When I was in high school I would think to myself “I just need to keep the faith until college.” I knew what that looked like: not going to parties with underage drinking, dressing modestly, and avoiding sex. Then when I was in college I would think to myself “I need to keep on keeping on & grow in holiness so I’m ready for my vocation, so I can find a husband.” (that didn’t happen – I found him after college). I knew that that should look like too: daily mass, personal prayer time, serving God through a ministry. But now that I’m married with children, there don’t seem to be many more short term goals on the horizon. Now I think to myself “I need to keep living out my faith until I die (which hopefully will be a long time from now)” and that seems hard, daunting at least. Sometimes I’m not sure what that looks like – how can one be “on fire” for 50 years?
Thankfully the Church in her wisdom has given us the liturgical calendar. Every year we remember the important days in the life of Christ. We move through the seasons of feasting and fasting to help us to reinvigorate our relationship with Jesus so that the busyness of everyday life doesn’t distract us from pursuing holiness. Happy Pentecost!
Also thankfully there are other resources that can educate us and encourage us to persevere. Lately I have found that in sisterhood. I recently attended my college household reunion. It was amazing! Even though I hadn’t seen some of these women in years & some I had never met, we all got along and had fun and encouraged one another. I seriously left the weekend a changed woman.
Another source of sisterhood has come more locally – St. Catherine of Siena women’s prayer group, women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s coming together once a month to praise & worship, share and read Scripture. Recently we have started texting and using Facebook to keep in touch between the meetings. At our last meeting we talked about the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how they could benefit our lives. Then we picked one to ask for at Pentecost. I picked Knowledge because I want to see the events of my life as God sees them.
The last source of sisterhood has come from the internet. Thank God for technology! I signed up at www.blessedisshet.net to receive the daily mass readings emailed to me. The best part is the reflection about the readings written by Catholic mom bloggers which help show me what living out the faith as a woman looks like. I look forward to reading them. They have encouraged me and taught me and challenged me more than other daily emails I have signed up for. I encourage you to check them out. I really enjoy reading Catholic mom blogs. In fact that’s the biggest reason I log into Facebook – to see what posts people have shared because if it resonated with them maybe it will resonate with me too. Some of my favorites are interiorhouselife and Barren to Beautiful.
Another recent change that has helped me to keep my “eyes on the prize” of living my life for Jesus and seeking Him in my daily life and turning to Him in my circumstances has been to listen to Christian music in the car on my commute instead of NPR or country music. I’ve been listening to positive, encouraging KLOVE radio. It’s 106.9 on my local dial but it’s almost nationwide so you can search for what its frequency is near you. If you can’t find it broadcast near you then you can listen online too at the link above or find some other source of Christian music.
I’ve noticed in the past few months that these changes to what I’m putting in my heart and mind through what I read and listen to are changing what’s in my heart and thoughts for the better. Hopefully soon those around me will be able to notice that it’s changing what’s coming out of me too.
Where have you continued your education in matters of the faith? How have you kept learning about Jesus even after your confirmation? What do you do to let the Holy Spirit teach you?
9 How can young people keep their way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
do not let me stray from your commandments.
11 I treasure your word in my heart,
so that I may not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes.