easter sunday

Easter Sunday is the last day of the Easter Triduum, but just the start of the Easter season which lasts for fifty days.  Easter is the day that Catholics and most other Christian denominations celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.  His disciples waited for something- anything- to happen after he died on the cross just two days earlier.  They hid in Jerusalem, scared what might become of them if they were found out to have followed Jesus.  The good news is that Christ resurrected from the dead and appeared to the disciples telling them not to be afraid, but to trust in him and wait for the Holy Spirit to guide them.  All over the world, Easter is seen as a time of rebirth and spring.  Even the secular sphere celebrates this idea in America with the iconic Easter Bunny.  In this poll, select which age you figured out the Easter Bunny wasn’t real if you grew up with that tradition.

 

good friday

Good Friday is the second day of the Easter Triduum.  Catholics commemorate it as the day Jesus dies on the cross.  If such a bad thing happened on this day, then why do we call it Good Friday?  The fact is that while Christ’s suffering wasn’t good, it was necessary for our salvation.  By dying the way he did, Christ fulfilled many prophecies written about him in the old testament.  Jesus’ death, however tragic and horrific at the time, was ultimately good because it allowed him to resurrect on Easter Sunday and open the possibility of heaven up for us who otherwise were without hope of salvation.  After his death, Jesus’ disciples and mother mourned him who they thought would save Israel.  However, God has bigger and better plans than human minds can anticipate.  He can turn the worst of situations into the best of outcomes, and he proves this power by rising again.

holy thursday

Holy Thursday is the first day in the Catholic Church’s Easter Triduum, and it is extremely important because we remember the Last Supper.  The Last Supper was the final meal Christ ate with his twelve apostles or followers before his death on Good Friday.  During this meal, Christ institutes the Eucharist, which is at the center of Catholic faith.

“And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”

-Luke 22:19

As Christ commanded, we remember him fully at Mass, when unleavened bread and wine, through the power of the Holy Spirit working within the priest, become in reality the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ.  This is a radical concept that is controversial even among members of the church themselves.  And although I don’t have all the answers, I can share my faith with you that this change of substance actually occurs.

ash wednesday

Ash Wednesday, also known as the first day of Lent in the Church, is a time to recall that we have all fallen into sin and depend on God for everything.  It’s something that no one really wants to think about, but at the same time it’s necessary to do so from time to time.  It is a holy day of obligation, which means that as Catholics we are required to attend mass and receive ashes in the shape of a cross on our foreheads.  One of the purposes of this simple yet symbolic action is to remind us that the world we live in will one day pass away, and the only thing that will last forever is our relationship with God.

“…for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

-Genesis 3:19

This day is also a time to prepare for Lent and to solidify what you want to accomplish during the upcoming forty days.  Thank you for reading.

cross

 

retreats are fab

My friend recently went on a retreat with our parish.  She was a servant leader (basically a helper for the people on retreat) and I asked her some questions about her experience and this is what she said:

1)      What is something you took away from your retreat?

I took away that I had a great Catholic community to belong to. As a servant leader, I could truly lead with the group I had, and I hoped I spread the great message my fellow core team gave to me.

2)      What was your favorite part of the retreat?

My favorite part was the laying on of hands: we had chairs lined up in front of the room, and people would come up and we prayed over them. After a while, the kids would walk up and pray over people, and it was very powerful.

3)      How did you grow in your relationship with God?

I grew in my relationship with God on a more personal level than before, and I found myself more conversational and friendly with God, as well has becoming a little more enlightened to the struggles other people face when trying to follow God.

the life of mother teresa

Mother Teresa of Calcutta IndiaThe woman we know as Blessed Mother Teresa, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu, was born on August 26th, 1910 in a town called Skopje in what was then the Ottoman Empire.  She was raised as a Roman Catholic and decided when she was twelve years old that she would one day become part of a religious order.  She joined the missionary order, the Sisters of Loreto, when she was eighteen.  As a religious sister, she taught at a school in Calcutta, India.  Eventually, however, she left the comforts of her life at the convent and took to the slums to care for the poor and destitute.  In 1950 she formed the order called the Missionaries of Charity.  Mother Teresa cared for all of the people considered to be unloved and unwanted, and she lived on the streets among them.  To help the poor and homeless even more, she built several houses of charity such as a hospice for the dying, a hospice for those with leprosy, and an orphanage.  She died of an accumulation of numerous health problems including two heart attacks, pneumonia, and malaria.  She is an example first of the good work that can be achieved with God and second how charity can cross religious and cultural boundaries to shape a better world for us all.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother_Teresa

 

advocating for life

Just recently I read an eye-opening article on one of the most controversial issues of our time: abortion.  This topic scares many people away because being pro-life or pro-choice can be like choosing a side in a huge “moral super-bowl” with more fierce competition than the big game this past Sunday.  However, the article I read stands out from the rest, mainly because it causes the reader to step back and evaluate whether or not they are arguing on one side or the other for personal gain or even to win a fight.  The issue of abortion is so controversial that many arguments focus on defending the author him/herself instead of debating the issue on hand: life.  No matter what a person’s convictions are, the most effective way to defend a point is to acknowledge both sides of the issue and refrain from using biased information.  Her is the article:

http://lifeteen.com/why-we-march-anger-love-pro-life-movement/

And here is a picture of a baby:

nose

 

serving people

Today at our school we had a speaker come and talk to us about her life with a severe physical disability.  She was in a wheel chair and had to ask for help to do everyday things that we take for granted like getting dressed and picking up things she dropped.  Through it all, however, she remained extremely positive and focused her time on helping others.  Her main message was to treat people with disabilities with understanding and respect because, really, you should treat others how you would want to be treated.  Besides, like in the case of our speaker, you might be surprised at how much you can relate to people with different difficulties than you!

I found it really interesting that she emphasized the importance of serving others more than anything else in her speech.  She has had to rely on others to serve her everyday and can firsthand attest to the difference that service can make in a person’s life.

Find a way to serve someone else today.

 

my first post

Pope Francis

Hi!  This is my first post.

I didn’t really know what I wanted my blog to be about (with a name like elefantabulous it could really go anywhere), so I turned to a surefire topic of inspiration- my Catholic faith.  Besides expressing my religion, I want this site to be at least somewhat relevant to all people’s lives, whether they are Catholic or not.  With this in mind, what better way to start other than with Pope Francis?

Accomplishments of Pope Francis thus far:

          1) He is the first pope ever to take a selfie

          2) …..does any other accomplishment really matter?

On a serious note though, this man of Christ is working harder than anyone I’ve ever seen to stop religion from dividing the world and start using it to bring people together.  Thank you for reading and here is an interesting article about him from TIME that you should check out:

http://world.time.com/2014/01/01/pope-francis-urges-acceptance-in-first-new-years-address/