1. Oh You…


    Pro-Choice-ers. Because we live in a liberal state, where the majority of the population is extravagantly and abundantly brimming with pro-choice propaganda  we conservative-christian types are pretty used to taking a lot of flack. We know not to flaunt our views, lest we be eaten alive by the sometimes-rabid opposition, but at the same time we resolutely refuse to be ashamed of what we think. This is why I thought it was a good idea to attend a talk at UW this weekend, by an OBG YN who used to perform abortions.

    I had expected the usual rabble from the Students for Choice, and sure enough, when I went in the door there were people shouting at me and handing me leaflets that said things like “Hate Women? Then you’ll love this event!” (Yes because  being a woman, I am coming to this event out of sheer self-malice. Really? How could that make ANY sense? Alrightalright.)

    The speech started on time when a slightly plump, balding man with a soft smile and troubled eyes stepped out on the stage. He didn’t make it through the first sentence before the Students for Choice marched through the rows carrying signs and shouting obscenities and slogans at the mildly surprised audience. The speaker, slightly smiling, serenely surveyed the passing protestors as they walked out the door. Unfazed he proceeded with his speech and finished his sentence ” …and hopefully this speech will help start a reasonable discussion between the two sides of this issue that is based on tolerance and understanding.”  

    That, boys and girls, is the definition of irony. 

    Let’s be clear here. There are extremists on both sides, making the reasonable ones look bad with their intolerant behavior and closed-minded thinking. I’m sure the group that showed up to the speech was probably made up of extremists. But where, oh where, are the reasonable guys? I genuinely would like to have a conversation with a reasonable, rational pro-choice individual with well thought out, logical opinions… Who also wouldn’t take everything I say as a personal insult. Wouldn’t you?

    Because, lets be honest, the insecure, hateful, irrational ones probably will be offended by your very existence. 

  2. spiritualinspiration:

    When you make a mistake, unfortunately, the critics and naysayers come out of the woodwork. People will tell you, “You’re all washed up. It’s too late.” If you wear that label, it will keep you from the amazing future God has in store. God says, “My mercy is bigger than any mistake.” God says, “I can still get you to your destiny.” God says, “I will give you beauty for those ashes. I’ll pay you back double for the unfair things that have happened.” You wouldn’t be alive unless God had another victory in your future. Why don’t you take off the “washed up” label? Take off the “failure,” “guilty,” “condemned” labels and put on some new labels: redeemed, restored, forgiven, bright future, new beginning.

    Always remember, you have been made in the image of Almighty God. God did not make any mistakes. You are the perfect size. You have the right personality, the right gifts, the right looks, the right skin color. You are not an accident. God designed you precisely for the race that is laid out for you. You are fully equipped for this life, and His mercy is greater than any mistake you could make. Embrace the truth and the victory He has in store for your future!



    Growing up, I never had a devotion to Mary. I mean, I liked the idea of her … but I didn’t have a relationship with her. The Virgin Mother was a porcelain statue, a gold-etched picture on a Christmas card. She wasn’t real to me. My only connection to her, at best, was a panicked “Hail Mary” before a pop-quiz.

    What I’ve learned is that Mary is way more than a boring stained glass window. She lived an exciting life and did amazing things. And outside of Jesus, she is one of the greatest gifts we’ve been given as Catholics. Although I didn’t have a relationship with Mary growing up, I have fallen in love with my mother since then, and let me tell you: OUR MAMA ROCKS!

    Here are the top five reasons why:


      Think about this, over the centuries prophets and kings spoke of the coming of Christ. What makes Mary so amazing, is she didn’t just “talk” or bare witness to His coming: she bore Jesus. She actually carried Him (the God of the Universe) in her womb and brought Him to life. That is a big deal!!!

      As God’s Mother, she deserves our reverence. In the gospel of Luke, the angel appears saying, “Hail Mary, full of grace” (Luke 1:28). In Mary’s Magnificat she proclaims, “From now on all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:49). The mother of a king is given a place of honor next to the king’s throne, and all generations have honored Mary as the Holy Queen, Mother of God. Jesus honored her, too … and so should we.


      Our mama wears army boots! That’s right. Mary isn’t just any woman. She was “the woman.” Mary was chosen from the beginning of time to play a role in salvation history as the “New Eve” (CCC 411). Remember the story in the Garden of Eden? Just as Eve’s disobedience led to the fall of Adam, bringing death to humanity, it’s Mary’s obedience, her “yes” to God led to the “New Adam,” Jesus who brings life for humanity. Satan no longer has power; she crushes his head (Genesis 3:15).

