away any traces of worry and discouragement, and look towards the hope of Christmas. The hope of Christmas brings grace and consolation, and will later on bring the sheer joy of the Resurrection and triumph of Our Lord and the Catholic Church.

Find this article also on the new Catholic Family News Website:

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

The Importance of the Christmas Novena - November 30th

On November 30th the St. Andrew’s Novena, also known as the Christmas Novena begins. It is a great way to place any important intentions at the feet of the Infant Jesus, with confidence and hope in His intercession. This prayer is said 15 times a day, from November 30th until December 24th, and goes as follows,

“Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.”

 What a beautiful way to salute our Blessed Mother as a preparation for Christmas! Our Lady is always very watchful over our souls and knows exactly what we need. Yet at times our prayers of petition can seem to be left unanswered. But we always must remember that God only answers prayers that are good for our souls. What a great blessing this is! Imagine all the prayers you used to say as a young teenager had been answered. At the time you asked for these favours from God, you did not know the future and all your needs as an adult. The youth often see the world with all its bells and whistles, and forget that some of the things that are offered are often harmful for our souls. Fame and success come with a price, so our heavenly Father shields and protects us in every way He can. God knows all our needs, and carefully plans out everything for a greater good during our entire lives, not just one portion of it. God cares for us far more than we care for ourselves, and desires nothing but peace and happiness for us in this life and the life to come. St. Alphonsus de Ligouri tells us, "God wills only our good; God loves us more than anybody else can or does love us. His will is that no one should lose his soul, that everyone should save and sanctify his soul: ‘Not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.’ ‘This is the will of God, your sanctification.’ God has made the attainment of our happiness, his glory. Even chastisements come to us, not to crush us, but to make us mend our ways and save our souls."

At times though, God leaves prayers unanswered for a period of time in order to test our confidence in Him. This is when the power of a novena comes into play. St. Teresa of Avila tells us that the prayers that truly matter are those of perseverance, "The most potent and acceptable prayer is the prayer that leaves the best effects. I don't mean it must immediately fill the soul with desire . . . The best effects are those that are followed up by actions, when the soul not only desires the honor of God, but really strives for it." Perhaps we need a curing of a family member, or need assistance with our financial position, all these intentions can be laid at the feet of the Infant Jesus with humility and hope. The St. Andrew's novena is especially important to say since it is a longer novena and helps us prepare for Christmas during Advent.

But why does St. Andrew have such significance in this novena? The reason is that the First Sunday of Advent is the closest Sunday to his great feast day, and therefore we commemorate him. He helps us offer our prayers to Our Blessed Lord, just as he offered his own life for the greater glory of God and for our salvation through his martyrdom. Oftentimes when we pray to the saints, we feel they are far from us in heaven, instead of remembering they were just like us here on earth. They had their struggles, their temptations, and victoriously won in the end. St. Andrew the apostle is a great example of this. He was a humble fisherman who served God as best as he could through his daily duty. And even though his humble life did not show any spectacular works to those who saw him, Our Lord saw the greatness of his heart and called him to be one of the twelve apostles. St. Andrew is known as one of the apostles who was very close to Our Blessed Lord's heart. In John 6:8, he is known to be the apostle who found the little boy with his loaves and fishes, and later on would be known as the apostle who was crucified on an 'X' shaped cross. Though St. Andrew was just an ordinary man, he became an incredible saint that we can honour and look up to. Because this novena begins on his feast day, he can take our prayers and purify them before presenting them to Our Lord. It is always a fantastic idea to call upon a saint or angel to give our prayers to God instead of giving them to Him directly. The particular saint that we choose can use their merit and sanctity in heaven to present our intention to our heavenly Father, and plea alongside us for the intention.

 Let us then ask St. Andrew to assist us and help us grow in all the virtues we need to be perfect in the eyes of the Infant Jesus. Because once we allow God’s grace to work in our souls and stop doubting that He wants what is best for us, our lives will open up with endless possibilities and we will no longer need to feel troubled or lost. In God we will be able to find the peace we so desperately seek, because, as St. Augustine says, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.”

Monday, 13 November 2017

Perseverance in Courtship

There is an idea in our modern world that you need to date as many people as possible to make sure you find the perfect match. The Catholic Faith slowly becomes less and less an essential part of this perfection, and therefore you find yourself going on dates from online finds, from dating apps, from the bar down the street, the list goes on. And if in this process you are trying to find your vocation, it can become discouraging at times. After all, it can be very difficult to persevere in the Faith when the person you're in a relationship with sees no point in persevering in Catholicism at all.

