Comparisons
Finding beauty in yourself

      It is tough to be unique.  We want to fit in and be seen as “normal.”  


This is completely understandable because we, as humans (and especially as teenagers) have a desire to be accepted. 


     What is hard about working so hard to be accepted is that we often don’t even accept ourselves.  It is hard to respect yourself when there will always be someone skinnier, prettier, taller, shorter, or more popular than you.  

     What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.  


      We have to remember that we are children of God and we are created in His beautiful image.  There is no need to compare.  You are beautiful becuase God made you and that is all you need. 

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Awake the Sleeping Giant

FACT: There are 77 million Catholics in the United Sates

 
FACT:  It only takes 50 million votes to elect a President.
 
 
If the 77 million Catholics in the United States steppd it up a notch, amazing things will happen. Be a Dynamic Catholic!
 
If the 77 million Catholics in the United States voted according to Catholic Church teachings, we can make a huge differnce.
 
If the 77 million Catholics in the United States accepted that because Obama stands for homosexual marriage and abortion, he stands against the Catholic Church, this election would be easy to call.
 
If the 77 million Catholics would take offense that Presiden Obama has succesfully singled out religious busines and the Catholic Church herself in the HHS Mandate, our presidential vote would be obvious.
 
If the 77 million Catholics in the United States realized they are Christian before they are American, and that their first allegience lies with God, we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in now. 
 
If you are one of the 77 million Catholics in the United States, how will you vote?


 

Fighting the battle inside





     It is very easy to hate sins that you don’t struggle with.  Forinstance, I stand against abortion because I know it is an act of murder that kills an innocent life and scars the life of a mother. 
The fact that I find abortion an intrinsic evil and can stand up for the unborn child is great.  But the real battle is inside.

     It’s like the old joke:  A woman walks into a convenience store and there was a man hanging from the light fixture on the ceiling.  The woman turns to the clerk and asks why there is a man hanging from the light bulb socket.  The clerk says, “Oh don’t worry about him.  He is just a local crazy man who thinks he is a light bulb.  The woman replied, “Don’t you think that you should help him down safely before he falls and hurts  himself?”  The clerk nod and says,”I guess I should, but then I’ll have to work in the dark.”  

     It is hard to see personal sins in light of the sins of others, and even the sins of a nation.   But we cannot win a battle against the enemy when we won’t acknowledge our own sins.

     Will it be hard?  Yes!  Self-examination and perfection in the Lord is always a challenge.  But a man who is able to see his own sins and go through the process of forgiveness is a diamond in the rough.  Like the saying goes, “In a kingdom of the blind, a man with only one eye is the king.”
     What can we do to sin the sin in our own lives?  Look within using an examination of conscience and then go to confession.   

Being Pro-life in a Culture of Death





     Pro-life activists stand for life in the modern world, and are often insulted, mocked, and criticized.  Irish statesman Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  American Christian pro-life individuals respond to the call of Justice Clarence Thomas to stand against evil, and yet they still suffer from the persecution from their own country, media, and fellow Christians.   

     
American government in the modern culture is incredibly pro-choice, and in accordance, pro-death.  Beginning with the legal decision in Roe v. Wade in 1973, Americans who value life and the belief that life begins at conception have worked tirelessly to promote pro-life legislature.  Yet a government who does not credit their power to be God-given would naturally not stand for life granted to God.   The federal government has in fact jailed multiple activists in response to peaceful gatherings.  Ultimately, Christians are called to be Christian before they are American, and to respect the office held by the official, but not the immoral actions of the holder of the position.  The American government, with its blatant anti-life stand, has been a main persecutor of the pro-life activist.


 The media has also aligned themselves with a pro-death stance.  Media, representing the politically correct opinion, slanders and belittles the pro-life American.  They label pro-life activists as radical, violent, and haters of all women.  In the media’s eyes, the pro-life activists who organize themselves to stand with moral courage are rabble-rousing protesters who should be treated and punished as such.  With the average American relying on the media heavily for information, the pro-life American is found to have enemies before he or she even can speak.  The media in the modern culture is heavily anti-life and is the main distributor of hatred towards the pro-life activist.


