3 Reasons Why Doing The Charlie Charlie Challenge Is a VERY Bad Idea

I’m starting to long for the days when the internet was fighting over a dress. I first saw someone talking about the Charlie Charlie Challenge (also put under the hashtag “Real Charlie Challenge” or just “Charlie Challenge) on Instagram and I really hoped it was a hoax, but apparently, this unbelievably stupid idea has gone viral. So being the social media addict that I am, I took to warning my dear Instagram friends and am now doing the same for this blog.

So here are 3 Reasons Why Doing the Charlie Charlie Challenge is a very bad idea, even if you’re doing it for laughs. These reasons are pretty relevant and true regardless of whether or not you believe in demons.

1) It’s fake.

Okay, so you want to summon a Mexican demon and the guy’s name is Charlie? It’s already sounding fake enough as is because a real Mexican demon would choose a name like Carlos or Carlito’s. Not to mention that the whole pencil thing is just a matter of physics.

2) Demons are real.

Whether or not you believe me, the reality is still there. I’m not saying that it’s like Supernatural or Buffy where demons lurk in every corner. But to quote my favorite show, you are playing in some serious traffic here. You are dabbling in things way beyond your understanding out of some need to control your environment and other people. I mean, one of my Instagram friends told me that a hater tried to summon a demon to kill them. And before you think this is all kid stuff, I have three words for you: Slender Man Murders. Souls are slippery things, sad to say, and the devil would love nothing more than for people to give theirs to him for little to nothing.

3) You have better things to do.

I can understand wanting to experiment with magic. I think we all had phases where we played with tarot cards or tried casting a spell. Heck, my mom once told me she and her friends used to play around with a pseudo-Ouija game. We do these things because we are curious or bored or want to unleash some kind of petty vengeance.

But you know what these desires all have in common? They’re all shortcuts or quick fixes. And sadly, there are no such thing as a real quick fix for problems. As it was often said in Once Upon a Time: “All magic comes with a price.”

There are better ways to know the future, deal with our problems, and find out if the guy in our English class will be your future husband that don’t involve demons.

And just for good measure, I’ll leave y’all with the prayer of St. Michael.

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Oh don’t mind me. I’m just kicking some serious demon ass here.

St. Michael the Archangel, 
defend us in battle. 
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. 
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, 
and do thou, 
O Prince of the heavenly hosts, 
by the power of God, 
thrust into hell Satan, 
and all the evil spirits, 
who prowl about the world 
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

 

PS: Dear MTV, I knew you started sucking when you stopped doing TRL, but promoting demon summoning to bandwagon on the Charlie Charlie Challenge? You’ve officially sunk to a whole new low.

Women of Christ Wednesday: Mary Cieslak

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Mary Katharine Cieslak is 22 year-old college grad who aspires to be a filmmaker, whatever that may mean in this ever-changing media landscape.

1) Tell me your “coming out” story.

I mean, my “coming out” story is still happening: I only just came out to my little sister last week!! That’s two out of eight people in my immediate family. Personally, I find people’s stories of coming out to themselves infinitely more fascinating. I think in cultures where it is dangerous to come out—and it is undeniable that Catholic culture is generally negative towards accepting anyone other than cisgender and heterosexual persons—there tends to be this self-repression of people within that culture. It took me 12 years to realize I was gay. I just compartmentalized all the little hints, the nagging doubts, and forced myself to forget. That’s just not healthy, and I think there’s also a danger that people will ultimately leave the faith altogether. Heck, it’s already happening, it’s been happening!!

2) What are your perspectives on SSA and being Catholic?

I really dislike the term “SSA” (same sex attraction). To me, it’s another way of disassociating queer people from that identity: “You’re not gay, you’re just a person with same sex attraction!” But you can’t discuss accepting your identity when it’s considered a tacked-on attribute, akin to having brown eyes or blonde hair. I admire how words and meanings matter very much in the Catholic Church, but here? It’s a conversation-halter. That shouldn’t be our goal. Catholicism isn’t a one-liner, so please, stop quoting Galatians 3:28 like you’re dropping the mic. Our faith is a constant dialogue between Scripture and Tradition. And a 2000+ year old conversation will not be nullified by people identifying as queer any more than people identifying by race, ethnicity, or nationality did.

