Called to Live Right Now

So, after a summer living with nuns I’m no closer to knowing my vocation. I really wanted to know by now. I’m halfway through college. I’m sure plenty of girls before me knew by now and either dropped out to join a convent or were dating the man who would become their husband. And here I am…lost.

Only, I’m not. As my perfect dream of knowing my vocation started to tumble around my ears I realized that I know my vocation–at least, I know my vocation for right now. Today, right now, I am called to be a friend, sister, daughter, and student. I’m called to be a Catholic, a child of God, and I’m called to work on that relationship day after day. Yeah, I don’t know what I’ll be doing 5 years from now. But that’s ok. (And no, that’s not easy to accept.) God knows what I’ll be doing in 5 years. So, that means I have no reason to fear, really, as long as I’m following Him.

That following is a huge part of what I need to work on right now. We can always be doing better. And no matter where I am called greater virtue and a better prayer life can only help. I don’t want to waste these single years. These years will form the person I will be when I do meet my future husband or join that convent. And I want to be prepared.

More than preparing me these years give me opportunity. At no other point in life will I have so much time on my hands. Yeah, I work, I’m a full time student, and have a social life. But really, when I’m a teacher, a mom, or a sister, I’m going to have less free time. Right now, I can get involved in clubs, do service projects, spend lots of time in prayer, and work on being a better person. I can do things that I won’t have as much time for later. I can also help others and evangelize my peers who may be searching or uncertain.

The point is I’ll never get years like these again. And I should use them for all their worth. To become a better person, to help others, and to do the things I won’t be able to do as easily later on. For example, once I’m married or have a job or enter a convent I won’t be able to spend my summer out of state working on an hourly wage at a nursing home (at least not as easily). I won’t be spending so much time at my parents’ house with my siblings. I may not even live in the same state as them. I need to savor this time.

God’s been teaching me about trust these last few months. And for me, there’s few things that rank higher on the trusting scale than trusting that He’s got a plan when I don’t know what that plan is. I want to know! Although, yeah, I’m definitely scared of what He might ask. Right now, it’s like there’s a fog in front of me that tries to trick me. Am I supposed to go this way or that way? But, in reality, that fork in the road is years away. And while maybe I want to know which path I should take I don’t need to know.

So, I guess, I’m left trusting Him. He’s come through before. I’m the one who needs to work on following when I don’t know where I’m being led. I need to focus on where I am and what I’m called to be right now. I need to see the little choices in front of me. Those matter too. There’s a saying: “whatever you are, be a good one”. Right now, I’m a daughter, sister, friend, student, and Catholic. So I should be a great daughter, a loving sister, a loyal friend, a hard-working student, and a devout Catholic.

This summer I heard a homily on how the law of God is not meant to be constraining, it’s freeing. So if I’m freaking out over my vocation, I’m probably doing something wrong. Maybe it’s just not time for me to know yet. In the end, I just need to trust that by following God, I will be led to the right path.

JOY

At the beginning of the year I chose a word: joy. But I never got around to writing a post explaining what this meant to me. That however, turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Because my understanding of joy has grown and expanded and I can now write a better post than I would have been able to 6 weeks ago.

At new year’s (which was so long ago now) I was introduced to the concept of a word for the year. It was a neat idea, but that’s all it was. I didn’t have a word. Several days later I started thinking about how I always ask God to grant me peace. Last semester it was my constant prayer. Here’s the thing: when I prayed for peace what I meant was a lack of stress and worries. In other words: God, please solve all my problems.

The things is problems aren’t meant simply for stressing me out. Difficult situations challenge us and form us into the people we will become. Last week I heard a great homily at daily Mass about how we should praise God more and yes, even praise Him for our struggles. Because struggles help us grow. They make us better.

The peace I was praying for was freedom from worries and stress. I realized, however, that even Jesus had stuff to deal with (yeah, people kind of wanted to kill Him). Thoughts about praying for peace and the reality that the prayers I was making for peace (as I understood it) were selfish and foolish, were bumping around in my mind. Then the word joy came to mind.

JOY–this has become my motto for the year. My word. My guide.

Jesus is my joy. I don’t need a stress-free life to be happy. I just need to rest in Him–actually rest.

With joy, I’ve started caring less about little things. I’m still partly melancholic. Perfectionism is in my nature. But I’m trying to be optimistic and not be bogged down by negativity or little things. It’s a work in progress.