This is why people older than us tell us to marry Catholics if we are  in the stage of preparing for marriage. No matter what we say, that we'll convert them later on, that no one else is out there (which is far from true), or that they're good people, just not religious, it will be difficult to stay faithful to your beliefs. The people we spend time with always have a certain kind of influence on us, never mind the person we desire to marry! We place ourselves in a tricky place, where we want to treasure and appreciate their ideas, and yet their ideas do not meet on the one thing that really matters - salvation. 

But this article is not meant for those dating non-Catholics, but those who have been wise and blessed enough to find a young man, or young woman to court who is Catholic. When I was younger, I did not like the word, "courtship." It seemed cold and formal to me, but now that I'm older, I understand it's significance. If we are in a healthy courtship, it is good to keep these points in mind. The world fills our minds with silly standards for a partner, and forgets the important aspects.

Forgiveness of Faults - I have heard multiple times from non-Catholics that marriage is a waste of time because most of them end up in divorce. And why is this? I understand some of the time a separation is necessary if the marriage was not valid, or abuse is happening etc., but most times it's because the worldly couple cannot work with each other's differences. Everyone has faults, everyone has troubles, and a couple needs to understand that about each other. I see so many people being passive aggressive, or getting into petty fights for the smallest thing. I'll just say, if you have the nerve to be passive aggressive to the person you're so called in love with, you really don't appreciate all that person has done for you. And never mind all the forgiveness God has given you as well! No one is innocent, and everyone needs forgiveness. A couple should be kind, patient, and gentle with each other. There will always be differences, but differences can be talked out. If you truly want to be perfect and master charity, turn down the yelling, or even worse silent treatment, and forgive the person. If differences become too much, and you realize you are not a good match, so be it. But a marriage needs to be built on understanding and self sacrifice, not anger and texts about how you didn't get that pair of shoes you wanted him to buy you.

Realizing the Sacred - If you are preparing for marriage, you are preparing for a sacred union with another person. If you are a woman, your husband will be a symbol of Our Lord, and if you are man, your wife will me a symbol of the Church. Through your union, more souls will be created for God, in order to live on earth and one dayenjoy everlasting happiness in heaven. Once we realize how sacred this is, courtship will become much more deep and serious, lessening the need of dwelling on the petty things as I mentioned above. This will lead to a deep appreciation in the relationship, and the future children that, God willing, will come along in the future, will see. You cannot hope for a perfect marriage if you put no effort into the beginning courtship. Habits take time, and if it is your habit to hardly pay attention to the person you're courting, rather than treasuring their company, marriage will be just as hard. So pray for the grace to always see sacredness in God's creations, and courtship will become easier and more beneficial to our souls.

Making Each Other Saints - What better way to get to heaven, then to have a companion assisting you down the narrow path? When God created Adam, He saw that it was good to give him Eve. We were created as social creatures, and marriage is the perfect example of that. We should prepare ourselves in this way to use our relationship to help further each other's sanctity and holiness. In our courtship, we should take the time between fun outings and romantic dinners, and look over each other's spiritual well-being. What can we improve? How can we strengthen our prayer lives together? How can we stay pure in our courtship? All these can help us become saints, and make our spiritual lives less dry and lonesome. Heaven becomes easier to attain with someone holding our hand and keeping us company on the way. How kind God is to bless us with this!
Let us thank God for creating such a beautiful world where He desires to find someone to love and care for us, and in turn love and care for them back. The world tells us just to have fun, when really they are missing out on a fun so much deeper than they could ever dream. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Halloween and Haunted Houses - Some Thoughts

As we approach the end of October, Halloween will soon arrive. In this article I don't want to focus specifically on Halloween, but more specifically these haunted houses that pop up everywhere. It may seem trivial for an article, but I'd like to expand the points into something bigger.

Some traditional Catholics cut out Halloween all together and call it the Devil's feast, while others see no problem with little children going door to door for candy. I understand those that are strict with the holiday, but never judge the others that go trick or treating. After all these innocent five year old's dressed as kitties and dogs excitedly gathering treats have no fault in trick or treating. They don't know any history, perhaps their parents don't know either. So any readers who would like to debate about the evils of this day, I understand, but there are some that take some good out of the day, and make it a fun time for their children. There is nothing wrong with that. Now that I have covered that, we can move to the point I want to make - if people want to celebrate Halloween innocently with candy and treats, why does there have to be this occurring theme of violence?

People may argue this is because of Halloween having satanic roots, but I speak more specifically of a holiday that has been very commercialized and watered down in order for it to become the family friendly holiday that it is. And yet there is always that side of Halloween that I can never agree with. Haunted houses start appearing, and the youth pile in to as many as they can. It's the principle of people using terror and violence to be entertained. It may be all fake and simulated, but why would a soul choose to see bleeding bodies and murderers chasing after you as their choice of fun? Some of these children's houses may be harmless enough, but I speak of those for adults that display the worst kind of torture and horror.

