Saturday, April 6, 2013

Never Become Complacent for Communion (Inspired by Father Dominic Foster TOR)

At the moment of our Baptism the Lord placed an indelible seal on our soul. He claimed us as His children. How precious we are to him. We are made to know, to serve, and to love him. He desires us to live our lives according to his word, and way. He, Jesus Christ, desires to pour graces on us in any way possible. He shows us himself through the breaking of the bread, through friendships, and through the sacraments.

Here at Franciscan and many other Universities many students have opportunities to obtain these ideals. Unfortunately, there are countless souls in others countries including China where they may have no friendship, and no place to practice the sacraments. In that Country for instance, a priest will be saying mass and have individuals watching out for those who want to distrupt and kill anyone who is involved in the mass. When the spies warn the priest of individuals coming a person will change into the priest clothes, give up their life for the priest, so the mass can continue to be celebrated. These individuals know the preciousness of the mass and who is in the Eucharist. They know Jesus in the Eucharist, and he is the way, truth and life. Because, in past times we have not been frightened for our lives for going to mass, we may take it for granite. Sometimes in mass we could be thinking about the next football game, what we are to eat for what we are to wear. These things can be good for the soul(recreation is important), however, they are not our true road which will lead to eternal life with the Lord Jesus.

We must not be complacent in our faith. There will be a time when we must stand up for Christ, and not be afraid of living and dying for our faith. The times may come sooner than we think when we have to stand up for the dignity of marriage or the human person to a deeper degree. We must equipt our person for battle. To equipt ourselves for battle we must entune ourselves to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. When we partake in him we are becoming one with him and he in us.

Partake in the sacraments, YES, do it with as much reverence as you can muster. Praise Christ for the sacraments YES. As a priest once told me we should recieve Jesus as it is our first, last and only time recieving the Eucharist. WE must have this mindset while recieving Forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation. Go into the presence of the Lord and lay down your sins, so that you can rise again with him, in wholeness and holiness.

Lets strive to Grow deeper in our relationship with our Lord. Brothers and Sisters lets live for Christ in a deeper way which is good, pleasing and perfect, so that we can give ourselves to HIM who is Father Son and Holy Spirit!!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

To convert is to die to oneself but to live in Christ everlasting joy

We may kick and scream during the conversion process. As americans we like fast things. We like cars that go 80 miles an hour, food that we can order and recieve in a few minutes, and depending on where you are at in your spiritual lives spirit highs. Many individuals desire a quick fix. However, a quick fix will not help you to live a life solid in Christ. We need to let ourselves go through the conversion process. Now, I'm not saying at all it will be a process of candy canes and dandelions but it will be worth the process.

Everday were faced with struggles that we need conversion from. Conversion from lies of the world, conversion from eating too much/eating too little, or not praying enough. At any place, wherever you are you are able to be start the conversion process. It could be as simple as saying, " I surrender to your Holy Will", or "Help me to surrender to your conversion time frame and let mine be shattered". For me, I have gone through struggles to realize that conversion is a process. The many stories, or movies I have read or watched it always seemed to me that saints, and the like were always converted in around 1 or two hours time. We must realize that conversion takes time. Many, myself included desire to have a miracle where I know where the Lord wants me yesterday. The Lord may work like that in miracle cases but in most cases he desires us to grow deeper into his love and understanding on a daily basis.

All of our conversion processes start the day we are born. We may not recognize it though until many years later when we realized God was in certain places in our lives which planted seeds of insurance of his love, or a future vocation. In my life, as I am journey to go deeper with our Lord I have noticed over the course of many years he has continuously planted seeds of his wonderful love for me as Father, and shown me how he wants to shower me his daughter with gifts of deep joy and peace.

We must come to realize brothers and sister that we will be converting till the day we die. Each day we must surrender ourselves to Christ so that our conversion to occur. We can go kicking or screaming in the conversion process but that will only make the process go slower when you desire to grow closer to Christ.

When our hearts are surrendered to Christ we can draw closer to him, and our hearts can be converted to him in a deep way. When we are fully converted to him, our hope is that you may see your eternal father in heaven. For when we die our hearts will be one with him and our conversion will turn into consummation!!!

My dear Brother and sisters let us remain committed to conversion to desire to have conversion turn into consummation!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Greatest lessons in simple moments

As I was talking to my father on the phone many millions of people were awaiting to see the look of the new pope. Their eyes were fixed on the window waiting to be opened to see who would sit on the chair of people of flock the church. Because I am more aware of the world at a the age of 26, and a franciscan student at Franciscan my heart became excited for the possiblity of the Catholic Church electing a new pope.

