Author Archives: sceneyoursoul

Everyday Saints

On Sunday, I was fortunate enough to attend the Students for Life of America conference in Bethesda , Maryland. I couldn’t help but be inspired by one of the speakers, Stephanie Gray. She was so incredibly eloquent, intelligent, and young. After watching debates between herself and pro-choice advocates on youtube, I was floored by her knowledge of pro-life logic. This woman is undoubtably an everyday Saint.

One thing she said while she was speaking about how to defend your pro-life stance in the real world reminded me of an infinitely important and confoundingly obvious fact. That we must pray to the Holy Spirit to help us in battles of theology and faith. I realized that this woman speaks the way she speaks not only because of her fervent studies and talents of the tongue, but because she relied on the Holy Spirit to help her fight her battles. I am posting a link to a short video about Stephanie below. I would highly suggest checking out more of her videos on youtube because she gives some incredible arguments in defense of the pro-life movement that can hold strong against secular opposition.

HERES THE LINK. PRESS IT. SERIOUSLY. She will blow your mind.

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One Day My Prince Will Come

I don’t care how unsentimental you may claim to be, almost every teenager catches themselves yearning for their “soulmate”.  We dream up this perfect man or woman that will encompass all of our likes and dislikes, all of our hobbies and all of our physical preferences.  I blame this phenomenon on the Disneyfication of our mentality that begins in early childhood.  Don’t get me wrong, I am almost 20 years old and I make yearly trips to Disney World and I still think Beauty and the Beast is one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen.  However, I do realize that my obsession with fairy tale love stories has hindered a much more important relationship.

To be honest, during high school about 90 percent of my thoughts revolved around imagining myself in a perfect relationship. The other 10 percent covered family, friends, homework, God, food, theater, music, etc.  These statistics are pretty bleak.  I spent a whole lot of brain power thinking completely futile thoughts.  And the worst part is, I still have the same problem.  Once I realized that I was spending too much time thinking about and/or lightly stalking boys and not enough time on Prayer and the man that already loves me unconditionally, I still wasn’t able to break the habit.  But I try.

It’s not a bad thing to have a crush on a boy or girl, especially if they emanate Christ, but you have to give up those fantasies if they are interfering with your all important relationship with the God that made both of you.

I was reminded of another truth bomb that I constantly choose to forget well I was watching the TV show, “How I met Your Mother”.  One of the characters said to a hasty ex-boyfriend searching for his soulmate, “she’s on her way, and she’s getting here as fast as she can”.  If we are called to be in a relationship, then we have to trust that God is getting our soulmate here as fast as He can.  We have to remember that He is preparing the both of us, constantly, for each other.

It’s often our tendency to look around.  To look towards the future or the things we want that we think we need.  But those anxieties are pointless.  So put them aside.  And for all the women out there who are obsessing about being in a relationship with a perfect man, well, you already are.  Every time you take Communion you are one with the greatest of all great men.  Because Jesus makes every professional athlete, handsome millionaire, and dare devil actor look like a pansy.  And he always will.

I learned most of this lesson from incredibly insightful prayer by St. Anthony of Padua, he basically said everything I needed to hear.  I hope it can serve you as it did me.  So here it is:

Be Satisfied with Me
by St. Anthony of Padua
Everyone longs to give themselves completely to someone,
To have a deep soul relationship with another,
To be loved thoroughly and exclusively.But to a Christian, God says, “No, not until you are satisfied,
Fulfilled and content with being loved by Me alone,
With giving yourself totally and unreservedly to Me.
With having an intensely personal and unique relationship with Me alone.Discovering that only in Me is your satisfaction to be found,
Will you be capable of the perfect human relationship,
That I have planned for you.
You will never be united to another
Until you are united with Me.
Exclusive of anyone or anything else.
Exclusive of any other desires or longings.
I want you to stop planning, to stop wishing, and allow Me to give you
The most thrilling plan existing . . . one you cannot imagine.
I want you to have the best. Please allow Me to bring it to you.

You just keep watching Me, expecting the greatest things.
Keep experiencing the satisfaction that I am.
Keep listening and learning the things that I tell you.
Just wait, that’s all. Don’t be anxious, don’t worry
Don’t look around at things others have gotten
Or that I have given them
Don’t look around at the things you think you want,
Just keep looking off and away up to Me,
Or you’ll miss what I want to show you.
And then, when you’re ready, I’ll surprise you with a love
Far more wonderful than you could dream of.

You see, until you are ready, and until the one I have for you is ready,
I am working even at this moment
To have both of you ready at the same time.
Until you are both satisfied exclusively with Me
And the life I prepared for you,
You won’t be able to experience the love that exemplified your relationship with Me.
And this is perfect love.

And dear one, I want you to have this most wonderful love,
I want you to see in the flesh a picture of your relationship with Me.
And to enjoy materially and concretely the everlasting union of beauty, perfection and love that I offer you with Myself.
Know that I love you utterly. I AM God.
Believe it and be satisfied

My story…the conclusion

I ended my last post pretty abruptly with a description on my former perception of the Mass. Now  I will fast forward to college.  I am currently a sophomore at a university somewhere in the Deep South.  My plan to return to the north immediately after high school was foiled by what I formerly thought was my crappy standardized test taking skills but what I know realize was God’s will.  At orientation I signed up to be apart of the Catholic organization’s listserv, once again thinking that I would get involved in Church merely to meet new people and to find a group on campus that would have to tolerate me no matter how annoying and/or boring I would become.

