Choosing God

July became my fighting month. 

After two months of regularly attending daily Mass, I suddenly found it very difficult to drag myself to church in the mornings.

July was the month during which I would wake up and roll over to see that I needed to leave for Mass in twenty minutes. Then I'd lie there for ten trying to decide if I needed to go. 

I fought with myself. I fought against my complacent desire for sleep. Each morning, I had to make the conscious decision to go to Mass. 

Or not. 

Praise for the Steubenville Conferences

LifeTeen Steubenville East Logo

Five years ago, I attended my first Steubenville East youth conference, and God rocked my world. 

I was not yet fourteen, preparing for my freshman year in high school. I had braces and primarily wore brand-name clothing because I thought it looked cool. I looked and felt incredibly awkward, at all times, without exception. 

My older sister had invited me to our parish's youth group a few months before. I heard about the Steubenville East conference after a holy hour with the youth group. My youth minister bounded up to the podium and delivered an invitation to a conference for Catholic teens. Having experienced Eucharistic Adoration for the first time that night, I felt compelled to learn as much about the faith as I could, to join this "new" community of young Catholics. So I grabbed the forms for Steubenville East and headed home. 

Death and Resurrection

The second reading at Mass a few weeks ago struck me. In the first few lines, St. Paul writes:
Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us,
once we have come to the conviction that one died for all;
therefore, all have died.
When I heard this read aloud at Mass, my brow furrowed. Ah, yes, I thought. There's that Christian joy we desire. We have all died. However, we know as Christians that Christ has conquered death. Why, then, is it necessary for us to die as well? 

You see, we do not die in addition to Christ, but alongside Him, united in His sufferings so that we may be raised from the dead as He was. This is directly related to our participation in the Eucharist. 

Not Yet Home

This is not how it's supposed to be, I thought to myself as I processed the latest unfortunate news, still shaking sleep from my eyes as I plodded down the hallway from my bedroom. 

This is not how it's supposed to be.
All of these were not meant for us. Man was not made for destruction. Man was made for life. 

We all know the unfortunate story: Adam and Eve, our first parents, disobeyed God. Sin entered the world. 

The devil brought death into our world, a world unstained by sin and in which man lived as he was meant to live--in perfect communion with God. Death is not of the Lord; it is of the devil. Satan cannot create life, and therefore, in his jealousy, he seeks to attack it. From The Catholic Gentleman
Only God can truly create. Satan cannot. And Satan hates this fact. He is sterile in every sense of the word. He hates the Trinity because he envies its life giving and creative power...
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