It is a culture of violence that our generation is growing up in. Whether it be these houses, or extremely violent video games, or violence on social media, we have been taught to treat the shock factor as entertainment. Our minds begin to get used to all this, and we become desensitized to it all. Nothing scares or effects us anymore, so we need more and more violence to appease our desires. This numbing of the soul can lead to people no longer caring about the effects of evil. We lose that sense of shock at the sight of a dead body, or the remorse at the idea of sin. The list continues, and the effect is anything but healthy for our souls.

I may seem petty, but firmly believe that the generations on the earth today need to relearn what entertainment is, and why we need to regain a repugnance to violence. After all, if it isn't so repugnant, why be gentle and kind to our neighbours? The fun does not lie in charity, but in shock! God never intended us to live this way, He wanted to use our desire for entertainment for the benefit of our souls. These forms of fun do not have to be reading the Bible all day, or saying tons of rosaries. It could be relaxing with friends, fostering a passion we have for an art form, learning an instrument, going on hikes, anything and everything you could possibly imagine! We don't need blood and gore to satisfy ourselves, and if we do need it we need to reevaluate things. Because once Halloween is done, what will we search for next if this is what we desire?

I will then say I understand Catholics that cut out Halloween for these reasons, and encourage them to shield themselves from a culture of death and terror. But those who go out trick or treating, there is no need to judge their carved pumpkins and treat bags. All I want to put out is that we should always shield our eyes from violence and chaos, and do our best to form our minds and desires around the good and enlightening. 

Friday, 29 September 2017

Fearing Comfort

All of us can say that we have struggled in our lives. Whether it be with our jobs, our family, or just trying to discover our vocation in life, suffering comes to all of us. Millenials especially, though they are hardly taken seriously, have a very difficult time themselves. They are trying to build a future in a world that seems to be ending. They can become accustomed to a pessimistic view of life, and lose the sweet taste of consolation. Those especially who suffer from depression and anxiety can fall into this category, a category where the soul flees from light and comfort, simply because they are convinced it will be taken away again. They begin mastering sacrifice and mortification, yet slowly begin forgetting all these tribulations are for a greater good that will never leave. If you find yourself in this category, as I do at times, these tips may help.

Stay in the moment - In the moment you are sitting at your desk sipping a hot chocolate. Your mind wanders off and you begin feeling all the anxiety of what is to come in the day. Try your best not to be anxious and worried, but rather thank God for the present peace you have. The Devil can take away such pleasant things with the darkness of the future, so thank God for the warmth of your sweater and comfort of your drink. In doing this we centre ourselves and reteach our souls to enjoy the goodness God gives us. 

Stop focusing on pain - I am going to use an interesting example, so bear with me. When we are about to be slapped, the majority of the pain usually is not in the slap, but rather the anticipation of being slapped. The hand goes up, and we wince in fear at the idea of what it will be like. So it is when we anticipate the future pain we will experience in this life. God did not create us to suffer, we need to stop thinking like that. Suffering is for the greater good, and one day we will feel that greater good! Therefore live for the present, and let future suffering go. Because less than half of the pain that we anticipate won't ever come to fruition. 

Love yourself - How are we ever supposed to love ever love our neighbour if we never take the time to love ourselves? If we balance sacrifice with caring for our bodies and souls, we will be able to help our mind accept suffering as it is, and consolation as it is. Life is all about balance, we don't have to kill ourselves by being victim souls to become saints. To become a saint we must take all that God gives us, the trials as well as all the beautiful consolations, and offer them back to Him in thanksgiving. He gives us far more comforts than we realize, we just forget how many we have!

So stay strong my dear reader, and do not flee the light with the fear that it will leave you. You were made for the light, that is why you have such an attraction to it. And one day, in Paradise, nothing will take it from you. 

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Priestly Shorts and Bizarre Tabernacles

I found myself today visiting a church, as I sometimes do, and not realizing that they were about to say Mass. Unfortunately not all the chapels I visit to say my rosary are traditional, so I occasionally run into the Novus Ordo mass. I end up saying my rosary on the way back home in order not to attend, but today was different.

I saw all the elderly people doing their best to shout out the right responses, Father interrupting the sacred prayers to make jokes to the faithful, and Our Blessed Lord placed indifferently into the hands of all, and His particles potentially falling upon the floor. We truly have lost the beauty of Catholicism in the Novus Ordo.

These poor souls, who look for Jesus Christ, find Him in a place of dishonour. It is as if they go to a drying well, and try to survive on the drops of water that is left. The reason the Novus Ordo mass is so dangerous is because of its Protestant style. Holy Communion becomes just a piece of bread to be passed around by anyone, and the priests that celebrate this sacred ceremony quickly change into their shorts and tshirts in order to not be recognized in the streets for their holy position. How will anyone take Catholicism seriously when they see this? Why would anyone convert if this is all we believe? People may say I am not accepting of the modern times, but why in the world would we want to make our modern times a place of frivolousness and irreverence?

