12.30.2012

Oh Franciscan, You're My Decision

     So there is something every teenager in high school is confronted with and asked about from numerous amounts of people - college and what they desire to be. It has been very stressful ,here in my mind, lately because of these decisions. Just this month I have finally got an idea of what I want to become and where my passions are found. So, once I figured that out,  my first instinct was to find a good college that has what I'm looking for. -For those of you who don't know me, I am very picky about plenty of things (men, food, school, work, etc.) and if they don't contend to my desires then my time won't be spent on them.- As I'm looking for colleges that have what I need I'm slowly getting depressed because it seems as if no college in Louisiana has a decent class for a girl looking to become a Secondary Educator in Theology. Although, there is one school called Our Lady of Holy Cross College in New Orleans that actually has exactly that major (which is awesome), but unfortunately they can't even compare to the Theology degree at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio.
     It's sort of like having seen the cutest kitten and having fallen in love with it, although you have to leave it for awhile you are still able to go back in the near future and adopt the kitten and love it till the end of it's kitty life. You won't pick the kitten's mean, frisky brother; You would head straight for the kitten you first fell in love with, right?! Well I believe this is an inaccurate insight because I see all kittens of any sort as adorable, but it described my experience with Franciscan University. Although OLOHCC is not mean and frisky.
     Considering the fact that I just converted to Catholicism this year it is SO very important that I attend a college that is passionate about the Faith and puts the practices into play. Something extremely awesome about the Faith is that it's a mystery. So no matter how many degrees you have in Theology and Philosophy you will still learn new things about it until death and still so much more that you can't even comprehend, and that intrigues me. I love learning new things, especially if those things have become a huge part of my life.

^A beautiful little Chapel located on Franciscan's campus^

     Franciscan and I first kicked it off when I went there for a high school youth conference. Before I begin, may I just say that the campus is just beautiful. As you can see the Chapel is so adorable and just behind the Chapel they had the Stations of the Cross. The campus is filled with Catholic elements and I just completely adore that. At the conference people who attend Franciscan told us about the college and had people who would talk to you about Franciscan and it got a sparked started within me (even though I had no idea what I was going to major in). 
    What completely got me sold was multiple things including:
  • They see the integration of faith and reason as necessary for discovering the fullness of truth
  • Have over 20 Franciscan friar who are active on campus 
  • They have Mass 3 times a day, once in Latin
  • As you see, they have Chapels on campus
  • The Households give you a way to experience a way of living, learning, playing, praying in Christ-centered unity, and you form intense, wholesome friendships with others whose values complement yours.
  • They have a household just for the women or men who are discerning religious life (How awesome!)
  • They have abundant student clubs and activities to choose from including: missions, film club, ministry, womanhood missions, and so much more.
The only problems I have encountered is that they don't allow pets (I can't leave Zeke with my family) and my mom believes I'm going to meet a nice wholesome good man, fall in love, get married, and remain in Ohio. I keep on trying to tell her if that ever happens we will certainly move back to nice, old Louisiana. She's still not convinced. It's also very pricey but I'm going to get any scholarships they offer, loans, grants, whatever it takes. I just have to have faith that the Lord will make a way for me if that's His plan. Who knows, the Lord can direct me to another path. But as for now, I'm sticking to Franciscan (as you can tell from my cheesy title). I've actually already filled out the application and I'm ready to send it off, once I become a senior of course.
    It's so pertinent to choose things in life that will not lead you away from God and from your faith, and college could just do that to you, as with any decision. When you live in your faith all you ever gain is a closer and stronger relationship with Christ and a better understanding of your faith.



I pray that You may become more, and I may become less. +JMJ+


12.28.2012

The Courageous Cloistered Carmelites of Covington


St. Therese of Lisieux pray for us.