This word has also propelled me to greater trust in God. In Him I find my joy. By trusting in His plan, I have no cause for worry. He will guide me. He will be there. With Him, trivial things don’t matter. There is no need to be perfect, only to try. And that is freeing. And being free is joyful.

In the end, that’s what I’ve come to realize joy is for me: trusting in God. And if I trust in Him my life and my attitude are just so much better. I feel joy. I live joy.

the wall art sign I made--perfectly imperfect
the wall art sign I made–perfectly imperfect

This is the first post in the 7 posts in 7 days challenge I’m doing hosted by Jen at Conversion Diary.

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 36) on Being Crazy and Trusting God

Linking up with Jen at Conversion Diary!

— 1 —

Another busy week! I had four tests this week. I’d say I’m not sure how I made it through, but I do. Only by God’s grace. I was terrible over the weekend and got very little homework done until Sunday when I crammed for 8am history test the next day. It went well actually. Then I had a philosophy test and a test in my PE methods class on Wednesday. Tuesdays are bulletin days followed by my night class. I had planned to get up early and go to morning prayer with my dorm at 7:20. But I slept in and got up at 8. I then went to do the bulletin. I also had my night class. So, I didn’t get to studying until after 8:30pm. Somehow though, both tests the next day went fairly well. The rest of Wednesday was a little crazy. I had adoration at 5:30, after which I was going to sit in on a lector and usher training at 6:50. I also had a ministry meeting at 9pm. Well, I wound up being in adoration for an hour rather than half an hour (the next person forgot to come to their slot) but, as it happened, I really needed that extra time with Jesus. So I did some math homework Wednesday night (it was due before my test Thursday) but not all of it. I didn’t have class until 10:50 on Thursday so I decided to get up early and do it before class. Well, something was screwy with my alarms and I wound up getting up at 10am. Somehow though, I got the homework done between the time before class and my lunch break.

— 2 — 

This is all to say: God is good. That’s how I got through it all. It certainly wasn’t me. It was Him. God has been leading and encouraging me to trust Him more lately. One of the ways he’s done this is by showing that yeah, He’s got this. This again, relates back to my theme for the year of JOY. (Which I still haven’t written my post about!)

— 3 —

Oh, why not! Let’s do it! So, yeah, In addition to writing about JOY I haven’t written about a lot of things as I talked about in last week’s quick takes. I had hoped to write some posts before now. But at that point I hadn’t looked at my planner.

Well, this week is going to be different! Jen at Conversion Diary is hosting a 7 posts in 7 days challenge/link-up. When I heard about the link-up my initial reaction was : I should do this! It will get me to blog more. But before I committed to anything I checked my planner (although I should probably have just trusted God on this one). Looks like everything will work out fine (I hope!). So yeah, challenge accepted. I have a philosophy paper to write and another test to take but…JOY and trusting God and all that. Let’s be crazy and give it a go!

— 4 —

Speaking of being crazy I re-applied to Ministry today! Ok, I don’t really think it was a crazy idea. I think it was a great decision. I love being a part of campus ministry. I mean, yes, I doubted at the beginning of the semester if I was supposed to. But I can’t see myself not doing ministry. Is it a lot of work? yes. Is it at times stressful? Yep. But it’s God’ work and I trust that He will provide. I also left my application open to whatever job they think would be best for me. The bulletin might be becoming a practicum in the Mass Com department (which would be great, don’t get me wrong). It would just mean that I would have to take on a different role if I’m invited back to ministry next year.

— 5 —

This week I did find some time for fun! Friday night I went to a ladies night put on in my dorm and got my nails done by a girl in my dorm. The pattern isn’t exactly what I had asked for but I was just in awe of her patience and loved being pretty-fied (there’s really no otehr way to descibe the emusement a girl gets from doing silly thing like paintign her nails). Also, on Saturday, I kind of impulsively decided to highlight my hair. My roommate did it for me and while you can’t really tell unless you know that I highlighted it (the color is similar to my natural hair color), I like it. It’s teh first time I’ve ever died my hair. As I side not I also haven’t skyped my mom since then…
On Saturday (when I probably should have been doing homework) I also made JOY wall art. It was just paper cut outs of teh letters, colord with markers and put up on the wall to remind me. Last night I decorated more. I had  a few minutes and decided to hang my picture of Mary and Jesus and my cross above the head of my bed. These are things I’ve been meaning to do all semester, so It felt good to get them done. Especially since the semester is almost half over. (2 weeks until Spring Break!)