 The pro-life activist at some times finds himself without the reassurance of even his fellow Christian standing alongside him.  With the “convenience” of modern religion, Christians find themselves being able to justify their pro-death stance for the call of women’s rights.  When even a fellow brother in Christ cannot find the courage to stand up for life, the pro-life activist is left to stand in Christ alone through struggle.  Yet the loss of fellowship to strengthen the stance, added to the persecution from fellow Christians takes wear on morally courageous activists.  Suffering from the opinions and discrimination of a hypocritical Christian is also an opposition a pro-life activist faces.


The American government, the media, and the activist’s fellow Christian oppose the American who stands for life in a culture of death.  Justice Clarence Thomas urges pro-life activists to “continue the struggle without counting the cost or worrying about the outcome.”  Small, embattled and generally despised, but indomitable and active pro-life individuals and organizations exhibit the moral courage Justice Thomas talks about and encourage us to practice this courage in our lives.  

Thoughts or Comments?  Let me know in the box below.

God Bless,

Choa

What would you do
Lessons from the Cristeros

     Tonight I caught up with the rest of the world and watched For Greater Glory.  I am ashamed I didn’t watch it earlier, but I hate going to violent movies in the movie theater because I can’t cry shamelessly in a theater.

     As Blessed Jose was being martyred, a thought that came to me as I was sitting there, crying.  But I wasn’t crying because Blessed Jose was dying.  I was crying out of sheer joy and awe that a fourteen year old boy could cry out to God in his pain.  As this young boy was being tortured he was crying and heart-wrenching-ly sobbing out to his Heavenly Father!  Even though all the pain, he knew God had a plan.

     What would I do?  What would we all do? What if Catholicism and religion were outlawed in the United States and people were dying for continuing to practice their faith?  What would I do?

     Would I be able to risk my life by supporting a rebellion?  Would I fight for my faith physically or spiritually?  Would I be able to die and know that man can kill the body but can’t kill the soul?  Would I have the courage to be a martyr?

     God grant me the courage!  We have to be able to understand that even though our life on here may be very blessed, it is nothing in comparison for the beauty that God has in store for His faithful children.  

     VIVA CRISTO REY! LONG LIVE CHRIST THE KING!

God protect and bless you all,

Chloe M.  


New Again
What happens after we sin?





     Perhaps you have done something you regret – who hasn’t?  I have to share with you this beautiful quote from Padre Pio:

     Any mental picture of your life that focuses on past sins is a lie and thus comes from the devil. Jesus loves you and has forgiven you your sins, so there is no room for having a downcast spirit. Whatever persuades you otherwise is truly a waste of time.

     The beauty of Catholicism is that we are blessed with the sacrament of Reconciliation.  In it, we confess our sins to a priest, who represents Christ Himself.  With the words of absolution, our sins are forgiven and our soul is clean.
    
     Is there forgiveness?
Yes! Do not think you are so original, there is not one sin that God cannot forgive.  Are there consequences to our sin? Yes. So we then must work on repairing the damage done in other’s lives as a result of our sin.

    Sin is saying “No” to God.  It is time now to say “Yes” to His amazing plan for our lives.  We have to put away our dreams and our plans and exchange them for something so much better- God’s plan and God’s dream for our lives.  Our lives become so much easier when we say “Yes” to God and “No” to self.
     But saying “No” to self is a challenge.  At religion class last night, we boiled it down to three S’s that cause discontent and sin in our lives:  Self, Sex, and Stuff.

     Self:  Self says that it’s all about me.  What can I do to make the results the best for me?  Pride is the root cause of all sins caused by self.  How do we conquer self?  Prayer.  Prayer is when we give all to God.  We then have to focus on listening what someone else has to say, since God knows what is best for us.
    
