Do you ever have those sudden burst of inspiration that you have to what ever you’re doing to write it down? I don’t really know how to describe it other than a burst of inspiration. They kind of sneak up on you when you least expect it and it’s like, “Hold on y’all, BRB. Gotta get this before I loose it.”

This moment came for this piece when I was gluing a chipped wooden frame my dad dropped. I was lucky and had a notebook nearby to write this. Other times, I haven’t been so lucky. Sometimes I have my phone with me so I’m able to take a few notes, however I run into a problem when I look at it later and go, “What the heck was I trying to say?”

Sometimes I get it when it’s not appropriate to have my phone out; like in mass. My mind starts drifting and I think of something to write about. I pulled my phone out once to just write literally the title of a piece I thought of, but I was met with dirty looks from the elderly ladies around me and then I made really awkward eye contact with the priest as I was putting my phone away. One time, I took an envelope meant for the offering and the mini pencil they keep in the little box in the pews and started taking notes. The envelope was covered and I got a pretty good piece out of it!  Finally, I figured out “Hey, I get my best ideas in mass” so I started bringing a little notebook and pen with me. Sometimes I use it. Sometimes I don’t.

People ask me, “How do you come up with these ideas? Well, most of the time, it’s not me. I give all the credit to a higher power because their is no way I could come up with it on my own and make it sound halfway decent. It’s all in those bursts. If I don’t get them, I have to force myself to write and I end up with a really bad piece. There wouldn’t be as many posts then. Other times, I have so many “bursts” that I can’t keep up. I have had an experience where I would have another burst in the middle of writing a different one. It may sound crazy, but I think that those who write and write often know what I’m talking about.

I know a piece is really good when I can’t remember writing it. I will remember sitting down with a pen in my hand or with my computer, but the actual writing is a blur. Then I publish it and see people’s responses then think, “Wait, what did I say again?” Then I re-read what I wrote and think, “Huh, that’s not bad at all. How did I come up with that? Is that quote really mine?”

It feels awkward getting complemented on it. It’s great and I appreciate all feedback, but it’s hard to believe it’s really mine when it feels like I have a co-author who adds ideas and words that I can’t remember thinking or writing. And those bursts I was talking about, happen while I’m in prayer for a reason. There is a reason that when I don’t pray as diligently as I have in the past, I struggle to find the words to write.  I can’t write without my co-author. I just can’t, none of it is good without Him.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be about “Catholic” topics, although he certainly helps in that area. I write a lot of poetry for fun (GASP!) and short stories that are pretty secular, but without prayer and a relationship with my co-author, I don’t feel so inclined to write.



It’s really funny talking to Catholics about confession. Everyone has an awkward confession story. I have two:

1) I went to confession during holy week and the priest was a visiting priest from somewhere in Central America and didn’t speak a lot of English. Not only did I not understand a word he said, but I did not understand my penance and he dismissed me without having me recite the Act of Contrition. I didn’t realize this until I left. Whether or not it counted as an actual confession I have not clue, but I should’ve gone back and tried again because it was, after all, holy week.

2) I went to confession with a priest I have never been too fond of, but he was the only one hearing confession at the time. Everything was going smoothly, I had already confessed the sins that really heavily weighed on my heart and was just getting to the little stuff. I confessed that I had lied and by lying, I meant little white lies that we shouldn’t tell but do to get out of stuff, and he leans towards me and tells me with the most straight face “You are going to get caught.” I was a little shocked and taken aback. But laugh about it now.

I tell these stories because I know how weird confession can be, but believe it or not, I actually enjoy confession. I haven’t always. It always felt so awkward and humiliating. My sins are between myself and God. I didn’t need some old priest to know what I did wrong too. But I grew to like it.

How? I realized that I love the feeling I get after I leave confession. The feeling of a weight literally being lifted off your shoulders and walking on air in perfect communion with God.  That idea of being sin free and no longer feel guilt about what I have done wrong is enough to get me to confession and get excited about it.

Priests are human, so not every experience in confession is going to be perfect. There are going to be awkward moments, but so long as we remember the reason why we are in confession and the joy of being forgiven by a God so beautiful and wonderful who wants to forgive our sins, it’s enough to forget the awkward moments.

Confession doesn’t have to be scary and awkward. It doesn’t have to be well thought out and poetic. I used to go to confession and I made a point o say the sin that really burned my heart last for dramatic effect. But I had someone suggest to me to say the worse sin first so that I won’t have to be distracted by it while in the confessional. I’m here to say it’s right. It’s easier to say what you are most guilty of then let it sit in your throat, then you can confess your other sins with sincerity and without your thoughts distracting you.

