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Hey ya’ll!

“This is my command- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the lord your God is with you wherever you go.”~ Joshua 1:9

My name is Clarissa Mae. I am currently a student at the College of Idaho and am studying Biology. I am aspiring to become a doctor. My goal is to go to medical school after I finish off at CofI after that I dream of joining Doctors Without Borders (http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/index.cfm). I have always admired Mother Teresa and all that she did for the sick of Calcutta, she is what inspired my dreams of becoming a doctor and helping the less fortunate. I have always been called to be a servant of God. I enjoy helping those in need whether it is donating clothes or just listening.

For the past two summers I have been able to go on mission trips with a friend and her church. Both years we went to Native American Reservations, one in Wyoming and another in Arizona. It was so cool to learn about these communities. The Native American people are beautiful! I loved talking to them and hearing their stories and seeing them dance. I was drawn closer to God on one of these trips. We were painting a ladies house as part of our trip. It was a lot of fun! The lady came out one day and told us how excited she was to have her house painted yellow (it was previously grey) that she needed light in her life. She told us stories of one of her family members being beaten to death and another dying in a drunk driving accident. This lady had incredible faith she was strong and confident that God would help her through her tough time. Her daughter was in a horrible accident and the doctors told her there was no way she would ever be the same and that the daughter should just be put in a home so she wouldn’t burden the family. But this lady told the doctors no. She brought her daughter home retaught her to read and write. It was an amazing story! The daughter even came out and talked with us for a long time! This old lady taught me to never give up, especially on the ones you love. I realized that I may be going through a tough time but if i turned to God he would get me through it.

Aside from mission trips I enjoying playing the Viola and Guitar, reading, and I LOVE to watch movies. I can’t even begin to list my favorite movies or books. I also enjoy camping and hiking, I find that I am closest to God when I do these things. I love to admire God’s canvas, looking at his creations make me so happy!

There isn’t much I don’t like. However there are a few foods I don’t like, for example fish, mushrooms, and cottage cheese are all icky to me. It really bothers me when people don’t text/email/call me back even if it isn’t that important it’s nice to know that you got my message!

I look forward to writing more blogs and learning so much more about our faith!

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Would you want a book with missing pages?

Is your Bible Catholic? This sounds like a silly question but I mean it in all seriousness. I asked because there are so many versions of the Bible, and it is hard to tell them apart. Most people don’t understand the difference between a Kings James Bible, Protestant Bible, and the New American Standardized Bible.

What prompts this question was when I was asked, “What is the Pillar and Foundation of Truth?” I thought for a moment and answered, “Jesus.” But I was wrong. What would you have said?

I learned that the Pillar and Foundation of Truth is the Church. In 1 Timothy 3:14-14 it states “I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”

What church is Paul talking about in this verse? Paul is referring to the Catholic Church, the church founded by Jesus Christ. Through the Catholic Church, along with the teachings of the Bible, we have the resources necessary to understand “truth” and fullness of Christ.

I want you to understand the importance of the Church because it practices and perpetuates the values and traditions not written in the Bible. The Catholic Church has preserved sacred traditions and practices established by Jesus.

“I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” Revelations 22:18-19

A Catholic Bible is the complete Bible. No books were omitted or added. A Catholic Bible contains all the teachings of Christ, in its fullness.

YOUCAT Series 1 – Introduction

Universal Faith will be hosting a series on the YOUCAT (Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church).

I thought I would begin by explaining what it is all about;

YOUCAT uses the “four pillars” format of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, while presenting the faith in a lively, visually appealing way. It fulfills Pope Benedict XVI’s desire to have a catechism that responds to the needs of today’s youth using a design they will find attractive and understandable. Pope Benedict has said of YOUCAT, “Study this Catechism! This is my heartfelt desire.” We think YOUCAT will become the “go-to” book for today’s Catholic youth when it is introduced at World Youth Day in Madrid. It will become an indispensible resource for every young person in your school or parish. (Ignatious Press).

To get the most out of this series it would be useful to have a copy of the YOUCAT. It is surprisingly inexpensive and can be purchased online at Amazon.com.

In the meantime here is a preview for you to read.

Next time we will start by looking at Part 1.

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!

