My Second Home, The Newman Center

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Matthew 7:25

The Warmest Welcome
Going to the Newman Center is like going back inside your warm house after playing in the snow. Playing outside is nice for a while, but then you get too cold and wet to stay in the snow for any longer. So you come inside your home into the warmth where you can rest with your loved ones and feel yourself again.

My first visit to the Newman Center is one that I’ll never forget because from the moment I opened the door, I felt surrounded by warmth and welcome.

At first, the chapel was the only place in the Newman Center where I would go, but one day after Mass, I heard an announcement about a women’s night that would take place at the Newman Center in the lounge. As a freshman looking for some Catholic fellowship and some ladies to be friends with and grow in faith with, I decided to go to women’s night.

I made a short trek from one of the dance studios to the Newman Center one September evening. It was cold and dark and I didn’t know what to expect from this women’s night. I also didn’t know anyone there, but I didn’t let that stop me. I actually didn’t even know which door to go in until a girl named Stephanie who quickly became one of my first Newman Center friends showed me where to go in.

I remember vividly how I felt the second I opened the door to the Newman Center that evening. The cold was quickly replaced by warmth, and I couldn’t help but smile as I felt the much-needed heat. When I heard the chatter and laughter of about two dozen women, and when a few women met me at the door to welcome me and introduce themselves, I knew that I was home. I immediately felt welcomed and wanted in that place. From the moment I opened the door, I felt happy and at peace. I spent that evening helping to make snacks and meeting other Catholic ladies navigating college with the Lord.

My Second Home, the Newman Center
My Second Home, the Newman Center

Becoming my Second Home
The Newman Center became a special place to me that night, and I knew from that moment that it would be my second home full of hospitality and people who loved me and cared about me.

The Newman Center has been one of my biggest blessings throughout my college years. It’s always warm, welcoming, and full of people that I love. It’s my favorite place to go after a long day. I know that at the Newman Center, I always have a place to study or relax. There’s always tea and coffee and snacks. There are comfy couches to nap on. There are always friends to study with, eat dinner with, hang out with, or pray with.

Most of all, I can always spend time with the Lord in the Newman Center. In the big Mass chapel or in the tiny Adoration chapel, I know that I can always come home to Jesus and spend as much time with Him as I need. I can easily find the Lord in everything that goes on in the Newman Center. When we gather for Mass, for our Rock Catholic meetings, for Bible studies, or just to talk about life, He’s there and He’s pleased that we came together to help each other run towards Heaven.

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The Place I’ll Miss the Most
Out of every place in Slippery Rock, I love the Newman Center the most. It’s the place that I’ll miss the most when I graduate in just a few months. It truly has become my second home, and I’m so grateful to have a place that has become so special to me that it’ll be so difficult to leave.

This blog post is dedicated to everyone I’ve met because of the Newman Center at Slippery Rock University. Thank you for your friendship, hospitality, and love in what has become my beloved second home. You and the Newman Center will always have a special place in my heart.

Stay radiant!

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“Let it Be Done:” Why I’m Doing Fiat 90

Then Mary turned to the servants and said to them, “Do whatever he tells you.”

John 2:5

“Do whatever he tells you.”
These are Mary’s last recorded words in the Bible, and they still apply to us today.

She points us toward her Son and gently tells us to follow Him, doing whatever He tells us to do. Her advice helps us to grow in holiness. She guides us to Sainthood. As the one who has always followed God perfectly and always will do God’s will perfectly, we should strive to emulate Mary. This journey begins with saying “yes,” but not just any “yes.” When we accept God’s will for our lives, we should do so humbly and completely, without hesitating or reserving anything.

Mary’s yes fits this description as she gave God her fiat, which is Latin for “let it be done.” As of February 14th, I allowed God’s will to be done for me by embarking on Fiat 90.

Let it Be Done
Let it Be Done

What is Fiat 90?
For those of you who have heard of Exodus 90, a Catholic men’s retreat, Fiat 90 will sound familiar. Fiat 90 is a 90 day retreat for Catholic women who want to accept God’s call to holiness in a radical way. It helps us to live in the world and not of it by putting many small sacrifices, fasts, and prayers together to change our lives in a big way.