We are brought on this earth to respect and fear our beloved God, not place Him in silly looking tabernacles to be brought out and mocked. We must pray tradition is brought back, and these horrible acts of irreverence are stopped, so that those who sit in these modern day pews, may drink their fill in the true wells of Our Lord, and not through brambles which the Devil has placed there.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Making Sins from Dust

There are some topics that aren't talked about much in traditional Catholicism. We become so accustomed to avoiding things, that we sometimes forget the positive aspect of the Faith. What I mean to talk about in this article is the topic of the occasion of sin (I will be using purity between people courting as an example). We see the good in staying pure, and keeping from the occasion of sin, that we forget there are many dangers to becoming scrupulous in this aspect.

Before I begin, let me just summarize what an occasion of sin is. The occasion of sin is when we place ourselves in danger of committing sin, and this occasion must be avoided. For example, being completely alone with the person we are courting is an occasion of sin for impurity. But sometimes occasions cannot be avoided, like walking into a grocery store and seeing the worldly magazines. We must do our best not to have impure thoughts because of these magazines, but we aren't going to stop going to the store because of it. (I will in the future focus more on the topic of what an occasion of sin is)  But some scrupulous souls begin to worry so desperately about the occasion of sin, that they place themselves in a different situation to offend God.

Let us say a couple who are courting are holding hands before marriage, perhaps a kiss on the cheek. We see them across the restaurant and think, "How could they possibly do this in public, and place not only themselves, but all of us in the occasion of sin?!" I understand people have different principles concerning this, but if we begin pointing and picking at the people we see, as well as worrying about every detail in our relationship, the ropes become too tight and we start being prone to other sins. Either we will crack from the pressure and leave the Faith, or become so frozen with scrupulosity, that our souls are unable to move and live a good Catholic life. We must place our principles firmly before us, use every mean to stay pure, and never forget to be humble. The proud man says, I am holy, I will not hold hands until marriage! The humble man says, God please keep me pure in all that I do. Let our hands held together be in Thy presence as an act of our love to you, and let our minds be pure in all that we do.

If we try hard enough, we can make anything into a sin. But God never intended our minds to work in the negative, rather He desires for our hearts to shine with His goodness and love. He wants us to avoid the occasion of sin so we can enjoy all the beauties in life without fear and anxiety. And if you want to save holding hands and putting your arms around each other for marriage, I won't judge you. But when I see a soul completely paralyzed, unable to look up into her beloved's eyes for fear of sin, I cannot help but think there is another side to the occasion of sin.

If the Devil cannot get you to sin impurely, he will tempt you to despair. Trust in Our Lord Jesus Christ, avoid the obvious, but be not afraid to rejoice in the goodness He has given us. Because Heaven will not be us always saying no, but yes, just as He intended.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

I Don't Feel like Being Catholic Today

Let's admit it, some days we don't want to be Catholic. We don't feel like praying, thinking of God becomes tiresome, and the thought of sanctifying our souls seems like way too much work. But what do we do in these times? And can God do anything with the days we don't feel near to Him?

Closer than we think - On the days we feel nothing, God is doing the most. Oftentimes trials can be easier to offer up (since the sacrifice is evident), but the feeling of indifference can be more meritorious a lot of times. It is as if God is hiding behind a tree, waiting to see if we'll put our crosses down and take a nap, or go searching for Him. And if we do in fact keep going and persevere, how Our Lord will enthusiastically embrace us in His arms and rejoice at the love we have for Him!

Doing what we can - When these times do come, simply continue to do your daily duty, say your regular prayers and try not to dwell too much on the fact that you feel this way. The Devil will try to say, "Think at how mean God is to be leaving you out in the cold like this! Oh, and how holy you are for doing this favour for Him!" Pride is always the first vice that is sewn into our souls, so focus on what you need to do, and all your needs will be met - God never stops caring for us.

New devotions - Another great way of breaking out feeling of indifference and dryness is trying out new devotions. I don't mean beginning a million devotions at once (refer to my article on "Keeping Devotions Simple" on the CFN page), making it impossible to keep up, but maybe read up more on the promises of the Holy Face or the promises of the Precious Blood. Sometimes sticking to a lot of the same prayers can get tedious, so mix it up and make things interesting! Catholicism was never meant to be boring.

Finally have hope, and know that these times will pass. Every trial leads to a reward, and every step leads us to eternal happiness and peace in heaven. God bless and Our Lady protect you all!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

An Unspoken Topic - The Temptation of Suicide

Many traditional Catholics find this topic uncomfortable to talk about, and brush it off with "you know it's a mortal sin!" But suicide can be much deeper than that for a soul. I need to write a much longer article to discuss the depth of this topic, but I wanted to leave this here right away for any people in need, or those who have people close to them dealing with this tragic tribulation.

