Learning to Forgive Yourself: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 6

cometojesus

From today’s reflection:

One often misunderstood aspect about God’s grace is that we have to deserve it. Nobody deserves God’s grace or mercy. It’s instead given as a gift, whether we feel like we deserve it or not.

The Catholic Church holds everyone up to a high standard because our purpose in life is to be a saint. At the same time, the Church loves us so unconditionally that no matter how far we fall, we can return to the Church, ask for forgiveness, and receive that grace. It does not mean that we take advantage of that grace. It doesn’t mean that we don’t deserve that grace.

So what does it mean?

It means that God is asking a lot from us when we receive His mercy.

Read the rest here!

Father Forgive Them…Forgiveness Bible Study Day 5

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From today’s reflection

I realize now that the pain people caused me was basically the collateral damage of whatever hurt they had to deal with. In spite of the things I suffered, the hurt that I endured in the past led to me finding my strength. So as unlikely as it sounds, if you are one of those people that hurt me and you are reading this, know that I love you as my brother or sister in Christ and that I forgive you and that I am praying for your happiness.

Read the rest here!

Let Fear and Anger Out, Let Love In: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 4

let it go

From today’s reflection:

Having selfless love for those who’ve hurt you means wanting them to be happy. And I mean legitimately wanting happiness for them and not saying it sarcastically or bitterly. This selfless love has to come from the heart. Do they deserve this selfless love? No! None of us deserve to have selfless, unconditional love in our lives. It’s not something we’re entitled to. Nor will it be something that happens overnight. It all starts with letting go of our anger and fear.

Read the rest here!

The Difference Between Forgiveness and Vengeance: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 3

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From today’s reflection:

The story of Jonah is both a comedy and a tragedy. It’s comical because of the irony: a prophet actively trying to hide from God while all the pagan pirates and the city of Nineveh were more than willing to ask God for mercy when the situation calls for it. It’s tragic because Jonah didn’t understand God’s mercy towards the Ninevites and the pirates,  and refused to forgive his enemies. Instead, he held onto his desire for vengeance.

Read the rest here!

Also, this is my favorite version of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken”:

The Purpose of Our Problems: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 2

forgiveness and blessings

From today’s reflection:

I always believed that everything happens for a reason. It’s never clear right away and sometimes, the worst things in our lives will never have an explanation that we can understand for as long as we live. Still, most of the things that we’ve experienced in our lives can either be used for the better or as an excuse. It all depends on our perspective.

Read the rest here!

Why We All Need Forgiveness: Forgiveness Bible Study Day 1

Saint_Mary_Catholic_Church_(Philothea,_Ohio)_-_stained_glass,_Immaculate_and_Sacred_Hearts

From today’s reflection:

Most of us know the story pretty well: God created Adam and Eve and told them not to eat the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Then Eve gets tempted by the serpent, both she and Adam eat the fruit, they get in major trouble and God banishes them from Eden. (Seriously, Adam and Eve. You had one job!)

The banishment from Eden seems like a downer ending for Adam and Eve, but remember that the word “genesis” means beginning. This is only the first chapter of what we now call “salvation history.” Even as He gives punishment to Adam, Eve, and the Serpent, Divine Mercy was already at work.

How? Find out here!

What Defines Gender?

Bathroom-gender-sign

I have a legitimate question for anyone and everyone who is arguing about bathroom policies and similar issues relating to the transgender movement:

How do you define gender?

All the other questions in relation to this topic are founded on this. How exactly is gender defined? Is it by how we feel we are or how we should be? How we perceive ourselves to be? What do we compare ourselves to when it comes to who we think we are and what we’re not?

Can gender be defined by science? What does science have to say about gender? Do you figure out the gender you perceive yourself as by the gender roles society dictates? Is it psychological? Is is sociological?

The point of this blog post is this: I want to know how you define whatever gender you perceive yourself to be. If we’re gonna argue about what bathrooms we think we should use, we have to have a better foundation for our arguments than whatever we feel like we are. Feelings are very fickle. Whatever arguments you have about gender need to be grounded in reason and logic.

While I have my own way of defining what gender is, I don’t want to say that right now. All I can say is there are some ways in which I do not define myself. I do not define myself by what my current society dictates a woman should be like because society has a lot of contradictory gender roles when it comes to women. I also don’t define myself just on my biological sex alone because it’s only part of who I am. I also don’t let other people who don’t really know me try to define who or what I am either because only those who are closest to me can help me with whatever I need.

So feel free to comment and answer me this: What is “gender” according to your standards?

Forgiveness Bible Study Introduction

forgveness bible study

Today is the start of my latest Bible study from the Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship. If you’ve ever wondered anything about what forgiveness is and how it can be a part of your life, please join me on this two-week journey!

From today’s introduction:

The idea of forgiveness seems easy at first glance. It’s easy to forgive an accident or to forgive a child when they made a mistake. I know that for some of you, forgiveness seems like such an unimaginable concept. It’s a lot to work though, especially if someone hurts you so much, it damages your mind, heart and soul. However, forgiveness isn’t something people deserve or have to earn. It’s something we all need. It’s an act of compassion, which means it’s given even when it’s not asked for.

 

Read the whole thing here!

I have a song for every reflection in this study. You can check them out on the Spotify playlist I made:

Saint Gemma Galgani: Women of Christ Wednesday

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Sometimes, people discover saints, like how many teenagers and young adults search for a good saint for their Confirmation name. And other times, the saints have a way of finding you. For me, I got introduced to Saint Gemma Galgani through my friend Amy over on Catholic Girl Bloggin.

I learned a lot more about Saint Gemma on her feast day, which was about a month ago. It comforted me when I learned that Gemma never became a religious sister. She was in poor health and didn’t qualify to be a Passionist Nun like she wanted to be. Instead, she became a lay Passionist, wearing all-black and keeping the badge of the Passionists close to her. She never officially took any vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, but she essentially lived out the life of a nun. She chose to stay single, to devote her entire life to serving Christ. It’s very inspiring to me, as a modern day single woman. I don’t have to be married or be part of a religious order if I want to serve Christ. As Saint Therese said, “My vocation is love.”

Back to Saint Gemma, though. Like my other Sister Saint, Saint Gemma had a great devotion to Saint Gabriel Possenti, who, like her, died young, but lived his life serving Christ as a Passionist. She also lost her mother at a very early age and her father passed away when she was 19. She was adopted into the Giannini family and lived a simple life. By modern standards, Gemma seems too perfect, too sheltered, too good to be true. As the saying goes, however, still waters run deep.

The aspect of Saint Gemma’s life that I admire the most is her interior life, especially her periods of spiritual warfare. Like a Slayer, she constantly battled demons who attacked her on a daily basis. This fight would go on and off up until her death. The last battle she had was the worst because she experienced a heartbreaking desolation, the kind that Mother Teresa would endure. And yet, she kept to her resolve, her loyalty, her devotion to Christ. It’s no wonder that I call her “the little ninja saint” because while her life wasn’t anything that would stand out in worldly terms, she fought evil in the shadows. As of now, she’s one of my go-to saints whenever I have to deal with my own spiritual warfare.

If you want to know more about Saint Gemma, check out this website that has tons of pictures and biographical information. Also, check out Amy’s Victim Soul series on her blog, which dives into Gemma’s spiritual warfare with epic dramatic detail.