Tag Archives: christian

Disciples pray …

5 Aug

Disciples pray with passion. Disciples worship. Disciples love the Church and serve her with energy and joy. Disciples give lavishly. Disciples hunger to learn more about their faith. Disciples fill every formation class in a parish or diocese. Disciples manifest charisms and discern vocations. They clamor to discern God’s call because they long to live it. Disciples evangelize because they have really good news to share. Disciples share their faith with their children. Disciples care about the poor and about issues of justice. Disciples take risks for the Kingdom of God.

Sherry Weddell, Forming Intentional Disciples


One of those weeks

24 Jul

One of those weeks


Your soul speaking to Christ

22 Jul

From the moment I met you, all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I haven’t thought of you. And now that I’m with you again… I’m in agony. The closer I get to you, the worse it gets. The thought of not being with you- I can’t breath. I’m haunted by the kiss that you should never have given me. My heart is beating… hoping that kiss will not become a scar. You are in my very soul, tormenting me… what can I do?- I will do anything you ask.

Anakin, Star Wars Ep 2

I’m That Girl – That Girl That Got Pregnant

5 Nov

Raquel Kato

This post is the winning post for the SEEK 2013 Blog Contest.

So…I’m pregnant. I’m 21, single, a senior in college, and yes, I’m that girl. It happened on my 21st birthday. Most people get to enjoy a few too many drinks, and possibly a bad headache the next day for their 21st birthday. My experience was a little different. I was that girl that got way too drunk, that girl that was insecure, that girl that had a random hookup, that girl that couldn’t say no, that girl that got pregnant.

It should be understood that one drunken hook-up did not change my life. The devil had been working through the details for years leading up to this. He had been working the day I had my first illegal drink of alcohol. He was there when I lost my virginity to a guy I hardly knew. He was there when I lost all self-respect and repeatedly got drunk and acted promiscuously. He was there when I searched for guy after guy for security. The devil was there the day after all those miserable hookups, feeding the thoughts of unworthiness and self-hate into my head. The devil was working the whole time. It’s no surprise that on my 21st birthday, I got drunk “justifiably” because it was my birthday, and had sex with some guy. It was no surprise at all; in fact the devil had this in the works for many years.

Fortunately, God was working this whole time too.

The day I saw those two lines indicating a positive result, my whole world completely turned upside down. I was living every young girl’s worst nightmare.  I was pregnant. At the time I found out I was pregnant, I was single, alone, and afraid. I literally felt I had no one to turn to. The weight of my own embarrassment, shame, self-hatred, and loss of self-worth was too much to bear and I never told a single soul I was pregnant and scheduled an abortion even though I knew to my very core it was wrong. The devil works when we are alone, and that’s exactly what I was – alone. Inside I was desperately screaming “Who could possibly love me?”There was no way I could tell anyone. I was afraid. I was afraid no one would love me if they knew that I had gotten pregnant. Being raised Catholic all of my life I was well versed in Church teaching on abortion. I knew that every aspect of it was wrong; it was emotionally, scientifically, theologically, spiritually, and fundamentally wrong – yet I was still going to do it.

However, God loved me too much to let me off the hook. The days leading up to my abortion, I would attend mass. I would sit in the very back, by myself, head down the entire time. I would shamefully watch other people receive the Eucharist as I sat there, unworthy of it. The weekend right before my scheduled abortion God pierced my soul with His unconditional, perfect love. It was as if all the readings and the homily were directed specifically at me. That day at mass I learned about God’s infinite mercy and forgiveness. I had obviouslyknown intellectually about forgiveness and mercy, but that day was different. That day, God gave me the grace to feel His presence and his mercy and forgiveness in my heart. For the first time I knew with every ounce of my being that God DID love me as much as he loved the little life inside of me. For the first time in over a month of depression and turmoil and shame, I felt loved – in the midst of my brokenness. I realized that God gifted me not only with my life, but also entrusted to me the life growing inside me. In that moment I felt overwhelming peace and the courage to offer my life back to God as a gift and do His will, no matter how scared I was. By the grace of God alone, I cancelled my abortion.

