Are you a zombie? 
Bringing back the life in your faith life.





    
       You look over at the clock on Sunday morning:  7:30am.  You have exactly thirty minutes to make it to Mass, and the 8:00am is the only time your schedule allows this weekend.  You get up, quickly dress, skip breakfast and run out the door.     
       You pull into the parking lot at 7:58am and rush into the church, grabbing a seat in the back.  You start thinking about your final on Tuesday, that young kid in front of you is a pain, the kid in your youth group to the left is distracting and you, well, your just not paying attention at all to what you came for. 
      Before you know it, your kneeling at the Consecration bells sound.  You glance up, remind yourself that this is really Christ, head up to the altar, receive communion and go back to your pew, where you make mental notes about the attire and behavior of your fellow Church-goers. 
       Once Mass is done, you jump into your car and head on to your busy day, after all, your done with this until next week.





 This is a day in the life of a faith zombie.
    
     What is a faith zombie?  Someone who goes to Church and precedes to go through the motions.  And I have to confess, sometimes I am a zombie during Church.  I walk in, put in some holy water, genuflect, go into my pew and precede to mentally check out for the entirety of Mass.  What is wrong with this?  Everything.

Stay awake!  Be ready!
     We have been given blessings we can’t even begin to count.  We have a God who created us.  We can breathe.  We have a beautiful Catholic faith rich in tradition, scripture, and Magisterium.  Some blessings seem trivial:  food to eat, water to drink, clothes in our closet, and a roof over our head.  These are things some people don’t even have.  
     We also have an amazing prayer:  The Mass.  In the Mass, Christ’s true presence, through transubstantiation, hidden in the form of bread and wine, comes down to the altar.  Let me say that again:  Christ’s real presence.  THAT is amazing!  That is something that, if we realized the significance of, we would be at Mass everyday.  We might not even leave that Church.

Missing Out….

     So why do we miss out?  Because, for some of us, it’s the norm.  We’re like: “Yea….big deal, Christ is there.  Isn’t He here in true presence at every Mass.  I’m sorry, I don’t get it.”  That is why it is so beautiful to see a convert come into the Catholic faith and realize the sheer beauty of the Eucharist.  It’s all new! 
     There are even little things we do during Mass that have incredible significance.  Do you know why we dip our fingers in Holy Water and make the sign of the Cross when we come in the door?  To remind ourselves of our baptism and that we are new creations in the Lord.
     Do you know why you genuflect before you go into your pew?  Your showing you respect the King of Kings.  Do you know that when you say the Holy Holy during the liturgy of the Eucharist, you are joining all the angels in Heaven in worshiping God?  Do you know when you say “Amen” when the priest gives you Communion that what you are really saying is this: “Yes!  I believe that is true.  I believe this is the body and blood, soul and divinity of my dearly beloved Lord.  I would stake my life on this.”  Do you know when you leave the Church building, you are called to be the Church to the world?

     For many of us, one hour on the weekend is what we give our Lord in thanksgiving for ALL He gave to us.  My challenge to you this week would be to go to a daily Mass in your area and appreciate and love each part of the Mass. 

Don’t be a faith zombie.  Let your faith come alive…and thrive!
God bless you all,

Chloe M. 


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Amazing Article on Prince Charming

Hello!  I was doing my daily blog search and ran across this article on Life Teen that I had to share with you.  It really raises a good question – let me know what you think in the comments below!

God bless,

Chloe M.

Over the last 10 years I’ve been a part of more “Girls Only” sessions than I can count. In those sessions we talk about many things (no surprises there!). Eventually the topic of guys comes up, and, on occasion, girls begin to complain about how there aren’t any good guys left or that guys today aren’t respectful or they don’t open doors. Somehow as women we’ve created an expectation that guys, to be worthy of us, must look, act, and sing, like Prince Charming.
Our list of expectations and requirements for a guy reflects this too. He must be at least six feet tall, have perfect hair, beautiful blue eyes, a good dresser, funny, takes care of my every need whenever I want, has abs of steel, writes me love songs, plays the guitar, has a job, has hot friends, loves watching romantic comedies, likes to walk around the mall, etc.
Oh, and loves Jesus. Or at least likes Him.
Ladies, what I’m about to say to you is hard. Brace yourself. A guy who is all of these things (and all the things on your list) does not exist. On top of that, let me ask you a question – would that guy (or the guy on your list) be looking for you?
I’ll give you a few minutes to pick yourself up off the floor . . .