3) How has coming out affected your life?
Well for one thing, a lot of personal questions were answered! But of course, many more took their place. It reminded me of how I felt immediately after I was confirmed in the faith: “Okay but, now what do I do?!?” In an unexpected but pleasant surprise, I do feel more sure in my body now that I recognize its intricacies better, even as I slowly, anxiously come out to people one-by-one. It’s become a journey of self-discovery, and I find myself getting excited each time the Church talks about this subject. More than anything, it’s has made me realize that my faith is happening, it is ever-present, and I must engage in dialogue with it! How could I not?

4) Who are your go-to saints?

Saint Jude, patron saint of hopeless causes!! *laughs* But in all seriousness, my go-to is my namesake, the Virgin Mary; she is such a benevolent Queen, a comforting Mother in a time where I am afraid to come out to my own. And I’m intrigued by the various discussions of saints and Biblical figures who were queer. The tomboy in me has always loved St Joan of Arc, so even if the idea that she is transgender is unfounded, make her the patron saint of it. Right now there is no official patron saint of any queer or MOGII persons. Give us someone, please!!

5) What advice would you give to Catholics who identify as having SSA?

You are made in the Image and Likeness of God, and you are loved by the Creator who made you. Now that you have discovered this new part of yourself, you can embark on this spiritual journey! And you do not have to make that journey alone. There are more and more of us realizing and accepting God’s creation within us every day. Seek us out. You were made from Love; you were made to be loved. Just knock.

6) What would you say to adults who struggle to understand homosexuality?
I was once like you. I thought, love the sinner, hate the sin. But love is not manifested through disapproval and disregard. How uninspired, how lazy of the Church Militant to approach its vulnerable members in this way.
Listen to the people who come forward. Make a safe space for people who do not. You are eager to direct people to God and show his love, but you cannot welcome them with one arm wrapped around them, while the other pushes them away.
Do not assume that you are never in the company of queer persons. Many times my father has unwittingly belittled his lesbian daughter at the family dinner, while in fear I bit my tongue on the truth.
Be gracious to people who fall from grace. The amount of times I’ve come back to confession pleases my priest to no end. Because the Church was made not to condemn but to save. Continuously. Constantly. Limitlessly: “A gay person who is seeking God, who is of good will — well, who am I to judge him?”

 

Praising God In the Storm

It started with a minor kitchen accident. I was cooking lunch: pork chops marinated with orange juice. Unfortunately, I accidentally spilled some of the marinade over the stove range, causing the pilot light to go out. The constant clicks made me think that my kitchen was going to explode. (That’s what I get for binge-watching Burn Notice.) Thankfully, my mom and my brother were able to handle the situation.

What did I do? I panicked. I never had to deal with a broken pilot light before. I hid out in my mom’s bathroom, wishing I had someone who’d hold me. As I said before, I hate dealing with unfamiliar situations and when situations are outside of my control, my first instinct is to cry and panic.

My brother turned off the power in the kitchen and we waited for my dad to come back from work to fix it. It took a long time, but thankfully, the pilot light was dried out and the stove range was cleaned. However, we had to leave the kitchen off until it was safe. Which meant that for several hours, I was left with the uncertainty of whether or not I would cook. I worried about what I would eat the next morning.

I didn’t have any time to whine about it, though, because given that my mom had a day off from work and her idea of “relaxing” is spring cleaning, I was put in charge of cleaning my bathroom.

But the story doesn’t end there. As the day drew to a close, a major thunderstorm broke out. The power went out for a while. Since I didn’t have the safety blanket of my internet, I curled up in bed with my crucifix, my stake, and my Buffy Funko pop dolls. I know. What am I, twelve?

