Love is the energy

I have yet to find the perfect balance. You know, the balance between just enough caffeine and having my hands turn into cell phones as they vibrate from the tremors.

 

 

I honestly don’t even know why I drink the stuff. Well, for the “energy.” I guess thats one way to see it. Or maybe its just that I’m addicted to the feeling of the warm coffee in the morning.

Energy. Getting things done. Moving forward with work. It’s freaking tough.

Sometimes, life can just get drab. Yes, I like that word “drab.”

In these drab moments it’s hard to pick ourselves up and move forward. It takes so much effort to see the end goal in sight. Our legs become beams of lead and our eyes seem to drift off away from precisely what we need to be doing.

How do I get more energy?

Where is my zeal? 

Why can’t I get this done now?

These are questions I ask myself and I am sure you ask yourself. We get so frustrated in ourselves because the tasks we need to finish are not getting done. Our goals, our future, our responsibilities are in our hands and we are not succeeding. Discouragement comes next. Then maybe a social media break or two or three. It’s a vicious cycle.

This is a common problem I have noticed in my life. It shows it ugly face when I am focused on myself in my tasks. When looking in I have zero energy. Meaning, when My schoolwork, and My tests, and My homework need to get done I lose all the zeal. There is no love in the task. It just feels like a waste of time.

However, when changing the focus, it becomes easier to focus.

This is a simple habit we can develop when studying for exams, doing homework, or really anything.

 

We need to put love into everything we do and the energy will come.

It might be as simple as offering up the pains of your studying for a family member or a friend as a prayer. If you are a healthcare student, it may be thinking about all the patients you will help in the future.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Dorothy Day. It may seem intense at first but really meditate on the truth of it.

“No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There is too much work to do.”

Friends, it is time to rid yourself of the lie of discouragement. Focus on the love in the task and offer it up as a prayer. Do not be hopeless, but in all that you do exude zeal.

 

Don’t Beat Yourself Up, Bring Yourself Up

It’s easy.

Looking at all the little things in your life that drag you down.

The procrastination.

The slipped words of anger.

The anxiety of life.

It’s easy.

To hold these insecurities, sins, fears, in your palm.

And clutch onto them like your life depends on it.

It’s easy.

To bring these vices up to eye level and stare at them all. day. long.

Today, I went to confession.

The priest talked to me about refocusing.

He mentioned that focusing on the sins is not going to lead me to holiness.

“Focus on the bigger picture,” he said as he pointed to the crucifix in the confessional.

“He died for you.”

These words were very simple, but moved my heart.

It is true that focusing on our faults is quite easy. It is like an artist focused on that one tiny crack in his or her sculpture and forgetting the masterpiece already created.

Friends, don’t beat yourself up, bring yourself up.

Focus on God. His mercy. His everlasting love for you.

The only way to grow in holiness is letting go of the perfectionism.

“God knows your heart.” said the priest.

He truly does.

So it is time we start living like it.

With hearts not focused on our faults, but aimed at loving God and others.

Ants in Your Pants

A couple months ago.

I was walking around my apartment when I saw it.

An ant.

The tiniest little guy squirming around on my floor.

So I got rid of him and went on my way.

A few moments later I look at the floor and see another one.

Then another one.

Then another one…

I can feel my blood pressure start to elevate.

Where are they coming from?

What are they doing in my apartment?

Why now?

Long story short, I had a lot planned for that day but I wasted it.

Those pesky ants effected me so much physiologically that I could not concentrate.

I slept thinking I felt something crawling on my legs.

I went out and bought traps.

When I studied in my apartment, I would see one, and that would be it.

The other day I realized something about my ant experience. It is very much like how I am effected by the small annoyances.

You see the big things don’t bother me. Medical emergencies, I envision myself pretty cool, calm, and collected. Speaking in front of a giant crowd? What a rush. Getting lost in a city, not a problem.

But a few ants, and I can’t think straight. Missing one question I should have gotten on a test and I feel like a failure. Saying the wrong thing to someone, and it spins around in my head all day. Thinking negatively about someone and I beat myself up with the guilt. Needing to get gas on a busy day, and I get really stressed. It’s the little things…the little ants, that can drive many of us away from peace.

So, what is one to do about it?

Recognize that the ant is there and move forward.

Put it into perspective.

It is just a minor annoyance in the grand scheme of life.

You have work that needs to be done.

If we start allowing the ants of daily life to grab our attention we will live our lives staring at the floor.

We have to make a choice. To choose our purpose rather than our distraction.

Recognize the power that you have; given to you by God.

You have a mission friend, don’t let the ants in your pants prevent you from living it boldly.

 

 

Move On

Do you remember playing sports as a kid?

Let’s just say backyard football in honor of Super Bowl  Weekend.

I sure do. I remember playing with my friends in my backyard. I like playing tackle football. Especially in the winter time because you could tackle someone right into the snow.

I can clearly remember getting hit pretty hard a few times. But the game was not over and we were making it down the backyard to our end zone.

So, in those moments after the big hits I had a choice.

To sit and dwell on the pain and discomfort or use the hit to fuel my run to the end zone.

Kids seem to be able to move on much quicker than adults.

A kid will be crying one minute because they dropped their ice pop and two seconds later they are laughing at something on TV.

I get it. Adult problems are much bigger than dropping a favorite food onto the floor. However, I think we have something to learn from kids.

They are present. They do not dwell on the past. They put all their trust in parents and adult figures.

Christ tells us to be like little children. St. Therese’s spirituality was centered on remaining “little” in her walk through the world, which is what drove her to reach sainthood.