Long story short, through getting involved with the Catholic organization on campus, I went on a retreat that changed my life.  It sounds dumb.  But that doesn’t make it any less of a reality.  Because when you think about it, a retreat is a group of people, sent by God, to do God’s work.  And God’s work almost always involves the conversion of souls, a conversion towards faith, hope, or charity.  I realized on that trip, amidst the serenity of and perfection of nature, the subtle but powerful sense of peace that arises from having a personal relationship with God. And during adoration, I suddenly saw all the puzzle pieces of my life laid out and it all made sense.

What I’ve learned from my “Coming to Jesus” experience is that our personal plans are flawed, unlike God’s.  I’ve learned that no matter how I try to logic myself out of my faith or whenever I stumble and fall into mediocrity, God is there to grab me by the tail of my shirt to pull me back.  I know I’m on a Mission now.  We are all on the same Mission.  And we won’t be perfect.  We’re people and we sin.  But we must persevere.  I once heard a speaker say that a true soldier is the old man who clutches his Rosary for dear life.  He knows what’s at stake, and he’s fighting for it in the best way he can.  So I challenge you all to do the same.  Be the soldier you were meant to be.

CHECK IT.

“Do not conform to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing, and perfect”

-Romans 12:2

My name is Andrea.  I can, in almost all aspects, be considered a completely average teenage girl.  I am of average intelligence, average appearance, below average height, and of fairly average talent.  I came from a Catholic family and I went to Catholic school for 9 years, but for most of my life I would have also been considered an average Catholic.  And an average Catholic, as depicted by society, is one simply in title and not in practice.  To me, Mass was “eh” and the Eucharist was a nice snack break amidst the “eh” and Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary were also “eh” + a little bit of “whatever”.  There were moments where I felt touched by God, where I felt some glint of divinity in the Eucharist or in the stories of the Saints, but two seconds later I would see a cute boy and that precious glimpse of truth would go flying out the window.

It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that I made a pledge to take the “average” out of my life.  And it has been the most difficult affirmation I have ever made.  I believe the Bible verse at the beginning of this entry is so incredibly applicable to all young adults, especially myself.  Because truly, we are young ADULTS.  Teenagers are completely capable of making life altering decisions and of affecting people in profound ways.  It’s easy for us to avoid that fact.  What we do is beyond the scope of our individual personhood.  Our thoughts and actions not only affect ourselves, our friends and our families, but they affect the Salvation of the world.  We are that important.

Yes.  It just got real.

You might be thinking that I’m some intense zealot sitting in my bedroom chugging sacrificial lamb blood while watching EWTN and blasting Gregorian chant.  But like I said, I only immersed myself in the Catholic faith about a year ago.  And oh was it a rocky journey.

The story of my deeper conversion begins with my move from Minnesota to Alabama right before my sophomore year of high school.  And let me put this out there, moving in high school may not be a huge deal for a lot of people but I felt like it was literally the end of my life.  When I found out I was moving to Alabama I figured I would be living in Cowtown, U.S.A fighting off stray farm animals and racists.  But it turns out, the suburb I was living in was not much different than the one I had lived in in Minnesota.  Only the climate was much more humid, wood roaches were everywhere, and cicadas wouldn’t shut up at night.

My first year in Alabama was the most difficult year of my life thus far.  I had promised myself that I wouldn’t bother with making friends or being social because I was just going to leave and go back to Minnesota or somewhere that wasn’t Alabama in three years anyways.  But that didn’t quite work out.  Because every person yearns to feel united with someone else.  And I just couldn’t fight that desire to be desired.  And so high school turned out to be not that bad.  I was really involved with theatre, going to competitions and even writing and directing a play my senior year.  Theatre was my life in high school.  That was where I belonged and that was where I was accepted and praised.

Religion was not a huge priority to me at that point in my life.  However, it’s almost impossible to move to the South and ignore all of the raging “Bible thumpers”.   The largest Baptist Church in my suburb seemed like the size of the Mall of America.  And I’m pretty sure it had just as much parking.  Thankfully, I made friends with a girl who was in several of my classes who was very active in the local Catholic Church’s youth group.  So I thought hey, if everyone has their own little Church cliques, maybe I should join in on the fun.  So I went to a few events now and then but mainly just the “fun” stuff and none of the boring “Jesus” stuff.  That just wasn’t for me.  I was a free-minded artist.  I wouldn’t be one of those close-minded, ignorant Christians.

So for much of high school, if I went to mass it was solely for “God points”.  I figured, if there is a heaven, and if God exists I can just go to mass and daydream for an hour and then God would give me anything I wanted because I was being good and going to church.  FALSE.  That is not how it works.  If you think that’s how Church works, you are sorely mistaken.  I had to learn that lesson the hard way.

I cannot wait to continue this story but for now, I’m just going to have to leave you hanging because it’s 12:07 am and I have class at 9:oo am.  And if I don’t get what I deem an appropriate amount of sleep, I will cry.  I’m serious.  Sleep is important to me.

Okay so GOODNIGHT!