Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Best Thing I Ever Ate

This is one of my favorite Food Network shows! I love hearing what other people like to eat and the different places that they've gone to eat at. I recently was able to go to one of the 50 best breakfast places in the 50 states voted by the Food Network. It was a great place with a fun atmosphere. The food was...okay. It wasn't the best thing I've ever had, but it wasn't bad. It got me thinking...what was the best thing I've ever eaten? Well, I have had some pretty great things...pizza is a favorite, and I like it when we make it from scratch and put fun toppings on it. Orange scones from Panera are amazing! Bean dip from a little Mexican restaurant in Steubenville, Oh, Oh and grilled toast from Spanky's in Steubenville...OM! That is one of the best things ever! I could go on and on about the great things I've eaten...but I want to touch on the BEST thing I have ever had! Jesus gave us His body and blood, a sacrifice for us, every time we participate in the celebration of the Mass. On the outside it looks like a little wafer of bread, pretty much tasteless and not much texture, but when I think about what I am consuming I am overwhelmed by the mystery of it all! In the gospel of John, Jesus says, and I quote: "Amen, amen I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." People LEAVE Him because of this, they say "nope, not doing it." Don't you think if Jesus had meant it was just a symbol of His flesh and blood, he would have called them back? Don't you think He would have said, "I didn't mean it like that"??? Instead He turns to His best friends and asks if they are going to leave Him to. He meant what He said! So then I think...if He really means it, then I need to pay attention...if we are what we eat...if we partake in the Eucharist on a weekly, or daily basis, we will become more like CHRIST! That is, by far, the Best Thing I Ever Ate...and I've eaten a lot of great things!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Life is a Gift

I was sitting in my office the other day and a woman came in, and she was telling us that just the night before her house had burned down with her in it! She was a little shaken, she had literally just come from the hospital from being treated for carbonmonoxide posioning. But she was also very calm...too calm, I thought for someone who had just lost everything. Then she said this: that everything in her house had burned EXCEPT for her little saint statues and crucifixes. Someone was watching over her... She explained that she was very out of it while she was in the house and not really knowing what was happening but she started to pray for the intercession of St. Michael and that she was so blessed because she had been saved. This made me stop and think, here I was thinking how horrible it was that she had lost everything...but I had forgotten that the most important thing/person had been saved. HER! What a miracle! The reason why she was so calm was because she knew that God had spared her...she very easily could have died that night. But God knew that she still has work to do on this earth, His work. What a gift I was given that day too! I was reminded that things are simply that: THINGS...but life, ah life, that is the real gift! Clothes can be re-bought, books, furniture, things...you can get replacements. But life, that doesn't get replaced. Are you living your life for the right reasons? Are you cherishing the gift that Christ gives you everyday? Live your life with purpose!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

come away and rest

There is one door at St. Mary's that the moment I walk through it I feel a difference immediately! It seems unreal that something could affect my mood immediately...not just my mood, but my very being! I walk in and shut the door and there is nothing but silence, people can be packed into the little room and yet, it is still completely silent. It's strange to me that people can be so quiet there amidst the noise of our world. "What door?" you ask, the door to our Perpetual Adoration Chapel. When I walk in I am reminded of the scripture, "come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28). I can't help but walk up front because I have to get as close to my Lord and Savior as I possibly can. The Adoration Chapel isn't just a place for me to go and get away from the world, it is a haven for peace and grace, mercy and love. I look at the Monstrance that holds my Lord and I am reminded of the sacrifice that He made for me. I get so caught up in the duties of the day and the many emails I have to return that I forget to head next door (my office is right next to the chapel) and allow Jesus to "give me rest." I forget that Christ has invited me to be with Him. I think of all the things I have to do and I have to slow down and remind myself of the saying "we are human BEINGS not human doings." I need to sit and BE with Jesus so I can experience this rest that He promises to those who trust in Him, who cast their burdens down at his feet. I invite you this week to walk through that door and simply BE with Jesus. He wants to give you rest!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

welcome to fall

Wow, when I looked back on the last blog, I felt a little guilty that I hadn't blogged in a long, long time...but when I look back on the summer, all I see is insanity. So it made a little more sense that I didn't have much time to blog. But I'm back and we're getting ready to kick off the year for youth group and it's almost fall...joy! I love fall...it reminds me of a lot of things but what it reminds me of the most is me! Ha, my birthday is in the fall and I always thought that that was the reason I loved the season so much, but now I think that it's everything that comes with the season, pumpkins, apple cider, sweaters and football! I love all of these things, they all make me happy, I love that I was born in the fall, because I have a good excuse to celebrate life. The season also reminds me of many things I love about my faith. I love that we celebrate the Rosary for the entire month of October, we have great feast days and we celebrate the saints in a special way. This year, I am reminded that amidst the football games, fires in front of the fireplace and going sweater shopping I need to remember what my goal is, my ultimate goal: I want to me a saint. That is my goal, to get to heaven, so I look forward to the ways I will grow this fall...I hope you're looking forward to the season as much as I am...and feel free to wish me a happy birthday whenever :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Spring Cleaning

It's been a while since I've blogged...I'm not sure where to begin again...BUT since it's springtime I thought it might be nice to talk about cleaning. Now this might be a scary word for some of you...I personally enjoy cleaning, and I actually clean when I am stressed...it works out great for the house. Anyway, we'll get back to that in a little while...recently we celebrated Easter, we're still actually celebrating Easter.

