Advent Reflection Notes (Week Two)

I’ve already watched the videos for week two, and I didn’t find them that insightful, except for one done by a priest named Father Nathan Cromly. These are a few points that were in his video that I’ll expand with my own thoughts a bit.

1: God prepares us by making us wait, and making us thirst for him.
-I think this touches on one of the points that stuck with me from last week. It reminds me of the quote from Saint Padre Pio: “I’ve been praying for something for twenty years, so I’m beginning to have hope.” Father Cromly says that it can be very tempting to despair and give up on faith in our current culture, especially if we don’t know many or any others who practice our faith. It’s easy to look at the problems in the world and wonder where God is or what he’s doing, but God wants us to dare to hope.

2: God isn’t afraid to disturb our sense of peace.
-In a recent post, I talked about how I really don’t know exactly how one would prepare for the coming of a king, let alone the King of the Universe. This point is definitely true for me because I’ve grown a lot spiritually in the past few years, and as I grow, I feel a desire to be holy very strongly, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to put the things I like into terms that make sense, or even to know if they’re dangerous to my spirituality. For example, I’ve been watching the show Daredevil with my dad on Netflix. The story is super interesting, but the symbol for the superhero/protagonist is the devil, and there’s a lot of problematic language in the show. Granted, the protagonist is Catholic, so I’m assuming the irony in that was meant to be simply amusing and innocent, but it still strikes me as possibly problematic. I have a harder time overlooking the language, but part of my problem is that I can’t help watching this show from a writer’s perspective, and in that sense, it’s really good. The point I’m trying to make is that figuring out how to take on the world is exceedingly complicated.

3: God comes into our lives to expand what we think is possible
-Yesterday I was still wrestling with the feeling that what I had to offer the Lord would never be enough. Again, this hearkens back to the parable of the goats and the sheep. Out of the blue, while my mom and I were in the car headed somewhere, I sort of felt him ask me, “Do you doubt what you can do or what I can do? Do you doubt my mercy?” I was speechless for a minute, then all I could manage was, “Sorry… I don’t doubt it any more.”

4: What does it mean and what does it take to unconditionally say “yes” to God like Mary did?
-This is a tough one because I know from experience that it often means being totally socially weird. For me, at least, it has meant getting used to being weird, accepting it, and celebrating it. I know that it also means doing things I don’t like sometimes, or doing things I could never initially see myself doing. When I first volunteered to teach fourth graders, I never actually thought I’d like it. Actually, I like teaching the little kids more than the high school kids. I started with high school kids, though, and even then, it was kind of on a whim, and I just went with it. If it weren’t for my epilepsy, I might consider trying to get a teaching degree and teaching theology at a Catholic school.

I would also just like to mention something I read the other day. Jesus appeared to Saint Faustina several times, and in one of these apparitions, he gave her a prayer that would greatly help in the salvation and conversion of souls. The prayer is, “O blood and water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a font of mercy for us, I trust in you.” I’ve been praying for a few people for around four or five years at least. Ultimately, I guess that’s not really a very long time, but sometimes it feels like forever. Still, this revelation to Saint Faustina kind of reminds me of Saint Padre Pio’s quote. I like to tell people that I can swim a mile. After the first half mile, I’m exhausted, but I make it the second half because I’m more stubborn than I am strong.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!


It’s Wednesday. I got up early partly so I could get some homework done, but partly so I could write something on my blog and read a little. I discovered William’s blog after I got an email telling me that he had read my blog. Of course we ended up talking about God, since that’s kind of all I do nowadays, or so it seems. I was kind of laughing last night because I go to a Christian school and yet I can’t seem to make Christian friends. I’m sure God has a hand in that. Many things that He does in my life are ironic. It is impossible to refute that God has a good sense of humor. Just ask the platypus.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a pastor. On Monday night I stayed up a little later than I should have and did a little more research into what that entails. Well, it sounds like a heck of a lot of work. I think I’m up to it, though. It sounds like pastors do a lot of counseling and things like that. I actually kind of laughed when I read that because when I was a sophomore in high school, I had thought about becoming a counselor, but I really didn’t feel like going through all the work of getting a psych degree. I’m sure going through Seminary is no cake-walk, but at least I won’t have to deal with neuroscience (most likely). That’s actually why I decided not to be a psych major (at least part of the reason). I think very abstractly, so science and math tend to confuse me (although I did pretty well with Chemistry in high school). I guess that’s why things like Theology and Philosophy interest me so much. Not to mention the fact that I just like to argue sometimes.

What’s odd is that I can totally see myself as a pastor, but at the same time I so totally can not. One thing that’s holding me back from totally loving the idea is that it seems like being really nice is a kind of prerequisite. Maybe I’m generalizing, but my thinking is that maybe I’m just not nice enough. That’s not to say that I think I’m a mean person. I’m awfully mellow, but I’m also kind of obnoxious in that I will tell you exactly what is on my mind. I’m not exactly subtle sometimes. In some situations I can tend to talk without thinking. This just seems like something I would need to be more careful of if I became a pastor.

Another problem that I’m a little more worried about is that I’m a little unorthodox in my beliefs. I’m sure there are like-minded people out there, but they might be a little harder to find than the average protestant Christian. The other thing is that I think there are certain people in my largely Catholic family who wouldn’t exactly love the idea. Trust me, if I could be ordained in the Catholic Church I’d go for it, but since I can’t I’d have to go somewhere else. I’m thinking I’d go to a nondenominational church. That seems like safe-ish territory.

Of course I say I’m only toying with the idea and then I go off on a tangent. If anyone has any advice or insight, please leave comments! That would be super helpful! Thanks in advance!