Searching for Augustine

Last week, it was the feast of St. Monica. During the day, a family friend posted the link to this video on Facebook. I thought it was nice and everything, and went on with my day.

That night, I went to daily mass on campus, and the chaplain preached about Saint Monica and how her persevering prayer was responsible for the conversion of her son, Augustine.

Sound familiar? It did to me. Especially since I had recently decided to give up praying for a special intention, because nothing seemed to be happening.

In our lives, we all have “Augustines”, people we pray for, but who don’t seem to change, or who God doesn’t seem to answer any prayers about. I know I have. And I know I’ve almost given up on them. Thank God that Monica, because of her maternal love, didn’t give up on Augustine!

We are all called to be like Saint Monica, to pray and trust, even when God seems to be too busy doing something else. Find your Augustine, and pray like a Monica. God prevails.

 

Advertisements

46 Things to do for Lent!

Image

 

“As Lent is the time for greater love, listen to Jesus’ thirst…’Repent and believe’ Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart. What are we to believe? Jesus thirsts even now, in your heart and in the poor — He knows your weakness. He wants only your love, wants only the chance to love you.” -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

‘Twas the night before Lent… and we don’t know what to do!

If that is you, I hope you find this post helpful!

For Advent, I came up with 40 different things we could do to prepare for the birth of Christ, and decided to do something similar for the upcoming Lenten season.

If you’re anything like me, you have a really tough time coming up with what to do for Lent. I’ve been doing research for the past week or so, and decided to put my favorite ideas into one blog post (while giving credit to the original authors, of course!) as a resource for myself and for others.

  1. 40 Bags in 40 Days
  2. Choose 40 specific people (or 46, if you want to include Sundays) to pray for, one for each day of Lent.
  3. Read about the saints whose feast days fall in Lent. Pray to them and ask for their intercession. 
  4. Image  (from here)
  5. Do the CRAK Instagram challenge!
  6. Don’t eat the last bite of your food (From Lifeteen)
  7. Watch The Mission (from Here)
  8. Fast from Facebook
  9. Pray for those who will enter the Church at the Easter Vigil.
  10. Do the Lenten Photo a Day Journey
  11. Give up all drinks except water
  12. Park at the very back of the parking lot (From Lifeteen)
  13. Watch The Way (From Here)
  14. Do a liquid fast 1x a week (From Domestic Fashionista)
  15. Make your bed every day (From Catholic All Year) – – my bed is lofted, so this is actually a big challenge I will be taking up for Lent!
  16. Do an audio retreat
  17. Do the Lenten Boot Camp (or parts of it!)
  18. Give up apps on your smartphone (From Lifeteen)
  19. Watch Bella (From Here)
  20. Fast from listening to music in the car (From Domestic Fashionista)
  21. Go to mass one more time than you usually do (or even more!)
  22. Read Pope Francis’ The Light of Faith
  23. Don’t eat out (From Catholic All Year)
  24. Read Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium
  25. Give up your bed and sleep on the floor or the couch (From Lifeteen)
  26. Give up texting and call whomever you need to talk to (From Lifeteen)
  27. Watch The Song of Bernadette (From Here)
  28. Give up TV and movies (or one of the others)
  29. Do a daily Examination of Conscience. (I use Mea Culpa, an app from Apple)
  30. Pray the Divine Office Daily (There are some great apps out there you can use on a smart phone or tablet… I love Laudate! It’s also F R E E!)
  31. Fast on more than just the required days
  32. Give away 10 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, and a pair of shoes (From Lifeteen)
  33. Read Pope Francis’ Message for Lent 2014
  34. Pray Lectio Divina
  35. Make a list of forty people who have impacted your life, and write each one a letter (From Lifeteen)
  36. When you wake up, jump out of bed, kiss the floor, and learn humility (From Lifeteen)
  37. Wake up at a specific time every morning (From Catholic All Year)
  38. Do Bob Rice’s Forty Day Spiritual Workout. I use the iPhone app, but you can also sign up to receive daily devotions sent to your email right here!
  39. Give up using the facebook and twitter apps on your phone or iPad and only check when you are at a computer.
  40. Wear the same 4 outfits for all of lent (From Lifeteen)
  41. Fast from wearing any stretchy pants (From Catholic All Year)
  42. Everyday do 20 (or 100) pushups and offer it up for someone who’s sick (From Lifeteen)
  43. Clean your house (or dorm, or bedroom, or bathroom!) every week (From Catholic All Year)
  44. Leave a post-it with a positive message on it wherever you go (From Lifeteen) (Also… check out Operation Beautiful!)
  45. Drink tea instead of coffee (From Catholic All Year)
  46. Cut out all screen-time (phone, TV, computer) after dinner (From Lifeteen)

