A Lot Can Happen in 23 Years

23 Years Later…
Today I turned 23 years old, and needless to say, I’ve grown and changed a lot from when I was born. I love to look back on the plans that 3-year-old Madeline dreamed up versus where I am in life now. I spent my days playing dress-up and making crafts. I thought I would grow up to be a ballerina or a princess. Twenty years later, I still love to dress up, and I still love to dance. Although it would be nice to be a princess, I have other career goals in mind now.

As I grew up and navigated life, one thing stayed consistent. No matter where I went to school, who my friends were, the extracurriculars I did, or what I dreamed of doing with my life, I always loved God. Of course, my relationship with Him developed and I grew closer with Him as I grew up, but He was always in my heart.

A Lot Can Happen in 23 Years
A Lot Can Happen in 23 Years

My Lifelong Faith Journey
When I was really little, I knew that God was important because I went to Mass with my family every single Sunday. At the time, I would have rather played with my Barbie dolls, but I’m glad that my parents taught me the importance of worshipping God. I was fascinated by the Bible stories I learned about, and I heard “Jesus loves you!” and “God made you special!” all the time. I think my faith first ignited when I received my first Holy Communion. When I received our Lord in the Eucharist for the first time, the way I approached Mass changed because I felt more connected to Jesus. After that, I felt more involved in the Mass, and I looked forward to going.

My faith only grew stronger when I prepared for my Confirmation and when I was Confirmed. I saw some of my peers question and fall away from the Church, and I knew I never wanted that to happen to me. I related to Peter when he told Jesus “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). God has loved me for longer than I can comprehend, and I can be united with Him in the Eucharist. I knew that I could never separate myself from Him and that I wanted to be with Him forever.

In college, I grew radically as a person, as a student, and as a disciple of Christ, especially because I learned what it means to be a disciple in college. For most of my life, I thought the disciples were just the twelve men who followed Jesus while He was on earth. Now, I understand that anyone desiring to follow Jesus is His disciple, and He still calls us today to be His disciples. With the encouragement and friendships I made at the Newman Center, I fell more in love with God. I encountered Him through my authentic friends, at Mass, and in Adoration.

What Changed in One Year
So much can happen in 23 years, but a lot can happen in just one year too. The world and I have changed significantly since my last birthday. When I turned 22, I had no idea that we would soon be plunged into a pandemic. I didn’t know that my amazing evening at Slippery Rock would be my last one there. I went from celebrating my 22nd birthday with Nathan and a few of my good friends at the Brewery in Slippery Rock to celebrating with my Franciscan Mission Service community in Washington, DC. I went from not knowing what I was going to do with my life to having at least a little more clarity. Nathan became my fiancé. My faith is stronger, and I’m able to trust in God and surrender to Him more.

In my 22nd year, I learned that everything is temporary. When my life seemed to crumble, I was so angry at first, but I learned to cherish the memories more and to really savor my time with my loved ones doing the things we love. I learned that God truly does have a plan, even when we can’t see it unfolding. Because of this, I finally surrendered control of my own life so that God can take the reins and guide me to do His will.

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Thanking God for My Life
Today, I’ll FaceTime my family and Nathan, and I’ll probably celebrate with my community tonight at dinner and tomorrow evening. No matter what, I just want to spend today being thankful for the gift of my life. To me, my own birthday isn’t a huge deal. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s a special day. I love to celebrate it and have fun with the people I love, but I never go crazy for my birthday. It’s a day that I’m happy to be me. On my birthday, I thank God for creating me and loving me and giving me the gift of my life. I’m thankful that He blessed me with another year of life so that I can share His love and come to know Him more before I meet Him face to face.

I’ve grown so much in my relationship with God in the past 23 years, and I look forward to seeing how much closer I can be to Him in the remainder of my life. So much has happened in my 22nd year, which just reminds me that we never know what God has in store for us. 23 holds unlimited possibilities, but no matter what, they’re part of God’s plan.

Stay radiant!

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Fasting: the Second Pillar of Lent

Fasting as a Pillar of Lent
If one of the pillars of Lent was the most widely practiced, I assume that it would be fasting. I always hear people ask, “What are you giving up for Lent?” but I rarely hear people ask, “What are you praying this Lent?” or “How are you giving alms this Lent?”

Whether they know it or not, this practice of giving something up is fasting, but do we fast for the sake of going without something for a while, or does our fasting have a purpose? Because it’s one of the Three Pillars of Lent, we can’t have a fruitful Lent without fasting. Even though fasting is difficult and uncomfortable, we won’t be transformed during Lent without this practice.

