“You Are So Calm”

“I recommend calm, and calm all the time.” St. Pio

Being calm is a gift from God.

I have witnessed people who remain calm in the craziest of situations. It amazes me how someone can remain calm when all hope is lost.

When I think of calmness I picture many different people.

The surgeon who remains calm when something goes wrong. 

I think of a paramedic, as they continue chest compressions. 

I envision a brother holding back his temper. 

I see a mother remaing at peace when her newly licensed son is driving her around. 

Calmness, to me, is so powerful because it is a virtue I pray for constantly. 

 

Here’s a little story…

 

Recently, I was in the Emergency Room. I was observing a physician for the day who received a call to check on a patient. We were in the patient’s room listening to his complaints trying our best to figure out what was causing the symptoms. The room had three physicians in it, the wife of the patient, and the patient’s daughter.

It had been a LONG day. The emergency room felt like a sauna. I was hungry. I was feeling extremely anxious. My head was spinning. My to-do list was scrolling along in my brain like an instagram feed. I felt every negative feeling possible in this moment.

I was stuck in my head in complete distress when all of a sudden someone started talking to me.

The daughter of the patient with utmost sincerity and said,

 

“You are so calm.”

 

I thanked her for the compliment and soon we left the patient so they could begin tests.

Calm? Me? What? Was she joking? Am I being punked?

This story is a testament that God is working in you even when you do not notice it yourself.

In that situation I felt everything but calmness; however, this was exactly what the patient’s family was able to see.

Is there a certain virtue or quality you are praying about receiving? Is there a part of yourself you wish would begin to bloom?

I encourage you to keep pursuing the goal, even when you feel like you have nothing to show for it.

In the midst of it all, you may be suprised at how much of that quality you actually demonstrate.

“Never be in a hurry, do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”

-St. Frances de Sales

 

Faith is not Feelings

Yesterday I read the quote,

“It wasn’t nails that held Jesus to the cross but love.”

The truth is: God loves you with an infinite love. He died for you. He died for you. Let me repeat that: God died for you.

Most days the truth is hard to swallow. We may strive in our hearts to believe the truth of the Gospels, yet a lot of the time you may feel nothing. 

It’s ok to not feel a flutter in your chest when you contemplate the love of God.

You do not have to feel in order to believe.

What matters is constant perseverance.

Repeat to yourself the truths that will set you free.

Jesus died for me.

God loves.

I trust in Him.

I will not be afraid.

I will persevere.

I will never give up.

No matter what lies attack you on a daily basis, we must continue to call upon the truth even if it if they feel fake.

I want to remind you today just how much God loves you. It is so great that it is incomprehensible.

Feelings do not equal faith.

Faith is greater than your feelings.

Faith is freedom.

 

 

When you hug God

You walk towards Him.

He reaches out His arms to embrace you.

You lunge forward and hug Him with every ounce of your being.

Your fears melt. You are eternally safe.

Yet, you feel a sharp pinch on the side of your head.

You notice a thorn from His crown is hitting you.

You feel a pain in your side.

You feel just a bit of the lance which pierced Him.

Your feet resting on top of His, begin to sting.

At the touch of the nails driven into His feet.

Your hands holding His become red.

The burn of the nails in His hands, melts into yours.

The tighter you hug the more of His pain you feel.

You begin to know God and His love.

Yet, you call it suffering?

My friend, this is a gift.

To walk the way of the cross with God.

 

You Can Run and Bleed at the Same Time

I just started my run.

My test was in a few days.

47 chapters of material.

Yes, 47.

My head was full of a lot besides medical jargon.

Emotions of stress, anger, frustration, flooded my veins.

So, naturally it was time to blow off some steam and run.

Run fast.

Towards the start of my run, I could feel the adrenaline pumping.

Then all of a sudden.

Ouch.

I didn’t know what happened. Did I trip?

Why  was  I on the ground?

I looked at my hands and they were covered in blood. My right elbow was scraped pretty clean. My right knee had a gash as well.

What do I do now?

I had a choice at this point. Should I finish the two mile run, or head back home which would take a minute or two?

Keep going. 

So I did. And I ran the two miles.

As cars passed me, they watched a guy running full speed with blood dripping from each limb.

When I finished the run, I noticed how the blood dripped across the ring on my right hand that is the three theological virtues, “faith, hope, love.” It was a reminder that in order to live a Christ like life we must make sacrifices.

One of the coolest moments I had during this run was the message from God,

You can run and bleed at the same time.”

I have a bad habit.