For 90 days, I’ll be doing my best to praise the Lord through my body, mind, and soul in various ways. With my body, I’ll praise Him by not eating sweets or deserts, going to bed by midnight, waking up with my first alarm, and doing back and core exercises 6 times a week. I’ll praise Him with my mind by not gossiping or complaining, limiting my use of social media, and only listening to things that point me toward God. With my soul, I’ll praise Him by going to daily Mass on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in addition to my Sunday obligation, going to Confession once a week, and saying a 54-day Rosary Novena. I know that this sounds like a lot, but I’m doing all of these things and more in the name of responding to God’s call to holiness and living in the world and not of it.

On May 13th, the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima, Fiat 90 will be over. My hope and prayer is that by May 13th, I’ll be closer to Jesus Christ and more open to His will for my life. I’ll have a greater love for Mary as my mother and a better understanding of how to give God my fiat with humility and to live my fiat with joy. I’ll realize my identity as a daughter of the Lord and of the blessings that he continuously grants me. I know that I won’t do Fiat 90 perfectly. As much as I’ll try to avoid it, I expect to I’ll fall short, I’ll make mistakes, and I’ll give into temptation. I hope that you’ll join me in praying for the humility to admit when I messed up and for the courage to continue with Fiat 90 when it gets difficult.

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Preparing for Sainthood
Ever since I made my Marian Consecration on January 1st, 2020, I felt called to live for the Lord more intentionally. I learned to find little ways to say yes to God throughout my day, like making prayer a priority, fasting, being more intentional about intercessory prayer, and surrounding myself with holier media.

Lately, I find myself displeased and even disliking this world. This is probably because of the progress that I’ve made in my faith journey. I’m now more aware of the fact that the world is not our final destination. We’re pilgrims traveling though this world to get to heaven. Fiat 90 is a beautiful way to live the Kingdom on Earth and to remember that while everything around us is temporary, Jesus is eternal and we should set our sights on Him. I’m doing Fiat 90 because I know that it’ll prepare me for Sainthood and to be with Jesus in Heaven for eternity. For these reasons, please pray for me and for all of the women embarking on Fiat 90 this year.

Stay radiant!

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This Sunday’s Gospel: February 16, 2020

Matthew 5:17-37

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny. “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna. “It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife –  unless the marriage is unlawful – causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. “Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.”

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These words from Jesus might sound like “fire and brimstone,” but they’re crucial for His disciples to hear. Remember this His disciples aren’t only the twelve men who accompanied Jesus during His earthly ministry. As followers of Christ, we’re His disciples as well. Needless to say, these warnings and instructions still apply to us today.

This Sunday’s Gospel reading is an important and appropriate one to reflect on, especially before Lent. Jesus gives us a sense of accountability and a call to holiness before we embark on these forty days of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. To begin this season of spiritual renewal and deepening of faith, we remember the Lord’s commandments and the consequences of breaking them. Jesus cautions us against straying from the law and encourages us to follow it.

Think of a law that you struggle to uphold. In light of the upcoming Lenten season, consider how you can adhere to it more closely. Jesus says “you are my friends if you keep my commands,” (John 15:14) so by following the commands that Jesus lovingly gives to us, we can love Him more deeply and follow Him more closely. It might sound like a bit of tough love, but in this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus is teaching us how to be better disciples.

Stay radiant!

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I Love You

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.

John 3:16

Viewing Valentine’s Day
What do you think of when you think of Valentine’s Day? Does it conjure images of red roses, chocolate-covered strawberries, chalky conversation hearts, or awkward middle school dances? Do you resent Valentine’s Day because you’re single, or you’re broken-hearted, or you think the holiday is too commercialized? Do you love it because of the pink and red palooza that it evokes? Is it blissful because you’re in a relationship or is it irritating for the same reason? Finally, if you’re like me, do you love Valentine’s Day because it provides a special occasion to tell everyone around you those three important words:

I love you.

I Love You
I Love You

All About Love
I firmly believe that Valentine’s Day is not (or shouldn’t be) all about romantic love. I don’t think Valentine’s Day should be reserved only for couples in committed relationships. I love so many people in my life and there are so many people who need to be reminded that they’re loved. I love my mom, my dad, my brother, all of my countless relatives, all of my friends, my boyfriend, my teachers and professors, and all of the priests, deacons, sisters, and missionaries whom I’ve met throughout my life. I spend every Valentine’s Day reminding my friends, family, and everyone I encounter that they’re loved.