      Whatever sin or temptation you face in your life, you can turn to your mama and she will be a fierce butt-kicking power for you. When I am under my greatest spiritual trials, I reach for my rosary like my “spiritual nunchucks.” And Mary, a powerful warrior of love, comes charging in to show Satan who’s boss!


      Mary knows what Jesus likes to eat for breakfast; she spent 30 years with Him – sharing cereal bars and pop-tarts. (Okay, Mary probably cooked.) But think of how much time Our Lady must have spent with her Son … the deep conversations they had and probably some great inside jokes too. Mary’s heart beat in union with Jesus in her womb, and she journeyed side by side with Him to His tomb. Who better to teach us about Jesus than the one who knows Him best?

      Mary is our greatest advocate. At the Wedding Feast of Cana, she was the one who asked Jesus to work His first miracle (John 2:5). And if we come to her in need, (even if it’s the slightest annoying issue with your brother, a test, or our deepest, unspoken fears) she will ask Jesus for you. And trust me, what son doesn’t listen to his mama?


      Kate Moss. Cindy Crawfod. Heidi Klum … These supermodels have nothing compared to Mary. She is our perfect model. Her life teaches us how we’re all called to obedience and faith even through suffering.

      As a teenage girl, Mary was faced with fear about the road ahead. We all have our own fears too – college, friends, and relationships. But the beauty of Mary is that she surrendered to whatever God asked. She said “Let it be done to me according to your words” (Luke 1:38). Mary journeyed with faith to the cross. I can’t imagine how much a mother would suffer if she had to watch her son be tortured to death. But Mary stood at the cross. That’s what we’re called to do too – to stand in faith through our daily trials, knowing Christ’s love will triumph.


      At the foot of the cross Jesus gave Mary to the world as our mother (John 19:26). Maybe your mom is bossy, wonderful, controlling, or just really busy. Regardless of our earthly moms, we can know that we have a beautiful heavenly mother who’s always there for us – Mary. Like any good mother, Mary wants a relationship with you. She wants to wipe away our tears and teach us her Son’s ways. Even when we mess up, she will bandage our wounds and point us back to Jesus.

    If you’re like me and never got the whole “Mary” thing, I encourage you to ask her to reveal herself to you. Mary isn’t even close to being boring, distant, or dull. She is real, powerful, and a fire-ball of love for her son and for you. Since I began to have a personal relationship with Mary, my life has radically changed. She has taught me, protected me, and led me to great intimacy with her son. I now talk to Mary daily and she is an active part of my life. Her power is real!

    Open your heart to the Mother of all mothers, and let her rock your world as much as she has rocked mine!


  4. Catholic Summer Must-Reads

    Now that it’s well into summer you’re starting to pass from the “Yes! I don’t have to go to school!” phase into the “Wow, I’m really bored” phase. It’s a great time to start digging a bit deeper into the Catholic faith, to start growing more in your knowledge and love of God. So here’s a list of some awesome books to get you started.

    1. Ablaze: Stories of Daring Teen Saints by Colleen Swaim

      So your youth minister told you about the universal call to holiness and you thought to yourself, “Sounds great. But I can’t be a saint now, can I? That sounds like something to do when I have more time, like after college, right?”

      Wrong. First of all, there is no time after college (I wish!) and secondly, yes, you are called to be a saint now! And Ablaze gives you eight examples of saints who lived this call to holiness while they were young. It includes pictures, prayers, “saintly challenges” and helpful tidbits, like maps and definitions (finally, I know what a postulant is!). Read this book and become inspired to start practicing the virtues and walking the road toward sanctity now.

    2. YOUCAT: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church

      If you’ve wanted to learn more about the Church’s teachings, but were afraid to pick up the Catechism because it’s full of big words, tiny footnotes and a weird numbering system, then fear no more!

      YOUCAT gives you all the goodness of the Catechism in a more readable question and answer format. It answers questions like “Faith—what is it?” (Question #21), “What happens if you don’t feel anything when you pray?” (508), “Why isn’t the Church a democracy?” (140), and “What is the Church’s judgment on artificial fertilization?” (423).

      It’s also filled with loads of extras like Bible passages; definitions; quotes from the saints, popes, and others; color photos; and stick figure pictures of everything from a wedding to the Stations of the Cross. You can read through it in bite-sized chunks to learn more about the faith, sacraments, prayer, and social teaching—thoroughly impressing everyone at your youth group.

