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Friday, April 25, 2014

Attempting To Face Reality

Recently at the SSPP youth group, we got into a long discussion about how humans often use pleasure to escape from troubling realities. It hit me harder than I was expecting since admittedly, even I fall into that trap. I loathe to admit it, but I suck at dealing with reality; I’ve dug a hole so deep through running out of money and as horrible as it sounds, I don’t know how to live without having money. After I graduated last May, my parents gave me a generous amount of money, which is what I’ve been living off of for the past 11 months. I almost made it last an entire year, but because I lack self control, it’s mostly run out and the job thing isn’t quite working out for me. 

After going on several job interviews now, I’ve become somewhat cynical about the interview process and realize that unfortunately, I don’t have any natural talent for being interviewed. I’ve interviewed for a few restaurants and retail stores and wow! The interviews are MUCH tougher than the actual positions, plus I feel like they don’t really give me a chance to prove my competency. I’m still praying for some employer to give me a chance, yet I realize it’s not about that. I need to hammer down some legit answers to those pesky questions “Why do you want to work at ___________?” “Tell me about a time when ____________” Although to be completely honest, I just need a source of income at this point. It would be nice if I could actually make use of the gifts God gave me, like with typing, proofreading, organizing, filing, using Microsoft Word...

In other news, I went on a discernment retreat over Holy Week at the Daughters of St. Paul motherhouse in Boston. It’s taken me awhile to actually get to blogging about it because I did not receive the clarity which I so desperately sought. I did get a glimpse of what living in a religious community is like and am pretty sure that it’s not right for me (or I’m not right for it?). I still cannot figure out what the heck God wants for me though. There’s still something blocking me from being able to hear Him. Even on the silent retreat day, I failed to get much from Him. Maybe I’m just too caught up in my usual devotions/prayer routines. I think I’m called to marriage? I’m terrified of choosing the wrong vocation; why does my heart always feel pulled in multiple directions??? 

Interiorly, I’m a mess of emotions and frustrations. I am absolutely disgusted with myself, how even after the retreat, I still fall into the same sins/vices. I’m still barely able to be much of a friend to anyone since I can’t snap out of my anxiety and get myself to truly focus on others. There’s a huge pain of regret that I feel about losing track of my Newman friends/not being able to visit Peoria at all. My parents came up with the rule that I’m not allowed to drive myself to Peoria until I have a job. I do miss Newman, yet I know I needed to move on anyways. I am fortunate to have such a wonderful parish, in which I’ve gradually gotten more involved. 

One insight that God has given me lately is how superficial I can be. I find myself questioning why I’m even Catholic in the first place. I have a solid, intellectual understanding of the faith and teachings, but I can’t seem to truly put them into practice. Do I truly love Christ? Or do I just enjoy my prayer routines and liturgy? 

What’s it going to take for me to find peace with Christ? How can I get myself to quit resisting the changes I know I need to make? I do desire holiness, at least I think I do. I just feel so trapped sometimes. Is there any hope for me? It's finally Easter - the season for which I've been longing all through Lent, and yet I'm still not completely joyful. 

Maybe I’ll do more of a day-by-day write up of the retreat later. I just wanted to share my thoughts and where I’m at interiorly for anyone wondering.


  1. Hi Margo,

    All the things you've described are - believe it or not - absolutely normal phenomena of life. We're ALL far from perfect, not doing the things we want to do, while doing the very things we don't want to do!

    When I went for my own discernment retreat (for the priesthood) some years ago now, a question that came up was how could any of us be holy men of God when we were all such sinners? The two bishops who conducted the retreat framed just about all their talks on the weaknesses - yes, to our great surprise, the weaknesses! - of St Peter and St Paul. How they each had their own idiosyncrasies and didn't get on with each other, etc... and yet how they both ended up serving God, each in his own mighty way. The penny dropped for me when one of the bishops said, "If we waited for the perfectly holy man to come along to be a priest, guess what? We'd have no priests!" That was the first time in my life I actually understood that we're all called to serve God even in our imperfections - that the only truly sinless ones are God and His Blessed Mother! This realization suddenly gave me the confidence to do lots of things for the Kingdom of God, and I hope it'll restore your confidence as well. "Be not afraid!"

    Whenever push comes to shove, do a Little Flower if you like - St Therese's little ways of loving God were perfectly acceptable, and turned her into one of our most popular saints for precisely that reason! Indeed, she used to slyly say (words to the effect) that while others were trying to reach God in mighty ways, she liked to make herself so small, like a little flower on the floor of the forest (among all the "tall trees" around her :)) that God was forced to stoop down and scoop her up into His arms! Right where you are today, even with all your frustrations and mixed emotions, you can ask Jesus to lift you up into His Sacred Heart!

    Speaking of which, there's a novena to the Sacred Heart which has never failed to produce results whenever I've prayed it for anyone. I'll pray it for you, starting on (Divine Mercy) Sunday. I don't know what the intention will be - I usually get the correct intention by the power of the Spirit only when I begin to pray! Sometimes I even start out with a specific intention but find that being changed on me even as I start to mention it! :) Maybe you'd like to pray the Novena too - and let the Holy Spirit form the intention for you. After all He knows what you need far better than you do! Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LML_Rlb3E4w God bless!

  2. Hi Margo

    I just looked at your blog for the first time and was interested in your entry "Clarifying My Purpose" about wanting to draw non-Catholics into discussion. This is your blog and you should do whatever you want. But if you truly want to draw in non-Catholics you would need to actually be interested in what they have to say.

    With respect, IMHO, the comments your make on the Bubble (I haven't read much of your blog, but I assume it's much the same), well-intentioned as they are, are likely to cause non-Catholics (particularly non-Christians) running in the opposite direction. Because they invite no discussion. You state emphatically that Catholicism is THE TRUTH so often and so strongly that there is no point for someone who thinks otherwise to engage with you.

    You are clearly a kind person, and I don't mean to offend you, but you asked for the feedback and that's my honest response.