I hope that this is of some use to you! What are you giving up? Let me know in the comments! I’m genuinely curious and want to do a little project with the data I get 🙂

What I learned in 2013

Not all friendships last forever. Sometimes, things need to end, so you can be reminded that the only thing that lasts is God.

It’s okay if friendships end. You know that silly, cliche quote: “If one door closes, another one opens?” Sometimes, that’s really true, and sometimes, you realize that door wasn’t so wonderful from the outside as it was from the inside.

Don’t settle for “good enough”. Always strive for better. Are you happy with your group of friends? Make new ones. Are you happy with that B in your lit class? Aim for that B+. Going to mass on Sundays and doing fine? Add confession, daily prayer, adoration and/or daily mass into the mix.

There are things that you have no control over. That’s okay, too. Sometimes, you can physically do nothing, but don’t lose hope.

Never underestimate the power of prayer. God loves His children, and He hears their cries and their petitions. He will comfort them.

This year was full of lessons, and I am excited to find out what God has in store for me in 2014!

40 Things to do in preparation for the Birth of Christ

Image

“Advent is here. What a marvellous time in which to renew your  desire, your nostalgia, your real longing for Christ to come — for him to come every day to your soul in the Eucharist. The Church encourages us: Ecce veniet! — He is about to arrive!” – St. Josemaria Escriva

Here are 40 ways to prepare your heart for the Birth of Christ! *note* I am NOT doing all of these. I am doing some. These are just ideas I had and decided to share.

none of the pictures are mine.

  1. Spend 10 minutes in prayer daily – or if you already do this… why not 15 or 20?
  2. Go to daily mass!
  3. Go to adoration… “Oh Come Let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”
  4. Go to confession.
  5. Pray a Scriptural Rosary (these are my favorite!)
  6. Do a daily meditation … I’m doing a few that are available on the Apple app store! Magnificat is $0.99, but Advent Daily Devotions is F R E E ! I’m also using the Word Among Us.
  7. Don’t listen to Christmas music until the fourth Sunday of Advent… Christmas is about waiting, right?
  8. If you can’t do that… what about not watching any Christmas movies until after the fourth Sunday?
  9. Celebrate Advent as it’s own season!
  10. Volunteer your time and talents.
  11. ImageRead a devotional book. Right now I’m reading “My Vocation is Love” by Jean Lafrance and it’s beautiful!
  12. Write a letter to God. Write it like you’re writing to a friend, with tough honesty.
  13. Forgive someone who you haven’t forgiven yet.
  14. Think about how beautiful it is that Jesus was born. Like us, He depended on His mother, He cried, He couldn’t do anything for Himself. GOD loves us SO much that He became an infant! How crazy is that?
  15. Fast
  16. Say thank you… even for the littlest things. Thank God for the sun, for your pillow, for your family (even if you got sick of them last Thursday). Thank your friend for texting you about dinner, for sharing something with you, for being a friend.
  17. Be there for someone.
  18. Read a book about Advent… The Catholic Company has a bunch (I’m looking at the one based on St. Therese’s Little Way)!
  19. Put up a Jesse Tree!Image
  20. Do Lectio Divina
  21. Do a daily examen
  22. Go through all of your stuff and donate it.
  23. Make a spiritual bouquet for someone who needs it.
  24. Read Luke 1:1-2:21
  25. Read Matthew 1:18-2:18
  26. Read a bit of Luke 1:1-2:21 and/or Matthew 1:18-2:18 a day throughout Advent.
  27. Read Advent and Christmas with Fulton J. Sheen . . . Leah Darrow posted on Facebook that she does this every year for Advent!
  28. Pray a novena… EWTN has a bunch that you can look through! There’s also the St. Andrew Advent Christmas novena and this Christmas novena
  29. Find a giving tree and buy some toys for less fortunate kids.
  30. Send a Christmas card to a soldier overseas
  31. Go Christmas caroling at a convalescent home.
  32. Send a Christmas card to someone that you normally wouldn’t/haven’t sent a card to in a while
  33. Donate to a crisis pregnancy center.
  34. Go beyond what is expected of you.
  35. Write thank you notes to your teachers, mail carriers, lunch ladies, etc.
  36. Bake cookies and deliver them to a neighbor you’re not very close with.
  37. Call someone who you haven’t talked to in a while.
  38. Pray for someone.
  39. Tell them that you prayed for them.
  40. Give something up that you taken granted. Even if only for a day.

