Since being in college, the absolute best part of being here is the friendships, dealings, and fun that I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying. Today, I got to lector at Mass at the BU Catholic Center, something I enjoy tremendously. After Mass, and a little adoration, members of the BUCC gathered and, as is tradition for us, we went to lunch. It took a while for us to get there, but we did eventually get to our intended destination. We set up a table, I mean took over a table, and enjoyed a nice lunch in some fun company. Stories, puns, jokes, lessons, laughter, and anything else in between flowed like a massive river. It’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from my cohort of friends. While I expect it, I shouldn’t count on it, or else I’m quite sure I will lose them eventually. Well I won’t worry about that quite yet.
Also, later in the day, I got to be a part of a Bible study. It’s led by an awesome dude who the fellas at BU love, and it’s a study where I’ve learned a lot and grown in my faith. I’m happy to have this, and the friendships that go along with it. I’ll be sure to enjoy my friendships now. And I’ll be thankful for every chance I get to enjoy this great community dynamic in the BU Catholic Center.
Sunday’s mean Mass for me. Mass means a chance to collect myself, reflect on the week, and listen to God. It also affords a chance to be involved in the service. For my involvement, it’s usually in choir, or some small in-sundry thing, like doing the collection, or bringing the gifts to the altar. Today, I was a lector. I did the first and second of three readings at Mass. I often read at Mass. I’ve lectored since I was in middle school. It’s a cool way to practice some useful public speaking skills, like diction, pitch, projection, etc etc. While working on useful skills like that, you also learn more about the faith. Today’s readings are here, if you’d be interested in seeing them exactly. http://usccb.org/bible/readings/012515.cfm
The homily explaining these three readings centered on how incredible God is and how amazing the possibility of being with Him is. Also discussed was the idea of Pascal’s Wager. And the notion that God is so incredible, and we have to take a chance on Him. It’s one that I’m willing to take. And it’s one that I bought into a while ago.
Reading at Mass reminds me of that we need to be active in our faith, if we are ever to get closer to God, and that it’s completely possible to be involved in Mass even if you’re not in the clergy, or (and I say this with no offense to members of the clergy) not interested in joining the clergy. I have other places I’m called to be. I still need to be involved in my faith. We all do.
Sunday was the second Sunday of the Advent Season. It is a touch contradictory of a season. Its a prayerful season filled with warm and uplifting stories of God’s love, mercy, and compassion in the form of Mary serving God humbly, to God sending His Angels to proclaim the coming of the Lord and calm Joseph’s nerves, to Jesus being born. These are some of the most beautiful and heartwarming stories in the entire Bible.
Only thing that is not warming about Advent is the wind, cold, and snow outside. If it were a touch warmer, it’d be perfect! But oh well. At least we get the hot chocolate, warm fires, heart warming tales, stories, and Christian love that only seems to appear at this time of the year. Plus some beautiful Christmas Carols.
I’m a proud and happy Catholic. But I always need chances to grow in my faith. This semester has given me plenty of chances to do that. Plenty of questions to ponder, so many conversations with people, so many twists and turns. Those are usually the best times to find growth and development.
I’ve found a few ways to grow. I try going to daily Mass. I try pray with my friends much more, whether they be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, or any faith tradition. My favorite avenue to growth has been a Bible study I’m in. It meets Monday nights at the GSU and all guys are welcome to come. Sorry ladies, we do need some guy time and there are plenty of Bible studies that you are all eligible for!
We’ve been working through the Acts of the Apostles recently, and have been discussing everything from how the Holy Spirit works, how we accept God’s will and let it work, and how much courage we must have to serve God. It’s amazing stuff. It has reminded me to pay attention to scripture, read more, and listen to the stories of the Good Book. I always need to be reminded of that lesson. Plus it’s fun going to Bible study with all the laughs, jokes, and good food. Thanks guys!
This challenge has been very fruitful and successful for me! It’s been a blast sharing my thoughts and experiences that make me happy and make me smile on a daily basis. I have a few wrap up lessons and important developments from these 100 days. In no particular order, here are the 3 things I will most happily take away from this.
1. A new relationship.
I’ve started a more serious dating relationship with a friend from BU who did this challenge with me. She’s been a friend for a while before this challenge and the most recent school year. But we started talking about this during this challenge, and we became much closer friends over the year. Now we’re together! I’d ask for your prayers and your support here, for both of us.
2. Life is a beautiful ride.
I have a fantastic life. And I have come to realize how amazing it is after I put some real effort in to looking at it. Now that I see all the little things that make my life great, I have such a great appreciation for how beautiful a journey life is, even when it’s difficult. I’ll move forward much more optimistic and positive.
3. God is truly great.
I had a pretty good sense of faith in my life at the start of the challenge, and since then I have only gotten stronger there. I have seen the might and power that God has, and the way He can change your life if you let Him in.
I hope that the people reading this post will look back over my other posts and will see something beautiful here. Hopefully this will help you grow happier, more faithful, and more honest in your own lives!
To take a line from a good broadcaster I sometimes watch, I’ve done all the damage I can do here. Good night, and God bless!
This is my second to last post on this blog. My 100 days are almost over! I’m gonna keep being happy after this, but I won’t be sharing them on this blog anymore. I’ll create a new one, and put a link for it in tomorrow’s post.
Tonight, I’m reflecting on my first post on this blog, about going to Confession. Well, I’m still a human being, and still an imperfect guy. I still sin. I’m working against it and have gotten better! But I still need, and will until I die, need help from God there. I went to Confession to start this challenge. I went again today at the tail end of this challenge.
Every time I go is powerful and meaningful for me. My sins are lifted off my shoulder and I’m the freest I’m ever going to be! It’s a big deal. And one I’m glad I recognize that I need. I wouldn’t be the guy I am without admitting that need, and I would have lost my soul a while ago.
I went to St Patrick’s and St Anthony’s church in Hartford, where a Franciscan was hearing confessions today. I love getting confession with a Franciscan! Not that the sacrament changes with any order of priests, it’s the same sacrament and does ultimately the same thing, which is more important than any guidance you get from the priest. But in my experience, Franciscan priests are phenomenal at giving guidance and challenging me to grow in my faith through the sacrament. And they ask questions about the sins and care truly about helping me through it all. I appreciate all that.
If you’re Catholic and not gone to Confession lately, go today!!! It’s one of the best things you can do with your life and it’s so powerful and needed in all of our lives.
It’s the weekend of Pentecost. This is my favorite feast not named Christmas or Easter. It’s my favorite because it is all about the Holy Spirit, which is the most fascinating part of the Triduum because we don’t know as much about Him as we know about the other two. He takes different forms, appears in many different capacities, and works behind the scenes in all of our lives, in ways that the Father and the Son do not by their very nature.
I have this vision of him as the techie of the Trinity. He works relatively quietly, compared to the Father who created all things in the world and the Son who’s most powerful action is the most talked about and important event in salvation history. The Spirit works behind the scenes, but He works miracles.
He opens people’s hearts in a way unique to the Trinity. As with all of the members of the Trinity, we have to be willing to let Him in, and then once we do, miracles will happen. The Spirits miracles and influences are more clearly shown and easier to see, in my own experience at least, than the other Two members of the Trinity. If you let the Spirit in, you will be more bold, more secure in your faith, and ready to live it. So on this Pentecost weekend, if you have a hard decision to make, or someone you need to talk to, or a hard piece of your faith that’s been bugging you, or anything that needs a bold decision or action, let the Spirit in! He’ll do wonderful things for you, as He has done with me.