Reclaiming my Faith

If it wasn’t for my family, I know that I wouldn’t have any faith right now. My Mum was, and still is, a tireless example of what a good Catholic mother should be and my father introduced me to the wonderful traditions that the Church has such as the Latin Mass.
That being said, I still succumbed to the pressures of the world leading me to privatize my faith and in my 20’s I even stopped going to Mass altogether.
Looking back, I suppose one would say that I turned into a practical atheist.
Now I’m 35 and my husband and I have seven wonderful children that truly are each one gifts from God.
How did the Holy Spirit turn me around? I would say that people were praying for me, not just those here on earth but also those that have gone before us. Little by little He is opening my eyes to the truth. How great must the power of prayer be to be able to work such extraordinary things?
I will be writing a regular section for Universal Faith on the YOUCAT or Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church. I look toward to you joining me in the journey towards truth. Mary

BIO – “Jon Jon”

Life is a Be-You-Tiful Struggle: God has played a major role in our life, in helping all of us shaping us into the person we are today.

Howzit everyone! My name is John “Jon Jon” Ulep and I’m an active Catholic in my church along with the Youth and Young Adult Ministry, known as the A.G.A.P.E. Ministry. The AGAPE Ministry founded in Honolulu, Hawaii is the largest Religious Program in the state. I’ve have been actively involved with the ministry since my Sophomore year in high school in 2000. I’ve taught classes, organized youth and young adult retreats for different parishes, shared my testimony to hundreds of people. November 3, 2011 I was named Co-Director of the AGAPE Youth & Young Adult Ministry, Hawaii, along with my friend Kyle.

I am eager to share my experience and knowledge with people. I hope working together and sharing our story with bring our Catholic community closer and become more active in their faith.

introductions are awkward, aren’t they?

Well, I certainly think they are. But here goes nothing…

I’m Sara, and I’ll be one of your bloggers when Universal Faith launches after Christmas.

Obligatory “about me” information: I’m a 20 year-old college student majoring in History and minoring in Religion, with concentrations in Russian/Soviet history and Christian traditions. Asking me how that translates to the “real world” is fruitless because I have no concrete ideas…good thing God’s got a plan, because I sure don’t!  I love my God, my family, my sorority sisters, and my friends. On top of being a Christian, I’m also a feminist, a Whovian, an academic, a verified geek, a writer, and a fat activist.

So, you ask, what could I possibly be blogging about on a regular basis? Boy, have I got a tale for you!

In case you haven’t noticed, despite Christ’s call to unity among the body of Christ, this is something Christianity is seriously lacking and it’s safe to say there’s a huge amount of misunderstanding between Catholics and Protestants particularly. I happened to have grown up in an Evangelical Protestant church –Society of Friends, to be specific, if that means anything to you, dear reader. After “leaving” the faith (I use that term loosely because it’s doubtful whether I really had faith before that point in the first place), I found myself existing in a strange place of quasi-atheism where I simply was not interested in God. By and large, it was the roughest period in my life; I struggled with self-mutilation and often entertained thoughts of suicide, going so far as to being ready to die more than once. I was probably one of the most hateful and moody people you could ever meet because I hated myself and I hated everyone around me. At 15, God met me where I was and essentially presented me with an ultimatum by revealing Himself to me: choose me and I will give you life, or deny me and you’ll surely die. At that point, I started falling head first into God because He gave me a reason to live. Ever since then, He’s been leading me to  a lot of places; in fact, He has a habit of taking me places I am reluctant to go because I know the path will be really tough. One of those places, as of late, is the Catholic Church. I am currently in RCIA with the full intent of receiving the Sacraments of First Communion and Confirmation in April and I can’t get enough of Catholicism.

So, back to the question of what I’ll be blogging about! As a Protestant in the process of conversion, in my mind, I have an interesting perspective on Catholicism in general and also Protestantism in general. Through my participation in this movement, I seek to look at various popular misconceptions of Catholicism and also to provide a Protestant perspective in order to foster inter-denominational understanding and respect.

Also, props to anyone who caught the Veggie Tales reference in this post. You win my respect. On that note, I’ll see ya’ll again after Christmas!

Until then, Kirk out.

(Any Trekkies out there to understand that or am I all alone here?)

What’s Next?

Hey guys! My name is Kirstie, and I’m 20 years old.

I’ll have to be honest and say writing this little intro has been difficult, for me to write for several reasons. One of them happens to be one of the reasons I’m here.  My story is kind of long, but I hope to keep it as short as possible.  So basically to begin…I wasn’t raised Catholic. I wasn’t even really raised Christian all that much as well. It just wasn’t ever a topic that came up at home and we didn’t go to church. So my religious education was practically nonexistent. I knew nothing.  I’ve been fairly good my whole life though. I tried not to be mean or hateful. I didn’t pick fun at others. I was a virgin until marriage, didn’t drink, never did drugs. I didn’t get into trouble, and I’ve had friends describe me as excessively perky to the point of being annoying in some instances.

