Hola familia. ¿Comó están? I’m writing in Spanish because I should be doing Spanish homework but instead I’m here.
In the bible study that I’m a part of, every week we have a challenge. The last week we talked about the talents God has given us and my mind immediately went to…you guys. To writing. To blogging. To getting my voice out in the world. So for my weekly challenge I wanted to use this talent of writing that I have been blessed with to praise my God and thank Him for all he has given me.
So today I’m going to talk about something very special to me and that is my faith. Growing up I went to Sunday school almost every Sunday. I made my first Communion. I learned the Our Father and Hail Mary prayers. I went to church with my family even if I grumbled and complained about it. AND THEN. My sophomore year, when everything was falling apart (not really but that was the year I hurt my elbow and couldn’t cheer) I went to the National Catholic Youth Conference for the first time. Since then I have come up with this list of the major things I love about being a Catholic chick.
- The music – obviously this is one. My mom is obsessed with listening to worship music so guess who else is? Yup, me. Ever since I saw Matt Maher at my first March for Life I have been in love with his music. I love going to big Catholic events because I know so many songs and can sing along to most of them (even though I cannot sing…at all).
- Adoration – being that close to Jesus takes my breath away every time. The first time I went to Adoration was at NCYC and I literally cried the whole time. I love going and actually just went last night at this beautiful church in Royal Oak, Michigan.
- Meeting other Catholic peeps – we are literally everywhere and sometimes you don’t even realize how many other people are Catholics. My first day of speech class in college last semester we did this ‘speed friend-ing’ thing and we had to talk to everyone in the class for like a minute and a half. One of the guys asked me about the cross necklace I always wear and come to find out HE WAS CATHOLIC TOO!!! So cool. Not to mention all of the people I met through events like NCYC and the Steubenville conference I went to. It’s awesome to meet so many others who love Jesus as much as you do.
- Praying – another one of my bible study’s goals was to pray for twenty minutes every day. It’s a lot harder than you think. I personally haven’t made my way to twenty minutes yet but I’m getting there. I love praying and talking to God and try to do it as much as possible. Like, the other day I woke up and had this sudden urge to pray a rosary. So I’m walking to class, rosary in hands, saying Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s and I’m sure people are staring but whatever.
- Going to Confession – I dread going but as soon as I’m finished I literally feel lighter. I went to Confession last summer at the Steubenville conference and I’ll be completely honest, it was my first time going since second grade. But there was something telling me that I needed to go so I turned to my mom and was like ‘I’m gonna go to Confession tonight’ and she looked at me weird but was like okay, sure. So we waited in line and I went to Confession and felt incredibly amazing afterwards, just like I did this past Sunday when I went.
- Reading Scripture – I love this. If you haven’t checked out my Favorite Bible verses post you definitely should. I just recently really started reading my Bible, but I love it and I can’t even begin to explain all of the things I have learned from reading. Every time I need a break from studying or can’t sleep or just am having an off day, I turn to Scripture.
- Seeing Jesus literally at work in my life – from healing my arm and allowing me to stunt for the last competition of my cheerleading career to sitting me in front of the girl who leads my bible study and I now consider my close friend. I know none of these things wouldn’t have been possible without Him and I am forever grateful to my Lord and Savior for these things.
- Hearing Catholics speak – I love hearing Catholics talk about being Catholic. It motivates me and pumps me up and I just can’t really explain it in a short little paragraph. My favorite so far has been Jackie Francois Angel who I saw both times I went to NCYC. You should check her out and can find her on Twitter at this link.
- Having something in common with my mom – I love going to church with my mom. I love going on retreats with my mom. I love worshipping our Lord with my mom. I love jamming to worship music in the car with my mom. Being Catholic and diving so deep into my faith is a big thanks to mi madre. It’s the best thing to be able to talk to her about in my opinion.
- Being a part of a bible study – how I found this bible study is actually a funny story. So one of the first weeks at EMU I was a bit worried because I hadn’t made many friends yet. So I went to the student mass that night because I figured, might as well pray about this and maybe the next day I’d meet someone in class or something. But God had a slightly different idea. I sat in a pew and a few moments later a girl sat behind me. Another few seconds pass and we’re asked to bring up the gifts for Communion together. I turn to her and she tells me at what point in mass we are supposed to head back and then she’s like ‘hey are you a part of a bible study?’ and I shook my head no and she goes ‘well do you want to be?’ and I was like kind of on the fence about it because I didn’t know too much about the bible or had read a ton of it. So I gave her my phone number and whatnot and we went through mass and as we were going through, in the back of my mind I remember I was like, yeah. Bible study would be great. And look at me now! I’ve learned so much from this friend who’s name I won’t say for privacy reasons. (However you can check out her blog here) I’ve also gotten close with the other two girls in our bible study and feel closer to Jesus as well.
- NCYC – the first time I went I was the only one from my church. The second time I went was with four other girls who I was close to. I don’t even have words to describe NCYC but if you get a chance you should definitely go. Days of music, talks, meeting new people, service projects, and JESUS! Even though I’m in college now, I’m hoping my mom will take me as a chaperone this year (fingers crossed).
- The fact that I always have someone to turn to – we all have dark days where nothing seems to be going right. Days where it feels like the whole world is against us. Days where we feel sad for no reason. Days where we feel alone. Being a Catholic has given me the constant reminder that even if I’m having the worst day of my life and I feel invisible and like no one understands, I have Jesus to turn to. That fact has gotten me through so many rough days. And those are the days where through my tears and frustration I step back and pray and pray and pray. Which makes everything feel better.
- The constant reminder that I am loved – in addition to dark, depressing days, I also have days where I am reminded just how single I truly am. And those days suck as well. But, then my fingers find the cross necklace I got in Texas that sits just above my heart and I’m reminded that I don’t need some guy to make me happy because I have the best guy already looking out for me. I don’t need a boyfriend because I have Jesus who thinks I am beautiful and wonderful. My God has made me in his image and if some stupid guy can’t see that, obviously he’s the wrong guy. I know that someday I will find someone who loves Jesus as much as I do, maybe even more. That’s the kind of guy I want in my life.
- Going to church – not just my church at home, or the church I go to at school. But churches all over. The Basilica in Washington D.C. is by far the most beautiful one I have ever saw. There’s also a very pretty one in Texas that we go to whenever we go there that I love. I just love going to new ones. But I also love the actual mass. I love the readings. The hymns. The homilies. Receiving the Eucharist. Morning mass is my favorite because the sun is always shining through the stained glass and it’s the most beautiful sight ever. Sunday mornings are actually the only mornings I don’t hate. I think that’s because my mom always buys us donuts after mass and has trained us in that way to not despise Sunday mornings. But whatever the reason, I love morning mass.
So, there’s that. The things I love about being Catholic. Not all of them are specific to Catholicism but oh well. If you’re not a Catholic and don’t agree with anything I said in this post, well, honestly it doesn’t matter to me. “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Mt. 10:22) If you are also a Catholic and I missed anything, feel free to leave a comment!
That’s all I have for you guys today, I really need to go finish my Spanish homework. I would like to dedicate this post to my bible study companions, I hope you ladies enjoyed it! Until tomorrow!