— 6 —

I’m especially excited to go home for Spring Break because I might not go home this summer. Nothing’s been established yet but I’m probably going to apply to a live-in service program with the Little Sisters of the Poor. However, the home closest to my parents’ house isn’t participating in the program. So if I do the program I’ll be at least 4 hours from home. I may even be 18 hours away. The idea of spending all summer away from my family and the hometown I know so well, is a little…daunting. And it’s the main reason I hesitate to apply.

— 7 —

Well, that was a lot of text…so how about I just wish you a good week and tell you to check back in on Monday for the first installment of my 7 posts in 7 days. It will help me achieve one of my February goals and my Year of Blogging Well challenge.

As always, I’ll be back next friday with more quick takes!

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen at Conversion Diary and check out the link-up!

I Live in Advent

I have come to the realization that my life right now is like Advent. Just like this season of the liturgical year this season in my life is a time of waiting and preparation. Advent prepares us for Jesus’ birth and my life right now is preparing me for my vocation. As the world waited for Christmas, I wait for the day when I will know God’s will for my life.

Advent WreathBut I’m not there yet. Just as we still have a few more days to go before Christmas, I have time to go before I discern what God has planned for my life (unless he decides to conk me over the head tomorrow and tell me what I’m supposed to do). And so I wait. However, Advent isn’t just about waiting; it’s also about preparing. In the same way that Advent prepares us to celebrate Christmas, so I should let this season of my life prepare me for my vocation.

The first and foremost way to do this, is through strengthening my relationship with God. Prayer plays a key role in this as do the sacraments, specifically Mass and Confession.  Sound familiar? In Advent aren’t we supposed to  “Prepare the Way”? So shouldn’t I also prepare the way for my vocation? Shouldn’t I be preparing myself as a Christian for whatever God asks of me? No matter where I’m called, a strong prayer life is essential and will help me discern.

While we return deeper to God, prepare our hearts, and wait with longing for the joy we want to experience, we must also acknowledge that God is with us, always. He never leaves. He knows what He’s doing. He knew exactly when and where He would come into the world. And He knows exactly when and where He will reveal our vocations to us.

In the mean time, we wait and we prepare and we contemplate. The Bible tells us how Mary contemplated what she experienced. We are told that when the angel Gabriel greeted her she “pondered” (Lk 1:29) what it could mean. After the shepherds visited “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart” (Lk 2:19). In my experience, discernment requires contemplation. We ask ourselves “what does God want me to do?” “what are my strengths?” “how can I best serve?” Mary also teaches us that discernment doesn’t end simply because we discover our Vocation in life. After all, seeking His will in every moment is sanctity.We will always be learning more and more what is the will of God.

For many of us though, the big question right now is whether we are called to marriage, single life, or religious life.  Perhaps, like me, your Advent isn’t over yet. The liturgical season may be drawing to a close but this season of our lives may have some time left yet. That may sound frightening, but all it means is that we have more time to prepare for the great journey ahead. Christmas is the goal and celebration for Advent. Our vocation is a goal of our discernment but it’s our eventual goal of Heaven that is the most important. In that way, our whole lives are an Advent preparing us for the joy of Heaven.

Discernment: Just Trust!

A few weeks ago, Sr. Joseph Andrew with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist came for a visit to campus. She and I had a great conversation about my discernment story. She also shared her perspective on discernment and vocations during a women’s social night. Then, later that week, I had a great time in adoration where my lectio divina led me back to this same topic of trusting God when it comes to discernment.

We tend to think, myself included, that our vocation is a puzzle we must solve or a mystery to unravel. God is leaving us clues and if we’re not very, very careful we’ll miss one and thereby miss our vocation. But when you step back for a second, Sister’s perspective makes a lot more sense than this notion of discernment as a scavenger hunt.

She emphasized the importance of trusting God. This makes sense to me, because after all, He’s not trying to trick us. God doesn’t sit up in Heaven and think up elaborate wild goose chases for discerning individuals (at least I don’t think He does).

God loves us. He wants us to get to Heaven. Isn’t that why He designed our vocations in the first place? They are meant to glorify Him and help us on the path to holiness. We just need to trust that if we are following Him and seeking His will, He will show us where we are meant to be. In His time, and in His way. God wouldn’t hide your vocation from you. 