I prayed the Rosary during stormy situations before, both literal and metaphorical, and last night was no different. I was about halfway through the second joyful mystery when the power came back on. But I kept praying the Rosary even after the power came back because I was still scared of tomorrow.

I didn’t get much sleep, given the constant thunder, lightning, and the clicks from the pilot light, but in the morning, they were all gone. The kitchen was silent and functioning normally again. The sun came out. The streets of my city are sadly flooded, but God kept me and my family safe.

I know that I have to figure out a way to deal with being anxious about uncertainties that don’t involve panicking, but I feel like I’m doing a lot better right now.

One of the lies my so-called best friend from a few years ago told me was that I wouldn’t be able to handle myself on my own if something bad happened to my family. They, of course, said this because they wanted me completely dependent on them. At the time, I believed them. Looking back now, I realized that I faced a lot of situations that were outside of my control like getting my purse stolen and dealing with a broken heart during a retreat. But I was never alone and I didn’t have to deal with those situations by myself.

The great blessing that came out of each of the storms in my life was that I always had my family and my friends and my God. I always had someone to talk to or some task that would keep my mind away from the situation. When my purse got stolen, I ran straight to the church (since it took place in my parish’s parking lot) and told my friends and my pastor about what happened. When I was dealing with a broken heart, I had someone to talk to and made some new friends. And when my pilot light broke, my family was there to fix it and eventually listen.

Most of all, I could pray and offer my anxieties and fears. I can get shaken a lot, but I am never ever stirred to give into my fears. Like the Casting Crowns song goes, in spite of how I feel, I praise God in the storm.

So I guess the question is “Why does God allow me to experience unfamiliar situations or experiences that put me through the emotional wringer?”

The answer is because I learn something from each experience. Whenever I encounter someone who’s hurt, my first instinct is to protect and defend them because I was once in their shoes. Maybe someday, I’ll help someone else who felt betrayed by a friend, lost something important to them, or got their heart broken and I can help them because I understand their suffering.

Nothing Safe is Worth the Drive

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I used to be afraid of thunderstorms. While I’ve gotten over it for the most part, I still hate it when I’m in a car as sheets of pouring rain fall around and whenever lightning flashes every other second, especially if it comes in the form of chain lightning. But given that I live in Houston, enduring bad weather inside a car is pretty much inevitable.

I don’t know if ti’s just a Catholic thing, but I consider my life to be a bit of an oxymoron. I like having routines, but I get bored easily. I love books, but I’m picky about what I read. I’m a total chatterbox online, but I suck at making small talk in real life. Most of all, my favorite quote starts with “To love at all is to be vulnerable…” but I hate taking risks, especially in matters of the heart.

But let’s be honest. Risks are the only way that we ever learn anything. I’m not talking about jumping-off-a-cliff or experimenting with drugs or people kind of risks. I’m talking about pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones. To put things in theatre terms, we’re never gonna get the lead role if we don’t go out and audition for the musical first. I could’ve been in a musical or studied abroad in college, but I never took those chances and I seriously regret that.

On the other hand, I feel like I took a risk in going to a convention of thirty thousand something people a year ago just to meet my favorite actor and pretend to be a vampire slayer and it’s still one of my favorite memories. I also take a risk every time I volunteer at my young adult retreats because, as stated before, I open myself to being put through the emotional wringer. I also have to deal with every retreat being different from the last one and it takes me a while to think on my feet. In spite of that, I still learn a lot from each experience.

My favorite TV shows and movies are always action-packed or have characters who are put through the emotional wringer and come out a little hardened, but a whole lot wiser. It might’ve been safer for Bilbo Baggins to stay in the Shire instead of going off on an adventure, but he wouldn’t have come back with a story to tell. It might’ve been safer for Rick to stick his neck out for no one, but he couldn’t have saved the woman he loves if he did. It might’ve been safe for the apostles to stay in hiding after Jesus’s death, but the Holy Spirit compelled them to do otherwise.

