"Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit." -Pope Francis I

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Lenten Journey: LESSONS LEARNED

Happy Sunday everyone!!
 I meant to post this last week… but I was way too busy celebrating the Resurection! Anyways, I wanted to take a moment to talk about the stuff I learned through my Lenten Journey. I got a lot out of Lent this year, because I actually stuck to all my Lenten promises and got to do some pretty rad spiritual activities. So here is what I learned this time around:

     1. I complain an awful lot- A few weeks ago I was talking to my youth minister, and I'm not sure why, but I suddenly became very aware of the fact that I complain ALL the time. Even on great days, I'll find something to be upset about. I find that I whine to my friends almost daily, about "how tired I am" or  pout about little things that aren't that big of a deal. Upon praying about this, I've come to realize that people today always have something to be ungrateful for. Which is really a sad thing because most of us, myself included, don't know what real struggle is. Complaining is the norm in my world, and I've decided that I need to change that and learn how to be more grateful. So I've decided that everyday I will write down 5 different things that I am grateful for. I hope that by doing so I will 1.) stop complaining so much and 2.) regardless of how I'm feeling, I hope to look back at my day and see that God is good and always working in my life.

    2. Sometimes I can be a little too goofy- I absolutely love being my extroverted crazy self. Being extroverted definitely has it's benefits, and I've been blessed with some amazing opportunities, as a result of being so social and bubbly. However, lately I've been noticing that sometimes I can get caught up in being goofy and outgoing, and forget that I need to be real and wounded. I noticed this when I went on a retreat at the beginning of Lent- where I had the opportunity to give a testimony. I felt Jesus calling me to talk about my struggles with emotional chastity, which was very difficult for me. I didn't try and be silly or funny. I just spoke from my heart. It felt weird at first, because humor often calms my nerves, and I even questioned whether or not I articulated myself well enough. But I was pleasantly surprised after my talk, when a couple of guys came up to me and asked me questions about chastity and how to live a pure life. PRAISE GOD! Later that night, during prayer, I realized that sometimes I need to be modest, and know when it's appropriate to be a goof-ball, and when it's appropriate to be my wounded self.   

Group of teens from my parish that went on the retreat with me! #SEASSWAG
     3. Carmelite Monasteries are pretty swagtastic- The first week of Lent, I went on a silent retreat at a Carmelite Monastery with my friends Jason and Torrey. Originally I wasn't planning on going. . . but I guess God REALLY wanted me to go, because He ended up pushing me to change up my busy schedule so I could go. The retreat consisted of 3 meditations, mass, and benediction- and allowed me to rest in God in a way I'd never rested in Him before. Prior to coming to the monastery, I had this idea of what it takes for someone to be a Carmelite nun- introvert, painfully shy, lover of the indoors. However, my mind was changed through resting in Jesus. It was a peaceful experience, that opened my eyes to the beauty of being a Carmelite. I don't know if God is calling me to that vocation, we'll have to seen, however it certainly helped appreciate my sisters who are, in the words of my friend Angela, "willing prisoners for God."

     4. The promise of the crucifix- Palm Sunday one of my favorite priests said something beautiful during his homily, that really opened my eyes to what the crucifix promises to all Christians. He said "When you look up at the cross, and see our Lord beaten and dying, do not be saddened. Because the cross is a promise to us, that God will give everything He has out of love for us. This promise is fulfilled by the Eucharist." Before hearing that I'd never made that connection between the crucifix and the Eucharist. I'm really grateful that God opened my eyes to that connection, through His priest, before Holy week. Meditating upon that promise really helped me look at the Crucifixion in a whole new way. Praise Jesus!!

     5. The Easter Vigil Mass is FANTASTIC- This year I was asked to be the Godmother of a sweet middle schooler, named Madison. I had no clue what the Easter Vigil was, before last Saturday. . . So not only did I get to witness the Easter Vigil for the first time ever, but I actually got to participate in the mass in a unique was which was so rad. Watching my Goddaughter, and the others candidates, receive the Sacraments of Initiation was beautiful, and a memory I shall cherish in my heart forever! Now that I have witnessed the loveliness, that is the Easter Vigil, I plan on attending every year because it's SO worth of time. (*If y'all could keep my Goddaughter in your prayers I would SO appreciate it!)

My Goddaughter Madison and I 

I could go on and on and on about other things I learned during Lent, but I'm afraid that would be a terribly long post. I hope y'all had a successful Lent! May the joy of the Resurrection fill your hearts with fire and Holy desire! He has risen! Alleluia!

In His Love,


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