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Monday, August 8, 2011

Praying for AJ

Earlier today I got the news that the health of a great guy/friend/classmate from the St.Lawrence Center has taken a turn for the worse. AJ has been suffering from health conditions for the past year has just been diagnosed with a rare blood disease that the doctors say appears to be untreatable. It is estimated that he will only have a few precious days to live.

The St.Lawrence Center community has coordinated a prayer chain at 5pm everyday for AJ. We will be praying both a chaplet of divine mercy and a rosary. At this point, our prayers are most valuable so if you have a moment to offer up a prayer for him we would all be so thankful.

I am awfully proud to be a part of St.Lawrence and I have definitely let it be known on this blog. But I have never been filled with such joy to be a part of this group as I was today when reading the reactions pour in with prayers and intentions for him.

I'd like to share some of them here with you now.
  • I had no idea. I'm in Costa Rica but am headed to the neighborhood church right now. Please please PLEASE let me know if there's anything else I can do…praying for aJ and his family and friends.
  • Im in new orleans for the next week. im so sorry to hear this news but i will definitely keep the prayer chain going.
  • I am in Texas but will try and get up there by Wednesday and will be more than willing to take people over there (to visit him)
  • Be assured of my prayers on my drive back to Lawrence tomorrow as well as the rest of the week.
  • This is obviously a very difficult time for everyone, but already it has been a truly beautiful witness of the power of Christian community. From one day of being present at the hospital, I can attest that AJ, his family, and his loved ones have received many blessings in the form of our presence and prayers, and I have great faith many more blessings will shine through this time of uncertainty as we unite for this more than worthy cause. Thank you all for your prayers and support, and continue to entrust AJ's well-being to the will of God. We can take consolation in knowing that he his much closer to heaven than we and that we may soon have a powerful saint to intercede on our behalf as we make our own way to our eternal destiny...
  • St. Lawrence has truly shown through today! I've been able to see AJ as well today and in the midst of some of the greatest trials and sufferings I've ever experienced, there has been much fruit! Keep praying! See you in the Eucharist or on the battlefield (the kind that we fight on our knees) with AJ until he makes it home!
  • Sending prayers!
  • It is beautiful to see the unity and love of the St. Lawrence Center and friends coming together. Please know there are lots of prayers for AJ coming from Texas. The Aggie Catholic Center will also be lifting up the St. Lawrence community in prayer as well.
  • My prayers are with you all! I'm afraid I probably won't be able to make it up, but please pass my blessings and prayers on to AJ and his family. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for everyone.
  • Definitely keeping AJ's Family in my prayer!!! Our Lady of Guadalupe, Pray for us!
  • AJ and all of the family: you are in my deepest prayers. We all love you so much.
  • storming the gates of heaven for AJ!!!..
  • stay strong! my prayers are with you!
The St.Lawrence Center is doing great things and it is evident in the community that it has established. Check out this article from the NCR about the St.Lawrence Center and the community that it is providing for us.

Koinonia is greek for community and that's exactly what we are; a community, a family. And that's exactly what AJ is a part of, our community of love for each other and for Christ Jesus.

Our Lady of Lourdes, patron of bodily illness, Pray for us!

Friday, August 5, 2011

My first Bright Maidens post Ever! Summer Reading

So I've been following the Bright Maiden's for a while now, ever since they started making their Tuesday posts. I've wanted to join in many times since the things they have been posting about have been really interesting.  Sometimes I'll even sit down and start typing away all of my thoughts but they just don't seem to flow, they feel forced and sometimes the posts are so awful I wouldn't even want to read it.

But I have long figured out that this blog is not my own, it's the Lord's. I am merely an instrument for His greater good. I have tried believe me, I have tried to write about what I want but every time it just seems dumb. And then that idea sparks from somewhere inside me and I write and I write until the post is done and I sit back, look at it and say 'huh?'. How did I do that? How did all of those thoughts flow so well together? Last month I tried to write about this and I couldn't write 3 comprehensive sentences!  Then I get that email, the one that says "Thank you for posting this, it's exactly what I needed to hear/see/understand at this exact moment.", and I see that it is all in His timing.

"I cannot do anything on my own" - John 5:30

So I try not to force things. I tried SO many times to write about Totus Tuus this summer. I tried before I left. I tried during training week. I tried during immersion week. I tried during our first week on our own. I tried during the break. I tried when there was 1 week left. And then Totus Tuus was over, I sat down and it just came, and I knew He had kept me from writing all summer so that I could focus on the work He had set before me. I really wanted to write. All summer I wished that I was near a computer so that I could blog. But I realized that I was being kept from blogging to concentrate on something greater. God had called me to teach Totus Tuus and he was calling me to be Totus Tuus(Totally Yours) to Him and to those kids.

But now Totus Tuus is over and I must find what I am being called to. For the first time I am being called to write a Bright Maiden's post. It may be a bit late but it's all in God's time. Ive spent the past couple days catching up on the books that everyone else has recommended and I found a common theme. Books for Catholics written by Catholics, and that's awesome! This summer however I dove into some Christian books written by non-Catholics. As I warned myself before I read them, do so with one eye open for things that would lead me away from the church, I would also warn others.
The first book I read this summer was The Shack by William P. Young. Now although there are some definite parts of the book that I disagree with as a Catholic there were some amazing things I learned from it. Since I could never write a review even close to the caliber of Fr.Robert Barron's stop by and read it!

The 2nd book I read was Captivating: Unveiling the mystery of a woman's soul by John & Stasi Eldredge. It talks about how every woman has 3 core desires: to be romanced, to play a role in her own adventures & to display beauty. In an age where feminism tries to take everything that's lovely about being a woman & turn it into something negative I enjoyed reading about how I was created as a feminine being. There are a couple of things to watch out for however. Stasi talks about her Catholic upbringing in a less than flattering light. They also point to Eve as the woman we should all look up to. I was disappointed they didn't take the opportunity to show Mary, perfect and without sin, in this role instead.

I literally had Heaven is For Real by Todd Burpo started and finished in under 10 hours. This 4 year old boy describes heaven as if he had just finished reading the book of Revelation earlier that day. I found this particularly interesting/comforting/pleasing since so much of the Catholic Mass can be found in the book of Revelation that heaven would be so similar. He also takes extra care to point out for us Catholics such things like the whereabouts of Mary, at Jesus' feet or standing beside Him, and that Jesus still loves Mary like a mother, as we believe.

I wouldn't necessarily keep my first kiss until I was standing at the altar like Joshua Harris writes about in I Kissed Dating Goodbye.There's a part in this book where it is Josh's wedding day & he has just watched his beautiful bride walk down the aisle. They're looking at each other when all of a sudden every woman from Josh's past walks out of the crowd & takes his hand. His bride looks terrified. Now he has to tell her that he's sorry but he's already given parts of his heart to all of these women & she only gets what's left. It's a book of truly guarding your heart, of long and deep friendship before relationships and conquering modern dating traps.

Last but not least the most influential book I've read all summer, The 5 Love Languages:singles edition by Gary Chapman. Gary presents the idea that there are 5 ways in which people express love; Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch. Most people have one dominant love language which is the way they show and receive love. I've since learned that I have two dominant love languages after scoring an 11 on both Quality Time and Physical Touch. It makes so much sense since I generally do not feel a lot of love if people do not want to spend their time with me. It's made me more sensitive to showing my family and friends their primary love language. Take the test at and tell me what language you are!

Check out what the other Bright Maidens had to suggest for reading here!Peace and happy reading!
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