One song I associate with taking risks is Taylor Swift’s “Treacherous.” It was the song I listened to while I was waiting in line for James Marsters at Comicpalooza. At first, I imagined the song with my favorite characters. But then, he walked in just as the song got to the bridge, which includes the line “Nothing safe is worth the drive.” That line has been one of my favorite Taylor Swift lyrics for quite some time because they remind me, along with all of my other favorite quotes, that taking a risk is more often than not a good thing.

What pushes you out of your comfort zone? What are you most afraid of? I’m not asking anyone to go bungee jumping or spend a wild night out in Vegas, but I wanna ask you what kind of risks you think you’ll be willing to take.

Dracula: The Brilliance of Mina Harker

So I did a lot of reading during my four-day vacation in Florida. One book I read was Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Taylor Marshall put the book on his list of his favorite Catholic novels other than Lord of the Rings, even though the book isn’t written by a Catholic.

I loved the book from beginning to end, but the one thing that sticks out at me is the character of Mina Harker, nee Murray. Despite of the way she was portrayed in adaptations and how she’s perceived in various literary analyses, Mina had all the makings of a modern woman even within the timeframe that the story was set in.

At the time that Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, the women’s sufferage movement was on the rise. Many people see Mina as the ideal Victorian woman, who was devoted to her fiancee and whose actions centered on pleasing him. Lucy, on the other hand, seemingly represented the progressive woman who charms many men and later turns into a vampire who goes after children.

However, there are many instances in the novel where Mina is proactive and takes action instead of just reacting to what’s going on around her.

If anyone was the real Damsel in Distress, it’s actually Jonathan, who almost falls victim to Dracula if not for a chance escape. His story takes up four chapters of what can be considered prologue.

When the novel shift’s to the letters and journal of Mina Murray, it establishes that she is a schoolteacher, which wasn’t something Victorian women normally did unless they were working class. Jonathan is an attorney, which puts them about the same class as Jane Austen was in her lifetime, meaning that Mina didn’t have to work for a living. She also studies shorthand and keeps up with her fiancee’s studies. It doesn’t sound like a modern thing to do, but being on equal terms with your marriage partner is actually a proto-feminist concept, dating back to when Jane Austen wrote about its importance in Pride and Prejudice.

Mina comments on articles about the New Woman and admits that while she may disagree with some aspects of that idea, her life is very similar to other aspects. I see that at Mina creating her own definition of feminism, even at a time when it was still in the process of becoming a reality. Later on, when Lucy starts sleepwalking, Mina is the one who keeps an eye on her friend. She keeps Lucy from sleepwalking.

In the edition of Dracula that I own, the introduction speculates that Lucy represents immature love in the sense that she acts like a player and goes between emotional extremes, never finding balance. Mina, however, is more emotionally composed. She still feels things, but doesn’t take things to extremes.

When she gets word about Jonathan’s whereabouts, she essentially comes to his rescue and nurses him back to health. Then, when Van Helsing comes into the picture, she gives him Jonathan’s journal in the hopes of furthering his research on Dracula. She takes notes and helps Van Helsing, Quincey, and Jonathan.

In a typical “Victorian Values” novel, keeping Mina out of the loop would’ve been better for her, but it actually made things worse because Dracula takes advantage of the situation and attacks her. He drinks from her and forces her to drink some of his blood as a way of controlling her.

To quote my friend Cordelia, who is a huge fan of Mina Harker, “Seriously, book can be renamed ‘We decided to hide things from Mina in order to protect her and now we are REALLY screwed until Mina saved us.'”

Although she can’t touch holy items and becomes scarred when Van Helsing places a communion host on her forehead, Mina refuses to stay a victim. She takes advantage of her psychic link with Dracula in order to find his location.

Tl;dr: Mina Harker is awesome and any movie that portrays her as a screaming damsel in distress who falls over her feet for Dracula won’t do her justice.

