I know it’s been a long time since I posted here. Mea culpa. Things have been a bit busy in my life, so I’ve had to devote my main focus to other things for a while. Now I’m back! 😀 Yay!
Since I last posted in March, a lot has happened.
I traveled to Clinton, MS to go give a talk to a group of amazing highschoolers. (check out Facebook for pictures from that!) I’ll say again that it was an amazing experience. I loved going and being part of their retreat. It always makes me smile to see fellow teenagers with such fire for their faith. It’s awesome.
I also graduated from highschool!
I’m no longer a highschool student. I’m preparing to enter college in the fall. Graduation was a huge step forward, I just pray that I’m taking the right path with what comes next. Everyone else who graduated this May, I have a few words for you. This is taken from the speech I gave at our graduation ceremony:
“We will be Ambassadors of Christ to all we meet. For as St. John Basco once said, “It is not enough to love. People have to feel that they are loved.” We will show love to all around us – especially those who it is hard to love. The many opinions and ideas at college or in the world will fill us with sorrow at times, maybe make us angry other times. Yet if we set an example with our speech and conduct we will go far. Speaking with love and humility is how we can touch hearts, lead minds to look for God, spread His message. That’s one thing I’ve had to learn. Shouting and anger gets you no where when talking to another. Love? That’ll get you places.
As we move on in our lives we need a rock to lean on. Something to keep us steady and firm every day. For me, my faith is my rock. It has been for as long as I can remember. Though the tough times, sad times, even happy times – my faith is an eternal source of peace, joy, and love. I love it. Being Catholic is the most important aspect of my life. And I’m ready to show that faith to all I meet. I pray that God will give us all the strength and confidence we need to have that rock of faith remain firm and whole. Because Catholicism isn’t something that’s all that easy. It takes courage, as G.K. Chesterton put it: “A Catholic is a person who has plucked up the courage to face the incredible and inconceivable idea that something else may be wiser than he.”
Are we ready to be courageous? I think so. We put our trust in God an in His great plan for us – for He is far wiser than we can ever dream of being. And you know something? The will of God is an amazing thing! Simply doing something crazy, by saying YES to His great plan for us is something we are all called to do. Sure, it can involve testing us and He may ask us to do things we are afraid of – like for me, I discovered that part of His calling for me is to do something terrifying: public speaking. Another part of it is something else equally terrifying: making phone calls. Two things that scare me. Yet I can do them when I remember to humble myself and say to God, “I can’t do this alone. Help me.” Then He always will give me the strength and courage and peace I need to do as HE calls. If only we are humble. OUr faith will be our constant Light, leading us where we need to go, reminding us where we came from, and being our guide and our friend when we need it most. To have such strong faith goes against what today’s culture is about.
But I think that St. Philaret of Moscow put it pretty perfectly, “A fish that is alive swims against the flow of the water. One that is dead floats down with the water. A true Christian goes against the current of a sinful age. A false one is swept away by its swiftness.”
What do we have to do? Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming – swimming, swimming.
Our hearts must remain focused on what is pure and holy and good so that we will be strong enough to swim against the current of today. God’s great love and His grace will allow us to change the world!
Everything we’ve done in school and life so fat has been to prepare us for the next step in life. God is calling us in so many wonderful ways! TO be a missionary, a doctor, a nurse, to serve our Country, to design beautiful things, to be a journalist, a computer scientist, an author, and many other amazing things! It’s awesome! While these callings may at times seem impossible, and at times we may feel like we’ve failed, we just have to trust and hold close to the rock of our faith, leaning upon it when we grow weary. Then we can do what we think is impossible. I love how St.Francis of Assisi put it. “Start by doing what is necessary. Then do what is possible. And suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
I want to do the impossible. Don’t you?
And we can. Our parents gave us a flame in our hearts for God and to do His will. Now it is up to us to keep that flame burning brightly for the world to see. We have to do whatever it takes to shine. To be heroic in our faith and our life. To swim against the current. To change the world by setting an example. And we can do it. Because God has a plan and we shall follow it. It’ll be great.”
Graduates. I challenge you. Are you up for it?
1. Take 5 minutes a day to pray for your vocation. Discern what it is that God is calling you to do and to be. Be open to the religious life or priesthood. Trust that God knows far better than we ever can.
2. Go to Mass every Sunday. Don’t skip a week! Moving on from highschool or college means it’s more and more up to you to make sure that you fulfil your obligation to go to Mass and keep your faith alive!
3. Be an ambassador for Christ everywhere you go. Treat others how He would.
4. Do not ever hide your faith. Be proud of it. It is the most important aspect of your life, whether you realize it or not. Love your faith. Let it be your rock. And let your light shine!
Graduates, that is my challenge to you. Pray for your vocation. Go to Mass. Be Christ to the world. And Let your Faith shine!
Easy enough. I know you can do it. I have faith in you.
And I think that’s enough for one post right now – I’ll write about my summer plans and the play I was just in soon!
Till next time, Heroic Catholics!
~Catherine M. Stewart