Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stages of Change

The other night during Adoration I was thinking about how we, as humans, go through phases and change throughout our lives. But as I continued to reflect further, I wondered if we really change or do we simply continue to grow into the person God created us to be. But growing could be change... as we physically grow older, our bodies change, but is that the change that happens in our minds and hearts? I'm only 25, so I've experienced some "change" and growth, but not as much as a person who is, say, 50, or even 70 years old. The following are what I would say are key moments in formative change in one's life:

  • Starting high school and then Junior year (when one begins to seriously consider college and look to the future).
  • College - Freshman year and Senior year
  • 6 months out of college (either that's after a bachelor degree or master's degree) and learning how to be an adult (and paying student loans...)
  • Engagement and Marriage - making that leap into a commitment you'll have for the rest of your life
  • Children

I know there can be a lot more and it depends on how people approach life and the events they go through, but those are my top 5. I've only gone through the first three and I know there was a lot of growth and development of my personhood in those years. I also believe that the most difficult transition comes from school (college) to adulthood. Sometimes I think back on my college experience and remember how great my prayer life was and I wish it could be like that now, but I also have to remember that I'm at a different place in my life and it can't be the same! So now I have to figure all that out and what does work best for me?

Ok, ramble time is up... back to work! Hopefully the mice won't come out to play until after I'm gone...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Today is a pretty cool day...1/11/11. So many ones! The day started with 8th grade bible study where we finished watching the movie "The Star of Bethlehem." It's pretty cool how an ordinary guy took it upon himself to investigate the star present at the birth of Jesus, but I don't think all his theology is correct. If his findings were 100% correct, why hasn't any church come out and supported him and his research? One thing that stuck out to me was that he said the wise men were probably Jewish, since they had knowledge of Scripture. In my Ignatius Study Bible it said the Magi were Gentiles, which makes sense, since they were from Persia. He also calculated everything and shows that the Magi would have appeared on December 25th, bringing their gifts. Is that what really went down? I'm just a little skeptical, but hello American culture! I think the website is bethlehemstar.net

So then I went to the diocesan youth ministry network; youth minsters from the diocese gather once a month or lunch and are then told about events going on and the like. It's a lot better after attending NCCYM in New Orleans; before I went to the conference and got to hang out more with the yms of the diocese, going to the lunch networks were actually pretty awkward. I was the new person and didn't quite know what to do! But now I feel better about seeing everyone. I'm super excited for NCYC taking place this coming November. It seems like that is right around the corner! But first things first: summer. I'll be taking a group to Steubenville South, which I'm also pumped for and I'm hoping to take a minimum of five teens. We shall see!

Enough with the random post... adios for now!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Ultimate Couple

At Mass this past Sunday I started to think about my grandparents and miss them. It seemed sort of random, I'm not sure what brought it on, but probably the holiday season. My grandpa passed away in February 2009 and my grandma passed away six months later in August 2009. Later that day I wrote a little something about them, thinking about the stories my dad shared with me. It's not perfect, but here it is:

The Ultimate Couple

I didn't even know them that well, but I now know that they were the ultimate couple. Every year brings new stories about my grandparents, especially after their deaths. Some are sad and others are joyful. I know their love ran deep for their grandchildren, but they didn't often express it. My brother and I were their "candy testers," a job we certainly enjoyed (and which probably later led to my brother not liking sweets). We probably spent the night a few times, but only one time do I have memories from; we watched a show on miracles, especially those dealing with Mary. The TV was often on some show or another. My family stopped by after church on Sundays, but when my parents got divorced, my trips were less frequent. My more vivid memories are when they were both ill, especially my grandpa. Every time I saw him he would say that might be the last time. The Christmas before he died was probably the hardest. We all knew he wouldn't be around for very long but put on smiles nonetheless. When I got in my dad's car that night I cried. Saying goodbye is hard, especially when you don't know when you'll say goodbye for the final time.

Till the end, until my grandma's death six months after my grandpa's, their love for each other and their bonds remained strong. They took care of each other, even if it meant only offering a friendly conversation or a loving glance. They were each other's lives, which explains the short period of time between the deaths; my grandma just couldn't live without the love of her life. My dad tells stories about how they'd fight and argue and he was always afraid they would get a divorce, but later on they always made up and went about life as usual. They also talked every morning; my dad says that was one of his favorite things about them. Before they got up for the day they talked. Even into their old ages they always had things to talk about. I wish I had known them better, that we would have had a better relationship. I wrote them cards, but never called. I was scared for some reason. Maybe it was my way of protecting my heart from pain after death, but somehow I think it might be worse.