Coming This Summer: Dissonance by Mariella Hunt

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Fifteen-year-old Allie Grant lives crippled by her illness. Though kept in isolation, she’s never alone: A spirit named Song lurks in the silence of her bedroom.

When Song reveals its dark nature on the night of her recital, the show ends in tragedy. Verging on death, Allie’s taken in by an uncle she’s never met.

Julian claims to be a Muse with power over music and answers that’ll heal her. The cure she needs is rare, requiring of him a difficult sacrifice. Allie soon suspects her uncle has a secret that’ll turn her world around.

But with days left to live, she might fade without learning the truth…like the finishing chord of a song.

————-

About the Author:

Mariella Hunt is a writer with a strong love for coffee and guinea pigs. She likes using big words in everyday speech, and keeps journals of quotes from the greats.

Most days you’ll find her on a well-loved armchair, reading–or working on one of her many projects. As she cannot stick to an outline, she rewrites way too much.

A Not So "Ordinary" Update

In the world of television, theatre, and other media that involves actors, there are always going to be changes. Such in the case of the web original sitcom “Ordinary.”

Timothy Quigley, the creator of Ordinary, recently announced that three of the major actors have left the show. Given that the show was crowdfunded, Timothy turned to his audience for help regarding this situation.

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(I voted for option C, which involves Ruthie and Frances being so badly damaged by the fire that they get major reconstructive surgery, which explains why they look different.)

Casting calls for Ruthie, Frances, and Brigit have been posted on Craigslist, IMDBPro, and Backstage. If you are in the Lancaster area or even within the tri-state area, I highly recommend you audition for this show. And if you want to know more about the show, you can watch the videos on demand at Vimeo.

 

 

 

From the Big Easy to the Emerald Coast

So I was pretty much out for four whole days, travelling to New Orleans and Northwest Florida. It was a really good weekend, given the beauty of St. Louis Cathedral and the gorgeous view from my hotel room and the epic awesomeness that was the Bad Blood music video by Taylor Swift.

The first stop on our road trip was New Orleans.

When I first wanted to go to New Orleans, we got lost and ended up in some run-down areas. Then, when we actually got to the city, it was crowded with traffic and a lot of party-goers, including a guy standing barefoot outside of a bar, drinking a beer. They don’t call New Orleans “the big easy” for nothing.

This time, my mom picked a different area for us to go to: Jackson Square. We arrived on a rainy late morning/early afternoon. The city wasn’t as crowded, even though it was a Friday, and I could see the beauty of the city. It’s a unique city, to be sure, and a very noisy one. But unlike New York City, the noise of New Orleans comes from the jazz bands and performance artists playing on the street corners. We ate lunch at a food court in a building called Jackson Brewery.

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My dad and brother, ever the NCIS fanatics, were quick to point out the various streets and landmarks that they saw in NCIS: New Orleans. I always love it when a show films on-location and a city like New Orleans is easily imitated but never duplicated.

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We went inside the Cathedral of St. Louis, the oldest cathedral in North America. There was amazing artwork on the ceiling and all around the church.

 

The only weird part was that I noticed a row of fortune tellers outside of the Cathedral. I guess rain isn’t a deterring factor for them.

After hours of driving, we finally arrived in the town of Crestview, Florida, which was a little outside of Destin and a lot rainier. My first day on the beach was cloudy and my glasses were tinted so darkly that even when the sun came out, I saw the whole beach as if it was dusk or early evening. It was also really windy, so I decided to just sit on the beach and do some light reading.

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I’m about halfway through with it and will write about it once I’ve finished it.

I really wanted to go somewhere other than the beach or shopping. We managed to find a museum, specifically the Air Force Armament Museum, but the place had a strict dress code: no shirt, no shoes, no entry. Given that my family and I were straight from the beach in flip flops and shorts, we wandered around the outside of the museum, which displayed a lot of old airplanes.