The excessively perkiness changed in about 10th grade. For an unknown reason I started falling into depression. It wasn’t a huge change, but it was noticeable to friends I’m sure. I don’t know why, it just did, and regular high school life obviously didn’t help things at all with all the drama that can come with it. 11th grade is when I really started falling fast. I was getting mixed up in a group of friends that were depressed and suicidal, in some cases sadistic, and a little bit controlling. I experienced 4 deaths, (3 people, one was a dog), and all the hurtful things people used to bully me with really started affecting me. I felt like I couldn’t connect with my old group of friends anymore…I was feeling pushed into things I didn’t want to do to fit in with these new people (whether they knew it or not I don’t know, but I’m so happy I never gave in!) and there’s just so much more I could say. It was a terrible year. This was the year when I became Angry with God, and then started doubting God’s existence all together. I couldn’t understand why God would let terrible things happen to me, other people, especially in the event of a natural disaster or a random drive by shooting or something. I couldn’t understand why God would let me hate myself so much. I didn’t know how I was supposed to know the bible wasn’t made up, or that Jesus even existed, and I felt that I didn’t have anywhere to turn or where I could get answers without being judged.

Right before my senior year of high school started I was invited to a party. It wasn’t a crazy party with alcohol or anything. It was good clean fun, we ate yummy food and talked to friends we hadn’t seen in a while, and it was great fun. There I met this guy named Justin. I liked him a lot, and we started talking and it turned out that he liked me a lot too so after about a month when we both figured this out, we started dating. Little did I know I was dating a Catholic. a couple of months or so after we started dating, I asked him a question about his faith. I can’t honestly remember what it was or what he said, but I must’ve like it because I remember so many times driving to and from dates where we would just talk endlessly about his faith. I started going to mass with his family. Everything just started making so much sense. I can’t even begin to explain it. It was amazing, and so after nine months going through the RCIA process, I was baptized, confirmed, and received my first Eucharist on April, 3rd, 2010, and Justin was my sponsor, and I can now proudly say that as of October, 8th, 2011, he is my Husband :)

I know this has already been the longest intro on the planet, but before I finish I have one last thing. So we already know I’ve had a couple sort of major life changes. I can’t believe the plan God has already set out for me. I often find myself asking “What’s next!?” because it has just been absolutely amazing. It hasn’t been easy though. Especially with what has been putting off my little intro. I’ve recently been looking into if God is calling me to go into Catechetics or music ministry or something similar. It’s a huge life change, but it’s been a little difficult to decipher if it’s something I want rather than a calling. That’s one of the reasons I’m here. I know I can’t tell anyone what God has planned for them, but I hope that I can help others by helping them, even if it just to pray for you or give any helpful advice that I can :) Okay…that’s enough from me! Thanks for reading my way too long story! God bless!

Other Blogs: kirstie-ann.tumblr.com

Maria Arroyo: About me? Or all about Him?

I will try to make this as concise as I can.

My name is Maria Fernanda Arroyo Rodriguez. Please, call me Maria. I hate writing “about me” posts because I really don’t know where to start. I also feel like a blog post is only a brief on someone, but you can’t really know them on a personal level. The second reason why I have put this off for so long and why I hate writing about myself in terms like this, is because I am not the author of  my life. He is the author and I am only a character. Before I was born He knew how my life would be, He knew who I was and who I would grow to be. He had a plan written for me and it’s up to me to live my life accordingly to His plan; as well as I can. It’s all about Him. But as a strong Catholic woman, I have an identity too. So here it is.

My childhood: I was born in 1992 in the small town of Durango, Mexico. However, I do not remember much of what my birth place looked like, or what it felt to live there for the short time I did. When I was four years old my family moved to Oregon. My home. I still uphold a lot of Mexican traditions and customs and I can write, speak and understand Spanish. But I am an Oregonian at heart. Growing up in the United States was easy for me since I had no prior experience in another country. I am very Americanized. I went to ESL until I reached 3rd grade but I was always a quick learner and a reader. Because I was so little when I learned English, it wasn’t a struggle for me. My family has always been very hard working and they have always done their best to give me everything I need and many things I want. I had a lovely childhood growing up. I was a 90’s kid. I remember running home from school to get home and watch cartoons, I remember going swimming in the summer with my best friend, I remember getting many gifts of Christmas. Since I was 4, my family and I started going to a local parish. I became an altar server. I always knew that I was Catholic and I never had a fight with my parents about attending Mass on Sundays. In fact, I looked forward to it. My parents were always very traditional so I wasn’t allowed to do many of the things that other kids could do. But I didn’t mind. I had the most amazing cat, Greyman (she actually just passed away two years ago). I grew to love animals, love people and love my life.