Fasting: the Second Pillar of Lent
Fasting: the Second Pillar of Lent

How do we fast?
Before we understand why we should fast, we have to know what fasting is. Fasting is abstaining from something, most commonly food, for a spiritual purpose. When we fast, we give up something good so that we can partake of a greater good. We might give up chocolate to remind us that God satisfies us more. We might give up watching TV and movies so we can spend more time with God. Essentially, fasting is letting go of things that distract us from God so that we can focus more on Him instead of worldly things.

We don’t fast as an excuse to go on a diet or lose weight, and we don’t fast to challenge ourselves or to prove that we can. Like I’ve been learning this Lent, it isn’t about us. When we fast from a food that we love, a drink that we enjoy, or a hobby that we do all the time, we acknowledge that it’s good, but God is the most good. We set aside things that take up our time so that we can give more of our time to God. We sacrifice what we love so that we can love God more.

Why should we fast?
Although fasting can sound unpleasant on the surface, it can deepen our faith in a few beautiful ways. First, fasting is a way of deepening prayer. When we pray for a certain intention, fasting can intensify our prayers by offering up our sacrifices for someone or something who we’re praying for.

Fasting is also a way of depending on God. God wants to provide for us, but we often get overwhelmed with the world and forget to let Him take care of us. When we fast, we learn to rely on Him instead of ourselves. Fasting teaches us to set aside our own wants, and sometimes our needs, so that we can turn towards God.

Finally, fasting makes us more selfless as we think of others instead of ourselves. I notice that the pillars of Lent are sometimes connected. Fasting becomes fasting when we pray through it. Without prayer, fasting is just a diet. If you’re fasting from something that you’d normally spend extra money on, like ordering takeout, you can donate that money, which would be a great almsgiving practice.

When we fast intentionally with God in mind, it becomes more challenging, but more rewarding. On difficult days, I remember that Jesus fasted too. Jesus became hungry when He fasted in the desert for forty days, but He stayed strong. When we grow weak and feel tempted to indulge, we can remember why we’re fasting and look to Jesus for strength.

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In case you need some ideas, here are 8 different things to fast from this Lent:

  1. Snacking in between meals
  2. Chocolate, candy, and desserts
  3. Alcohol
  4. Adding sweeteners to coffee or tea
  5. Sleeping in
  6. Staying up late
  7. Hot showers (take cold showers instead)
  8. Social media
Stay radiant!

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Encountering the Glory of Jesus

For this Sunday’s Gospel and other Mass readings, click here!

The Transfiguration is one of my favorite Gospel readings. I love that Jesus gave Peter, James, and John, the same disciples who would accompany Him in His agony, the gift of witnessing His glory. Every time I hear this reading, I think of how awesome it would have been to see Jesus in His divinity. When I meditate on the Transfiguration, I love to imagine what it would have been like to see Jesus become dazzling white and appear with Moses and Elijah.

Encountering the Glory of Jesus
Encountering the Glory of Jesus

Then, reality hits me.

I’m not worthy to encounter Jesus in this way. I’m not saying this to be humble or because I think little of myself. I know that if I were to see Jesus for who He is, then I would be terrified. If I were to come face-to-face with the glorified Son of God, I wouldn’t feel worthy to be in His presence. He is so good, so pure, and so beautiful. Try as I might to be like Him as He lovingly commands me, I will never measure up.

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When I think of the Transfiguration, somehow, my thoughts turn to the Eucharist. As imperfect humans, we understand that we’d be overwhelmed with Jesus in His glorified state, but how good, how pure, and how beautiful is it that He humbles Himself to be with us? The God of the Universe, who answers to no one, comes down to earth to become the bread and wine that we receive in the Mass. He becomes a form that we can easily behold so that we can encounter Him without fear. In this way, we can still witness God’s glory. In receiving Him, He transfigures our hearts to be more like His.

Stay radiant!

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Prayer: the First Pillar of Lent

What are the three pillars of Lent?
Around Lent, I love to talk about the three pillars of Lent for a few reasons. I never knew about them until I was in college. Fr. Adam would give talks about Lent whenever the season started, and he always stressed the three pillars of Lent, which are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. After I learned about the three pillars of Lent, I never approached Lent the same again. I still struggle with my Lenten sacrifices, but understanding how I should fill up my time and what I should focus on has helped me be more intentional during Lent. Now, I love to write about the three pillars of Lent because I hope that you can learn more about them and have a more fruitful Lent because of them. So this year, I wanted to do a mini series on the three pillars of Lent, starting with prayer.