After much anticipation a man with glasses came out in the white, onto the balcony for the world to see. For a moments he just stood there and stared and what lay before him. Perhaps all struggles of the world was going through him mind or what he was going to have for breakfast the next day. Even though may not know what was in his mind, from the start we can see him to have a humble spirit. During his speech, before blessing his flock he has used to bless him. When someone asks that to individuals they are full of humility. He knows that to serve anyone one must a humble heart to serve individuals.

Even though Pope Francis could have said many beautiful lengthy prayers He just stood there and asked for his blessing. Even in the simple moments in life we learn many great lessons. We learn in the scripture the Lord says "Let the Children come". He lets them sit on his lap with know they dont have any sort of degrees, but the simplicity of their childhood.

From what I gather,  our new pope desires to take care of his flock, as Christ takes care of all of us. In a simple humbling gesture let us continue to draw forth from a simple gesture; of humility!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Giggling time

So, those who read my blog know I am not a morning person. Growing up, when my mother woke me up for school I would be grumpy, and sound like an elephant going down the stairs. Being up at 7:00 or so for school was not a happy time for me. When I started university I tried to schedule my classes for late morning or afternoon so that I could stay up as late as my body could handle, hang out with friends and eventually crash. However, lately I have been learning the Nuns, sisters and priests have it right.

Many times I have gone on retreat and they discuss living the Rythmn of the monastic life. This means that one has a balance of work and prayer in their life (ora et labora). At every convent I have gone to sister seems to just trust in the Lords rythmn for their day. Some wake up before the son, while others walk up just after the sun. I always looked forward to having  a schedule to follow so that my heart and mind could be centered on following the voice of the Lord and not when I want a snack (which will always be on my mind with whatever schedule I hold). Lately, I have become inspired through a few of Gods amazing people to start to focus my life on a rythmn. Today is the first day that Im a following a schedule of prayer, work, dinner and giggle time with my rooms( that is essential). Last night my beautiful sisters in Christ helped me to make a schedule to begin to rythmn myself to the things of the world, and to trust in the things of Christ.

This morning I woke up at around 8:00 or so to my SD voice on her mp3 player. I woke up giggling. In my giggles I was not totally grumpy and getting up but realizing that I have a Lord that desires me to wake from my sleep with Joy in him that I am called to live joyfully.

Even though my blog is really about living a rythmic this rythmic life you need giggle time!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Recreating my feminine heart

Many times in todays society the world tries to tell us who we are. If we are not secure in ourselves we may give into the illusions of the world. For many years I was lost in the idea that God was not in me, and he did not create out of the love, but was a mistake. He did not love me but created me out of bad dirt. In my head my mistakes made me believe I made a mistake that means I am a mistake.

In the eyes of the Lord this is untrue. The Lord does not make mistakes, especially when he creates the human race. He created all of us in his image and likeness and in this we are called beautiful.

Growing up I was a normal child I love to play in the dirt, riding my big bird bike in the driveway, and driving my sister nuts. Everything I did was fun. As I grew I wanted to know who I was, what I was called to do or to be. As I grew the Lord called me to be a greeter on sundays, and after I grew out of that I would altar serve or play my instrument in the choir. Because my faith was important to me I decided to attend a university with a newman center. Unfortunately, the Newman Center became an epicenter of chaos for my life. During my time I became engrossed in struggling with my sexuality identity. My identity became engrossed in the world of distortion and lies. Because of all these lies I disliked myself, and was unsure of the future. Fortunately, by the grace the Lord protected from become too engrossed in the lies of the world. Two days after recieving my diploma the Lord brought me to North Dakota where he attempted to give me graces to accept him as my Lord and savior. For the year and a half I was there He showed me himself in the blessed sacrament, on the altar, in counseling and in a spiritual director. Even though I had many spiritual paths to him He was still hard to accept. Despite frequent confessions my heart was engrossed in sin. After a year and half my heart said no to it all. I went back home to start another degree in hope it would bring me happiness and wholeness. Even though my grades were decent I was still struggling with myself and who I was in Jesus Christ.

For a while I just didnt know what to do with my life. Because of a few glimpses into youth ministry I decided to ask if I could help with youth ministry. for many of months I was able to help run games and be present with the youth. Last January I was able to attend the March for Life with them with left a desire on my heart, through Bob Rice to attend Franciscan University. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, in the months to come I was able to apply and be accepted.