Sex:  An abuse of our sexuality is something that is rampant in our culture.  Pornography, over-sexuality dressing and immodesty, and all things that twist the beauty of God-created sexuality boils down to one thing, Lust.  How do we conquer lust?  Fasting.  By denying our bodies little things, like food, our favorite drink, extra TV, etc., we practice saying no to little things.  When temptation sneaks around, we are able to say no to lustful desires because we already have practice with little things.
    
Stuff:  Matthew Kelly once said: “God gave us people to love and things to use. Too often we love things and use people.”  When we place our material objects above other people and above our relationship with God, things aren’t going to go so well.  Why?  Because our priorities are in the wrong place.  This is not to say that people who have “stuff” can’t get into Heaven – it is that they have to be able to use the blessing of their material possessions to draw themselves closer to God.  How do we conquer stuff?  Tithing.  Not only giving money to further God’s kingdom on earth, but also giving away our time and talent to use what God has given us for His greater good.

God bless,

Chloe M. 
    

You don’t have WHAT?

    Every once in a while, I will get someone who asks me if I have a boyfriend.  This is a common question considering my age.  After all, there are not very many seniors in high school who have never dated.
     I usually just say, “Oh, nope, I don’t.  I don’t have time for a boyfriend right now with high school and college future.”  This is true, but today when I was thinking about this on the way to work, I formulated this answer, with the help of Joshua Harris.


      Actually, I don’t have a boyfriend.  I believe that, if God is calling me to the vocation of marriage, then somewhere out there, He is preparing a guy to be my future husband, similarly to how He is preparing me to be a future wife.  
     Right now, as a high school senior, I don’t need my future husband to be my boyfriend.  I want him to be a mature, young, Catholic man who is able to utilize the blessing of the season of singleness to prepare to be a Godly husband and father.  
     On the other hand, I don’t want or need to be some guy’s girlfriend.  I need to be a mature, young, Catholic woman who is able to utilize my blessing of being a single person so that I can prepare to be a Godly wife and mother.  
     With both of us working towards preparing our hearts for the other, how awesome is it going to be when God brings us together   Both of us will be prepared mentally, physically, financially, emotionally, and most importantly, spiritually for each other!
      With a courting relationship, we can enter into a discernment of marriage together with eternity in mind.  When you put your future relationship in the light of this, having a guy to hold your hand and take you out to a movie just for the sake of having a boyfriend seems unnecessary, especially at this point in my life.

     The Bible tells us that there is a season for everything.  Right now, there is a calling to a season of singleness   Being single isn’t a disease – it’s a beautiful gift in which we can use our “lesser restrictions” to give more time to glorify God in a way we won’t be able to do so again in our lives. 
Thoughts or comments?

God Bless,

Chloe M.  
      
     

How Long do I wait?
Because the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing.







     I think a lot of young people have a question:  When is the right age to date?  What is the magic number? How young is too young?
     Here are my opinions on the subject.


What are the motives
     
Because I love the idea of courtship, I’m going to focus on this view.  In courtship, you are looking for someone with whom to discern if you can better serve God together in marriage.  Key words in that statement?  In Marriage.  The purpose of courtship is discerning marriage.
     Why discern marriage with someone when you are not eligible for marriage.


Eligible?
     What do I mean by eligible?  As a woman, are you ready to be a mother, wife and heart of a home?  Are you ready emotionally, physically, psychologically, financially, and spiritually?  As a man, are you ready to be a father, husband, provider at protector of a family?  Are you ready emotionally, psychically  physiologically  spiritually and financially?

Back in the “Old Days….”     When it was common for young men to be the ones to get a college education, the term “bachelor’s degree” was born.  Have you ever wondered why it is called a bachelor’s degree?  Simply because of this:  When a young man completed his degree, he was ready to go into the work world and become established as a eligible bachelor.  During his college education, his vocation was a student.  Now his vocation, if God called him to marriage, was to prepare himself for marriage.