Confession is awesome and beautiful. No other church in the world has a practice that comes close to confession and the forgiveness of sins. So take advantage of it and receive His mercy because it is so worth it.

The Holy Spirit is easily the most complicated person of the Trinity. He is hard to understand because it is impossible for our tiny human minds to understand how vast and great he is. I think Christ is easy to understand because he is human. There is concrete proof that he was a real man who walked on earth. We can imagine Jesus easily with hair, ten toes and fingers, a nose. He ate and drank, he smiled and cried, he had a mother and friends. It is easier to understand and relate to him. God the Father is easier to understand because of what we know about him in the Old Testament and what Jesus preached about him in the Gospel.

It’s hard to wrap our head around who the Holy Spirit is, but he has such and incredible role in our lives. Nicholas Sparks has a quote that I’m going to kind of rework to help me explain who the Holy Spirit is. Sparks says, “Love is like the wind, you can’t see it, but you can feel it.” This is such a beautiful image and it so perfectly how we can approach the Holy Spirit.

The wind has been a symbol for the Holy Spirit for centuries. There are some days where the wind is light and you can barely feel it when you step outside, but you know it’s there by the faint way it may rustle some leaves in the trees or by a flag flowing on a flag pole. Other days, it’s so strong and overpowering that it is blowing umbrellas, water, and even cars away. It can be harmless one moment, and absolutely terrifying and destructive the next.  I’ve had moments where I am outside and struggle to stay standing up when the wind starts blowing too fiercely.

Very similar to the wind, the Holy Spirit has moments where we can hardly feel him at all, then other moments he is so strong and overpowering in how he works in our lives, we can barely stand. It’s hard to know him. But faith is our eyes.

Even when we don’t feel the wind, we can see how the wind impacts the world around us. Similar to the Holy Spirit, we may not be able to see him work, but faith can be our eyes in seeing how he impacts the world around us, even when we feel nothing. Faith can give us hope in difficult times and help us identify that the changes and events that happen in our lives is by the workings of the Holy Spirit.

There are moments when we can hear the wind whistling in our ears, other times we can’t, but we still know it’s there by hearing the leaves rustle or the chain of the flag pole tapping the metal pole. Sometimes we hear the Holy Spirit in other people whether it be our youth ministers, friends, priests and religious. We can even hear him when we read scripture or when we read an article online or a book that has a powerful impact on us.

It’s hard to understand the Holy Spirit. We weren’t meant to completely understand him because there are somethings that God chooses to keep a mystery until we are united with him in Heaven. This explanation is in no way perfect, however it simplifies such a huge complicated aspect of the church a little bit.

Because this writer is suffering a severe case of writers block, yet tries really hard to write on Monday, she is going to take and easy route and make a list, because lists are easy to write and requires little effort. I’m running on about 4 hours of sleep here people, cut me some slack!

Any who, it’s summer and there is always the super fun question of what to read next, so I’ve compiled a list of really awesome books to read to get your spiritual life fired up. Enjoy!!

Do I have to Go? by Matthew Pinto and Chris Stefanick
The Lamb’s Supper by Scott Hahn
The Bible’s Best Love Stories by Alan F. Wright (I know this one seems out of place but trust me)

Books on Saints or By Saints
Total Surrender by Mother Teresa
A Man of Beatitudes: Pier Giorgio Frassati by Luciana Frassati
St. Maria Goretti: In Garments All Red by Fr. Godfrey Poage, C.P.
The Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisueux
The Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska
The Life of Teresa of Jesus by St. Teresa of Avila
Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert
Dating/Relationships/Theology of the Body
How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul by Jason and Crystalina Evert
Real Love by Mary Beth Bonacci
Man and Woman He Created Them by Pope Saint John Paul II
Anything by Matthew West

The Secret of the Rosary by St. Louis de Montfort
33 Days to Morning Glory by Fr. Michael E. Gaitley, M.I.C.
Wholy Mary by Chris Padgett
The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics by Raphael Brown

The Navarre Bible Series
Ask the Bible Geek by Mark Hart
The Holy Bible by God the Holy Spirit

The Meaning of Vocation by Pope Saint John Paul II
What Does God Want? by Fr. Michael Scanlon