Prayer: the First Pillar of Lent
Prayer: the First Pillar of Lent

The Importance of Prayer
I always try to stress the importance of prayer in my writing. My family and teachers instilled good prayer habits in me when I was little, and as I grew up, those habits grew and I found a love for prayer because of my friends from the Newman Center and the FOCUS missionaries I met in college. Because of them, I strive to pray every day. God truly is who I love the most. He’s the center of my life, so my time in prayer is the precious time that I spend with Him getting to know Him more and falling more in love with Him.

I realize that I always heard of prayer as a “conversation with God,” and I tend to describe prayer in this way, especially when someone asks me what prayer is. After listening to some old episode of the Crunch, my favorite Catholic podcast, I realized two things. First, not everyone knows how to hold a conversation nowadays. Second, having a conversation with God isn’t the same as having a conversation with just anyone. I’m definitely guilty of forgetting these things, so I hope that this blog can clarify the conversational aspect of prayer to help you during your time in prayer.

Practical Prayer Tips
Praying isn’t like texting, Snapchatting, or simple small talk. You don’t get a message and wait until you feel like replying. Prayer requires being present. Like a conversation, prayer involves talking and listening to God. Often, we can get caught up in the talking part. Maybe we spend so much time telling Him about what’s going on in our lives or giving our intentions to Him that we forget to take a step back and listen. Sometimes I genuinely forget to do this, and sometimes I’m afraid to do this. Listening to God’s voice in prayer requires vulnerability. It can be scary, but it’s a necessary part of prayer. It takes time and patience to hear His voice, but that’s why we commit to praying every day. Prayer is all about getting to know God more, so the more we pray, the more we can recognize God’s voice.

In this way, when we talk to God in prayer, it isn’t like talking to someone face-to-face. We don’t always “hear” God respond to us right away, and when He does, it might happen unexpectedly. For example, He can speak to you through Scripture as you read and learn more about Him. He can reveal an image or a memory out of nowhere, like He does for me sometimes.

While we can always talk to God and tell Him what’s on our heart, He hears us just as much when we pray with Scripture or prayers like the Rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. These prayers are powerful, but sometimes we can get sucked into their repetitiveness and daydream or get distracted. When this happens, it’s important to keep bringing our attention back to Him and allow the repetition to deepen our contemplation.

Prayer as a Sacrifice
During Lent, we should strive to spend more time in prayer and grow deeper in our prayer life. We’re called to make sacrifices during Lent, and showing up to pray in and of itself is a sacrifice because we’re saying “yes” to being with God and saying “no” to something else we’d rather do. When we pray, we give of our time so that we can be with God and come to know Him more. No matter how you pray this Lent, I encourage you to commit to your prayer time. Be present and listen to what He’s telling you. It might not feel fruitful at first and you might not hear Him at first, but don’t let that discourage you from staying consistent. When you give God an inch, He’ll give you miles and miles back.

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In case you need some ideas, here are 8 different ways to pray this Lent:

  1. Read the Bible
  2. Pray Lectio Divina
  3. Go to Mass or read the daily Mass readings
  4. Pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration
  5. Pray the Rosary
  6. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  7. Pray the Stations of the Cross
  8. Make a daily Examen of Conscience
Stay radiant!

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What Will Happen to Us in the Desert?

For this Sunday’s Gospel and other Mass readings, click here!

I remember hearing this Gospel reading when I was little, and I always compared the season of Lent to being in the desert. Jesus intentionally took time to pray and fast in the desert, and since we’re called to be like Him, we spend a season of praying and fasting. We create our own “desert” by foregoing things that distract us from God and things that are good so that we can focus more on the Most Good. The Holy Spirit led Jesus to spend 40 days in the desert, and the Holy Spirit leads and guides us throughout Lent. As we take on Lent 2021, we won’t wander through the desert exactly like Jesus did, but we can be certain of three things that we’ll experience in the desert of Lent.

What Will Happen to Us in the Desert?
What Will Happen to Us in the Desert?

We’ll Pray and Fast
In addition to almsgiving, prayer and fasting are necessary for Lent. Jesus spent His time in the desert praying and fasting, so we should follow His example and be intentional about these practices. Prayer and fasting go hand-in-hand. Fasting enhances prayer, and prayer makes fasting redemptive. Both of these practices are ways that we can intercede for others and grow in sacrificial love. In so many ways, Lent is not about us. When we commit to prayer and fasting, we deepen our faith by leaning on the Lord instead of on ourselves.