Now, of course, discernment is important. We have to put in some work. But if we’re constantly wondering if this or that was a sign or we’re stressing about what exactly our vocation is all the time…then I would think that that is not from God. Isn’t peace one of the fruits of the spirit? (Galatians 5:22).

So the long and short of it is: don’t freak out about discernment. Trust God.

In Defense of My Big Family

The 4th of July fireworks are always a big deal in my town. It gets kind of crazy downtown. Some parking lots fill up beyond capacity with people parking, for example, in a bank’s drive-thru lane. People crowd in on the small strip of grass next to the pier to stare out at the gray sky above Lake Michigan. Then the show starts and people “ooh”, “ahh”, and clap. There’s plenty of kids around. Some are little ones with their parents or grandparents others are junior high girls who buy silly light-up toys while they  walk around in short-shorts with their boyfriend.

You would think, as a whole, this would be a family-friendly event. And, as a whole, it was fine. But….

As my family (and in fact not even my whole family) walked back to our 15 passenger van across a vacant lot I heard someone say something. At least I think I did. I nearly bumped into these two men. So I stopped and let them pass by (apparently they don’t believe in chivalry or common courtesy). One of the men, an older guy middle-aged or beyond said something to his buddy. It took me a moment but I deciphered it.

On the fourth of July he’d looked at my family with our kids and muttered “They should be on leashes”.

I walked on, stunned and offended. A moment later I turned around to see if there were any dogs around. He couldn’t have been talking about the kids. But I didn’t see any dogs.

I wanted to punch him.

We didn’t even have all of the kids with us. There was me, my eldest brother who’s in his mid-twenties. My 2 sisters who are 12 and 15. My 10 year old brother. And my baby 6 year old sister. So technically, there were 4 minors in the group. (Although of course, I look younger than I am and may have been mistaken for a high schooler.) So 4 or 5 kids. And a comment on leashes was warranted? Really??

I’ve gotten a lot of slack about having a big family in my life. Just the other day I was talking to a woman about my family and she asked if we were all natural births. When I said yes she said “well, seems like there should be an adoption in there somewhere”. Honestly, I love adoption. It’s beautiful. If I ever get married maybe my husband and I will consider adoption. But that woman, frankly, had no right to judge whether I should have had an adopted sibling or not. Just as this man had even less right to say my 6 year old sister should be on a leash.

Who even says something about leashes like that? It’s just cold-hearted. Children are a blessing (natural or adopted for that matter). But you don’t know a family’s story. You don’t know why they have 6 kids or 10 or 2. You don’t know if adoption was feasible on their budget. You don’t know what God had planned for them.

I think that’s what it boils down to. God has a plan. For my family His plan was that my mother would carry 8 kids to term, after having told herself as a teenager that she was never going to get married. My mom also had 4 miscarriages. I know that that was somehow part of God’s plan but if I could make a wish and have them here I would. Yeah, that would mean we would have 12 kids and an even tighter-packed house and probably get even more comments on our HUGE family. But I don’t care.

I love my family, and I love that it’s big. Go ahead and share your opinions. They’ll only ever be sticks and stones. And they might even remind me of my 4 siblings I’ve never met and make me wish that they were here just to show you all. Big families have more fun and more love. If you can’t see that it’s your loss.

Review of “How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul”

This is the first review in my Summer Reading 2013 series. It’s a review/reflection on “How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul” by Jason and Crystalina Evert.

Summer Reading How To Find Your Soulmate

If you’re a Catholic girl or young woman you’ve probably sat through at least one awkward chastity talk. It might have been in CCD class, at youth group, in your catholic high school, or with your mom. At the very least you’re most likely familiar with the rigid idea of abstinence. You’ve heard it before: you shouldn’t do that before marriage, you have to be pure, you can’t do that, you have to do this.

But why? Why is chastity so darn important?

One word: love.

This is the main question Jason and Crystalina Evert deal with in their book How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul. This husband and wife team make a lot of good points about waiting for marriage, treating yourself right and being the woman God wants you to be. This book can be powerful if you let it.

Love is something we often don’t truly understand. But it’s a choice, something we decide to do. Every day we make choices: some are loving and some aren’t. Some show a love of ourselves but a contempt for others. Some show love for others but a contempt for ourselves. True chastity is a way of loving others and loving ourselves.

So, who does chastity love?