    3. You Can Understand the Bible by Peter Kreeft

      Reading the Bible can be hard. It’s a big book with thin pages and if you start at the beginning you’re bound to get bogged down in Leviticus (trust me).

      It helps to have a road map, so you know what’s going on in each book of the Bible—like who the prophets were talking too, or why Paul had to write two letters to the Corinthians. This book explains all that and more. An easy read (I first read it at the beach), each chapter gives an overview of a book of the Bible, and connects the Bible stories to our Catholic beliefs and how we should live out our Christianity today. Because that’s what reading the Bible is all about—listening the Word of God so that we change our lives to be more like Jesus’.

    4. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

      Okay, so Lewis wasn’t Catholic (he was Anglican) but his writings on Christianity are so good that Catholics quote him all the time (he’s all over the YOUCAT). You probably know him as the guy who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia.

      This book is a series of letters from one devil to another—Screwtape advising his “nephew” on how to tempt an average man who lives in England during World War 2. Screwtape writes how best to tempt their “patient” into discord with his mother, unchastity, and out of prayer.

      He also breaks down into some hilarious fits as he tries to figure out what God ‘s real purpose is—because “all His talk about Love must be a disguise for something else,” right? This is an amusing book and a humbling reminder that it’s just as important to watch out for the “everyday sins” as it is for the big ones.

    5. John Paul 2 High series by Christian M. Frank

      The only problem I have with teen fiction books is that characters are never quite like my friends and me—they don’t go to Church, pray the rosary, or get into arguments about when the Christmas season is officially over.

      Which is why I love the John Paul 2 High series, because these characters do. The series follows a group of Catholic teenagers as they deal with school, dating, forgiveness, and questions of the faith. The story has an action streak in it too; part of the plot revolves around a school shooter.

      Teen fiction is about everyday problems, and these characters have ones that are specific to Catholic life, like loving your enemies, understanding why we go to Church, and believing in God.

    6. Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel

      What does it mean to be Catholic?

      George Weigel (Pope John Paul II’s biographer) thinks that it’s more than just praying every day and going to church, that there’s also some sort of internal way of looking at the life and the world that’s different.

      To explain this Weigel takes his reader on a tour of the Catholic world, from his home parish in Maryland to the Sistine Chapel, from Mt. Sinai to a London pub. Each “letter” describes a place, a piece of history or a Catholic figure, and some aspect of Catholic life—why we pray, Mary and discipleship, what we can learn from beauty. They show the impact of Catholicism throughout history and the world, and are a good introduction to notable Catholic saints and thinkers.

    7. If You Really Loved Me: 100 Questions on Dating, Relationships, and Sexual Purity by Jason Evert

      When it comes to sexual morality the Catholic Church has some very specific opinions. But have you ever wondered why the Church teaches what it does? In this book Jason Evert explains the why behind teachings on premarital sex, contraception, cohabitating, pornography and more.

      Read this book to get a deeper understanding of what love and chastity really are, and how God’s plan for human sexuality will leave us happy and fulfilled. It also gives answers to practical question you might have, like how far is too far, how to start over, and how to stay pure. Living purity isn’t easy, and this book gives you facts and information you can use to explain your beliefs to your skeptical friends.

    So there you have it. A list of seven books to educate, entertain, and enrich your faith life. Happy reading!


  5. Obama Admin’s Allowing Vending Machine Abortions is Dead Wrong


    Is that where we are now America? Really? 

    The Food and Drug Administration is not taking action against Shippensburg University for dispensing Plan B, the so-called “morning after pill,” in a vending machine on campus. Common sense and the best interest of its students, however, should encourage the university to change course.

    Shippensburg’s decision to market Plan B to its students the same way as candy or soda irresponsibly ignores the grave implications of a powerful drug that can end the life of a developing human being.

    The FDA’s labeling acknowledges that Plan B can prevent implantation,[1] thus killing an embryo—a unique human being.

    Promoting the so-called “contraceptive mandate,” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius has admitted that the FDA’s definition of “contraception” is not limited to a drug’s ability to prevent conception. “The Food and Drug Administration has a category [of drugs] that prevent fertilization and implantation. That’s really the scientific definition.”[2]

    In his most recent study on so-called “emergency contraception,” Dr. James Trussell—whose research has been cited by the FDA—states: “To make an informed choice, women must know that [emergency contraception pills]… may at times inhibit implantation…”[3]

    The consequences of “inhibiting implantation” are more serious than this sterile description might imply. In fact, the consequences can be deadly.

    Read more here