On Greatness

You were made to be great. 

But I don't think you believe me. 

Actually, the more I ask those around me "What type of great saint are you going to be?" the more I find that this is not something most people think about. And I get it -- each day is hard enough, busy enough, emotionally exhausting enough that thinking about being great or a saint or both is too taxing spiritually. After all, the present moment is overwhelming most of the time on its own. 

But strip back the layers of your life. Sit in silence. Drive out in the country for an hour. Go get lost. When we do this -- when we get away from all the noise -- you and I discover that something at our core seeks more than a cup of coffee in the morning and going out to eat for dinner once a week. We desire more than sitting on the couch turning off our intellect as we are consumed by prime time television. No, when we sit in silence, when we get away from it all, we find that there is something inside of us that yearns for greatness and that we are settling for too little with our life. 

Try it for yourself. 

Don't just read about your Catholic-Christian faith, live it. Then pray this prayer:

"Lord, I give you permission to remove everything in my life that is keeping me from becoming a great saint; the person you thought of when you created me." 


Something Beautiful

After turning on the news everyday this week and hearing about violence, ill-informed opinions, and terrorism, I thought it might be nice to turn our attention to something beautiful. 

God shines through men and women fully alive, through beauty -- through art, creativity, and love. 

Here's some beauty to hopefully remember that the darkness of the world can never extinguish the light of His Grace. 

NeedToBreathe -- Something Beautiful


Everyone should write

It is my opinion that everyone should write, everyday. 

The process of putting your thoughts on paper brings clarity to an otherwise jumbled and confusing life at times. 

Writing is physical -- it takes time. In a world getting more and more instantaneous, we need time to process, discern, discover, and prepare our hearts for what God is trying to tell us.

Writing makes us observe the world around us, too. What would you do if you stuck to a writing schedule where everyday you shared something beautiful with the world?

You would pay attention.

You would process.

You would discover that even though we move so quickly through our day to day tasks, the world is filled with a type of deep beauty only realized by the attentive soul.

If you feel like your world is moving ahead of your ability to keep up with it, try taking 10 minutes each morning to jot down something beautiful, something you observed, something deep.

You won't regret it.  


It has become my opinion that perfection is held it much too high of a regard in our culture. We polish and shine, proof and get permission, touch-up and distill down our work so much that it becomes a beautiful piece of work. Once everyone is happy with our work/art/life/projects/opinions, then we reveal them to the world.

But I want rough, jagged-edges, spilled-my-coffee-on-the-cover-page-but-going-to-turn-it-in-anyways types of lives. Those are the ones I identify with. Those are the types of people that really inspire me. Not the perfect lives, but the lives working imperfectly towards perfection. 

Practice. Risk. Failure. Perseverance. 

Dare greatly.

Work your butt off.

If you fail, learn from it.

Get up and try again. 

Struggle towards some holy and great vision. 

Don't worry about being perfect. Instead, be faithful. Be good. Be courageous with your faith. 


Human Eloquence

"For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with the wisdom of human eloquence, so that the cross of Christ might not be emptied of its meaning."

You don't need to be perfect. 

You just need to go for it, move, try, put forth some effort, get out of your comfort zone, take action. 

God can't drive a parked car. 

The reality of putting forth effort to grow in your spiritual life is this: it is more attractive to stumble than to be perfect. People can identify with someone passionately trying to move in the direction God is calling her -- but they don't often recognize with perfection. 

Sure, we need great preachers in the Church. Absolutely. But what we also need are men and women willing to pursue holiness and stumble, fall, get up, and stumble and fall again all in passionate pursuit of that special calling God placed on their hearts. 

We don't need you to speak (or live) with human eloquence. We do need you to be obedient and fearless, that God's Grace might flow through you to this world in desperate need of it. 

The weight of prayer.

One way in which I like to think of prayer is not by the amount of time I spend praying, but rather the weight of my prayers. 

A prayer with weight has a particular substance to it. It's heavy. Palpable. It holds your soul still, yet lifts your spirit to an eternal height. 

Have you ever seen Pope Francis pray? Have you ever watched him retreat to that place where only he and Jesus communicate, heart to heart? Or St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta? Watch her close her eyes and feel how heavy her intentions of love are towards the poor. Can you pray with such weight? 

Here's what I mean: kneel down and pray a heavy prayer. A prayer of which the intention is so heavy on your heart that it makes you cry, it brings you to tears. Seriously, kneel down and find something that makes your soul cry out to God for help, something that brings you to tears of joy or pain or anything. Sit with that weight, enveloped not by the emotion of it but by the reality of it. Offer that reality up to God. And then, just when you think you are ready to turn away from that heavy, weighty reality of your prayer, sit with it longer. Longer than you think you should. And offer that discipline up to God as an attempt to be heard by the Almighty God who hears all. 

You don't need to speak, unless you want to. Instead, just listen. Listen to your soul cry out "Abba, Father!" 

That's the weight of prayer. In a mysterious way it both grounds us in our reality while lifting us up to the infinite. 

Try it for yourself. 

It's your turn.

"Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest." 
- John 4:35

It is your turn. 


I'm talking to you. Now. 

As Catholic-Christians our story is rich with history. With lives of the saints and theology, liturgy, and prayers. All of that is good. But don't lose sight of the remarkable reality of your life at THIS moment in history.  

You have a mission to do. That's why you're here. It's your turn.  

In fact, you were placed, intentionally, at this moment in history (HIS-story) for a specific reason, to carry out a specific life of love and joy and heroic virtuousness. God gave you talents to use and gifts to give to the world. How are you using them to share His Light with the world? 

This is your life. Your un-rewritable, unrepeatable, only-chance-you-get life. It's your turn at love. Go do something with it. 

Stop binge watching seasons of smutty television on Netflix. Stop scrolling through your social media feed in your spare time. Stop sitting on the sidelines, being a passive player in this cosmic love story in which God decided to give you a major role -- Go be a saint. Go love courageously. Go pray deeply. Go enter into this one opportunity you have to participate in Life itself. 

Now. Go.

It's your turn.