September I started my journey here. At first I felt I did not belong because of my past and what my heart still felt. Even though I felt a deeply unworthy Catholic I ran to the sacrament of reconciliation for something to hold on to...something that would leave me peace in my heart. My first few confessions left me feeling unsure of what was to come. However, one day I decided to see a priest with rimmed glasses who had a sense of peace. As I walked up to him I thought I was going to puke. As I sat down he said "Greetings". We began the confession, and I opened my heart up to the Lord. He asked me If I wanted to renounce what was not of the Lord. Even though I was unsure of what he was asking I say Sure. He then had me renounce distorted thoughts and then he, by the power of the Holy Spirit he stripped bits of me away that were not of the Lord. For a while my heart felt free. However, as I learned, the journey of the Lord is a daily conversion process. So... I continued to journey to find freedom in myself and the ways of the Lord. The semester was full of unloading and reloading myself with the graces of the Holy Spirit.

At the end of the first semester I thought it was going to be easy to stay in the spirit of the Lord. Unfortunately or fortunately the Lord humbled and reiterated to me there was more work to be done in my heart. So, after I came back from school I began to work with priest with the rimmed glasses. He began to uncover what was not of the Lord, which left me broken and unsure of the future. Recently I met with him, and with the help of the Holy Spirit helped me to go deeper into the conversion process. I renounced many lies of the evil one. After my renunciation, with the Holy Spirit as his guide he broke the chains of sin in my heart. I opened my eyes and he had his hood on and his stole (I was like woah). He asked he how I felt I said I feel happy to be a woman of God. Following the meeting the Lord continued to convict my heart through friends.

Even though this freeing of bondage occured sins still remains. We are sinless creatures. However, the Lord loves us in our faults, He loves us now, and he will continue to love in our feminine or masculine identity whichever he created you to be!!!

Peace to you my brothers and sisters in Christ!! I pray this finds you on a journey of holiness and wholeness!! (Thanks Father David Morrier TOR)!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Call upon HIM who will give you rest

To give yourself to the Lord can be hard if you have never had a personal relationship. Even if you have never had a personal relationship with our Lord and Saviour you can! Growing up learning Rote prayers such as the Our Father and Hail Mary and others such information were pertinent to growing to understand the Catholic church. However, with all the information taught to me it was not directly giving me a deep intimate loving relationship with our father. For me personally growing in relationship with our Lord comes with practicing guided meditations. My heart/mind was guided to me being a small child with our Lord. We were on the beach playing on the beach. He swung me around, and He helped me build a beautiful sandcastle. After a while we sat down together, and I just melted in to his arms. When I woke to reality my heart felt as peace and knew my heavenly father touched me with his love.

We may feel this is impossible because we have places in our hearts we find disgusting or humiliating. As St. Francis embraced the leper, we can the Lord embrace the brokenness in Us!! HE can show us Love! Perhaps you can picture yourself sitting on the beach with our Lord, or a bench. Just let yourself have a conversation with Him. It only takes two words "I accept"!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Walking with the Lord

He is the Lord God Almighty. He will never desert you!! He will carry you through all moments of your life. Continue to let him love you. Even when we fall he will pick us up and love us unconditionally. Many time when we have sins on our hearts we become anixous and worried about lives. By the Grace of our Heavenly Father all of our anxities will be taken away with the grace given to us at confession!! What grace and blessings we can recieve when we open our faults and failing to the Lord Jesus Christ.

As my semester continued the Lord continued to prompt me to continue to tell Him what was going on inside my heart. One sunday night around 8:00 my heart was filling anxious and wanting to talk out my struggles out with a priest who I had developed rapport. After mustering courage to discuss my struggling I went up to the door, and found it was locked. The priest noticed me, and me noticing he was with an individual I wanted until He came out. When he came out I said "Would you...". He told me there was someone before, but would talk with me. At 8:30 the door opened up. My heart jumped a beat because His hours were from 7:00-8:30 so my heart was worried He would refuse to see me. From that moment my heart felt I was talking with Jesus. He asked if I wanted to walk and talk. My heart was opened to anything. As we talked my mouth opened up with a deep struggle on my heart. Without saying much I felt my heart come out of my mouth and was felt by the Lord. He wanted to protect and care for my heart. Even when cars were coming near us He moved me on the inside away from the cars. Towards the end of the walk with my heart being open to words He said " I absolve you Candice.." As he spoke I felt seen my the Lord, my heart inside His hands and safety occured in my life. Nothing matter but that moment. We briefly embraced and tears started to flow, My heart knew I started to cry but for a moment was questioning the emotions. He spoke me to me and said,  "Give yourself permission to Cry".

My heart met the Lord that night. HE can meet you too. It doesnt matter what you say. He will embrace, and love YOU!! Go to Him with your shame, brokenness, and distress and peace will enter into your heart. No matter what happens in your Life HE WILL give you peace!! Run to him today. Pour out your soul to the God who Loves you!! Give Him your heart and HE WILL SHOW YOU HIS!!! THE LORD WILL NEVER REFUSE!!!