“Dear young people, do not settle for anything less than Truth and Love, do not be content with anything less than Christ.” -Pope Benedict XVI
I ran across this quote the other day on Facebook and absolutely LOVED it. It’s wonderful that our Holy Father reminds us of this…because it has become all too easy to replace Christ with things of this world. As Catholic teens trying to truly live the Faith, we must never lose sight of Jesus in our lives and we must keep Him always at the center of everything we do. It is God who created us and it is for Him that we live, not for this world.
Thanks for the reminder, your Holiness!
One of my favorite topics we covered in the theology classes I took this past year was the Gospel message and how it is presented in each of the four gospel accounts. And I got to thinking…you guys might find this interesting, too.
This is part of the material that I told you I’d be moving over from my other blog, but I’m going to tweak it and spice it up a little so that it’s not just a glob of information. I’ll add some pictures, a little music…and, of course, the complimentary dry humor and sarcasm :D
So you guys can be looking forward to that. In the meantime, however…
I’d really like some recommendations!
It’s really hard to write a blog when you’re not sure what your topics for posts should be, so if you guys could see fit to comment/email and tell me what you want to hear about, I’d really appreciate it.
We don’t always think about the fact that truly following Christ will require sacrifices on our part. Some sacrifices might be forced upon us because of our faith in Jesus and others we might take upon ourselves to offer up to God. You guys have probably experienced the first type already. You might be rejected or made fun of by others because you choose to follow Christ. At school, you might be labeled a “Jesus Freak” and avoided by your classmates. Don’t resent these hardships! Instead, offer it up to God. I know it’s hard to be singled out…and yes, it can be frustrating at times. Even among my friends, I’m labeled the “crazy religious person”, and sometimes they take their comments a little bit far. But that’s part of it. If people single you out (even if they don’t realize they’re doing it), avoid you, or bully you, forgive them and offer that frustration and sorrow to God.
Then there are voluntary sacrifices, the ones that we take upon ourselves to show God our love and devotion in a special way. You might offer these sacrifices for a particular intention as well. Things like fasting, giving something up, or even dropping what you’re doing to go to Adoration for an hour fall under this category. These sacrifices which we choose on our own help us put our priorities in order: What is more important to me? Talking on the phone with my friends, or using that same time to quietly reflect on Scripture?
When we embrace sacrifice rather than reject it, we resemble Christ and His humble acceptance of suffering for our sake. If you find yourself thinking that a particular sacrifice or hardship is too much for God to ask of you, remember the torture Jesus suffered during His Passion. There is no sacrifice too great or too small: everything has value in God’s eyes. Offer up your suffering cheerfully! God’s love will always be enough for you.
Seeing as I’ve just started this blog, I figured I ought to lay a few ground rules for how this is gonna work so that we can all get along nicely together. Pretty general stuff, but essential nevertheless. So, here they are:
1) I welcome any and all comments! In fact, if you don’t comment, I’m going to feel like I’m talking to myself, and that’s just sad…so please comment. HOWEVER, please keep all of your comments at a PG-13 level here. That means no swearing or being rude to others. I will be monitoring comments, so let’s keep it clean people.
2) Questions! Questions are great, no matter what they’re about. If you have a question you want me to answer or that you just want to discuss with readers, please comment so we can have some dialogue on here. It’ll be awfully boring if this whole venture ends up being me talking and cracking bad jokes. If you have a question that is more personal that you don’t want everyone to see, you can certainly email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond ASAP.
3) Different viewpoints are welcomed here. If you’re atheist, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, agnostic, Jewish, or anything else and you have a comment about a post, let’s hear it! This is a forum for discussion, not dictatorship. The one thing we AREN’T going to do is insult each other. Play nicely with everyone and we’ll all get along great.
That’s pretty much it for now. So…let’s get some content on here, shall we? I’m going to do several posts tonight. Some will be apologetic, some will be suggestions on how to live the faith, and others will just be surprises. Here we go!