Good Enough.

Lately, I’ve really been struggling with the idea that I’m not good enough, no matter how hard I try. A couple of days ago I wrote a letter to my brother who identifies as transgender and as far as I know, he doesn’t believe in God. I guess it’s not necessarily that he doesn’t believe in God, but he doesn’t have faith in Him and sort of rejects Him.

I wrote him a letter because I think that he thinks that I don’t love him or want to be around him because he’s transgender, and that I condemn him because of it, which isn’t true at all. I love my brother deeply and I just want him to know that he is still good and capable of being loved, and in fact, he still is loved.

In this letter I quoted the book of Genesis when it said, “God looked at every thing that he had made and found it very good.” I then continued to tell my brother that I said that because when God created him as male, God saw that it was good, and that he was made that way for a reason.

I feel so ridiculous for saying these things to my brother when I struggle with self-esteem and the thought that I’m not good enough. But that part of scripture in Genesis really speaks to me : I am good. God made me, and he made me good. I am enough. Even when I feel that I’m not enough: not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, I am still enough for our Lord and Creator, and that brings me comfort.

It reminds me of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Lucy wants to be looked at as beautiful like her sister Susan. And she practically wants to be Susan, but Aslan comes to her and says that by wanting to look like her sister and practically be her sister that she is wishing herself away and he says , “You doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.”

That’s my problem and I’m going to also say that it’s my brother’s problem. We doubt our value and we’re running from who we are supposed to be. I run towards Christ, but even though I know he sees me as being good enough, I don’t accept that, because I want to be accepted by every one else, when in reality that doesn’t even matter. Jesus Himself says, “If they hate you, know that they hated me first.”

My brother on the other hand, seems to run as fast as he can away from Christ and wants to be like everyone else, he too wants to be accepted by the world and wants to be someone other than the one God created him to be.

To sum it all up, Christ accepts you, Christ wills your existence and loves you unconditionally, and in the end, that is all that matters.

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He is not safe, but he is good.

I have become fascinated with the movie, “The Chronicles of Narnia; the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” a movie based off of a book by C.S. Lewis. I became fascinated with C.S. Lewis’ writings, because he is a very well known Catholic writer and I’m kind of obsessed with Catholic literature. But this movie goes so much deeper than just a story about a Lion, a Witch and a Wardrobe.

There is so much theology in this movie, and that’s what interests me the most. I’ve done some research about the symbolism of this movie and here’s what I’ve discovered.

I figured that the 4 children, Lucy, Susan, Edmund, and Peter all had some sort of biblical meaning, or represent a saint or some type of Christian. I found out that the oldest boy, Peter is supposed to represent the Apostle Peter, the one who started the Church. Edmund represents Adam from the story of Adam and Eve and it was his sin from which we fell. Susan is supposed to represent someone who had a strong faith in the beginning, but lost it. And my favorite, Lucy, I feel represents that child-like faith that we are all supposed to have.

With this being said, since Edmund disobeys Aslan who represents God, that is why Aslan dies in his place, in order to save him from being slaves to the White Witch. The White Witch obviously representing Satan.

I think that when Aslan died on the stone table (which  represents the cross Jesus died on) I think that not only represents Christ’s death, but also represents the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, when we break the body of Christ, just as it was broken on the cross.

My favorite part in the whole movie is when Lucy asks Mr. Beaver, “Is he safe?” and Mr. Beaver said, “‘Course he’s not safe, but he is good. He’s the King I tell you.” This line makes me look at Christ so much differently. I always looked at Him as being someone safe, which He is. But to follow Christ is not safe, but following Christ is good, because He’s the King. I say it’s not safe to follow Christ because in the Bible, Jesus says, “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.” (Matthew 15:18) and also says, “Blessed are you when you they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-12) Christ tells us to rejoice when we are persecuted. Another piece of Sacred Scripture stands out to me as well, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

These scripture passages just back up what I’m trying to tell you. It’s not safe to follow Christ, because we will be persecuted, but for that persecution, He will repay us with grace and everlasting life.

No, He is not safe. But He IS good.

 

Matthew 25:40

One day I was driving around Quincy ( a town nearby to mine). At that period of time for at least a month up until then, I had been experiencing a feeling of emptiness inside. At that time I didn’t understand why I felt that way, because life was going great, and I had a great relationship with Christ.

As I was driving down Maine Street, the song, “Do Something” by Matthew West came on:

I woke up this morning, saw a world full of trouble now. Thought how’d we ever get so far down? How’s it ever gonna turn around? So I turned my eyes to Heaven and thought, “God, why don’t you do something?” Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of people living in poverty. Children sold into slavery. The thought disgusted me. So I shook my fist at Heaven said, “God, why don’t you do something?”

He said, “I did, I created you.”

Right as that last lyric played, I was passing Catholic Charities.

I felt God telling me, “There. That will fill your emptiness. That will show you your purpose. Go and serve me through others. Be a light of my love for them.”

I felt God nudging me to go into that building and volunteer, so that’s exactly what I did.