I want to encourage you all this week to recognize what you need to do after getting hit. Maybe life tackled you? Maybe a memory tackled you? Maybe a recent failure hit you? Maybe a financial trouble tackled you?

Whatever it may be we have a choice. To face it like a little kid playing backyard football or someone on the sidelines too afraid to play.

Don’t move on just to move on. Move on so that you can make a difference in your life and the lives of those around you.

Move on so that you can build enough strength to take the hits and keep on going.

Move on so that you can get to end zone and look out and see how proud our Heavenly Coach is of you.

We are His

If you look back on your day, how much of it was consumed with negative thinking? Not just about the circumstances of the day, but of yourself?

If you are like me, a lot of it.

It is almost as though I was a fish at the bottom of a lake. As I swam about my day, the more I moved my fins the more murky water would rise up.

All of the concerns (lets call them the roots), go back to the trunk of the tree (fear).

Common fears are:

It’s my fault. I’m to blame. Why am I this way. Where are my headed. Is this right? Will I fail? Why did I mess up again. Why am I so weak. I am lost. I will forever feel like this.

Then the dwelling starts. A cycle of tasting more fears until eventually you are filled with them. And what happens when you eat something? It starts to be what you are composed of. If you eat healthy your body becomes healthy. If you eat junk, your body starts to not feel the best.

So, what was I doing? What are you doing? Consuming fear daily.

For the longest time, I wondered why I was so confused. Some days I would just struggle to see the world clearly. The truth was the road hidden behind the foggy windshield.

That is when I knew I needed to change.

So I started making declarations.

I once talked to a priest in confession. He told me I needed to start looking in the mirror and reminding myself “God loves me and I am lovable.” He told me I could stop when I believed it.

That is one declaration. Something I know is true regardless of my mind or feelings which are telling me otherwise.

Here are some declarations you may want to use:

I am loved by God.

I am a child of God Almighty.

I am filled with the Holy Spirit.

I am watched over by the Blessed Mother, the Angels, and the Saints.

I believe in the Gospel.

One day I will embrace Christ.

I am a Knight of Christ.

I am a warrior for His Kingdom.

I will courageously do Christ’s will. 

Friends, it’s all about changing what we consume. Over time by declaring and following through with your statements, you will experience change. Fear will scatter.

C.S. Lewis has a famous quote,

“My prayer is that when I die, all of hell rejoices because I am out of the fight.”

So fight. Fight against fear by declaring the truth.

Because everyday you might not have the power over your feelings.

You might get lost in the ups and the downs.

But in the end, you are in charge of the will.

The will to do His will.

You were born for greater things.

The other day I came across a speech from St.John Paul II from November 15, 1978.

In this speech given to the general audience at the Vatican, he talked about the virtue of fortitude.

Specifically, he spoke about a man named St. Stanislaus who was from noble birth and chose to live a life of poverty and service to Christ.

His motto was,

“Ad maiora natus sum” (“I was born for greater things”)

I have really been thinking about this quote a lot recently.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of false humility.

An attitude where we neglect our dignity and worth of children of God.

C.S. Lewis says, “Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less.”

I know I personally can almost use humility as a crutch to not accept my worth and power as a child of God.

Why?

Because I fear disappointing Him. I fear not living up to my potential. I fear the responsibility.

So instead what do I do?

I ruminate. I lament. I complain. I allow my circumstances to toss me about like a row boat out in the middle of a hurricane.

I don’t like being a row boat. That is no fun.

You may feel the same?

Do you recognize and accept the responsibility and power within you to do the work of God?

Does that scare you or fill you with zeal?

A zealous peace through the storm must be the attitude.

If you are in a season of your life where you feel lonely, hopeless, useless, unworthy.

This situation is not the end.

Friend, you were born for greater things.

You were born to shed the light of Christ onto others through love.

You were born to face your fears and be a solider for the King.

You were born to use your talents to heal the world.

You were born to study hard and succeed as a student.

You were born to see the pain in those around you and do something about it.

You were born a child of God, do not throw that attitude away.

Capture the zeal. Bring in the peace. Feel the beating of your heart. Feel the breath fill your lungs.

Now.

Do what is courageous. 

 

Below is the link to the speech.

Fortitude Talk by St.JP2

I Hear, But I’m Not Listening

We all have those fears.

Fears that seem to rest in our ears, which play over and over again as if we put them on repeat.

They impact us. They cause our skin to crawl. Our blood pressure to rise. And worst of all they paralyze our limbs and make us feel inadequate.

The other day I came across a quote attributed to one of my favorite spiritual guides St. Padre Pio. I feel as though I am meant to share it with you all.

“You need to act according to this guideline without hesitation or argument. You need to move ahead, doing your work without listening to the voice of your fears. Note, I said listen, that is, to give heed to, to pay attention to, and so on. I am not saying hear because it is impossible not to hear those fears, but do not pay attention to any of them.”

It’s a difficult task. To hear the fears so clearly yet refuse to listen. When we hear the fears we feel as though they are a part of us. Our physiology is impacted so we immediately fall into the trap of dwelling on them.

Friends, I encourage you today to allow the fears to be there but refuse to give them any value. Step forward confidently knowing that Our Lord is with you even when you do not feel His presence.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

 

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.

 

 

That’s not my problem

Every morning we awake.

To a table of our problems.

A plate full of dilemmas. Immediately we grab the fork and start eating and eating.

We consume morning, noon, and night. By the end of the month, year, decade we start to see the problems for what they are.

Eventually, we realize…

All we have been doing is eating crumbs, and complaining of how stuffed we are. 

So stop shifting the crumbs around with your fork.

Focused on your own little dish of problems.

Put your silverware down and get away from the damn table.

There are other’s who need your help.

Who need you to help them finish off their dish.