IT’S NOT ABOUT FINDING THE RIGHT PERSON

Here’s where we as women go wrong. We expect that the perfect guy will fall into our lap if we just wait it out, and when he does then everything will be alright. Our lives will be complete and we’ll live happily ever after – just like the fairy tale says.
This is a myth. It’s not about finding the right person; it’s about becoming the right person.
If you looked at yourself in the mirror right now exactly as you are and examined your life and everything about you, would you say that you are the kind of girl, inside and out, that the man you’re looking for is looking for? Hard question isn’t it.
In full honesty I must tell you – I’m married. Knowing that, you might think that this is easy for me to say to you because I found my man. And while that is a little true, I’ve had to face this hard reality in my own life. After the ending of a long–term relationship, I had to look at myself in the mirror and be honest about the areas of my life that needed work. How could I ask a man to be confident if I wasn’t first willing to be confident? How could I ask man to lead me in holiness if I wasn’t first willing to seek holiness? Although I was terrified that I wouldn’t find another boyfriend, I knew that surrendering my life to God and asking him to help me be whole was more important, even if that meant years without a man.
When I met my now husband, I was the kind of women that was becoming the right person . . . for him. Although both him and I have to work at this everyday, we’ve committed to constantly seek to be the best we can for one another. And you must know (and he would admit this) that he didn’t have all the checks on my list, but he has what God knew was best for me.

WHERE DO YOU START?

My dear sisters, if you want to attract a guy who’s kind, patient, compassionate, considerate, whole, and holy, you must first be these things in your own life. You’ve got to examine your own heart and deal with your own mess. A relationship doesn’t magically fix all of that. In fact, sometimes it can make it worse.
We all want to become someone worth catching or pursing. But, it takes hard work. So, where do you start? First, ask God to help transform your character. Ask him to help you live a life that He desires for you and to become the kind of person He desires you to be.
Second, begin to take an inventory of the areas of your life that need work. Trust? Anger? Patience? Compassion? Envy? Self-esteem? Sexuality? Begin, one by one to work on these areas. Work on them in every relationship you have. What you’ll start to find is that you will slowly begin to become the right person — the kind of person God desires you to be and the kind of person someone else desires.
Even when finding a great guy seems hopeless and impossible and you feel like nothing is going to ever change for you, hold on to this psalm and put your trust in God’s plan for your life. It is there that you’ll find freedom and peace.
Psalm 130:5: I wait for the LORD, my soul waits and I hope for his word.
Categories: BlogDating and RelationshipsLive Your Catholic Life

Katie Heller

Katie Heller

Here’s what you need to know about me– I love Jesus, I love my husband, I love to eat, and I love the Catechism (and so should you).



The Search for the Perfect Guy



     While at a youth event this summer, I loved the opportunity of small group reflection.  We’d get a bunch of girls together and talk about what we loved about the day and what we were struggling with.  When our youth leader asked us if we were struggling with anything, one girl raised her hand.

     “Guys.  I find it incredibly hard to focus on God when there are all these Catholic guys around.  Back at home, I don’t interact with this many people of my faith, and the fact that the guys around here believe in the same thing as I do makes them pretty distracting.”  When I walked into our morning sessions, I’d look around and see all these Catholic teens, and it gave me an amazing sense of unity.  Here we are. And we all believe in the same thing, and we are here to learn more.



     So, I would label guys as “potentials.”  He’d be a nice guy to meet.  That guy would be a good friend.  Now he would make a great husband.

      
      This might sound really shallow to guys, but here is the thing.  While guys are visually wired, girls are emotionally wired.  So while a guy struggles with an immodestly dressed girl, a girl struggles with jumping ahead to a wedding day in her mind when she looks at a guy – and doesn’t even know his name!


     It wasn’t until Adoration on the second to last day of the event that I got myself together.  Because when the priest brought out the Holy Eucharist, Christ in the Monstrance literally took my breath away.  And this is why: For that first day of the conference, I had struggled with mentally trying to find the “perfect guy.”  The handsome, polite, chivalrous, young Catholic guy who I would hope to one day marry.  Why?  Because there is perfect love out there, and I want to participate in that love. 
  
     But I had failed, because there in Adoration I realized that the perfect guy was there and he already loved me in a more perfect love than any guy there could give me! 

     There in Benediction I sat there and just was surrounded by the beautiful love of my God!  THE perfect guy.  I didn’t have to “work” to get his attention or affection.  He had loved me since the day I was born and even though I had forgotten Him, He was still there, waiting, and still loving me!
    

So while I had sat in the conference, wondering how it was going to be when  I was older and I wasn’t alone, and had a husband, it hit me.  I am not alone.  I have never been alone.  And I will never be alone.  Christ loves me!  And that is one of the most comforting factor in my life. 

     Even more so, if God calls me to the vocation of marriage and introduces my future husband into my life when I am ready for marriage, Christ still is the greatest lover in my life.  And He should matter more than anything, or anyone, else. 

     So here is to God:  The perfect guy, the perfect lover, the perfect God. 

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

God bless,

Chloe M. 
    

Out in the Fields
What to do when you wait


 

     “One day toward evening he went out. . . in the field, and as he looked around, he noticed that camels were approaching.


