The Latest in the New Evangelization

Hi all!

So while this title like most of my titles past lacks inspiration creativity and pleases probably no one but me due to the ever so slight pun, it does capture my current emotion pretty well.

The internet gets a lot of flack for being the source of all evil in society and, as a millennial who grew up with the internet, I can see the validity to points of the argument. However, as I’ve been blogging and getting into the New Evangelization I think it can also be a really incredible tool for evangelizing and bringing people together who otherwise never would have met. For example, now you can even Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I really like blogging, so much so that a few months back I opened up a forum for guest contributions to absolutely ANYONE who felt they had something to say about their own faith journey and how it’s played out in their life.

It has yielded such amazing results including an awesome guest post from my very own amazing little sister A.C. Wilson which I am more proud of then I can say.

The offer still stands open to ALL and I am pleased to announce that there is now another guest post will be ready for publishing Thursday 2/23 at 6 PM eastern from Sr. Christina from the community of Dillingen Franciscan Sisters in North Dakota. NORTH DAKOTA. Points for the internet for making that happen. I’d never met anyone from North Dakota to that point.

I told her that my blog community is probably the equivalent of a loving small town like the ones I imagine are in North Dakota! (I will eventually get over it I promise) I also told her that posting wouldn’t get her a million views overnight or make the community an internet sensation. But I told her I do have something far better, at least in my mind.

I told her that those who read these blog tend to be the type that are seeking: seeking happiness, seeking to be challenged intellectually, seeking to be inspired but most of all seeking God in the everyday whether they have admitted it to themselves or not. The people that I know read this blog are my favorite kind of people, people that are open to letting things outside themselves touch their heart. Only in this environment can truth and beauty resonate.

So in the coming weeks I am going to post a short bio about Sr. Christina and her community. Then I will publish the beautiful piece she submitted to me. I encourage you all to read it and maybe even to check out their site because why not?

And lastly I wanted to thank you all for inspiring me with your readership, your thoughtful comments, and for making this blog possible in the first place. I am truly humbled that anyone actually takes the time to read it and it has given me such joy not only to share little pieces of my walk with God but especially in hearing about yours as well.

And in that spirit should you ever want to share in a more profound way I am posting the link for submission again here. (#shameless)

Have a blessed rest of your Thursday!


Be Careful What You Wish For

One summer several years ago I had just finished my freshman year of college and was waiting to hear back from an internship I’d applied to. To make some money in the interim I did some housekeeping work for the Bed and Breakfast where my mom worked.

One afternoon I was in a particularly beautiful suite cleaning the bathroom where there was a tub so huge I actually had to get inside it in order to clean it. I confess I was having a moment of bitterness because while my friends were off having fun and going on vacation I was stuck working hard. Instead of being grateful I chose to be frustrated. As I was cleaning this ridiculously luxurious tub I complained to God something along the lines of, “I should live to see the day where I can afford to soak in a tub like this.” Preoccupied with my own thoughts and taking out my frustration on my scrubbing I bumped the water handle which somehow turned on the showerhead and covered my clothes with water. I quickly turned off the faucet but had to laugh because as it turned out I would get soaked in that tub a lot sooner than I had anticipated.

I am forever grateful for God’s sense of humor in that moment because the encounter shook me out of my head and returned me to the mystery and adventure of the present. It’s a reminder I always need because I am so prone to missing the present by thinking about the future and the plans that I have instead of accepting each moment with gratitude as it comes.

I know that essentially what it boils down to is the eternal struggle for surrender, the fight to let go of control of my life and let myself be led by God. It requires a trust and a patience that I do not have by nature but that I hope to have one day by grace. And in the interim, all I can hope is that I do a little better with it today than I did the day before, knowing that regardless of whether I succeed or fail I’ll be one day closer to heaven.

The Struggle is Real

The following is a guest post from A.C. Wilson:

As a college student, I hear a lot of slang, funny phrases and strange trends. Everything from “on fleek” to “ratchet” or “the dab.” One of those phrases is “the struggle is real.”

You describe a long homework assignment to your roommate and they look at you with pity and a dash of humor and say “the struggle is real”

You run out of ice cream: “the struggle is real”

You trip and stumble at the bus stop: “the struggle is real”

A form of college casual empathy for mostly the mundane, everyday problems that we may encounter. There are memes about it. There’s a whole “struggle” movement.

Sometimes I wonder where this phrase came from. Why do we feel the need to identify which struggles are legitimate and which aren’t? Shouldn’t all struggles be “real” by definition of a struggle? Can there be fake struggles? Are we so jaded by so many complaints and “struggles” a day that it is necessary to identify the “real” ones? Perhaps it is part of our culture. Maybe we are so insecure that we need to validate what is acceptable to “struggle with” and what’s not?

More to the point, for those of you seeking the holy life: “The struggle” really is real. And God bless you for undertaking it because it is freaking difficult sometimes.

But why does God, who is all peace, allow this difficulty, this pain in the struggle?

I think it is for our good. If God just gave us all the virtues without the fight, then they wouldn’t be virtues anymore, because virtues take practice and perseverance. If He didn’t allow struggle, we wouldn’t know peace and if we did not know peace we would not know Him, at least not as fully and intimately as He desires. God wants the struggle for holiness to be “real,” otherwise there would be no glory in it.

The struggle gives God glory, and “The glory of God is man fully alive.” -St. Irenaeus.

According to St. Irenaeus, this fight, this struggle, is what makes us fully alive. We would be dead and despondent without the love of God always calling us forward, to stretch ourselves, to turn to Him in everything.

And yes, He is calling you. Yes YOU.

Before a whole host of objections and hesitations, I would beg you not to back down from the struggle. God loves you and calls you, wherever you are at on your journey, whatever your struggles are. He can take your everyday “struggle is real” moments, whether it is a call to change your life or having no way to cook bacon and transform them into real grace and true blessings. How? By uniting your everyday life to Christ, you can make a productive homework session a heavenly accomplishment. If you stub your toe and don’t immediately profane God’s name, that is an accomplishment. Truly, all of heaven cheers for your smallest accomplishments.

So he is calling you, you can be certain of this. But this knowledge requires abandoning yourself to God through habitual prayer and the sacraments as you fight to maintain His presence in you.

It is true God asks for everything and nothing less, but this does not mean He will take everything from you. It doesn’t mean that He will break off your engagement, end your career, or sever your ties to your family and friends. Saintliness doesn’t automatically mean a dramatic cutting off of everything familiar to you. Quite the opposite. Saintliness, or living the life God calls you to (your “vocation”), is about God entering into the everyday moments of your life, and your efforts to make a home for Him in your heart. From there, everything else will flow. You might have to leave things behind, you might not. Either way, it is for your betterment. If you have to break it off with your fiance and go into religious life, it will only be because God wants your particular love and affection purely for Himself. If you give up your job, it is because God wants to glorify you on a new path. If you live a life of isolation from your loved ones for God, He will provide for you all the closeness and intimacy you need. For any attachment we give up in this world, God will give us something greater from His very own tender heart. The less worldly “security” of money, power, etc, that we have, in the name of God, the more securely we are attached to his pierced heart, that beats for His children.

Be not afraid to trust. “The Lord is my Shepherd. There is nothing I lack.” (Psalm 23). If we really believed that, what could we do? How would the world be different?

So from one cliched expression to another, go fight the good fight, work on your prayer life, watch the graces flow, and know that I love you.