We’ll Be Tempted
At some point, we’ll hit what I like to call the “Lent slump.” Lent will lose it’s newness, we’ll crave the things we’re fasting from, and we’ll count down the days until Lent is over. Eventually, we all will be tempted to choose something else over God, whether that be sleep instead of prayer, or eating a snack instead of keeping our fast. Jesus was human, just like us, so even He experienced temptations. But Jesus was also perfect, so He didn’t fall. We’ll be tempted, but we can look to Jesus for strength. He can inspire us to be perfect like Him, and when we fall, He’s always there to forgive us and love us when we return to Him.

Jesus Will Be With Us
Speaking of Jesus, He’ll be present with us throughout Lent. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says “I am with you always.” Lent is a beautiful time of growth and renewal as we deepen our faith, but it’s also a difficult time of penance and discipline. Fortunately, Jesus will be with us through it all. This is a season of drawing near to Jesus, and the closer we get to Him, the more we’ll feel Him with us. Jesus wandered through the desert alone, but we don’t have to. When we’re feeling isolated and defeated in the desert, we can look up and remember that Jesus was there, and He’s here with us now.

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You might have started your journey through the desert eagerly, excited to repent and do penance. Maybe you entered the desert reluctantly because you’ve been dreading Lent. Either way, the Holy Spirit prompts us here to be close with Jesus. He’s inviting you to rely less on yourself and things of this world so that you can fall more in love with Him. The desert of Lent can be difficult and uncomfortable, but the growth it offers it’s necessary for our salvation. Jesus wandered in the desert praying and fasting for 40 days because it was necessary for His ministry. Those 40 days of sacrifice prepared Him for the ultimate sacrifice on Good Friday, and without Good Friday, there would be no Easter Sunday.

Stay radiant!

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This Sunday’s Gospel: February 14, 2021

For this Sunday’s Gospel and other Mass readings, click here!

I love seeing how the different Mass readings connect. In the first reading, we see how lepers were exiled from their community. They would live isolated from everyone else, and when they were around others, they would make sure everyone knew they had leprosy by yelling “unclean!”

If I were in their shoes, I would feel so insignificant. I would wonder if anyone missed me or if anyone was thinking about me at all. I would feel so embarrassed to claim that I was “unclean” around everyone. I can picture people crossing over to the other side of the road, staring, and whispering to each other about me. It breaks my heart to think that this was the reality for people with leprosy thousands of years ago.

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The leper in this Sunday’s Gospel reading had incredible faith. Not only did he recognize Jesus, but he approached Him. In a time when no one would dare to get close to a leper, Jesus let this one come near to Him to encounter Him. The leper recognized that he was unclean, but he brought his illness and the ugliness that came with it to Jesus. I can picture him kneeling there, sore and broken, knowing he’s unclean. Through it all, he gathers his faith and humility to ask if Jesus could make him clean.

Looking at my own life, I realize that I often feel too unclean to approach Jesus. I convince myself that Jesus doesn’t want to hear me confess the same sins again. I don’t feel worthy to adore Him or sit and listen to Him talk to me in prayer. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe that He loves me so much that He died for me so that I could be with Him forever. Before I let these thoughts break me, I muster up my faith and approach Him anyway. I fall before Him, I show Him that I’m unclean, and I say “If you wish, you can make me clean.” And out of His infinite love, He does.

He makes me clean each and every time I fall before Him, and He can for you too.

Stay radiant!

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A Radiant Love Story

I have found the one who my soul loves.

Song of Songs 3:4

A Deep Desire of my Heart
For as long as I can remember, I wanted to get married. When I was little, I would play dress-up as a bride. As I grew up, I mused over the romantic ways that my future husband would sweep me off my feet. In college, I saw married couples who prayed and went to Mass together with their babies, and I could clearly picture myself in their shoes.

There were times when I discerned being a religious sister or a consecrated virgin, but through it all, the deepest desire of my heart was to get married and be a holy wife. I heard that God puts desires like these in our hearts for a reason, so I was convicted that my vocation was marriage. Every time I prayed about it and asked God to guide me to my vocation, the one that kept popping up in my heart and gave me the most peace was marriage.

