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How Two Questions Can Change Your View on Lent…Even If You’re a Skeptic Like Me

Happy Easter! I’m a few weeks late, you say? Actually in Catholicism, the season of Easter is still going strong. Instead of a single day, Easter lasts the fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. (Which explains why the day after Easter Sunday I spent my lunch break stuffing 200 Easter eggs for a church hunt the following weekend.)

As Catholics, before we can celebrate Easter with egg hunts, ham, and of course Mass, we must first prepare ourselves…which brings us to the liturgical season preceding Easter, more commonly known as Lent.

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God Must Know I’m a Perfectionist

When you have a chronic disease, you spend a lot of time wondering why. In the months immediately after I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, all I could wonder was “Why me?.” I spent more time than I’d like to admit thinking of other girls who “deserved” to suffer more than I did.

Maybe they weren’t as nice, maybe they didn’t work as hard, or maybe they just needed a little hardship in their perfect lives. (By the way, I’m fully aware that many girls are nicer than I, work harder than I, and think my own life is perfect, but, please, cut twenty-three year old, newly diagnosed me some slack.)

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Who Am I to Judge?

When I think of Pope Francis, I immediately think of his famous line, “Who am I to judge?.” Back in the summer of 2013, when he first uttered those five everlasting words, I was just beginning to toy with the possibility of converting to Catholicism. Thus, I was looking for problems with the religion, and, boy, had I thought I’d found one. I did not care for his response at all.

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So a Baptist Went to Confession…

Well, technically I haven’t been a Baptist since April, but twenty-six years of Baptist thinking is a tough habit to break. With all of that Baptist thinking, one of the hardest concepts for me to grasp about Catholicism was confession.

After all, I don’t need a middleman to talk to God. Growing up, I was so adamant about not needing a middleman that for a while there I wasn’t even too keen about Jesus. (Don’t worry, I got that particular blasphemy cleared up before middle school.)

So, with a background like that, how on earth did I ever end up kneeling in a confessional booth? (more…)