Daily

Reflections

Finding God in our lives
is quite simple.
We just have to take
the time to look.

Rejoice

We know we were made for holiness. We know that we need to shine our light. But what if we don’t have any light to shine? What if we can’t find our light at all? Not to worry – we’ve been given directions. Some of them are challenging, some of them may seem out of reach at times, but all of them are there to help us get where we need to go. Today’s verses reminds us what our attitude should be. No matter what. Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! (Phil 4:4) This one is easy when we have something to celebrate, but that’s not what it says is it? It says "Always". In the good times and the bad. In the comfort and in the struggle. Rejoice because God is doing wondrous thin

You are the light of the world

As we move to a life of holiness, it can be a little scary. We think it will be too hard, that it will demand too much of us, and that we will have no place in the life we want to live. I beg to differ. The hard part is the hiding it, don’t you think? How intimidated are we when there is a chance to talk about our faith? The topic of religion comes up often with me. As soon as someone asks what I do, I have to tell them that I am an inspirational writer. The questions always lead to me telling them I’m Catholic, which is a little daunting given all that has been happening the last few months. I never know if someone is going to lambast me for staying in the Church or if they will have questi

Made for Holiness

What were we created for? Our souls know it, every part of us knows it. We were designed for holiness. We were actually made for it. Nothing else can fulfill us the way that holiness can. Imagine taking a chair and riding it to work or school. You could do it, I guess. It would be a little easier if it had wheels, but it would be really difficult and not efficient at all. On the other had, sitting in a chair is easy. There’s really no effort, no thinking about what to do on it, you just sit, because that’s what it was made for. It’s the same with us. We can live lives that are directed towards fame, riches, success, distraction, and spectacular experiences, but these will never be enough. Th

Called to Holiness

I asked a group of middle school girls, “Who wants to be a saint?” Tentatively two of the ten raised their hands, and the rest were very clearly shaking their heads "no." The reasons were all about the same – Sainthood is for people who are really holy, who do a lot for others, and who are pretty perfect. An eighty-year-old Mother Theresa would never fit into the middle school social scene, and they had no interest in living that way. Don’t we see sainthood in a similar way? For so many of us, it’s intimidating and totally out of reach. The problem is that we’re looking at it all wrong. A saint is someone who is in heaven. The ones we hear about are the ones that we have know are in heaven

The Perfect Fit

On Friday, I talked about how humans are the only creatures who seek God. Throughout human history, we have looked beyond ourselves and felt that there was something more. However, as I work my way through the book of Genesis, it is clear that we take that need to find God and turn around it all kinds of different ways. It doesn't take long at all to get started. Only three chapters. Creation is finished, God is resting, we are looking for trouble. Eve stands at the tree talking to the snake (with Adam beside her by the way), and the way the serpent tempts her is very telling. It doesn't start with outright rebellion. In fact, it never really is about rebelling against God. It's about wantin

What Makes us Different?

What is it that makes us human? It's hard to tell sometimes. Is it intelligence? I'm pretty sure that there are some squirrels in my back yard that could beat me on some intelligence tests. The use of tools? That one has been debunked. Emotional attachment? Elephants have been shown to have incredibly strong attachments that last over years of separation. So, what is it? Why do we hold a such a special place in God's creation? I recently read the first chapters of Genesis and thought of this as it was made clear that humans were distinct and different. God breathed into us. We are made in the image of God and no other creature was created in that way. At the same time my daughter was studyin

Fruits of the Spirit: Chastity

Generally this is the least popular Fruit of the Spirit, but in reality it is the most beautiful. This is where we live most fully the value that we have in God’s eyes. We are precious, beautiful creations who are to be treasured, honored, and loved. We are to treat ourselves this way and then extend that gift to others. If we could see others through God's eyes, we would never think of using them for our own pleasure or purposes. They would be too precious. If we could see ourselves through God's eyes, we would never allow ourselves to be used either. Of course, our sexuality is at the forefront in this Fruit, but as I said in Self Control, we forget that these fruits are not restrictions b

Good News!