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Loving Like Jesus
In his time, Jesus was a radical. He loved, and still loves, without reserve. During His earthly ministry, He welcomed the sinners and embraced the outcasts. He loved them not for what they’ve done, where they placed their worth, or where they found their identity, but because they were created with such care by their Heavenly Father and they were created to be loved. As followers of Christ, we’re called to love the same way. We have to overlook the bias, sins, mistakes, and hardness of our hearts to love the people right in front of us with the pure heart of Christ. We can love each other with the love we have for Christ and fulfill our deepest desires to be known and loved by our Heavenly Father.

Just as Christ loves us recklessly, sacrificing Himself in the greatest act of love of all time, I try to emulate His love for all of His children. Especially on Valentine’s Day, I strive to be an instrument of His love to everyone. I encourage you to do the same today by telling someone that you love them. You never know how much they might need to hear it, but more importantly, being loved is the deepest desire of our hearts because the Lord created us for love.

I love you!

Stay radiant!

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What is Lectio Divina?

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Psalm 119:105

Morning Lectio
The closest that I’ve ever been to God was when I was the farthest that I’ve ever been from home.

When I went on a FOCUS mission trip to Nicaragua, I stayed with my mission team in a little house within the Diriamba Mustard Seed Communities compound. Almost every morning, I woke up early with the rest of the girls from Slippery Rock to pray Lectio Divina at 6:00. The air was still crisp before the heat of the day settled in. The sun was rising and already shining sweetly. We sat in the grass near the compound’s Rosary garden which had a painted statue of the Blessed Mother, rocks arranged to resemble a rosary, and a multitude of flowers. We used our Magnificats to pray Lectio Divina with the Gospel reading of the day. We would read and reflect on God’s word, and we discussed with each other what the Lord was telling us through scripture that morning. We talked about how good and loving our Father is and how much closer we’ve grown to Him while on mission.

Praying Lectio Divina in the morning with my girls was just one of the ways that mission has changed me.

If you enjoy reading scripture, or if you’re looking for a place to start, or if you’re trying to find a new way to pray, or if you want to hear the Lord speak to you, I highly recommend Lectio Divina. Meaning “Divine Reading,” Lectio Divina involves praying with scripture in a contemplative way to allow God to speak to you in a personal way. I want to share with you the steps of praying Lectio Divina (which I found in my old Youth Bible from St. Mary’s Press!) and then give you an opportunity to practice it with a short passage and some guided questions.

What is Lectio Divina?
What is Lectio Divina?

How to Pray Lectio Divina
Before you start praying Lectio Divina, calm your mind and remove yourself (as best as you can) from any distractions. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you to pray and to open your mind and heart to what God wants to tell you.

Step 1: Lectio involves reading or listening to scripture. Pick a passage from the Bible, maybe a psalm or one of Jesus’ parables. As you read God’s word, pick a word or phrase that stands out to you in a particular way. It’s best to read the passage two or three times to see if the same word or phrase stands out to you, or if you’re drawn to a few.

Step 2: Meditatio requires meditation on the passage, particularly on the words or phrases that stood out to you. These are standing out to you for a reason. Allow God to speak to you and touch your heart through these words.

Step 3: Oratio is a response to God’s word. This can be through prayer, or if you’re praying in a group, by discussing your reading and reflection with the rest of the group. This discussion allows God’s word to change you on a deeper level.

Step 4: Contemplatio consists of more prayer and contemplating on what God is telling you through scripture.

Step 5: Actio inspires you to react to God’s word. Discern what God is calling you to do after listening to His word and how you’ll respond to that call.

Now that you know the steps of Lectio Divina, try it with the following Gospel passage and the prompts and questions below!