I hope that you have a fruitful Advent season and a blessed Christmas!

50 Ways to Talk to God

Image

The other day, I randomly came upon an article with 50 ways to talk to God. They were interesting ways, creative ways, ways to really  get personal in prayer. I’ve tried a few and am planning on trying a few others. Here are my favorites:

1. Close your eyes and just repeat the name of Jesus.
5. Pray the news. Beg mercy for sinners, healing for the infirm, justice and peace and God’s will in all things.
9. Pray the Our Father slowly. Take ten minutes to pray it once.
10. Ask the Blessed Mother to hold your hand and walk you to Jesus.
26. Talk to a friend about your relationship with Jesus. Sometimes talking about God becomes talking to God.

31. Do something mindlessly physical while you pray–run or crochet or paint a wall. Engaging your body can make it easier to surrender your mind.
37. Offer each day–all prayers and sacrifices and blessings–for a specific person.
38. Do 15 minutes of spiritual reading. Spend 15 minutes talking to God about it.
47. Pray a scriptural rosary.

These are just a few of my favorites! Go over to Pierced Hands to see all fifty and pick out your favorites!

World Day of Fasting and Prayer for Syria

Image

How do you say ‘no’ to that face?

Today, Pope Francis asked the Catholics of the world to spend the day fasting and praying for peace in Syria.

I was proud to participate, and was glad that my school (on which the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes is on the campus of) was hosting events.

First, they had mass and adoration at the seminary. I decided not to attend mass, but did adore Christ with a chapel full of fellow students, seminarians, priests, and faculty.

After that, we processed up the mountain to the grotto, where, in front of the Eucharist, we prayed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, begging Jesus to have mercy on us, and the whole world.

Then we went to the grotto altar, where we prayed the Rosary and finished with Mass. It was beautiful to see how many were aware of what is going on in current events and how many care about and love our brothers and sisters in Syria.

Still, there weren’t many students there, which was a bit disheartening. But nonetheless, a lovely experience

Daily Smash Book – 9.7.13

Listening – to Blackbird (Piano Cover)

Eating – cheese fries and root beer.

Wearing – black exercise pants, and Emmaus 7 shirt (He Never lets Go! 🙂 )

Feeling – content

Weather – 62 degrees and fair

Wanting – to have a movie night

Thinking – that I have to stop overthinking things.

Enjoying – My rootbeer, yo.

Mass? – Yes.

Gym – Yes

Favorite part of today so far – The day of prayer and fasting activities at school. So beautiful. I’ll post about it later.