God Help Me by Jim Beckman
Prayer for Beginners by Peter Kreeft

Truth Be Told by Mark Hart
Yes or No by Peter Kreeft
Did Adam and Eve Have Belly Buttons? by Matthew Pinto


There are so many other amazing books and topics that I know are missing. Please add the one that are missing in the comments and share the awesomeness of some of these books. So sorry this blogger is feeling a little drained today. And now I sleeeeeeeep 😛

I have been looking to writing this post for over a month now and I am so excited about what I have to talk about. I just completed Father Michael Gaitley’s 33-Days to Morning Glory: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat in Preparation for Marian Consecration this past Saturday renewing my consecration to the Blessed Mother. I first consecrated myself almost a year ago on August 24, 2013 using St. Louis de Monfort’s Total Consecration, which was beautiful and required me to re-sight beautiful prayers that I have never heard before, however, it was difficult dive deep in prayer because my focus was on the complicated vocabulary and the constant repetitive nature of that retreat.

25348_WFather Gaitley came to Franciscan towards the end of first semester to promote his 33-Days to Morning Glory book and I had to cover it for the Troub. I hadn’t thought a lot about me consecration since. I bought a consecration chain (a chain worn around the wrist to serve as a reminder of the sins in which baptism and the consecration has freed us from) but I would only wear it every once in a while so I lacked a daily reminder.  Gaitley’s words captivated me as he discussed the beauty of a Marian Consecration and offered an easier and (in my humble opinion) better way to consecrate myself to the Blessed Mother.

When his book was on sale in Franciscan’s Bookstore, I decided to grab a copy and begin as soon as I got home from school. Both Gaitley and de Monfort suggest that you schedule the 33 days so it will end on a Marian Feast Day. I choose the feast of the Immaculate Heart because it was the soonest feast day. The consecration itself is four weeks plus 5 days of preparation and reviewing before the final consecration day. Each week is devoted to a particular Saint with a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother. Gaitley reviews that Saints charisms and throws quite a bit of Mariology  (the theological study of Mary) in with the mix. So it’s different everyday versus the constant repetition of de Monfort’s consecration.

At the end of the 33 days, you say a long and beautiful prayer promising yourself to Mary and to Christ. Gaitley suggests you print your own copy of the consecration to sign and date on consecration day and every time you renew your consecration after that.

New Consecration Chain

New Consecration Chain

Consecration Prayer

Consecration Prayer

Despite completing a consecration before, I decided to start fresh with a greater understanding of the significance of a Marian consecration. So I printed and laminated my consecration prayer to hang in my room and I bought a new consecration chain from Home Depot that I liked more than my original and was more permanent so I wouldn’t be so tempted to take it off and avoid the daily reminder of my consecration. Consecration Round 2 (as I affectionately call it) was over all so much more fruitful than my first consecration. It was easier to understand and I felt much more enthusiastic at the start of the retreat than I did the first time because I was better educated concerning what a consecration to Mama Mary was.

So my dear readers, I have a challenge for you; Consecrate yourself to the Blessed Mother. If you are already consecrated, reconsecrate yourself. Do some research and get excited about preparing for consecration. Their are thousands of books devoted to this very thing and Gaitley’s version just so happened to be the way that worked for me. Their are plenty of consecrations written by St. Louis DeMonfort, St Maximilian Kolbe, Pope Saint John Paul II, and more.  Do some research and find a way that works for you whether it be by resiting prayers like DeMonfort’s consecrations, or  by reading about the Theology of Mary like in Gaitley’s version. Read the introductions to have a solid understanding of your commitment (one mistake I made the first round) and enjoy it because Mary is awesome. I’ll be praying for y’all in the meantime!



I don’t think a lot of people realize that what a huge role church plays in their lives. I’m not talking about THE church as a whole or about the old guys in Rome who seem to know a thing or two about God. I mean the actual structure of a church and the people alive. It drives me crazy when people say “I don’t need a building to worship God. I can worship him quite comfortably at home.” Okay yes, the second part of that statement is true, personal prayer at home with the Lord is so important, but there are some crucial things that a person is missing if they aren’t making a commitment to their church. So I have compiled a list of 4 easy things to do at church (aside from attending mass) in order to make the most of what the Lord has to offer through  your church:

A. Be a family member

It is so tempting to simply rush into mass with your children or your parents then pile back into the car and go home. Catholicism gets a bad rep when people say the church is outdated and full of old people. The church is actually very alive and active, except the people aren’t sticking around long enough after mass to be part of it. Get to know the people in your church. Stay for the donuts after morning mass and get to know that woman who sits behind you with the amazing vocal range. Shake hands with your priest and allow him to remember your name and face so he can pray for you and your intentions.