Most of the vacation was spent at the beach or hanging out at the hotel. I even got to swim in a pool for the first time in forever. But even out on the beach, my mind was still on Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood and it did not disappoint when it premiered on Sunday night (although Taylor’s outfit for the Billboard Awards kinda did). I was really surprised that the video turned out to be a rap remix, but the video itself was awesome, with references to movies such as The Fifth ElementFight Club, and The Expendables. If I was in the video, my character’s name would be Illyria after one of my favorite characters from Angel.

Not everything in this vacation was perfect, though. For example, my family and I went to Mass at the closest church we could find. The church was nice-looking, but compared to the gorgeous cathedral in New Orleans, it was a few steps down. Then I had to endure a video about diocesan improvement during the homily, which really stinks given it was the feast of the Ascension. But I knew that churches did this kind of thing once in a while. Just when I thought things would be okay, though, the recessional hymn was the ever-dreaded “Go Make a Difference.” It was my first time actually hearing the song and I wanted to throw up in my pew. Even the worst of the Praise and Worship genre would’ve been a God-send compared to this song. And keep in mind I’m the girl who likes “Ashes,” “On Eagle’s Wings,” and “Here I Am Lord.” The worst part, though, was that I couldn’t decide what I wanted to buy from the church’s Lighthouse Catholic Media/Dynamic Catholic kiosk because they had a lot of great CDs and books. I ended up leaving without buying anything. But maybe, given the less-than-stellar Mass, it was better that way.

On my last day, we took pictures at the beach outside of the hotel and had breakfast at Waffle House. Then, we endured a lot of pouring rain on the long road home. We prayed a Rosary to get us through. By the grace of God, we made it home safely.

 

Going on vacation is always fun, but getting home is still my favorite part.

I was inspired enough to write 2 poems.

 

Song of New Orleans

The city is dizzy, filled with twists and turns

Always a party wherever you go.

The streets are alive with the noises of the city,

a mix of trombones and trumpets,

street performers, artists,

and steamboats playing merry old tunes.

The city mixes the old and the new

Its citizens dance along,

in a strange chaotic order.

New Orleans dances to its own strange beat

Making a symphony out of cacophony.

 

Oceans and Pools

Swimming in a pool is always safe

The water is shallow and warm

inviting and easy

clean and nice

but oh so small

The ocean is not the safest place to swim

It’s vast and cold

unpredictable and fierce

Sharks and trash swim in the water

and if you aren’t careful, you’d drown

But oh the pull of the sea

call us out of our pools

We face the waves

and let ourselves get swept in he tide

Tasting the salt on our tongues

that makes us thirst for more

Instead of the sterile scent of bleach,

we are intoxicated by the air of the sea

We keep our eyes on the beauty of the waves

A mix of seafoam and sky

The water mirrors the heavens for a brief moment

as it lays still on the sand

But like our lives, the reflections are washed by the tide

The oceans call us to go deep into their waters

The fear diminishes as we sink in

Immersing ourselves in the ocean of grace

 

The Laments of Liabilities in Discerning Religious Life

I’ve mentioned on here before that although I want to get to know what it’s like to be a nun more, I haven’t exactly been provided with opportunities to do so. I do have a wonderful nun who acts as my spiritual director, but she’s told me that pursuing religious life would be harder for me because I have more liabilities. What are my liabilities, you ask? Mainly the fact that I have autism and that I have a long list of food allergies. 

When I told a few orders about myself as part of the interview process for come-and-see events, they told me outright that I wouldn’t be considered as a potential sister. One order even said that I wasn’t qualified to go to the come-and-see retreat they were hosting.

I know everyone’s praying for an increase in vocations but it’s kind of hard when convents and monasteries feel more like a VIP nightclubs. I get that I’m socially awkward. I get that being in a convent is a completely different lifestyle change and for people with autism, the process of adjusting would take a long time. What really bugs me is that these people decided to slam the door before they even saw my face.

And I’m not the only one who faces this problem. More than a few young adults who identify themselves as under the LBGT+ spectrum also face rejections from religious orders just on the basis that they have same sex attraction. These Catholics could be living chaste lifestyles, but their sexual orientation becomes a liability instead of an opportunity to further understanding.