Deeper than a mortal sin - For those who have people close to them, understand that if they are dealing with suicidal thoughts, they need more than people telling them it is a mortal sin. Of course it is very important for them to realize this, but they also need comfort and support. Spending time with them, brightening up their lives, and filling their days with all the things they love most will help them far more than just condemning them. God is just, but also desires us to preach His merciful side as well. This is exactly what the soul needs, the nourishment of His grace.

And for those who are weighted down with the temptation of suicide, be hopeful, confess the thoughts you have consented to, and do your absolute best to look at all the good God has sewn into your life, and will sew in the future. Take it from one who has dealt with depression (hopefully planting little seeds of myself in this blog will help), it's very important to renew the reasons why you want to live. It may be a small exercise, but we need to cling onto the things we love to see that life is worth living. Suicide is a mortal sin, always keep that in mind, but also remember all the graces God has given us. The smell of bonfires, the taste of lemonade, the hug of a friend, these things might seem insignificant, but it is the little things that make up the big things in life. Focus on the positive, just as God wants you to. In remembering these things, our minds will slowly see that life is not just a dark dangerous place, but a welcoming one where we belong.

Laying out the problem - For those friends who are depressed or suicidal, a massive way to help us to assist them in laying out their problems. We often lose our view of the specific problems we are facing, then feel as if they will never end. But there is always a limit to them, and in laying out exactly what is bothering the person, we can help and give advice more efficiently. Perhaps speaking to a priest, even receiving therapy are all good helps. Finding the problem to fix it is much more efficient than generalizing everything.

And for those who feel as if the pain never ends, fall at the feet of Our Lord who also thought it was too much to bear when He said, "Father, why have you forsaken Me?" An excellent way to help clear your mind is sorting out the exact problems (as mentioned above) that are troubling us. There is always a way out, God wouldn't make it otherwise. Find your way out, no one should be stopping you from leaving a dangerous situation. You always have that power, since God gave us all free will. Sometimes we think it is God's will for us to be in a situation where we have to endlessly suffer, but sometimes when things get that bad, He wants us to find where we are most happy in life.

Try to Pray - Above all, pray for these souls who so desperately need our prayers. They are going through unimaginable pain, and though it is a sin, we must have compassion for them. Through prayer, God can grant them the grave to be healed and renew their Faith. Our advice is nothing without God, so use His assistance as much as you can.

As for the suffering soul, try your best to turn your eyes to God, even the smallest glance will bring you strength and peace. No matter how many times you've fallen or lost trust in God, He is waiting to pick you up and embrace the soul who He can't stand seeing suffering like this.

Therefore, for those who are reading this to help others, do you best to be there for them, and never be afraid to call emergency if things get serious. Anything is better than the loss of their souls. Pray, instill hope, and take part in the charity God wills for us to give.

And finally, for those who are suicidal, never forget that life will always get better. God only allows suffering for a greater good, and if you'll keep going, I can assure you it will be worth it. God gives a hundred fold of consolation for every drop of suffering we give. All of heaven and all of earth are here for you! Pray, hope, and trust that God doesn't want you to suffer like this. After all, there is a reason He wanted you to read these sentences.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Humbled Because of Consolation

I remember a while ago I was reading a book that said the souls that have highest form of sanctity detest consolation and seek for suffering alone to offer up to God. And I will say there are some exceptional souls that perhaps this applies to (some people would bring up victim souls, which I plan on writing about soon.) For a while then, I made it my goal to make suffering and offering up desolation the focus, rather than being happy with consolation.

What I love about this blog, is that every time I get inspired with a new concept in my spiritual life, I can quickly write it down and leave it for others to perhaps be inspired with as well. And today is one of those days. I often write that we must see suffering as a means to a greater good, but I want to add that suffering does not in any way ever need to be the focus. It takes a special kind of humility to admit that we are limited, and can't be offering ourselves up as a victim to God all the time. God doesn't want us to be victims, He calls us to be His beloved children who roam the world in peace and happiness, waiting to go to their heavenly home.

Pride can make it very easy for us to say when we are having a difficult time, "Look at me, and how I suffer! I am a victim soul, and do not need silly consolations. Let God put the world on my shoulders, because ME, MYSELF, AND I CAN TAKE IT!" Offering up suffering is an amazing act of love, it's true, but not like this. No matter what background or past you come from, whether it be a happy traditional Catholic family, or a broken home with divorced parents, everyone deserves to be happy and consoled. You might argue because of sin we deserve nothing. But because of God's grace in our soul, He lifts us up to the eternal and infinite, and makes us worthy of incredible things we cannot even possibly imagine on this earth.