After that day, I stopped going for a while, but a passage from Matthew kept popping into my head:

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you made me welcome, lacking clothes and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.”

The upright will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome, lacking clothes and clothe you?”

And the King will answer, “In truth I tell you, when you did this for one of the least of my brothers, you did this for me.” (Matthew 25:35-40)

When that verse popped into my head, things started to click into place better. He wanted me to serve Him through others, so I started volunteering again.

One day in particular, there was a woman with what I assume was her granddaughter, who was probably only 3 years old. When I saw this little girl, I knew that what I was doing was important, I felt like I was needed, and I had found purpose in my life. In this 3 year old, I could see the child Jesus. This really opened my eyes and made me want to do more for these people, and their children.

The Baltimore Catechism says that man was made to know God, to love God, and to serve God. I knew God, and I definitely loved God, but I forgot I was supposed to serve Him too. I knew God was telling me to serve Him by serving the less fortunate around me. When I realized this I immediately started volunteering again. I have gained such a deep love for the poor. I have such a desire to tell them about Christ, and His love for them. And I pray that through my service to them, that they can see that.

There are people out there that are struggling. Really struggling. Our brothers and sisters are struggling to provide and feed their families. I see it every day. In the people I see, I know that we should be offering them more. Not more food, but more knowledge. More love, more compassion, a listening ear. We should be telling them about how Christ and His Church has influenced and transformed our lives, and how He loves us so.How even in the midst of struggle, of suffering, of hardships, He is there reaching out to us. He has such a deep love for us, and wants nothing but our love in return.

We need to be missionaries of the Gospel. I’m not saying that you need to go on a mission to some 3rd world country to do this. I’m saying that you can be a missionary, you can be an example of  Christ to the person down the street, next door, or even a random person on the street, you can tell them about HIm. Nothing brings me more joy than talking about Christ and His Church and what I’ve learned. I want to share that with others, so they know how truly good He is, and so they can come to love Him the way I do.

Please pray that I have the courage to tell more people about Christ and His love, and that I may continue to try to be a light in this dark world.

You’re in my prayers as well.

Pax Christi ❤

Called to Dwell.

My absolute favorite thing is to go in to the church at night when all the lights are off and all I can see is the sanctuary lamp burning. In that quiet moment, I know He is there. Listening to me, wanting me to come to Him with all my pain, and suffering, and anxiety. Wanting me to lay it all down at His feet.

It’s a weird thing, because usually I’m scared of the dark. But Christ is the light of the world, so why should I fear the dark of night? That sanctuary lamp tells me that Christ is present with me in that moment. And not only that, but I feel different when I’m there. I feel His love, and mercy, and presence.

I started visiting Christ every day before I went into work. It became something I craved and something I couldn’t get enough of. And I still can’t. I sit in His presence and I don’t want to leave Him. His love sings to my heart and my soul is at peace.

Jesus calls us to truly dwell in His house.

I can truly say that when I am with Him, in the presence of the Eucharist, I am home. That’s why it’s so hard to leave, because why would you want to leave home. It’s where you’re understood. It’s where you’re loved and appreciated.

I offer up my prayers for those doubting the true presence, I’ve been there. But I can tell you:  He IS there, and in such a profound way. You just have to open your heart and let Him in. Let Him love you. Let Him mend your brokenness, because He will. And He wants to.

How lovely is your dwelling place.” -Psalm 84

May it be done unto me.

The other day on my local Catholic radio, I heard someone talking about how hard it must have been for Mary, carrying Christ in her womb. Imagine, she, being around the age of 14, was probably mocked and made fun of, because some people didn’t understand that she truly was going to give birth to the Savior of the world. She risked so much just by saying “yes” to God and His will.

Honestly, I never really noticed how much Mary must have been mocked and judged because for one, she was pregnant outside of marriage (yes, it was God’s doing, but some people didn’t understand that).

Mary had so much courage to live out God’s will.

I’ve really started meditating on Mary, and thinking about the sacrifice she made for us as well. She carried Christ for us. That’s why we, as Catholics look up to her so much, and place her higher than any other saint. She is the mother of God, and also our mother.

Lately, I’ve been kind of stressed out about school and work. Sometimes I feel like God is giving me too much to handle. I know God’s telling me, “Dominique, you’re doing fine. I am with you, and I won’t leave you.” I try so hard to live a life of virtue and let me tell you, that is very hard to do in today’s day and age. I try to listen to God, help the poor, and do His will, and you know, that’s really not an easy thing to do. I have dreams of my own, but God’s plan for me is even greater. It’s so hard to grasp this.

I’ve heard it said that you’ll never be asked for anything more than Mary was, and that was simply, “yes”

I want to always be able to say yes to God, for whatever He asks of me. And when you think about it, God never asks for anything but your life, your heart, and your love. I know that seems like a ton, but compared to what His son gave us, that’s very little.

This year, try to listen to the voice of God, and when He asks you to do something difficult, let us respond with the words of our mother, Mary,

“Let it be done unto me according to thy word.”

May we all accept what is sent to us — even when it is hard. Especially when it is hard.