The Election of 2016

November 8, 2016

Ah, the election of 2016. This election may be one of our country's hardest, as the two opposing candidates both seem unfit to lead our country as the Commander in Chief. So, as my mother says, "Now we must look at the platform of each party because it doesn't matter anymore why you can't support Trump or why you can't support Clinton - we must choose between the platforms - Republican or Democrat, and decide from there." So, I give you, my few and dear readers, just a simple instruction - please, first, read this article: Now, please, please, PLEASE, go vote. It is not just your right, it is your obligation. As the saying goes, "If you don't vote, you can't complain."

A Light in the Dark

April 24, 2016

   It's late at night. The lights are off, and you're trying to find the light switch at a friend's house. But the thing is, by the time you get to it (if you even get there), you've stubbed your toe on the leg of a chair, slipped all over the place in your socks, or have just walked straight into a wall. Maybe, you finally get to the light switch because you remembered where it was, or maybe your friend came and turned the light on for you. But even though you have the lights on now, you probably wouldn't feel the best from slipping and running into walls, right? But what if you had waited? What if you had waited for your eyes to adjust to the darkness? You would've seen the chair and the wall, at least vaguely, right? If you waited even longer, you would've seen the room in a whole new perspective, letting the silence of the darkness fill you up. Finally, you would've had peace, and knowledge to know exactly where to turn the lights back on. We do this everyday in our lives. We rush through, stubbing our toes on every chair and trying to run through brick walls. Sometimes, we may get through, but we are injured spiritually and still need God to fix us up. Other times, God sends someone else to pick us up and heal our wounds. But we wouldn't have all of that pain and suffering if we could just be patient with God. He knows that sometimes we get caught up in the darkness, and don't know where to turn. He knows - He became man for us. But when we turn to Him in our times of trouble, He will help us. Sometimes, He'll show us that light switch right away so we can keep doing the things that make us (and Him) happy. Other times, though, He doesn't tell us. Instead, He shows us. He gives us the vision to see in the darkness to see where we're going, as long as we're patient. He can't help us as much as He'd like to if we don't let Him. Allow God to come into you. Allow His peace and wisdom to fill you up. Then, you can see the light in the dark.

A Very Holy Week

March 22, 2016

    How many big events can you pack into one week?  Apparently, a lot! Starting with Palm Sunday, this is the holiest week of the year. On Sunday, we welcomed Jesus into our hearts, as the Jews welcomed him into Jerusalem. But shortly after, crowds were shouting, "Crucify him!" because they rejected Him with their whole hearts. Now, we don't actually say, "Crucify him!" to God because, well, we're in 2016 - that's 2,016 years since the birth of Christ, and He's not physically here as a living human being anymore, as He ascended into Heaven, Body and Soul. But our sins put Christ on that cross on Friday. That's right. Not just Adam and Eve's sins, or all those who had lived before Jesus, but for all sins. Yours, mine, everyone's. He suffered greatly, died a horrible death, and then rose from the dead to save you. Me. EVERYONE. And even before that, He created a way for us to be with Him any time - the Holy Eucharist. On Holy Thursday, Jesus changed the bread and wine at the Last Supper into His Body and Blood. He offered Himself to be sacrificed, and showed it quite literally on Good Friday, when He allowed Himself to be nailed to a wooden cross. So, this week, in every little way, show God you love Him back. He did so much for all of us, so we should be able to at least pray more or do something special on your week off. After all,

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

Give It Up

February 15, 2016

    Here we go again. Lent. I guess I have to give up something, right? I'll just give up snacks. That's not too hard so I'll just go with it. That's what we'd like to think. Just give up something that is sort-of significant and go on with our lives. But if we're true Catholics that want to please God, we should do something more! I know I can be attached to things on my phone, so I gave it up. If you really really really like snacks and you always want to be eating, then give it up! All of these things are just luxuries of an earthly world. Why should temporary happiness - phones, hot showers, large meals, etc. - hinder us from eternal joy? God wants us to be happy. He doesn't want us to suffer until Easter - that's not what Lent is about. God wants us to love Him back. Sometimes, we don't even realize that we're offending Him. Let's say I like to play on my  computer. That's not a bad thing. But if I do it all the time, then I'm obsessed. Then, I let the devil win. Because now I've let something come before God. I may not be worshipping my computer, but I'm putting the computer first in my priorities. Yeah, God. I'll talk to you...after I play this game 100 more times.  NO! Think of how rude and mean that sounds! You wouldn't just go up to your dad and say, My computer game is more important than you. Because you may not literally say that, but it shows, especially to God, who knows more about you than you know about yourself. So give up something that might be a struggle. Because when you win against the devil, and you get closer to God, that's better than any number of iPhones. Because it means you're on the path to heaven.

The Church Is A Family

January 14, 2016

    Does anyone remember Lilo and Stitch? "Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten." It's so true! And the cool part is that it actually can be related to the Church! Okay, so what does a kid's TV show have to do with the Catholic Church? Maybe the Hawaii part isn't it, but the part that the Church is a family! We all have certain roles as a Catholic family that bind us together around the world. Everyone has a unique role in this Body of Christ, and though they are different, one is not greater than another. For in Corinthians 12:12-27;

"For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. If they were all one member, where would the body be? But now there are many members, but one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it."

So the Church is a family. A really, really big family. If one of us messes up, we all are affected, and when we confess our sins and are forgiven, we all rejoice. That's what a family does. When we mess up, our family is affected, if they know what happened, or if we wronged them. But when we make it right, we rejoice!

My last point is about defending the Church. I'm talking and talking and talking about how the Church is a family, and that we all support each other. But what about when someone verbally attacks the Church? Or what if someone insults YOU because you're Catholic? If someone insulted your sibling, or insulted your family name, you wouldn't just sit around. You would stand up for them, because they are family, and you love them. The same is for the Church. When someone offends the Church, they're offending your family! Even if it's your best friend who attacks the Church, you still have to stand up! For Jesus tells us,

For whoever denies me in front of men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:33)

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!

January 1, 2016

   Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everyone! I hope that you had a very merry Christmas, full of love and joy, and that you are blessed abundantly this new year!

    Wow! It's 2016 already! Time goes by so fast, which is why we must always remember that God is the most important part of this time of the year. There are just so many THINGS, right? Presents, cookies, electronics, decorations, toys, games. While those things are fun to have, they're not nearly as important as the Birth of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. HE is the real deal. Why are we so attached to our phones and computers and tablets? Sure, they offer entertainment and information, and aren't bad things to have. But when we put them before God, that is when we commit the sin and block Him out. And the thing is, Jesus doesn't have an iPhone! The only way you can really talk to Him is through prayer. The gift of prayer is greater than we realize. A lot of times we will say a quick prayer, like asking God to have given us the knowledge to get a good grade before the teacher hands the test back after grading it, or hoping a sports team wins a game. I know I have! There's nothing wrong with that, too! But if that is the only time that we pray, then we're not doing enough. God came down from heaven to be fully God and fully man with us, suffered, died, and came back from the dead, and all we do is say, "Please let my team win!" For that, we should be worshipping God every second of our lives! But because we are human, we cannot really do that. So now, make sure that you've thanked God for coming down to live among us, and...

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)