Our Lord, when He was talking about giving us our hundred fold, specifically said, "on earth, and in Heaven." That means we do not have to toil all the time in the world, rather we must accept the grace to see right away that our trial leads to the greater good, and rejoice immediately! We mustn't dwell on our pain, or bask in our miseries. Do not let the Devil take away your merit with pride, but fight him with a smile and peaceful disposition. God's love is always burning for us, and He does desire to make us happy even here on earth. Does a father like to see his son in pain because he things it will do him good? God does desire to comfort us on earth, and we need to be humble enough to accept that, and agree with the fact that we do need it in our spiritual lives. We were born to be happy!

Let us then get down on our knees, and say to Our Lord:

Dear Jesus, behold me prostrate before Thy throne. I humble myself and freely admit that on my own, the cross Thou hast given me could not move an inch. I do not ask for suffering, or for an easy life, but rather that through all my experiences, Thy grace will abound, and through everything I may find consolation in Thy presence and generous blessings. Amen.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Radio Recording - Talking About Vocations

If any of you are interested, as I mentioned previously I was featured on Magnificat Media Radio, and got to speak about vocations and my own experience at the convent. It was a fantastic experience, especially since I'm opening up with my struggles and how I overcame them. Please listen down below, and as always I will keep you all in my prayers! God bless and Our Lady protect!

(I begin talking around 30:00, before is a talk from Fulton Sheen)

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Listen to Me Live!

Listen to me live on Magnificat Media on Friday at 6am, 7am, 3pm, or 4pm Central Time. I will be talking about vocations as well as my own experience at the convent.

I will also have a recording of the interview afterwards for those who missed it and still would like to hear. I'll talk to you then!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

A Quick Thank You!

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all those who have read my blog throughout the years. It has now been five years since I started up this blog, and because of all my readers, I've been blessed with so many incredible opportunities. I now write for Catholic Family News, am slowly expanding to other newspapers, hopefully soon will appear on a radio show (stay tuned!), and if God gives me the grace to finally sit down and finish it, release my first book! I feel so humbled by the amazing response my writing has received from you all, and can only pray I live up to all the kind words given to me. Every act of charity that I've been blessed with from my readers means more than you will ever know, and helps me persevere in my own personal and spiritual life. Please know that I am thinking and praying for every soul that reads this very sentence, and hope that God will reward you for your generosity for this poor writer.

Also, if any of you would like me to write any articles for you, whether it be for your blog, youth group newspaper, and so on, I would be more than happy to! Finally I'm going to put my personal email in this article for anyone who would like to request said writings, talk, or have a discussion about anything they wish as well, whether it be about their own spiritual life, the Catholic Church in general, and the like. My email is Once again God bless you all and Our Lady protect you and keep you under her precious mantle.


O God, of Whose mercies there is no number, and of Whose goodness the treasure is infinite; we render thanks to Your most gracious majesty for the gifts You have bestowed upon us, evermore beseeching Your clemency, that as You grant the petitions of them that ask You, You will never forsake them, but will prepare for the reward to come. Through Christ our Lord.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

"Why do you strike Me?"

Our Lord, when He was being judged in the temple, uttered these words, "Why do you strike Me?" He asked this question because they were beating Him without a reason or cause during His trial. They proved Him of nothing, yet placed themselves in a position where they felt higher and stronger. Jesus was silent for most of His Passion, but never failed to defend His own name and reputation. As traditional Catholics, we can get humility mixed up with self-neglect, and forget that we have every right to defend our own honour as Our Lord did.

We hear a lot of quotes from great Saints that tell us to offer up every harsh word spoken against us to God, to turn the other cheek. But God never intended for our reputations, which are very precious and important in our lives, to be tarnished because we never stood up for ourselves. It takes a very special kind of humility to stand up for oneself, to recognize that even though we are sinners and deserve to be punished and do penance in this life, God desires so many other great blessings and graces for us. He cares so dearly for our wellbeing especially amongst our neighbours, since He wants to use every one of us to bring more souls to His Sacred Heart. God loves us infinitely, and we need to pray for the strength and willpower to be able to not be crushed by our neighbour, but stand with them in good example and charity.

Souls will not be converted if traditional Catholics sink back and not face the world in all its magnitude. We must stand with our principles, yet not estrange ourselves from the good things of this world. Your neighbour never has a right to crush you, since God would never will such an evil. So stand strong, stand for the truth, and care for your wellbeing, because in caring for yourself you care for others. We may offer up the trails our neighbours put us through, but every soul is equal, and whether it be because of gossip, slander, or general lack of charity, we must defend what is right - it's what we deserve.