I seem to notice the blood in my life a lot. The wounds, the scars, the trauma, and the fears become my focus. Because of this I stop running (living presently). I focus so much on the blood in my wounds that I end up not achieving my goal. I allow the suffering (bleeding) of the day to take lead and cause a pause in my pursuit.

I am sure many of you experience the same problem. Our wounds become our identity and our only reality, so we forget the importance of the path we are on. We allow the devil to consume us in an inner dialogue that prevents us from loving those around us in the present moment.

I want to encourage you to not let the suffering of this life deter you from running the race.

Focus on Christ at the end of your journey and the pain will start to disappear.

Sure, the wounds may still be there.B

But these are wounds only Heaven can heal.

When the focus changes…

so does your heart.

The Sun in the Sad Times

This morning I had class at 7:30.

Last night, I stayed up way too late, so naturally I felt like my sheets were bricks as I woke up this morning.

I basically crawled my way to the shower, got dressed, and left.

Leaving a little early to beat the traffic, I saw the most beautiful sunrise.

The picture at the top does not even do it justice.

I was blown away by the beauty.

God was present. I was present with Him. What an awesome start to the day.

Then I started to think.

In order to see such a gift, I had to wake up feeling like death.

I had to push the feelings of my humanity away, and move forward.

By doing this I was able to be a part of the sunrise.

This is exactly what we are called to do with our suffering on this earth. We are to use it as a stimulus to grow deeper in faith, hope, and love through utter perseverance.

In the darkness of the morning we must remain hopeful for the rising of the sun.

 

 

Are you giving it your all?

“Are you giving it your all?”

This question comes up during many different times in my day.

When I’m studying…am I really giving this my all?

When I’m working out…am I really giving this my all?

When I’m at Church…am I really giving this my all?

When I’m talking to a family member…am I really giving this my all?

A lot of the times, this question arises because I am not. I notice that I am losing focus and procrastinating. When working out for instance, I notice myself choosing the lighter weight or taking a different path on the run.

To be honest, this question plagues me.

This might be you too?

There are many positives to being bombarded with this question.

Like, the hope of improvement.

Or, the constant search to be like Christ in virtue and love.

However, the flip side is many vices can dwell in this thought.

When giving it your all, is focused solely on you, it may transform into pride.

As usual, the Big Man Upstairs, gives us an answer to the question.

This is what Mark’s Gospel teaches us:

“He sat down opposite the treasury and observed how the crowd put money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow also came and put in two small coins worth a few cents. Calling his disciples to himself, he said to them, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributors to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood.” Mark 12: 41-44

What can we learn from this?

This poor woman, in her poverty, gave all she had. Notice, the Lord mentions her poverty? We too like this women are poor. Maybe not financially, but what about the poverty of our daily life.

The poverty of focus.

The poverty of endurance.

The poverty of zeal.

Christ teaches us that when we give our all in these moments of poverty, we are giving even more than if we had abundance.

We must remember; however, that our “giving” must be aligned towards Christ and not ourselves.

So when you can’t focus and you just want to put that book down, offer the moment up to Christ and continue reading.

When you don’t want to run that extra mile, offer the moment to Christ and continue running.

When you are having trouble focusing in Church, redirect your eyes to Christ and allow Him to fill you even if just for a millisecond.

Friends, you can give it your all, if you give it to Him.

The Anchor Inside Each of Us

There are situations in life, where fleeing seems ideal.

It may be at the podium, when giving a talk to a giant crowd.

It may be, when flipping over the exam and looking at question 1.

It may be, when sitting in a doctors office waiting for the results.

Everything in our very core shouts at us to flee.

Our earthy vessels demand me pace, internally ruminate, leave the scene, and hide.

However, we are called for something different.

Within each of us their is an Anchor.

This Anchor is Christ Himself.

An anchor holds a ship. Whenever the waves crash and winds do all they can to move the vessel, the anchor holds it into place.

The anchor is the roots that stem from the oak tree.

Without an anchor, the boat is subject to all of the external forces.

The waves carry it where they want. The winds push it where they want.

We are very much like these little boats.

Some days we may feel tossed around. Dunked under. Pushed by the wind.

This is when we must remember the Anchor within ourselves.

We must turn to Christ in our hearts and stand firm. Hold your ground with confidence.

When you step up to the podium, remember Christ has you tied down to the ocean floor.

When you open that exam book, remember Christ is right next to you.

When sitting in the doctors office, remember that Christ is the divine Physician.

Let us all remember the Anchor within our very hearts. Each of us had the ability to look within and shout. I am secure. I am safe. I am confident in God’s mercy and providence.