What are you called to be now?
     So what about you now?  What if you are a female senior in high school   Are you called to be some guy’s girlfriend?  Or are you called to be fully dedicated to Christ and preparing yourself for your future vocation?
     What if you are a young man in college?  Are you called to dedicate yourself to your vocation as a student and prepare yourself by practicing financially sound budgeting?  Are you preparing yourself for a vocation to marriage, including strengthening your own spiritual life so you can be a leader in a future relationship?  Or are you clouding your judgement by making relationship choices that are mainly based on emotions?





Don’t buy when you can’t afford
     Being in a relationship when you cannot commit to a discernment of marriage is like looking at a menu when you can’t afford anything.  It is hard to look at all the things you are offered, and then understand that you can’t afford that.
     A different analogy (for girls) is that being in a relationship without the ability to commit is like shopping without money.  You go into the store and, lo and behold, you find the greatest outfit.  Ever.  The only problem is that it isn’t going to fit you for another five years.  So, you think to yourself, “I’m just going to try it on.”  And you do, but it doesn’t look right and it isn’t where you are right now.  What can you do?  Go up to the counter and ask them to hold it for five years?  Sure, but then you spend those five years so focused on that outfit that you want so badly that you miss everything those five years have to offer.


It’s not fair.  
     Being in a relationship before you can commit to discernment is unfair.  It’s unfair because you are robbing both you and the young man/woman whom you are involved with of the beautiful gift of singleness.  We live in a culture where being single is a disease.  You are in the prime time of your life for developing a relationship with God.  You don’t have a heavy schedule.  Your expenses are low, your debt is low, your worries are low.  You don’t have to juggle kids or your husbands schedule to do something.  Do you know how beautiful this freedom from the world can be – and what beautiful things God can work through you?  But instead this world sees this freedom as a prison.  Why?  Because you don’t have a guy/girl friend who you “completes you.”  



Already Complete, Thank you.  
     This is a season in our life when we have to find our completeness in God.  Why?  Because you can’t look for perfect love in a faulty human.  We all make mistakes.  And we are going to be deeply hurt if we look for someone who is always there, always cares, always loves, and is perfect for us.  That guy/girl isn’t out there.   But Christ is.  And you are going to be disappointed when your boyfriend/girlfriend lets you  down.  So don’t look for perfect love in another human – look for perfect love in the perfect lover – Christ himself.  


Thoughts or comments?  Let me know in the box below!

God Bless,

Chloe M.

Are you an Addict?
Conquering the Cell Phone

 
(from www.lifeteen.com)

     We all have that one friend that is always on their phone. Everyone’s sitting around, laughing, having a great time, and you look around and notice that this friend is scrolling with their thumb faster than ever, glued to whatever is on the screen.
     If this doesn’t ring a bell, watch out because you might be the person always on the phone. It’s the most frustrating when the person on the phone is someone I love being around. My time with them is so special to me and I don’t like for any of it to be wasted. Maybe someone feels that way about you and you don’t even realize it. Don’t rob the people around you of the gift you are to them.


Technology isn’t bad and smart phones aren’t necessarily evil.

     However, we can certainly over-indulge. There are some certain phrases that can be a clear indication that you or one of your friends might be a cell phone addict.
     By the way, if you’re reading this blog on your phone . . . keep reading.




“What did you say?”

     The first sign of a cell phone addict is constant texting, especially when you’re in the same vicinity as actual human beings. A very important symptom to look for is if you find yourself constantly saying, “What did you say? Sorry, could you repeat that?” We’ve all been in a conversation with someone and tried to multi-task on our phone. It often times leaves us giving both conversations less than they deserve.
Another symptom is hand cramps, particularly around the pinky and thumb. I’m actually thinking of starting a workout program using only a cell phone. I’d call it “P90-text.” It would be a huge hit.
     Texting also makes us accustomed to getting immediate responses. We’ve all been yelled at for taking too long to respond to an important text. I’m willing to admit that I’ve even applied that same principal to God and then gotten frustrated when He didn’t answer me immediately.