Monday, 17 April 2017

The Crazy World of Adulthood

When we are teenagers, we think we know absolutely everything there is to life. Adulthood is on the horizon, and the youth rebels against as many adult figures in their lives as they can since, of course, they know everything! But a moment comes in everyone’s life, when adulthood actually does arrive, and we realize one thing. We hardly know anything. Being twenty presently, I’m realizing as the days go by that the older you get, the more humility you need to learn all the necessary life lessons.  Life is so complex, and we need to have the virtue to learn from others and sanctify ourselves as we go.

As a teenager, we always have an image in our head about our lives, and the future we are going to have. But plans change, and plans we were so firm in to happen in the future might change as well. Because every single person in the world has a different idea of life in their head, and sometimes their way of life is better for our souls than the way we planned on. That is why it is so essential to have good friends we can depend on. People were made by God to be social, and learn important lessons from a plethora of people.

The reason we need to be open to learning from others is because it will be essential to our vocation. For example, if it is God’s will for you to get married, there will be quite a lot of sacrifices that have to be made because of the other person. This other person who you are now bound to, will have different hopes and dreams, and you will need to have the humility to work with their dreams as well as your own. If we can perfect such a humility, life and all it’s potentials will significantly open up, instead of us being selfish and shutting out every idea that is not our own.

The importance of who we spend time with and our environment then comes into play. Since we’re adults now, it is our responsibility to choose our friends as well as our living situation. These two things will play a large role in molding who we are and our futures. If we live in a chaotic home, with friends who do nothing but look down on us, how will we ever learn about life and all it’s beautiful qualities. Every human deserves people who love them and a peaceful place to call home. Never stop fighting for what you deserve. God created you in His likeness, it’s His will.

Let us then pray, stay humble, and live life to the fullest. Because life and learning all it’s lessons is a glimpse of what is in store in heaven. Seeing God face to face is like looking in a beautiful infinitely deep well. Every time we gaze at God in the beatific vision, we will learn new eternally beautiful concepts and lessons we had never dreamed of on earth. Always stay humble, because in all these life lessons lies an incredible form of love from the heavens.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

The End that Led to the Beginning

Six years ago from this holy day of Good Friday, when I was fifteen, I was inspired to take my Faith seriously and obtain every answer for every question I had. Oftentimes when we doubt our Faith, it isn't so much we can't find the answers, but we do not want answers for our questions. We are so convinced that even though on this day Our Blessed Lord went through so many tortures, dragged a cross through the streets as He was laughed to scorn, that He doesn't understand our problems and our desperation. We assume He doesn't know what it's like to have nothing, to be in a position where there seems to be no hope. We strain ourselves to the point of losing faith in life and continue going down the path of destruction. We forget who we are, and Who made us.

This holy Friday, if you happen to stumble upon these words on my humble blog, remember one thing. He loves you. He loves you so intensely that He waits in Churches for days, weeks, even years, so that one day you can enter into that Church to make a visit to Him. He waits in the confessional, waits in the Holy Eucharist, even used to wait in the gardens He would play in as a child, so that one day He could grow up and die for us. Maybe life is harsh, maybe it seems like everything is crashing down, but remember His sacred eyes are continuously resting on you, waiting for you to run into His gentle arms to comfort you in your needs.

Therefore on this sacred day, regain your fire for the Faith. The Faith isn't there as a sort of distraction or burden in our lives. It's a portal to the truth of Providence, and a way for us to live peaceful and happy lives. When Our Lord was hanging on the cross, He didn't complain like we do in our trials. He simply hung in the silence, waiting for the day He would rise up and show the world that life does get better.

Listen in the peaceful silence. He waits for you with love. Have hope, the Resurrection is coming.

Monday, 10 April 2017

World News, and Why We Need to Calm Down

A couple years ago I wrote an article on this blog about the war in Syria and the good that could come from such a travesty. But as time goes on, these wars and evil events are getting far more serious and damaging. Not only are we worrying about wars and persecutions overseas, but the threat of bad influences in the media, in schools, and pretty much everywhere we go is now greatly worrying us. All these things are very concerning, but I must mention one thing. The greatest way the devil can use these trials is a way we often don't think of - he makes us anxious.

Anxiety, the cripple of virtue, the death of will power, and the enemy of perseverance enters our soul. As a general rule, God never dwells in anxiety, He always dwells in peace. If He ever allows any evil, He always brings out a greater good and gives us the grace to accept such things. But this new concept of reading through every article you can find on the internet, subscribing to every Facebook page predicting the Apocalypse, worrying constantly about the end of the world is not from God. We lose our hope this way, we pray to God, "How could this be happening? There is no hope for change!" There is always hope, never forget that. Of course keeping yourself informed of news in important, but never make it your duty and large part of your day to find and post as many tragic and gruesome stories as you can find. God is not found in anxiety, He is found in looking to the future with hope and peace.