I was blessed to spend some good, quality time with my brother and sister-in-law for a couple of weeks over the holiday. They happen to live in Italy, so that made the time spent with them even MORE enjoyable. So while I was there we got to see the Shroud of Turin, this is the cloth that wrapped the body of Jesus after He died. What a gift! I felt so blessed to see it up close and examine the wound marks on His chest and back, the blood marks from the crown of thorns and look at the imprint of His face. My Jesus. Right there in front of me...it made me realize something...it took a while to process, but after coming home and getting back into the swing of things at work, I began to think more about that cloth. People think that it might be a fake, or that it isn't really Jesus' imprint on the cloth...but I believe it to be the real image of Jesus there...I saw a photographic negative of Jesus on that rainy day in Turin. We live our lives thinking that if Jesus would just give us a sign, we'd stop doing what we're doing and follow Him...or if He'd just preform some miracle in front of us we would believe more firmly in Him. But that's the lie that Satan wants us to buy into. That's the lie of the world...we can't see Him, He hasn't done anything lately...look at all the hurt and violence, disease and death...He could come and stop it if He wanted to. He did! That's the thing...He did! Over 2000 years ago...He hung on a cross for all that violence, death, destruction...you name it...He hung on a cross for it. We tend to say that Jesus doesn't give us signs, I feel like the sign I saw in that cloth was one of the most real signs He gave us...the wounds that were imprinted on that cloth give us proof of His sacrifice. The same sacrifice that is offered everyday around the world on every altar in every Catholic church! Jesus gives us His body, He gave His blood so we could be made new!

That gets me to the Spring Cleaning part of this blog...if we say that Jesus is Lord, if we choose to believe that He came to save us...then we better be willing to say that for better and for worse. The Apostles left everything to follow Him...He didn't preform magic tricks in front of them to make them come and follow Him. They saw something in Him that they chose to believe. If we choose to believe like they did...I'm sure that there are things that we need to get rid of...I can think of a half dozen in my life that I need to clean out so Jesus can more fully be in my life...Spring is the perfect time to start again...everything is new...and Jesus came, died and rose so that we could be made new! Happy cleaning!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Manual of the Holy Catholic Church

Wouldn't it be great if you could get your hands on one of those? I often find myself thinking that there should be manuals for EVERYTHING! Including kids...but that's another story altogether. Well, this past week I found a beautifully bound copy of THE manual of the Holy Catholic Church. It was pretty impressive book, and we were all pretty intrigued by it. We flipped through the pages and found some answers to interesting questions. The problem I think is that a lot of times we don't read the manual and we end up breaking something. How many times do we actually read the manual of something we buy from cover to cover? I'm sure there are a ton of things about my iPhone I don't know because I have never read the manual...or TV's, or DVD players or the Wii or whatever the case may be. We normally think: I can figure this out on my own, I don't need to read the WHOLE manual. That's where we go wrong sometimes in faith. We have manuals, and it's not THE manual of the Holy Catholic Church (though that's cool), we have the Bible and the Catechism. These books tell us so much of how we ought to live. But how often do we begin to read and think we get the general picture and will figure the rest out on our own? Or how often are we reading and we don't like the way it's telling us to do something so we put it down? Or worse yet, how often do we never even pick it up because we think that we already know what we're doing? Yep, it's a growing problem...we can compare this back to technology...it's getting more and more complex and there is so much more that you need to know and yet less and less people have the patience to read the manuals. Just like faith, life is becoming more and more complex and yet, less and less people feel like they need to pick up the Bible to figure out how to live. All we need to do is read the manual!
During this season of Lent, it is a perfect time to start reading the manual! Spending some time everyday getting to know our Lord is the perfect way to keep from breaking down. Yes, there will be hard times but if you read the manual, you'll have everything you need to repair any damage. May the Lord bless us and keep us close to His heart during this time of Lent

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

"Come follow me" - Jesus

Here's to a quote that has changed the lives of many. Jesus had a lot of great one-liners! I think that this was one of His best. I was just talking to my friend in Colorado and we were talking about opening a business together...and having a lot of one line quotes from Jesus all over the room. We were laughing so hard thinking about it. But a little later I was reflecting on that one line that Jesus said to almost everyone He encountered and I just sat with those words for a while.

"Come, follow me" was a very simple invitation, He still extends the invitation out to us today! But what made people leave their nets and follow Him? What made two men leave their father in the boat and follow Him? What made a woman pour expensive oil on His feet and follow Him? What was it about Him? It said that Jesus was found "human in appearance" though He was God. So what made people follow Him? What makes people follow Him still? I think what it boils down to is this: People saw in Jesus something they wanted. Peace. There is something about following Jesus that brings peace!

We search for that peace in a lot of places. There is a lot going on in this world that says it can bring you peace but let's be real...can it? Can that massage really relieve stress? Well, maybe for a while...but those stress knots will come back. Can Dr. Phil really fix your relationship? I doubt it, maybe he can give you some common advice. Can Judge Judy bring you the justice that you so desperately are searching for so you can finally just be at peace with whatever it is that someone did to you? I can tell you now that the answer to all those questions is...well, maybe, but the result will not be a lasting one.

Following Jesus (and this may sound really corny) is the only way to gain the peace that we are searching for. I was anxious about a few things over the holidays...I couldn't figure out why my life was out of sorts...it bothered me and so I decided to take it to prayer...I walked into Adoration and immediately felt a sense of peace at just BEING in the presence of Jesus. This is what it came down to for me...I needed more of Jesus in my life. I needed to lay down my nets (all the extra work) and follow Him, I needed to offer all my material possessions (including my body which is only mine for a little while) to Him and let Him use me for whatever purpose He wanted. I needed to take that one liner that Jesus said "Come follow me" and (as Nike's one liner says) just do it! I needed to FOLLOW HIM...and everything else would be taken care of...Jesus promises life in ABUNDANCE! And we need that in a world that promises empty things and is full of darkness and uncertainties. We need to cling to the promise that when He said "come follow me" He would take care of us in every sense of the word, and bring PEACE! So my point is this...Jesus had some great one liners!

Follow Him!

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