Grateful Exhaustion

This summer, I'm working as a camp counselor at a Catholic summer camp. It's an incredibly intense job, both physically and emotionally. I love it, but it is definitely exhausting.

One thing I've noticed is that whenever someone asks me how I'm doing, I've started to reply with something along the lines of, "Oh, I'm surviving."
While maybe there isn't something inherently wrong about this response, I stopped to think about what I was actually saying. Is what I'm saying true? Am I just surviving? Am I just floating about the surface of life and doing the bare minimum to survive? Or am I living the life I am meant to live in that particular moment?

How can we learn to live fully and do God's will? For one, we can make a conscious choice to do all for God. As I pick up kids' candy wrappers I can do it for the glory of God. As I run halfway across camp to get a water bottle for a kid who has forgotten their water bottle five times, I can …

Who am I?

“I need to find myself!”
Have you ever heard someone utter something similar? I sure have. Humans have a deep-rooted need to define themselves. We need to have our own identity. I have struggled with this myself. For years I was a competitive dancer and when I went to college and wasn’t competing I struggled to figure out who I was if I wasn’t a dancer.
However, contrary to what the world thinks, our identity as humans is not based upon our talents or what we simply do. Who we are is not comprised of our successes or failures. Do not make the mistake of defining yourself by a label you are given.

Jacques Philippe in his book Interior Freedom discusses this issue. “Human beings are more than the sum of the good they can accomplish. They are children of God, whether they do good or cannot yet manage to do anything.”

The only thing that truly defines me is the fact that I am God’s child. No matter how badly I fail or how grandly I succeed, I will remain His child.

Trust in Him, He Trusts in You

Jesus, I trust in You.

I have said this prayer countless times in my life.

Yet, it was not until recently that something hit me. Not only should I trust Jesus, but I should recognize that He trusts me.

Jesus wants us to trust in Him just as He trusts in us. I never before considered how much Jesus trusted me. He trusts me to love Him and never give up on Him. He trusts me to serve Him. He believes in my ability to do good. He believes in me when I do not think I am strong enough.

St. Peter denied Jesus. He was scared and lacked faith. Yet, Peter was the one Jesus chose to lead His church. Jesus made Peter the first bishop, the rock on which the church was built. Jesus trusted Peter in spite of his failure.

In times of worry, fear, doubt, and anxiety, remember this: Christ chose you. He trusts you.

In Christ,
Mary Grace

That Time I Fell on My Face

Let me tell the story of the time when falling on my face taught me a lesson (besides the obvious fact that I should learn how to use stairs).

 It's a sunny Friday morning. I'm walking upstairs to go to class. IT'S FRIDAY, YAY, I think. It's gonna be a great day. Suddenly, I trip and fall on my face. Everyone around me doesn't stop. They just keep walking on by me. I look around to see if anyone noticed. They didn't, so I quickly jump up and keep walking like nothing happened.

 I often find myself yearning for others' approval. I want to look good to others. I seek fulfillment and attention from other people. 
Sometimes, when I am lonely, when I feel I am missing out on others' attention, it can be tempting to succumb to despair. But then I realized something.
I do not need others' approval.
I only need God's.
I realized that what I am yearning for can only be fulfilled by Christ. I am seeking approval and attention from places that cannot give…

Do Not Be Discouraged

Sometimes, it feels as if nothing is easy. Nothing is falling into place. It is tempting to give up and think that since it is not easy, it is not meant to be. When I was competing in Irish dance, I was trying to win first place so I would qualify for the national competition. I kept getting second place. I got second place five times before I finally won. I was so frustrated. I was tempted to give up. However, I kept working hard and I appreciated my success so much more because of my difficulties.

We are all called to persevere. We are called to be saints and fulfill our role in God's plan. But what does this look like? How can we act as saints in our daily lives? One way is to persevere in our daily struggles and offer up our sufferings to God.

St. Josemaria said: A saint is a sinner who keeps trying.

How easy is it to place the saints in a separate category? Yeah, they were human, but they were special. They were called by God. They were strong.

This is not true. They were weak. T…

When You Feel Like God Is Shouting at You

Have you ever felt like God is trying to tell you something?

Lately, I've felt like God is holding a neon sign trying to get my attention. I'm pretty sure that God is trying to get me to trust Him.

Exhibit A: Philippians 4:6-8

Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 

When I helped start a girls household at St. Gregory's, these verses from Philippians really resonated with us. Since then, I have heard these verses everywhere!  I had to read them for class, I heard them in mass, my friend read them in her brother's wedding, and a speaker mentione…

Walking into Janitor Closets (and other transferring adventures)

I'm currently home in Texas for spring break and finally have time to write and reflect a little on the semester so far. I can't believe it's halfway over!

As many know, my school St. Gregory's University unexpectedly closed at the end of last semester so students were forced to transfer to finish their degrees. I was extremely lucky in that I was able to transfer to Benedictine College with people I knew.  Benedictine is an awesome school but transferring is just hard. It's even harder when you didn't exactly choose to transfer AND it's the middle of the year. There have been many ups and downs. I find that sometimes I just need to continually repeat to myself, "Jesus, I trust in You." Anyway, without farther ado, here's a few adventures I've experienced so far!

1. Walking into a Janitor's Closet
Let me explain: I had just walked out of class. I meant to walk into the bathroom, but instead opened the door into the janitor's closet…