If you want to change our leaders, help the world and all it's trials, and stop the horrific wars going on, put down the constant news feed and fulfill the duty God has given you. Whether you be a teenager working at McDonalds, or a mother taking care of a family, in perfecting your daily duty, you complete the job God has given you and He can use that to change world. I always quote St. Catherine of Sienna when she said, "If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!” Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, and you will see the world change. Do not be anxious dear reader, do not trouble yourself as you do with the news, because Our Blessed Lord only asks you to do what He has given you and He will do the rest. He will never give us something we can't control, like who is in Parliament or who shoots the first bullet. Worrying does nothing, becoming a saint does all. 

Monday, 27 March 2017

Marrying Young, and Why Not to Be Afraid

For 2017, the average age people are now getting married at is 30+. After all shouldn't young people enjoy themselves and experience life to the fullest before settling down? The single life takes precedence, and the focus becomes solely on ourselves. Being 20 and planning out my future, I found myself being faced with these serious questions. My desire, as many young people have, is to experience all that I can and be prepared for marriage as thoroughly as possible  in order to give my best to my husband and children. Of course one can argue about waiting until every virtue is perfected, but marriage is just another step to gaining experience and perfecting virtue. If we consider the positives of marrying younger than 30+, maybe our thoughts will change with this idea of "world experiences,” and making sure we’re “ready.” 

First of all, what are all these world experiences people keep talking about? There are the obvious ones, learning how to manage finances, run a household, build lasting friendships, and so on, but the modern idea of experience has really turned into a pursuit of pleasure. The average person these days has the desire to spend as much time as they possibly can indulging in worldly pleasures, that they forget to focus on future goals. A lot of these pleasure are very good ones, and can be enjoyed within reason, for example traveling or relaxing with friends. But when the focus for the future becomes completely about experiencing as many pleasures as possible, we lose so much of ourselves and end up forgetting about the most important future, Paradise. Charity turns to self-love, sacrifice turns to self-indulgence, and the future is put off over and over until we are too old to even think of raising a family.

God always intended the man or woman to begin their lives together when they are ready: mentally, financially, and spiritually. Arriving at this point really doesn't take as long as people think these days. As long as the man can support his family and the obvious factors are met, then so be it! Marrying when younger not only is easier for having children, having the energy and motivation for raising these children and taking care of your spouse, but the virtues instilled in a heart when receiving the sacrament of marriage are so precious. St. Augustine once said, "What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like." So also is the role of a spouse and parent: one who gives of themselves for others ultimately for the greater glory of God. In giving of yourself so completely, the experiences and pleasures you were so desperately seeking in the world now come to you in a purer and more perfect form in marriage.

So my advice to those who are younger who are considering marriage, never rush into such a sacred union, but rather prepare carefully every day, building yourself up in the traits you will need for the future, and commit when the time is right. Waiting a longer time to experience more pleasures in the world will only keep you from experiencing the real, even greater pleasures that God wills for you. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The Duty of Putting Yourself before Others

I bet the reader was somewhat taken aback by the title of "putting yourself before others," but the concept is actually a necessary one in the spiritual life. Of course it is in our human nature to be selfish and not remember our neighbour at times, but this article is going to focus on a main issue people often don't see.  It's the problem that we put our neighbour before ourselves to the extent that we neglect our own needs. Here's an example, imagine two young men that work on a farm. They have a very labourous job, but the first young man always makes sure he's taking his breaks, that he's in good shape, and that his mental and spiritual health are benefiting from the job. The second young man doesn't exactly do this. He always asks the farmer for more jobs, pushing and pushing himself to make sure every detail is complete, working very long hours and skipping his breaks so he can get more work done to benefit the farmer. Who is doing better in the eyes of God? Maybe to the eyes of the world it would be the second man, since he's sacrificing himself so much for society, but in the eyes of God it would be the first. 

God does not give us merit for straining ourselves because we think we're doing more for the world and those around us. He gives us merits for taking care of ourselves as He wants us to. It is extremely necessary to care for ourselves first before we help our neighbour. How are we supposed to love our neighbour as ourselves if we're not even loving ourselves? It is our duty and obligation to take care of our physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing in every single situation. If you're being overworked and it's beginning to effect you, it's your job to rest and heal yourself. Oftentimes it may seem like rest is the last thing we want to do if we want to achieve great things, but it's always in the little perfections that we merit the most.

If we care for ourselves first, our neighbour will always benefit far more than if we had exerted ourselves too much for their "well being." God spreads merit and goodness where His will is followed, so never forget that if we take care of ourselves first, everyone else will benefit. Even if we're lying in bed, resting finally after a life over over working, the world will gain great grace.

And so my dear reader, care for your own soul, care for your body and mind, and always heed to the will of God. For the will of God guides us to not only happiness, but wellness, health, and peace.