1) Ourselves. The truth is that hooking up, shacking up, or simply being nothing but physical are not good for us. As women we want to be shown love. I know this is true of myself beyond a doubt. But we often look for it in the wrong places or are willing to sacrifice anything for it. So, we give men what they want in the hopes they will give us what we want. The truth is though, that many men who get what they want don’t see the reason to give the woman what she wants. After all, if he’s getting “the one thing on his mind” why would he bother caring what we want? Why would he consider marrying us if he’s already getting his physical “needs” met without a commitment? We’re just a tool. And as soon as something better comes along he’ll have no issues with dumping you like a hot potato.

2) Your boyfriend. Yes, not giving somebody everything they may want can actually be very good for them. We need to teach men that they can’t expect to get everything they want. The lesson starts when we say “no”. This not only shows that we respect ourselves and our body but that we respect him. You can protect him from himself by refusing to go there. Don’t tempt him, but rather make him a better person. (By the way, if he refuses to live according to your standards you need to dump him like a hot potato.)

3) Your future husband. Someday, you might very well get married. If you’re actively dating, odds are marriage is something you want. When you find that perfect guy do you want to have to admit to him the mistakes you’ve made? Do you want to be comparing him to your former loves? Save something special for that special someone. Even if you’ve made mistakes in the past you can start over today and give your future husband every day between now and your wedding day.

Being chaste means that you have higher standards, that you respect your worth, that you recognize that your body is not meant for any guy to have and hold but that it and you are meant to give yourself only to the man you marry.

Soulmate is about a lot more than just chastity, however. It’s about respecting yourself as a woman and recognizing your dignity and beauty. It’s about being strong, having high standards, and trusting that God has someone very special in store for you.

One way to live these things out is to set guidelines. Make it clear to you and your boyfriend that there are certain things you just won’t do. Respect him too, and don’t force him to do anything he’s uncomfortable with. Another way you can set guidelines is discussed in the book. Crystalina recommends praying for your future husband, even though you may not have met him yet. She also talks about how she made a list of attributes she wanted her husband to have. A short while later she met Jason who embodied so many of her hopes and dreams for her perfect man.

As soon as I came to that part in the book, I took out a notebook and started to make my own list. For each woman, this list will be slightly different. We are all different and we work and get along well with different kinds of people. Here are just a few things from my list to get you thinking:

6) is a leader
16) he loves kids
29) is stereotypical chivalrous: opens doors etc.

I challenge you to make your own list. Trust that God will lead you to the life you’re meant to have. Trust that you don’t need to give yourself away or degrade your worth to receive love. Trust that chastity is love and that any man who doesn’t recognize that is not worth your love or your time. One chapter of Soulmate is called “Break Up, Even if He Smells Good” let me just echo the advice: if he doesn’t respect you, if he refuses to accept your “no”, if he doesn’t meet up to your standards of what a good husband should be then break up. Now.

It took me longer than I would have like to finish How to Find Your Soulmate but as I turned the last page I wanted more. For me, this was a very personal book. And I know it’s a book I haven’t fully absorbed. I borrowed this book from my friend Laura (she blogs over at My Drop in The Ocean) so I might just have to get my own copy to go through, highlight, and open up whenever I need a dose of encouragement.

Any young woman out there: get this book. I don’t care if you live a chaste life and don’t feel any of this applies to you. This book will remind you why you should be chaste and hopefully renew you for what’s ahead.

If you’d like to get your own copy, and I encourage any young woman out there to do so, you can find it here on Amazon or get it through their website. If you order through the last link you can the book for as low as $2 when you buy in bulk!

Remember, you are worth more. Act like it.
Keep your head high and your standards higher.

7 Quick Takes (Vol. 10)

7quicktakes1

— 1 —

It’s my 10th quick takes post! This would be a lot more exciting if I hadn’t taken those several weeks off…. Ok, over that.

— 2 —

Last week I mentioned I was going to be in a choir, for my friend’s high school graduation Mass. We had the Mass on Wednesday night and I think it went fairly well. It’s been a year since my own graduation Mass. A whole year. And overall, I’ve loved this year.

— 3 —

This week begins my family’s big re-roofing project…it’s going to be quite a project. I most likely won’t go up on the roof (and that’s fine with me), my dad and brothers will be doing most of the hard work.

— 4 —

A couple days ago I got to babysit. It was great to watch those little ones, play with them–and get paid for it! I would love for that to be my work for the summer, but we’ll see what God has in store…

— 5 —

I’ve also been making bread–yum! Homemade bread is yummy but it’s torturous smelling it while it cooks! We use a bread machine which takes almost all the work out of it. And all that goes into it is what we put in, there’s no need to add preservatives or artificial anything. My mom says it’s cheaper too. I don’t know about that, but I love eating it.