A Radiant Love Story
A Radiant Love Story

Praying and Preparing
In college, I prayed and prayed to meet my future husband. Every day, I prayed that God would make me holy enough for him and the kind of wife that would lead him closer to God. I prayed that my future husband was preparing to meet me, praying for me, and becoming a godly gentleman. I prayed that we would love each other the way that God created us to be loved. Of course, there were a handful of guys that I had a crushes on. While some of them were my friends, we never became anything more than that. Once when I was growing impatient, I turned to Scripture for comfort. I wanted God to send me my future husband already, but a verse from Song of Songs stood out to me.

Do not awaken or stir up love until it is ready.

Song of Songs 3:5

God spoke to me through this verse at the perfect moment. I had realized that a guy who I liked didn’t like me back. I felt disheartened, but I also believed that God had someone else in mind for me. Song of Songs 3:5 reminded me that God will unfold the love story that He wrote for me when I’m ready and when the time is right. This verse helped me to trust in Him more completely. For a time, I was comfortable in my season of singleness. I spent it growing closer to God and becoming the woman who He wanted me to be.

After a few months, I met someone.

The One Who Broke my Heart
Before God gave me the one who my soul loves, He gave me the one who broke my heart. I dated a boy who came into and out of my life in a whirlwind. We met, we dated, and he left without warning. In hindsight, I know that it’s good that he broke my heart and left me. In many ways, he was not the one who God set aside for me. Although he hurt me deeply, he still taught me so much. My relationship with him showed me what true love doesn’t look like. While I hurt for a few months after that relationship ended, I knew that God allowed my heart to break for a reason. When I was at my lowest, God gave me the biggest blessing of my life.

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The One Who my Soul Loves
Nathan, my gift from God, came into my life and showed me what true, holy love looks like. He was a sweet friend of mine before he began to pursue me. He was patient and gentle with me, knowing that I was still fragile from my breakup. Within a month, we were good friends. Nathan and I spent time together and got to know each other for a while, and then on January 25, 2019 he asked me to be his girlfriend.

Throughout our time dating, Nathan showed me what a Godly gentleman looks like. He shows me his love through kind words and thoughtful gestures. He always reminds me of his support and love. He does little things for me, like open car doors, give me flowers, and leave me notes, to remind me that he loves me. He showers me with hugs and kisses to show me that he’s close. He prays with me and for me often. In my relationship with Nathan, I learned how to love someone the way that they need to be loved. We’re certainly not the perfect couple, but we turn to God through it all. In everything we do, we try to give glory to God as we run to Heaven together.

On January 23, 2021, Nathan asked me to marry him, and I joyfully said yes. Now, we’re one step closer to beginning our vocation of marriage. God truly did guide us to each other. We still have a lot of planning, preparing, and praying to do before we say “I do,” but we’re at peace knowing that we’ll spend the rest of our lives together. Every day, I fall more in love with my gift from God. It’s an adventure to learn his heart, and it’s a blessing to love him and be loved by him. It took a lot of patience, growth, and trust in God, but I finally found the one who my soul loves.

Stay radiant!

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This Sunday’s Gospel: February 7, 2021

For this Sunday’s Gospel and other Mass readings, click here!

How often do we thank God and praise Him for answering our prayers or for working in our lives? When we do, what’s the turnaround time? Do we praise Him right away, or do we delay?

This Sunday’s Gospel reading gives us an example of giving glory to God. Immediately after Jesus healed her, Simon’s mother-in-law waited on Him. Like she did, when God answers our prayers, heals us, or reveals Himself to us, we have to respond to it.

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When someone does something for us, no matter how big or small, we say “thank you,” and usually we say it right away. Sometimes we even send a card, give a small gift, or return the favor with another act of serve. There are so many ways that we show gratitude to each other, and we should do the same for God. We can show Him our gratitude in prayer by talking to Him or writing it down in a prayer journal. Like Simon’s mother in this passage, we can serve Him. No matter how we praise and thank the Lord, let’s not forget to do this. Whether He blesses us or answers our prayers, or whether we can’t see Him working, God deserves our praise and thanksgiving at all times.

Stay radiant!

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Her Humble “Yes:” Why I’m Doing Fiat 90 Again

Do whatever he tells you

John 2:5

Fiat 90 Discernment
If I can be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do Fiat 90 again. I thought about only doing Fiat 40. I thought about not doing it at all because I remembered how hard it became as I went on. But I kept feeling a nudge to say “yes” to Fiat 90. Looking back, I feel like it was the Holy Spirit prompting me to give Fiat 90 another try. I constantly reflect and write about how Mary always said “yes” to God’s will for her. I’m always inspired by her perfect discipleship, and I always strive to be like her in every way. I think God is calling me to do Fiat again.