My family: Family is the most important part of Mexican culture. Without your family, you’re nothing. I think this relates a lot to Catholicism as well. My family consists of my dad, my mom and my grandma. My dad is one of the most hard working people I have ever met. He works his butt off to make sure that my grandma, mom and I are happy. He is an example of a great man of God. He’s also really funny and has a great sense of humor and an even better sense of style. I get my fashion obsession from him. He protects me, pastors me and provides for me. He’s so real and so human. He loves to drink, but he never goes too far. He spends a lot of money when he shouldn’t, and he is lazy. He’s currently the kitchen manager for Elmer’s. He makes amazing food but he hardly cooks for us unless it’s a special occasion. Something about him is that he isn’t very detail oriented. He never buys gifts for my mom or brings her flowers and such. Yet they have been married for 24 years and he treats her like a queen. My mom is his proverbs 31 wife. She always was the good girl. She doesn’t ever drink. She is submissive and has the highest respect for my dad. She puts others before herself. She takes care of my grandma with such love, understanding and pleasure. She stays home with my grandma so that she is cared for. I admire her so much for all that she does. My grandma is the strength of our family. She doesn’t have a single wrinkle. She has been through so much. She lays in bed all day and watches the Mass on tv and prays all day. At night she watches her Spanish novelas. She was the one who taught me how to pray. Whenever I’m upset, I go to her and she gives me advice. She has never yelled at me but she’s firm. She has diabetes and so many more things going on so she needs a lot of taking care of and she isn’t able to do things on her own a lot. But she prays more than anyone I have ever met and she has such love of the Catholic Church and love of her family. She is my role model.

College life: I’m currently in my second year at Portland Community College. My major is education and family studies but that might be changing soon!

My parish: I attend St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Aloha Oregon. I like to think I’m pretty involved. I started out as an altar server and then I became the altar server coordinator. I’m also a trained Eucharistic Minister. I lector when needed. I’ve been a catechist for about four years now teaching 3-6 grade kids to do their First Communion. This year, Rocielle and I started teaching the high school religious education class. I also volunteer in the parish office and cover for the secretary when she’s away. I’m our RE director’s personal assistant…not official. Meaning I basically do whatever she asks me. But she’s my mentor and I love her so it’s alright. I also help Fr. Louie with his Spanish and I act as a sacristan and get him things because I know his facial expressions. I helped start a new group at our parish called New Gen which is a group that does youth Masses once a month on the third Sunday of the month. I co-coordinate the EMs for the youth Masses. Finally, I coordinate quinceaneras and weddings. But that’s my job so I don’t know if it counts! I’m there almost all the time every weekend. I love my parish.

My faith: My faith wasn’t always as strong and stable as it is now. I went to Mass all of my childhood but I never really understood why I did it. I just went. To me, it wasn’t boring, so it wasn’t really an issue. But I didn’t get the full extent of the Catholic faith and why we believe certain things.  During my sophmore year of high school, a brother of mine asked me if I wanted to go to a youth camp for his youth group. I wasn’t really sure what to expect. But I went anyway. I met the most amazing brothers and sisters and I was welcomed into a community where, for the first time, I wasn’t judged because I was Catholic. And everyone believed in the same things I did. But as you know, youth groups aren’t perfect. We are humans. There is drama, lies, and often times a lot of feelings of being left out that I’ve experienced or heard from others. Regardless, I’m still in this youth group and it’s helped me so much with my relationship with God. I just wish that the majority of brothers and sisters in it would also take the time to build a relationship with the Catholic Church, and attend Mass as well as serve during Mass. One step at a time. I love them, and it has a very special place in my heart. Honestly, without going to this youth group my sophmore year, I don’t know how my spiritual life would be right now. Building a relationship with God, a open, honest, real, personal relationship, and being around a close group of people who encourage and support you, is one of the most important things about sustaining your faith.