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Lectio Practice
Luke 15:1-7~ The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So to them he addressed this parable. “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you, in just the same way there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”

  1. Lectio: Read this passage two or three times. Listen for a word or phrase that stands out to you.
  2. Meditatio What does this passage say to me? How is God speaking to me in this passage? What can I learn from this passage?
  3. Oratio How do I feel after reading this passage? How can I deepen my relationship with God? How can I know, love, or serve God more? What am I longing for from Him? In what ways is He longing for me? How can I improve my prayer life?
  4. Contempatio Quiet your mind and rest in God’s hands. Allow His message to move you.
  5. Actio What is God calling me to do? What should I start doing or stop doing? How is God calling me to holiness? How will I respond?

If you enjoyed praying Lectio Divina and you want to do it again, I recommend praying it with the Mass readings of the day, particularly the Gospel readings! You can do this with a copy of Magnificat or online with USCCB. Also, you can use the blogs from my This Sunday’s Gospel series to pray Lectio Divina in preparation for praying the Mass!

Stay radiant!

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This Sunday’s Gospel: February 9, 2020

Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

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In this Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus gives us an allegory that tells us something we all long to hear: you matter. In a world where it’s easy to feel invisible or ordinary, Jesus lovingly reminds us that we shouldn’t feel this way. God created us to be seen and heard and to change the world. Knowing this truth, we shouldn’t hide or discredit ourselves. We shouldn’t be afraid to share our light and our flavor with those around us. It doesn’t matter if you shine so bright that the whole world sees you or if your light illuminates one person’s heart.

Your purpose is greater than you think.

You are crucial to preventing the darkness from overcoming the world. No one else can shine your light for you, so it’s crucial that you don’t give in to fear or distress and that you continue to shine. Think of any individual that you could run into during your daily routine. You might be the only way that person encounters Jesus on that day. It’s possible that someone might desperately need Christ’s love and they can only get it from you. In that scenario, would you hide your light or let it shine? In other words, would you do what God created you to do? Don’t wait for a certain time, a certain place, a certain person, or a certain feeling. The beloved child of God right in front of you is a good enough reason to let your light shine.

Stay radiant!

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Why I Always Receive the Eucharist on My Tongue

Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

John 6:54-55

An Article that Changed Me
A few months ago, I read this article about why Catholics should receive the Eucharist on the tongue and not in the hand. To tell the truth, I’ve only ever received the Eucharist on my tongue once before reading this article. I always thought that it was more comfortable to receive the Eucharist in my hands, but after reading that article, I’ll never receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of my Savior in my hand again.

Why I Always Receive the Eucharist on my Tongue
Why I Always Receive the Eucharist on my Tongue

Protecting Him
The Eucharist is in fact the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ. It is not a symbol; it’s our Savior’s true presence. Without reserve, He graciously gives us the most precious gift of Himself in the form of bread and wine so that we can be united with Him. The Eucharist is entirely Jesus Christ, therefore, it’s crucial that we receive all of Him. If we receive the Eucharist in our hands, and even if the tiniest speck breaks off, that speck is still Jesus Christ. If a speck of the Eucharist falls on the floor, then Jesus Christ has fallen on the floor. If we step on that speck of the Eucharist, then we’re stepping on Jesus Christ Himself.

If your heart yearns for Christ, then this fact should shatter your soul. Realizing that for years I could have been dropping Jesus and allowing others and myself to step on Him breaks my heart.

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Revering the True Presence
By receiving the Eucharist on the tongue, we protect Jesus’s Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. How beautiful is it that the God of the Universe humbles Himself to be so vulnerable in the Eucharist? How incredible is it that our all-powerful and almighty God who has no need to be protected willingly becomes bread and wine that must be cherished so that we might be united with Him?

Appearing as bread and wine, we express the cornerstone of our faith by revering His true presence. When I received the Eucharist on my tongue for the first time in years, I was nervous, but by doing so, I loved Jesus more deeply. I recognized and felt His presence more fully. It’s the true mark of our faith and love for our Savior to treat the Eucharist with the utmost respect. This is why I humbly and reverently receive the Eucharist on my tongue from now on.

Stay radiant!

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Charity and Throat Blessings: A Reflection on St. Blaise’s Story

Consider this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

2 Corinthians 9:6

Traditions
After Mass on the Feast Day of St. Blaise, priests traditionally bless the throats of parishioners with two white candles. This practice is appropriate because St. Blaise intercedes for those with diseases of the throat. When you think of St. Blaise, you may remember the legend of how he saved a young boy from choking on a fish bone.