Life give me a storm. I am not afraid. I am ready.

 

 

Procrastinating by Looking Up How to Not Procrastinate

Motivation. We all are looking for it.

Praying, when we sit down to do our work the Lord will come down and fill us with a zeal for what we are doing.

Sometimes, it happens.

The room temperature is perfect.

The coffee is soothing the soul.

The hum of rain sets the perfect background noise.

However, for me anyway, this is pretty rare.

The motivation to sit down and get done what I need to is more than hard.

It feels like a battle. A constant battle between fidgeting my legs, doing something more fun, eating more food, checking my phone, calling someone, legit anything.

A lot of times when this is the case, I procrastinate by looking up ways to not procrastinate!

All of my procrastination searches, lead to absolutely one thing.

More procrastination, and absolutely nothing else.

Which is kind of unfortunate.

However, if I can sum up my findings it is this.

“Act, and God will act”

-St.Joan of Arc

 

All to often, we allow the difficulty of starting a task prevent us from having an opportunity for God to work in our lives.

God comes to us in times of need and gives us all that we need.

How do we expect Him to give us a zeal to do our work well, when we do not even begin?

Therefore, we have one obligation.

The duty to start.

Then it is not our problem anymore.

God will take care of it.

This “giving of the task” to God is like a ball rolling down a hill.

All we have to do is give the ball (the task) a slight push and God will take it where it needs to go.

God works in our lives like the hill.

Once we let go, and give the slightest push, our task will reach its completion.

Therefore, stop procrastinating by finding ways to stop procrastinating.

ACT. And I promise you, God will act. Trust in His power.

 

 

I Know

In the past I had a serious entitled “I Just Don’t Know.” I believe I did 3 posts with this title.

If you check out my past posts you might be able to tell that these words came at times of extreme confusion. Times of immense uncertainty. Times where fear coated my core.

I still feel this way a lot. Not gonna lie. It is the human condition.

However, it is time I write about what “I Know.”

 

 

I know that true friendship is what makes me smile. I know that God hears my prayers. I know that I have a roof over my head and food on my plate. I know oxygen fills my lungs. I know joy can be found. I know love is a leap of faith away. I know uncertainty sucks but love rocks. I know fear is not from God. I know light always wins against darkness. I know that procrastination is my art form. I know that creativity always shows. I know that family is the foundation. I know that the Holy Spirit is present. I know  the difference between bad and good vibes. I know I have gallons of water. I know I have clean clothes. I know that I have an intellect. I know birds are beautiful creatures. I know the sun sets on all bad days. I know that good days make great memories. I know that memories are more important than money. I know that all loans will be paid. I know that true faith is awesome. I know that good people are awesome. I know that bad people are good people with a lot of fear. I know when love knocks open that door fast. I know a clean house is a clean mind. I know the world needs some encouragement. I know a lonely man is a sorrowful man. I know making friends is as easy as saying their name. I know books need to be read. I know naps bring about a new attitude. I know warm showers are always the answer. I know prayer is always the answer. I know to Praise Him. I know that the poor need love. I know that your parents need love. I know that the world needs a whole lot of love. I know motivation rests in your heart. I know you have the ability to use your talents wisely. I know you are ready. I know you love adventure. I know you enjoy peace. I know it is time. I know it is your time. I know you have some great ideas. I know you know the answer but you act like you don’t because you are scared. I know the world is scary but God’s will makes the earth tremble. I know life is short. I know love is eternal.

 

 

Failing your New Year’s Resolution

Like the majority of the world…

whenever I start a new year’s resolution I fail miserably after the first few weeks.

After I get off track, I seem to give up because….well I lost.

My bad habits won. 

I get so discouraged at my lack of willpower that it seems to zap away all my strength to persevere.

I have learned over the past few years that I have this problem.

Well—most of us do.

We seem to forget that we are human and that changing a bad habit cold turkey is a lot harder than it looks.

For certain habits, maybe even miraculous.

The problem I have noticed is that we neglect to reflect.

We fail and then just like that the weight of our failure drags us down.

We do not use our failure to understand ourselves more, but rather allow it to destroy us.

Therefore, I encourage you all to start early this year with your resolutions.

A few days early at least.

Whether it be not clicking your snooze button.

Running a mile a day.

Cutting back on the smoking. 

Reading thirty minutes before bed.

Sending a text message of thankfulness each day.

Start today.

Start now.

This way you have a few days to fail and reflect on that failure.

And move on.

Make 2018 the year of using failure to fuel your engine. 

Take the risks.

Take the leap.

Take the time to reflect.

And make the change that will better the world.