Rebekah, too, was looking about, and when she saw him, she alighted from her camel and asked the servant, “Who is the man out there, walking through the fields toward us?”
     “That is my master,” replied the servant. Then she covered herself with her veil.
The servant recounted to Isaac all the things he had done.

     Then Isaac took Rebekah into his tent; he married her, and thus she became his wife.”
– Genesis 63-67


     A lot of the time I find myself, in the season of singleness, wondering what to do.  I have been given the advice to dedicate my life at the stage of my vocation NOW.
     This is great advice, but what does this mean? Surely I won’t find a husband when I’m just doing what I always do.this point in service to God through following my current vocation. 


 

     Doug Barry (a Catholic speaker) thought he wasn’t going to meet his wife because he was a youth minister and he worked with kids.  He first saw his wife when he was in the middle of the youth group room as a youth pastor, working in youth ministry for the Lord.
     Maybe you are at the age when you feel like you should have a boyfriend/girlfriend right now, but no one is there. Take this time to look at your life.  Is this a time when you are being called to serve God in a way you would not be able to do as a married woman or man? 

 
Thoughts or comments?  Let me know in the comment box below.

God Bless you all,
Chloe M.

What’s a Catholic to do?
My thoughts on the presidential election





Tonight I watched the Presidential debate.  I really enjoyed the town-hall set up of things, and I drew some good points from the debate.

Here are my thoughts.  Catholics wonder who to vote for.  I would love to be old enough to vote – missed it by just nine months this presidential term vote.  But if I were to vote, here are my thoughts:

1) Obama has supported a woman’s right to abortion. Obama has supported legalizing gay marriage.

2) The Catholic Church knows that abortion is a moral evil. The Catholic Church does not support homosexual marriages.

3) I’m a Catholic. So I side with my mother Church. So I (would) vote for Romney.

In my dad’s words:

“As I think about this week’s Mass readings and the upcoming election I have come to conclusion. Those Roman Catholics who voted for President Obama and are going to do so this year, you are spiritually dishonest. President Obama is pro-abortion, pro gay marriage and pushed the HHS Mandate on the Catholic Church(some Protestants also). So how do you sit in Mass every Sunday and listen to teachings that you personally oppose. Hypocrite comes to mind. The Church doesn’t force you to stay. Their are 30,000 denominations that preach your values. You obviously aren’t worried about obedience. The Roman Catholic Church isn’t a democracy. Never will be. So don’t continue being luke warm. Either you are obedient to the Church or you are not. Your souls are at stake.”
What are your thoughts on the presidential election?

God bless you all!

Chloe M. 

Loving today

Decisions, decisions, decisions

     As some of you may know, college preparation is now upon us.  This leads to a lot of worrying on my part since one of my (many) problems is that I over think things.
     When I spend most of my time concerned over the future, I often miss the present. 
     Example:  When I finish a quarter in school, my thoughts usually are: “Yes!  Only three more quarters until I am done with high school work and onto college!”  What I should be thinking is this: “Yes!  I successfully accomplished one quarter of school because I worked hard and am doing my vocation as a student.”  Response one is future-focused, while response two is focused on now.


Bible Verses:
     “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”
 – Matthew 6:34

   “Today is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
– Psalm 118:24

To Sum it all up:

     What we do today is what matters now.  We must also keep in mind that we have the goal of eternity, and that matters, too. 
      John Clark said, “The goodness of today doesn’t consist of the fact that it precedes tomorrow.  Today is good on it’s own merits.”
     So love today!  Think of all the things you can accomplish for God NOW. 


God Bless you all!

Chloe M. 

What Would St. Teresa of Avila Say?
    I was thinking about my post earlier today when I ran across this quote from St. Teresa of Avila -whose feast day is today! Here is the quote:

     “Christ has no body now on earth but yours; yours are the only hands with which He can do His work. Yours are the only feet with which He can go about the world; yours are the only eyes through which His compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world. Christ has no body on earth but yours.


St. Teresa of Avila…
….pray for us!

God bless you all,
Chloe M. 

How to Save a Life

On how a movie can change
your awareness.






The Movie

     Last night I watched the movie To Save a Life.  It has been around since 2009, so nothing new, production-wise.  It had an amazing message, though.
     In freshman year, Jake, the star basketball player, had given up his friendship with Roger, “the social outcast” once the cool crowd picked him up.  Fast forward to senior year and Roger comes to school with a gun and commits suicide.
     Jake feels incredibly guilty about Roger’s death and vows to make a difference in the life of other kids who have been rejected.  Amidst Jake’s own life falling apart, he is able to make a life changing difference in his school.
     An incredibly good message, yet I have to preface this with the fact that I watched this movie on my
clearplay DVD player, and some objectionable things were cut out.  The movie is rated PG-13 and it deals with a lot of heavy topics (to see if it is things you are comfortable watching, read this review .)
    