The Church was built because Christ brought together a group of extraordinary people and allowed his spirit to work through them to build the church we know today. Allow the same Spirit to work through your relationships with the folks in your church too and you could gain some truly amazing and godly companionships.

Their is a reason the priest uses the words “my brothers and sisters….” in the mass.

B. Be a Servant

Get involved in your church because they are always looking for extra helping hands. Individual churches always need help in their Religious Education and Youth Ministry departments because the children of the Church need people who they can look up to and aspire to be like, thus holding onto their faith into their adult lives.

Be a small group leader in the RCIA program, offer your public speaking skills to the church by reading in mass. Have a deep passion for the Eucharist? Hold the body and blood of Christ in your hands and give it to your brothers and sisters to share the great mystery of Communion.

C. Be a Witness

How have you encountered the Lord in your day to day life? One of my favorite things is listening to some one talk about how the Lord as impacted them in their lives and changed it for the better. I love it because I can hear the story and gain hope because if the Lord does that kind of work in that person’s life, what can/will he do in my own life?

Share your testemony and your encounter with Christ with those in your parish. You never know when you will help them find the glimmer of faith that the Lord has not abandoned them in their trials.

D. Be Understood

Show the members of your parish who you are so they can understand your passion and love for Christ and aspire to do the same. Be real with them and don’t pretend. It does not do anyone any good when you sugar coat when you are having a difficult time because your brothers and sisters in your parish can pray for you and for clarity of mind. Remember to remain humble and honest.

It’s okay to admit that you don’t have it all figured out because nobody does, not even the holiest of God’s creation do. Be unafraid to share how you are still working on yourself with God.


Since I got home from school, my sister and my mom have turned me onto house flipping shows on HGTV. What people do on these shows is take a house that is foreclosed that they bought in auctions for ridiculously low prices (without seeing the property before hand) in order to turn around and sell them for a profit. The problem is that most of the time, these houses are in really, really bad shape with tons of mold and termite damage, junk from previous owners, bad pluming and electric systems, poor support structures, and horrible 50s wallpaper that is a pain to take off.



It’s amazing to see the transformation that these houses undergo.  There are always the infamous before and after pictures of the house. At the beginning of the show, people walk into the houses going “woah” with their noses wrinkled in disgust, then they work for weeks on fixing it up so people who are potential buyers walk in saying “woah” to beautiful home with their eyes wide with wonder.


After: From HGTV’s Flip or Flop

Because I’m a nerdy writer who tries to see connections and metaphors to things as silly as a house flipping show, after getting hooked on the show, I had to pinpoint the exact reason why I enjoyed these shows so much. It wasn’t the flippers because most of the time, they are really obnoxious about the unexpected errors that occur in every episode. It wasn’t that they are only on late at night for me to watch instead of going to bed. It wasn’t the fact that they are HGTV shows because most of the shows really annoy me.

I loved the idea of a house being so broken and damaged, yet these people saw such amazing potential in them and decided to get their hands dirty to make it beautiful in ways I never would’ve thought or imagine. See the cheesy predictable connection?

Yes, this is yet another post about God’s incredible healing works and how he is a healer to those who seek him. I talk God as a healer so much because that is how much I believe in it. It is through healing that I had my first encounter with the Lord, and it is through continual healing that I continue to encounter him in different ways.

However, the difference between God and a flipper who works on these abandoned homes is that He is more than just a doctor who fixes us up and sends us back out to the world. He is a God who is a father, a king, a friend, a comforter, a counselor, a savior who is with us no matter what.

So what are the little things in you that are keeping you from being a beautiful home?

Is it the beams in you that are failing to support you because they are rotted with lies and deceit?

Is it the dead grass in the front lawn that isn’t receiving the nutrients it needs from reading scripture?

Is it the dining room that is filled with termite damage and mold because of neglecting to dine with Christ at Mass every Sunday?

Is it the broken roof that is allowing the sin and the damage into the house because it isn’t being strengthened by prayer and conversation with God??

No matter the damage, Christ is knocking on the door with a sledge hammer and hard hat with an entire army of angels and saints as his crew ready to knock down the walls and rebuild you into the beautiful home that you are meant to be.

The question is, are you ready and willing to let him in?