This explains why he’s the patron Saint of throat ailments, but where do the white candles come from?

Charity and Throat Blessings
Charity and Throat Blessings

Origins
Bishop Blaise was arrested for his faith, and his cell was pitch dark. As a small yet meaningful act of charity, a widow secretly gave Bishop Blaise two white candles so that he could have light in his prison cell. Because of this widow’s generosity and kindness, Bishop Blaise became a Saint who still generously intercedes for us today. When we receive our annual throat blessing and celebrate St. Blaise’s Feast Day, we also remember the widow and her gift of the two candles.

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Acts of Charity
This story reminds us that the little acts of charity that we perform have more meaning than we may realize. That widow who simply wanted Bishop Blaise to have some light in the darkness probably didn’t know that her charity would bear so much fruit. Now we use replicas of her candles to bless countless throats annually through the intercession of St. Blaise.

As a takeaway from this reflection, don’t overlook tiny good deeds, and don’t underestimate the magnitude of your charity. Always go the extra mile and put a little more effort and intention into your little acts of kindness. Like this widow, you never know when you’re helping a future Saint change the world.

St. Blaise, pray for us!

Stay radiant!

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This Sunday’s Gospel: February 2, 2020

Luke 2:22-40

When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons, in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord. Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Christ of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in the sight of all the peoples: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.” The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted–and you yourself a sword will pierce–so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

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The Presentation of Our Lord is a beautiful reminder that God keeps His promises. This fourth Joyful Mystery of the Rosary and first Dolor of Mary provides a lot to contemplate. Who knows how long Simeon waited to see Christ. The Holy Spirit promised him that he would live to see Christ before he died. Simeon was an elderly man, so he probably waited decades to see that promise fulfilled. Regardless, he waited patiently and remained faithful, trusting what the Lord revealed to him.

Think of an area of your life where you could trust in the Lord more. He hasn’t made any grand promises to me lately, but I know He promises to take care of me and that He has good plans in store for me. As simple as these promises are, I used to find them hard to believe. As I became more faithful to the Lord, I learned to trust in Him more and to understand that He will fulfill His promises. Maybe the Lord’s promise to Simeon helped him to become the righteous and devout man that he was. I pray that you and I can increase our faith by trusting the Lord wholeheartedly like Simeon.

Stay radiant!

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The Sign of Peace

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.

John 14:27

One of my favorite parts of the Mass has always been the Sign of Peace. It’s probably because I like to be social, or because physical touch is my love language, but at it’s core, I think the beauty of the Sign of Peace is that we purposefully take a moment to share Christ’s peace with others.

The Sign of Peace
The Sign of Peace

Being at Peace
I’ve heard the Sign of Peace described as “being at peace with your neighbor before being at peace with Jesus,” and that changed how I participated in the sign of peace. We can’t approach the Eucharist while holding onto a grudge or with contempt in one’s heart. Christ offered peace, forgiveness, and love freely and without reserve. As Christians, or imitators of Christ, we should be more than willing to do the same.

Sharing Peace Freely
Of course, you have the freedom to pick and choose who you give the sign of peace to, but it’s so much more genuine when you give your signs of peace disregarding who they go to and only seeing Christ in the person right in front of you. During one Mass, I found myself in the pew in front of an ex boyfriend with whom I was not on good terms. During the sign of peace, knowing that he would not touch me or even look me in the eye, I still told him “peace be with you.” To my surprise, he returned the sign of peace.

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Giving Genuinely
At first, I gave handshakes, hugs, or waves to people because that’s just what we did at Mass. Now, I give signs of peace more genuinely. With my family, friends, or strangers, I recognize Christ in the person in front of me. Although I only see them for a second or two, I want them to know that I really see them. I give signs of peace with the intent of saying “I want to love you as Christ loves you. I want to love the Christ present in you.”

Is there anyone that you avoid during the sign of peace? Is there anyone who God is calling you to make peace with? I pray that you can extend a sign of peace to that person, and whether it’s returned or not, you can rest in Christ’s peace and receive Him in the Eucharist more gracefully and with more love of neighbor in your heart.

Stay radiant!

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