How do you interact with others?

     After watching this movie, I thought: “Well, I’m OK.  I don’t do that stuff.  I’m actually pretty good compared to them.”  There in lies the issue.  Because by comparing myself to others, I usually forget to look at myself. 
     Without going into detail, I found some things that I have done and some things I chose not to do.  I found some people that I treated like Christ, and others whom I did not.  I saw my life from the outside, and some things can change. 
     How about you?  Do you interact with people so that they know you are a Christian?  If you go to school, do you make it a point to sit by the kid who is alone every day?  Do you avoid going to parties because it will involve illegal drinking?  Is the way you live your life the proof of God’s love to others?
We are the light of the world, a city on a hill, the salt of the earth, and God’s hands and feet to the world…

…..we have to make sure we are acting like it. 

Thoughtts or comments?
Let me know in the box below.
God bless you all,

Chloe M.   

   Run away, monkey!


I have to share with you the homily I heard at Mass today:

     In India and Africa they have a trick to catching monkeys.  The natives take a coconut and split in half.  After clearing out the coconut meat, they put an orange inside the coconut shell, cut a small hole at the top, and glue the halves together.
     After the preparations of the coconut, they hide it in a bush or a tree and wait.  Soon, a monkey comes along, smells the orange, and sticks it’s hand in the coconut.  The monkey is able to get a hold of the orange, and attempts to pull it’s hand out – but it’s stuck!  The hole cut in the coconut is only big enough for just the monkey’s hand.  It is physically impossible to get the orange out. 
     Yet the monkey wants the orange so badly that it won’t let go, so the monkey is soon caught by the natives. 
     And if we were watching this on Animal Planet, we are sitting in our chairs and yelling: “Let go of the orange, you idiotic monkey!  Your going to die because your so selfish!  There are tons of oranges on other trees! Run! Run! Nope….too late.  Can’t say I didn’t warn you.” 

Cool Story….what does this have to do with anything?


     In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus is confronted by a good young man.  Really, this kid had it going for him.  He was smart, rich, a good Jewish man, and he wanted to know how to get into Heaven (don’t we all?). 
     Jesus says, “Follow the commandments.”  The young man replies that he had followed the commandments since he was young enough to learn them.  What else could he do?
     Jesus then tells him to leave his earthly wealth and follow Christ fully.  The young man then turns around and walks away sadly, because he had many earthly possessions.
     This man, like the little monkey, was so set on keeping his hand clenched tightly around his wealth that he wouldn’t let it go and be free.  Much like us in our recliners watching Animal Planet, God must be thinking: “Let go of the material goods!  Your selfishness will be your downfall!  Let go! Let go!”
     Yet we’ll sit there, clutching our material goods (which we can’t take with us either way we go in the end, by the way) and we become so concerned over our earthly goods that thoughts of them take precedence over God in our lives.  And we are trapped by sin and the devil.  All we have to do is let go and give everything up for the glory of God.
 


So, the rich can’t get into Heaven?
     Then the question arises if our material goods keep us out of Heaven.  Does this mean we have to give up everything and go live on the street? Nope. 
     If our material goods are hindering us from doing God’s work, then we have to stop and take a look around us.  Those who are financially sound can do so much good for the kingdom of God.  Like the parable of the talents – the servants who are willing to give their talents away, then find their talents mutliplied.  The servant who hid his talent then found himself trapped. 


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

God bless you all,

Chloe M. 

Whose cross do you carry?
Picking up our cross with Christ


We all carry crosses.  Some of them might be pretty obvious.  Other crosses may be hidden from everyone except God and you.  But the big question to ask about your cross is: Whose is it?


Whose cross do you carry?  Do you carry a cross made from your own hands?  A cross fashioned from the guilt of your unconfessed sin an nailed together with sorrow?  Or do you carry the cross of Christ?  A cross that binds you to Our Lord when you pick it up daily?

What does your cross do?  Do you carry a cross that with every step of the journey, it brings you closer to Christ?  Or do you carry a cross alone so that every step leaves you wondering where Christ is?  Christ tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  If you give your sorrows to Him, He can turn them into joy – and your cross will leave you praising God.

How do you carry your cross?  Do you carry it sacrificially, as Our Lord once did?  Do you look to His example of love and obedience to the Father as He struggled up Calvary?  Or do you use your cross as a source of frustration and complaint?  Even the way you carry your cross and bring others back to Christ.

How do you talk about your cross?  When someone asks you about your cross, do you smile and tell them about the way you offer your sacrifice up with the Lord and how it brings you closer to Him?  Or do you take it as an opportunity to vent frustration and the cross you have?
What are your thoughts on crosses?  Let me know in the comments below!

God Bless,

Chloe M.