 

“Where’s My Phone?”

     Another sure sign of a cell phone addict is the physical inability to be away from your phone or even to focus on anything else for a long period of time.
     You’ve felt it before. It’s the phantom vibration in your pocket when you don’t even have your phone. It’s the way your hand starts to twitch when it’s been empty for more than a few minutes. Whether you’re at work, school, church, or anywhere else, you realize you haven’t looked at your phone in a little while and BAM! You grab it in a hurry and check all the apps where something interesting may have happened.

“I have to take a picture”

     You may also find that you can’t look at anything of great beauty for too long without snapping a picture and uploading it. I do this all the time, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to share natural beauty with your friends and family. But I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw a beautiful sunset, a perfect wave crashing on the beach, or a bright, full moon without rushing to find my phone and take a picture.
Sometimes we forget to just sit back and be amazed, and we look through our phone screen without looking with our eyes.

“Oh, Hi Mom!”

     Perhaps the most deadly symptom in this category is the infamous fake phone usage. You’ve probably done it at some point. You’re trying to avoid some awkward moment, so you grab your phone and pretend to be talking to someone. You might even be in an uncomfortable situation and immediately revert to using your phone. All this does is take away our ability to confront and deal with what’s right in front of us. It’s a skill we really need, and we should work at developing it.

My ‘friend’ just posted . . .”

     The last sure sign of a cell phone addict is if you know more about the lives of random people you follow on Twitter than you do about the people in your own community, you might be a social media addict. We love Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and so on. They aren’t bad! I use each one of those regularly. The question you have to ask yourself is this: Are you abusing these sites? Are you abusing the ability to do so many things from your phone?
     I can’t answer that question for you but I can tell you what I’ve learned. All throughout history, God puts people in certain places for certain reasons. He puts certain people around other people for specific, divine reasons.
    
     If you’re so busy staring at your phone, is it possible that you could walk right by someone God wanted you to talk to?

     Like all good things, our phones must be used in moderation. There is great freedom in being able to put the phone down and walk away to focus on something else.

Being able to put your phone down and not let life pass you by will certainly help you grow in virtue. God uses all things to reach us, but the twitter account named after Jesus isn’t actually Him. Remember, grace doesn’t come in megabytes. God wants to show His face and His heart to you; don’t give Him the busy signal. Be available when He comes to you.

     Today I want to challenge you to be radical!

     Realize the power your phone can have over you, and how you can switch the power into your hands by putting the phone down and being present to what’s directly around you. Spend more time in your Bible than you do on your phone. Spend more time talking than you do texting. You just might find you like it better that way.


Thoughts or comments?  Are you or someone you know a cell-phone addict?

God bless,
Chloe M. 

The Church Welcomes a New Teen Saint!




     This weekend, Pope Benedict canonized a new teen saint!  We don’t know very much about Saint Pedro Calunsgod, but his sainthood reminds us of the importance of youth as a witness to the Catholic Church.

     Saint Pedro, an eighteen year old young man, helped the Jesuit missionaries in the pacific, including his native island of the Visayas. 

     He was on a trip to Guam with Father Diego Luis de San Vitores with about thirty to thirty-five other lay people.  He was contemplating entering into the religious life, so he had been selected to travel with Father Diego to see the life of a missionary. 

     Many of the companions are unknown and unnamed, but we know Pedro’s name because he was with Father Vitores when he died. 

     The day was April 2, 1672.  Father Vitores had just baptized the baby of the Chamorro Chief, without the chief’s knowledge or consent.  After he learned about his daughter’s baptism, the chief attacked the lay people, killing them all.

     Pedro has only been on the road to sainthood since 1994.  Pope John Paul II’s quote, “to raise up new models of holiness for the people of our time.”  was brought to mind by Catholic News Service.  

     Saint Pedro Calunsgod….pray for us!

God Bless,

Chloe M.