My friends: I already talked about my brothers and sisters from my youth group. I want to take some time and talk about my friends aside from my religion. I’ve had many friends over the years. But right now, Marina is my best friend and I hope it stays that way always. She is always there for me, and even though she isn’t Catholic, she’s one of the people who fully respect me and don’t judge me. She knows that my religion is important to me and even though she doesn’t agree with certain things, she has a way of never being rude to me. We have had our arguments about certain things, but we always try to keep it respectful and considerate for the other person. Besides that, she’s everything you could want in a best friend. She understands me better than most people. She knows much about me. We like a lot of the same things. Whenever one of us has money, we never hesitant to take each other out…and we never ask for the money back. We used to go to high school together but she lives in Portland now and it’s hard to see her. We’ve been trying to make more of an effort but with school and my busy weekend schedule it’s really hard. I love her and I know that she knows that. Besides Marina, I also have friends like Alex, Travis, Ryan, Jimmy, Makaylee and Sarah. Yeah. I don’t really have a lot of friends who I really trust. Last but not least, all of my amazing Tumblr brothers and sisters/friends who I WISH lived closer to me and who I trust a lot and love to death!

My favorites: Gilmore Girls, shopping, scary movies, sunflowers, candy, light pink, doing my nails, leather jackets, painting, art, animals, especially cats, love, kissing, scarfs, fall, Christmas, peppermint bark, reading, writing, nail polish, texting, cuddling, food, family, rings, weddings, kids, bears, clothes, mint, iced tea, fries, red robin, avocados, boba, juicy couture, poems, shoes, sleeping.

My boyfriend: Is amazing. We’ve been dating for almost four years. He’s a convert to Catholisism. If we every broke up for some reason, I would praise God that I was able to work for Him through the Holy Spirit to make him believe. I would be thankful that He used me in such a way to change someone’s life. Nick jokes and says that if we ever broke up, he would become a priest. He would be an awesome priest. Except he’s too in love with me. So instead, he will make an awesome father. I love this guy so much. I will be talking about him more in the future.

My struggles: I struggle a lot with self image. I tend to compare my looks to other girls and feel like I’m not as pretty. But I was made in God’s image and I’m doing better, day by day. I’ve also started to eat better. You can’t just wish something to change and not do anything about it. I have more struggles but a lot are personal and I will bring up at a later time.

My goals: My dream is to be a wedding planner. But first I want to transfer from PCC to Mt. Hood CC for cosmetology. I was planning on doing it in the winter but I’m thinking the spring might be better. We shall see. I have a lot of personal goals as well.

My personality: I laugh too much. I talk too much. I’m very open with people, even when I shouldn’t. I trust people way too easy and forgive a lot. I think I’m fun to hang out with. You’ll get to know me more :]

How I view myself: I’m a strong woman. I take myself seriously and I am very hard working. I never do something half-assed. Although I’m also pretty lazy and I spend too much time on the computer. I cry a lot but that’s okay. I think my view of myself changes daily.

Where I want to travel: Ireland! Rome! California. Spain. Greece. The Vatican. I want to go every where! Oh and Hawaii. Mexico. Australia. Or maybe just to a nice cabin in the snow where I can cuddle and drink tea with my love by the fireplace after having a adventurousness and awesome time snowboarding.

Favorite bible verse: “I can do all things though Christ who gives me strength” – Philippians 4:13. I want it tattooed on my wrist!

It’s all about Him.

Not your average Joe..?

My name’s Joseph and I’m currently a junior at a Lasallian high school somewhere in California, discerning the call to become a priest. To be honest, I’ve never been that good at writing “about me’s” since I’ve never known where to start, but my testimony to the faith can pretty much be summed up by the following quote:

“Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in a love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.” – Fr. Pedro Arrupe, SJ

And reflecting on these words, I’ve found that the joy that comes with completely surrendering yourself to the will of God out of love for Him changes your life completely.

For the longest part of my life, however, I could say that I experienced one of the driest moments of my spiritual life due to spiritual laziness, my constant struggle with sins of impurity, indifference, pride, and ignorance.

But it has really been through the intercession of our Blessed Mother and the saints that has really helped me to overcome all these obstacles. Since then, I’ve grown from a rather lukewarm Catholic who took his faith for granted, to someone who has conversations with his guardian angel, decorates his room with pictures of the saints, whines if he’s too busy to go to Adoration, and has a lifelong aspiration to dance with Mother Mary and individually hug each of his patron saints when he gets to Heaven.. Well, hopefully you get the idea already. :P

Apart from being this passionately Catholic sorta guy, I also play basketball and ping pong, play the guitar and piano, read books about Catholicism whenever I get the chance, and write. I also enjoy listening to music and watching movies. Oh yeah, and I also run a personal blog that’s a mix of personal reflections, random bits of apologetics here and there, and other stuff I find amusing.

I can’t wait to get to know you guys more! God bless. =]