As I take an honest look at my life, I see the places where I’m flourishing and the places where I need God to breathe new life. I’ll use the next 90 days as a refreshing reset as I surrender every part of me and every aspect of my life to Him. Fiat 90 will give me a reason to do better with fasting and penance, and it’ll help me grow deeper in prayer. With Mary’s help, I want to be transformed and renewed as I learn to depend more on God instead of myself or worldly things.

Her Humble Yes
Her Humble Yes

What is Fiat 90?
Fiat 90 is a 90-day retreat for Catholic women desiring to grow closer to God in a deep and meaningful way. As we grow in detachment, women who embark on Fiat 90 seek to live in the world and not of it. This retreat is all about putting small sacrifices to make a big sacrifice, and choosing God in the little things so that we can say “yes” to Him in a big way. If you want to learn a little more about Fiat 90, check out this blog post that I wrote last year about it.

As I journey through Fiat 90 this year, I’ll praise God with my body, my mind, and my soul in these ways:
Body I will eat three meals a day with no snacking in between. I commit to the Heroic Minute, waking up and getting out of bed on my first alarm. I will not eat sweets or desserts. I will not have seconds. I will go to bed by midnight six nights a week.
Mind I will watch one TV show or movie per week. I will only listen to things that point me towards God. I will not make any unnecessary purchases. I will not gossip or complain. I will not multitask.
Soul I will have a weekly holy hour. I will go to confession once a week. I will say the 3:00 pm Memorare. I will do a 54-day Rosary novena. I will pray my Marian Consecration prayer every day.

Although there are more things that I can be doing with Fiat 90, like going to daily Mass, and fasting from social media, these are the things that I discerned that I’m realistically able to do. I think that cutting back a little on the standard Fiat expectations will help me to complete the 90 days more zealously and will help me avoid the inevitable burnout just a little bit. Instead of having several points of Fiat to focus on, I’ll be able to be more intentional about these few that I selected.

From a Place of Humility
I’m not doing Fiat 90 for me. I’m not praying and fasting intensely to prove that I can do it or to show how holy I can be. I’m journeying through Fiat 90 again so that I can open myself up to God. I want to encounter Him more deeply, hear His voice, and discern His will. While I’ll be putting in a lot of work, Fiat 90 isn’t about me. It’s about surrendering more and more to Him. Mary asked the children of Fatima to do penance for souls, so I’ll humbly do this because I want to listen to my Mother and please my Heavenly Father.

One thing that I want to do differently this year is sacrifice intentionally. Having someone and something that I’m sacrificing for will motivate me to keep going. I wrote down who and what I’m sacrificing for, and on the days that I feel like I can’t do Fiat anymore, I’ll look back and remember why I started. I want to approach Fiat 90 this year with a sense of humility. When Mary gave her fiat, she did so from a place of perfect humility, so I want to have the humility to say “yes” to God like she did. Humility is about thinking of others before yourself. With this in mind, my Fiat 90 journey will not be about me. I’m not embarking on Fiat 90 for my own sake. I’m doing this because my Heavenly Father wants to draw me nearer to Him, because my Mother wants me to pray, fast, and do penance so that souls can go to Heaven, and for a special person and intention that’s close to my heart.

Please pray for me and for all of the women who said “yes” to Fiat 90 this year.

Stay radiant!

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This Sunday’s Gospel: January 31, 2021

For this Sunday’s Gospel and other Mass readings, click here!

The takeaway that I gained from this Sunday’s Gospel is very simple, yet still profound. Jesus really is the Son of God. If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you believe this. You might think, “Well, obviously He’s the Son of God, Madeline!”

The point of this Gospel reading is that an unclean spirit recognized Jesus. a demon publicly acknowledged that Jesus is the Son of God. It’s amazing to know that even evil things cannot deny this truth. This reminds me of Philippians 2:10-11, which reads “at the name of Jesus, every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Nobody can be neutral when it comes to Jesus. One way or another, we have to recognize that He is the Lord.

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If demons can’t deny that Jesus is the Son of God, then we can’t deny Him either. We’re better than evil spirits, so what’s stopping us from acknowledging His identity and presence? Let’s proudly and joyfully proclaim that Jesus is Lord. Let’s let our lives reflect His glory and our identity as His disciples.

Stay radiant!

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