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I’m not asking for religious orders to be as open as Grand Central Station. Nor am I asking for them to give people who may not fit the usual mold any special treatment. I’m just asking to give those who seek to understand religious life a chance. Get to know all those who desire to be a nun, a monk, or a priest as individuals. What people call “liabilities” are still parts of our lives. And if there’s anything we know, it’s that God has a way of turning what the world sees as a liability into a strength. After all, love is an open door and besides that…

“Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossip, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Abraham was old,… and Lazarus was dead. God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED!”

Existentialism, Choices, and Discerning God's Will

One verse I keep seeing a lot lately in my social media is Jeremiah 29: 11

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—says the Lord—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.”

I’ve lamented before that I always wish that I knew what exactly those plans were. But some discussions with my friends have given me some perspective on God’s will.

My friend Justin recently made this video:

At first, I felt like this video was bordering on existentialist. If taken the wrong way, the idea that God doesn’t exactly have a great big master plan for every person makes it seem like He is indifferent. But of course, I know otherwise. God is not indifferent,

So I asked Justin some follow-up questions and here’s what he had to say:

If God doesn’t really have a grand master plan, how can you prove His omniscience?
Just like we know that the sun will rise tomorrow and can study everything about its orbit but don’t actually control the sun, so also is it with God. God knows everything we will choose, but He isn’t the one dictating our choices.
 
How would you explain divine intervention?
God intervenes when He sees fit, but other times He expects us to live according to our conscience and free will. 
Explain the Felix Culpa
The happy fault of Adam and Eve that resulted in the coming of Christ was an example of God turning something bad into something good. Of course, this is what often happens in life. When we make a terrible decision, God always gives us opportunities to alter the consequences of our actions, but that doesn’t negate the fact that the bad decision has already been made.
He already has plans on making a follow-up video which I plan to share on here as soon as it’s uploaded.
I am also reminded of a conversation I had with one of my college friends. I lamented to him about my discernment issues and he said:
Maybe he’s waiting to see what you have planned.
I think your vocation is your actualizing your own deepest desire and living it out in the world. So instead of asking God what do you want me to do? Or how are you going to lead me to my destiny? Etc. I think the silence we often experience with those sorts of prayers is really an invitation to reverse the questions. Don’t ask God anything except for the strength and purity of heart to be deeply honest with yourself and then ask yourself, What do I really want? Then you can explore that for awhile. And once you get some clarity you can start asking how you can make that dream come true. I don’t believe God makes any of these things happen for us. Don’t get me wrong I’m not denying grace or providence I just don’t think these realities work the way we often think they do. It’s much more up to us than we’re usually comfortable to accept. We have to choose and then do something about it. God gives us the strength to do it but it’s up to us. I think.

Having free will is a great power that comes with great responsibility. The temptation of existentialism is to believe that the universe is indifferent and that we have to make a choice or else life doesn’t have any meaning. God always allows us to make choices, but one wonderful part of having faith is that we can turn to Him and ask for His help in making our choices. Stanley Kubrick said that in spite of the darkness, we must create our own light. Thankfully for people who have faith, God supplies the light and we reflect and refract it into the world. 

God is the author of our lives. We have the power to choose what we want to do with our lives. What results from those choices, I think, becomes our vocation. It took me a long time for me to realize this but vocation isn’t just a lifestyle choice, but a daily process of choices we make in order to become as holy as we can be.

So even though a certain atheist/absurdist writer wrote this quote as sort of an existentialist manifesto, I look at this quote and think about how balancing our free will with our faith ultimately makes us stronger:

So here’s the part where you make a choice. What if you could have that power, now? In every generation, one Slayer is born, because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule. I say my power, should be *our* power. Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of this scythe to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a Slayer, will be a Slayer. Every girl who could have the power, will have the power. Can stand up, will stand up. Slayers, every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be strong?

My answer is “Yes.” The choice is yours.