That day changed me forever. I know His love is real; He has confirmed it to me time and time again.  God confirmed His love for me when I finally built up the courage to tell my parents I was pregnant; my parents never condemned me, but instead embraced me and loved me and supported me.  God confirmed His love for me when I finally went to confession and the priest praised me for my choice of life and gave me the grace to forgive myself.  God confirmed His love for me when I told my friends and they not once judged me, but loved me and affirmed me of my worth.  God confirmed His love for me when my doctor never questioned my age or why I didn’t have a husband and instead rejoiced in the development of the baby inside me.  God confirmed His love for me every day at mass when He sacrifices himself over for me, so that I, a broken girl, could be forgiven and come to know Him.

I am now proud to say I am 39 weeks pregnant with a beautiful little girl.  Any day I will get to hold this beautiful gift of life.  I am proud to say that I have given my life back to God as a witness to life as I am one of the few, if not only pregnant girl attending a secular university.  I also have a new found passion for helping the broken women found in an unplanned pregnancy as a volunteer advisor at our local Pregnancy Resource Center.  Finally, I share my story with anyone and everyone, with just the small hope that another broken person can feel loved and know his/her life is truly a gift and that they are valued as a child of God.  Life truly is a precious gift, and I’m so blessed that God gave me the grace to understand that, even in the midst of brokenness.

Read the rest of her story and other blog entries here


30 Aug

Chastity, sobriety, & excellence. In FOCUS lingo that’s the ‘Big Three’. It’s just one of the many things we expect from our student leaders. Recent conversations with a couple students and learning how to juggle my studies & missionary life made me realized the need to highlight why Excellence is a ‘big’ enough deal to be in the ‘Big Three’.

As a student I thought I knew what striving for excellence meant: straight A’s. I worked hard for an ‘A’, but I knew it was only possible because of my God-given talents. Entering my senior year I began to see it differently: I was cheating the system. I knew what my art professors were looking for and I did the bare minimum to please them. I did not care about the process or even the end product, just the grade. My success and happiness were based on a letter–which tends to fluxuate throughout the semester. But God didn’t give me talents in order to give me an ‘A’. He won’t ask for my report card when I get to Heaven. He wanted me to use my talents to learn. Specifically to learn His voice, to know Him.

I have an addiction to worldly success (moreso then than now). And I know I am not the only one who needs to break this habit. My life was busy. Too busy for God. And this is probably the 2nd most common excuse I hear when inviting Catholics to Mass, Bible study, prayer, etc. Yesterday, a student told me a story about a busy day at work. She was stressed and all she wanted to do was leave. As a man was leaving, she told him to have a nice day. He simply replied, “Have a nice life”. But as he was halfway out the door he stopped, looked back at her and said “Have a Full life.” When God chooses to work in ordinary ways, we miss it because we are so busy. By taking time out of her busy day to say goodbye to a stranger, this student was reminded of the goal of our lives: to “have life, and have it to the full” (Jn 10:10). We were not meant to just ‘get the grade’ (or job, or house, etc.), we were meant to live lives of substance. It’s like choosing a salad when you can go for the steak (no offense to salad eaters), don’t worry about the cost, Jesus will pick up the check (aka carry your cross)!

Now, for all of you freshman who are on their way to earning a spot on academic probation, this is not a doctors note to get you off the hook. This is a call to live order and to be saints (after all sainthood is perfecting excellence). We still need successful students future lawyers, doctors, CEOs, teachers, artists, and even stay-at-home parents.  But moreso, we need successful students who will go on to be our future leaders and cultural revolutionaries, those jobs will always be in high demand. I have high hopes for your path to sainthood, just keep in mind that life uses a heck of a lot more letters than A-F.

Papa B tels us how to ‘Be’

30 Aug

Follow this link for a bunch of sweet quotes on evangelization.

like this one:

“How many people also in our time are in search of God, in search of Jesus and of his Church, in search of divine mercy, and are waiting for a “sign” that will touch their minds and their hearts! Today, as then, the Evangelist reminds us that the only “sign” is Jesus raised on the cross: Jesus who died and rose is the absolutely sufficient sign. Through him we can understand the truth about life and obtain salvation.”
Pope Benedict XVI, Parish of God the Merciful Father, Rome, March 26, 2006