     Today I had the privilege of visiting the Cloistered Carmelites of Covington (tongue twister for sure). These women, as all who choose to live for Christ, were so beautiful. You would think that since they are cloistered they must get lonely, bored, and whatever else this moderate society believes silence is; actually these sisters have all said that joining this way of life has given them so much peace within their hearts and that Jesus has far surpassed their expectations of religious life. He provides for His beloved, doesn't He? They are all so joyful and have this amazing beauty about them. I know I have asked myself so many times, "How the heck are they so joyful? They don't have a husband, kids, they are CLOISTERED, they don't get to go on vacations, etc." I believe that the reason for this joy is because they are DOING what Christ, Himself has called them to do. Think about it, if you do what Christ is calling you to do then surely He won't leave you in the dust to figure it out for yourself; rather He would give you everything you desire, because the only thing you desire when you come to this spiritual point in your life is Christ's desire for you.
     These particular sisters vowed to (if I remember correctly) prayer, obedience, and chastity. Their whole life is dedicated to prayer to Our Lord for those out in this world.. US! How amazing is it to think that these people, who you have no clue about, have dedicated their lives to prayer for you and everyone else. You may think "Big whoop, they pray for me. I pray for my grandma every night." Reality check: prayer is the most important action any human being can make. I like to think of these sisters as prayer warriors. Which everyone can become, you don't have to be a sister, priest, or whatever else your neighbor is.

  

Just a door


  My favorite part of this day ,besides Mass and hanging out with the Carmelites, would have to be meeting young women who are all going through the process of discernment. It gives me this closure inside that I am not the only one questioning what God truly desires for my life. Another amazing thing that happened today was that this woman named Gertrude ,who came down from Canada 2 weeks ago to live in Louisiana, announced to us and also to the Sisters that she wanted to stay and become a Carmelite. Funny thing is that her parents don't even know she's discerning with the sisters. They know she's in Louisiana but apparently don't know about her whereabouts. Super courageous on her part. I totally admire her for that. May I just say #amazingday.

Yay for vocations!






Humble me, Lord.   +JMJ+

 "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue." 
Proverbs 31:26





12.27.2012

The beginning of this journey, so why not talk about the definite end?

I wrote this on December 21, 2012. Concluding that that day was suppose to be the beginning of the apocalypse I found it appropriate to write about death.

     I've always felt that my time in this world would be short. Call me mad, whatever you please, but I have come to a peace with that feeling. I believeI have this feeling because Jesus may be calling me home physically, or maybe it's a sign that Jesus is calling me to give up my life in some sort of way, either through the religious life or another similar call. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suicidal here; I just wouldn't mind if the Lord wanted me to be with Him in His kingdom. I'm not entirely bound to this material world because What/Whom I long for has no boundaries and has created the materialistic objects. Plus, the only good things I actually witness in this world are the acts of kindness and love,nature, and both seen and unseen blessings and mysteries of the Faith. When it comes down to that, I think about how God IS love and kindness in it's purest form, heaven much surpasses nature, and just to be in the presence of God and finally united to Jesus is enough blessing a soul could possibly handle. I may be a tad bit frightened of the process of death, but I am not scared of the outcome. I feel sad for those whose desires are not in the Lord. What will happen when He comes in all glory upon the clouds at the end of time, will they reach out for Him out of fear or out of love and anticipation?

     I feel very selfish writing this down, but I am truly so lucky that I am able to recognize Jesus in my life at a young age and decided to live for Him. Although it wasn't me totally who recognized Jesus' desires in my life. ALL of the credit goes out to my dear Sir(s), for without the Trinity I wouldn't have gotten the gift of sincere discernment. He's so very faithful, faith of which I lack so much.
     If I do exceed to live for a long amount of time, I will still be grateful to be able to experience life full of adventures and have expectations over flowing of what Jesus has in store for me. I see life as a blessing and I never want to take that for granted. I'm a strong believer that if you live your life only for yourself then what good does that do to anyone BUT yourself. My true satisfaction comes with serving others and getting to feel the gift of giving. 


Giving is truly a gift, a gift better than receiving.



I pray that everyone may desire You in whatever way You call them to and I pray that they will respond with an eager and willing yes. Just like our Mother Mary did. +JMJ+


"So I say to you: 
Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find;
knock and the door will be opened for you."
Luke 11:9