— 6 —

It’s been over 3 weeks since I got home…my summer is almost a quarter gone. It went by fast and I don’t think I’ve done much. It’s time I set myself to it and really got done those things I planned to do while I’m on break.

— 7 —

I miss college, I admit it. The schedule, not sharing my room with three people, being able to make decisions (even little ones) for myself, having stuff to do, having my friends around, being in such a downright Catholic place–it’s great! But I should be thankful that I’m home and with my family and look for the upsides in that. Still, I’ll be glad to get back.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

A Little Bit of Perspective…

So, I’ve been thinking about studying abroad a lot lately. The financial details are enough to make a person lose all hope. Especially, since I know I need that money for other things.

Then today I came across this on Facebook: Image

(In case you don’t know Britt Nicole is a Christian recording wrist. But that’s not important right now.)

When I see this, what do you think comes to mind? My dream of going to Europe!

Then I read some of the comments and what other people said was their biggest dream…

Image

Image
Image

Okay that last one’s just not fair…it’s too beautiful. (And FYI this was a guy talking.) These people all have beautiful dreams, many of them selfless in some way. They want to help others, they want to do God’s will…and me? I want to go to Ireland…because…I want to? I mean I think I could grow as a person and everything, but my dream is nothing like these people’s.

Then there’s this comment:

Image

Shouldn’t that be my dream too? To be a teacher and help kids? That’s why I’m in college right? Well, at least that’s what I’m studying.

Maybe it’s fine for me to dream of Ireland and hope it works. But I also need to be practical. And, really, an European adventure shouldn’t be the biggest goal of my life. God, family, service to others, love–these things are more important. And God of course needs to be #1. In my quest for a memorable and life-changing trip I must not lose sight of what matters most.

Habemus Papam!! We Have a Pope!! And his name is Francis…

Today at just past one in the afternoon when the bells of the abbey on campus tolled, cell phones buzzed and someone shouted “white smoke!” it was a sure sign…the conclave of cardinals had done its job. We had a new pope! The frenzy on campus was thrilling. People gathered around every available TV to watch EWTN and see live coverage from the Vatican. My college projected the coverage in our auditorium where people talked and cheered and clapped. I skipped my two o’clock class to see it; it’s a big deal after all. We were lucky to have one of our Spanish professors in the room to translate when the pope gave his speech. Some time during all the craziness of that hour and half someone shouted “it’s a good day to be a Catholic!” and was met by raucous applause. I might add, especially a Catholic at a college like Benedictine.

Our new Pope is incredible. Of course, how could one not say that? But the stories I’ve heard over the last few hours are about a man of austere humility. A cardinal who took the bus to his office. A man who washed the feet of AIDS patients. He is reported to be a doctrinally conservative person and strong on family issues. Authentic Catholics know these things to be important.

Moreover are new pope is the first in more ways then one. First, he is the first pope to take the name Francis. Pope Francis. I’ll have to get used to that. It’s all still so surreal. We have a pope!!! There’s been speculation all day about whether Cardinal Bergoglio chose Francis after St. Francis of Assisi or St. Francis Xavier (they all seem to have forgotten St. Francis De Sales). But according to this article from the Augustine Institute he chose his name as a reference to St. Francis of Assisi who was instructed by God to rebuild the church through personal holiness.

Secondly, Pope Francis is our first pope born in the Western hemisphere! Not quite American. But from the Americas nonetheless. He’s Argentinian and has served for the last several years as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Thirdly, Pope Francis is our first Jesuit pope. That is, no member of the order of Jesuits has ever been pope before. When I heard though, something inside of me was concerned. A Jesuit? Most Catholics will tell you Jesuits have a reputation for being, shall we say loose or gray about certain matters of the faith? However, Pope Francis’ record as a pro-life, pro-true marriage cardinal speaks well for him. And as he was chosen by the Holy Spirit, I am confident Pope Francis will do a fine job.

Pope Francis gave an amazing speech on the balcony after he was elected. The first thing he said to the people in St. Peter’s Square, Catholics around the world, and the world in general as pope? Buenos aires. Good Evening.  More over he lead us in prayer for Pope Emeritus Benedict and asked for blessing from the people before giving his blessing to all of us.

You can also check out this article from one of our professors here at Benedictine.

Habemus Papam!!