Last week, all the Catholic dioceses in Texas announced that they will have an independent group review documents and relate the names of all priests credibly accused of abuse from 1950 on. You can read about it here. There are several things in this article that I celebrate and give me hope. First, that the bishops called for this investigation rather than continuing to wait for someone else to do it. Second, that the investigation is being done by people outside the hierarchy of the Church - FBI agents, state troopers, etc. Third, that this is a group of people who have investigated other Catholic dioceses and is currently in high demand. High demand. Absolutely. We demand it, and it is be

Fruits of the Spirit: Self-Control

These last ones are hard, aren't they? Modesty, self-control? How are we supposed to have any fun? We forget that these fruits are not restrictions but results. These are not things that are demanded of us, they are things that flow from our being immersed in and overflowing with the Holy Spirit. God's very Spirit living within us - unrestricted and incredibly active. When we live this way, nothing else can have control over us. Nothing else has the power to overcome the power we have within us. Instead, we let them creep in little by little, and we are even proud of our addictions. We binge shows, can’t live without our coffee, have to shop, or don’t know what to do without our phones. All

Fruits of the Spirit: Modesty

We hate this word, don't we? When we think of modesty, most of us picture ugly clothes, dreary hair, and no exposed skin. Or we assume it entails having the personality of a doormat, never taking credit for yourself and allowing others to step on you as they work their way up. The Holy Spirit has no desire for us to be anything less that incredible. God made us and it was good, remember? We were made in God's own image, and that isn't anything to cover up at all. Instead, modesty is an attitude that includes the physical, intellectual, and spiritual. It is a desire to attract attention to that which is truly good instead of that which is superficial or distracting. It is not about putting yo

Fruits of the Spirit: Faithfulness

Faithful: adj. - 1) loyal, constant, steadfast 2) true to the facts or the original I think we all understand and appreciate the concept of faithfulness. We value our faithful friends who stand by us no matter what. We value the faithfulness of a kept promise. When it comes to a Fruit of the Spirit, I see faithfulness as one of the supportive characteristics for all of the others. All the other fruits we have talked about show that we are living a life filled with the Holy Spirit as they pour from us. This one, however, is different. Of course, it's easy to be loyal and steadfast to something that has such significant effects on our lives. It's easy to be true to the facts when the fact is t

Fruits of the Spirit: Generosity

You never really know what you have until it's gone. Good health? We don't really think about it until we are sick and just want it back. Stable family? It's a given unless it's not. Safe community? We enjoy it, but don't really think about it much until a tragedy occurs. It is so easy to take what we have for granted and think that it really isn't much at all. It is much easier to see what we don't have and spend our energy focused on getting it. In today's fruit, I think we have a bit of a cure for this complacency. We can't be generous if we don't understand that we have something to give. And we only know we have something worth giving if we are grateful for what we have been given. When

Fruits of the Spirit: Gentleness

There are times that a firm "No," or even "Absolutely not," are needed. There are times when a strong push is the only thing that will open a door or move an obstacle. It's easy to think that a spirit of gentleness is the same as being a push-over. Everything is allowed, and we can be taken advantage of or abused because we won't fight anything. This couldn't be further from the truth. Gentleness doesn't have anything to do with allowing everything. But it does change how we approach the things that are wrong. Have you ever pushed on someone, whether to get them to move or even joking around? Whether they were expecting it or not, the immediate reaction is to resist against the push and push

Fruits of the Spirit: Goodness

"And God saw that it was good." Seven times it was good. The sun, the seas, the plants, the animals, humankind, everything. All of it was created good, but we seem to lose that somewhere along the way. We stumble, we fail, we lash out, we lie, we cheat. How can we get back to what we were meant to be? The fruit of goodness doesn't mean that we never mess up. It doesn't mean that we won't fail. It means that we will recognize those moments quickly and strive to change them just as quickly, because the only way of living that fulfills us is one of goodness. Goodness is lived out in our being the absolute best we can be. Goodness is lived out in actions and choices that are not just right, but

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Karen May

Inspirational Catholic Writer and Speaker

based in Austin, Texas