Monday, November 11, 2013

Live out Loud

Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Hardcore saint crush... He was handsome, he climbed mountains, he served the poorest of the poor, he rocked Catholicism like crazy even when his parents didn't approve, he was an adventurer and a jokester, and (best of all) his gaze will make your heart melt.  

Pier was the patron of St. Lawrence Koinonia 18 a few weeks ago, and he absolutely rocked my world. Literally rocked it, because he climbed mountains. Haha. I'm punny... 

One of Pier's most well-known quotes is "verso l'alto!" What in the world does that mean? It means "To the heights!" To the heights of what? LIFE. 

Life is way more fantastic when it's being lived to its highest potential. Live out loud. That's what Pier challenges us to do. 

It's pretty easy to live a chill, boring, comfortable life. But NO. Pier Giorgio says "Flee from every temptation to be mediocre." And Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI tells us "This world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort, you were made for greatness." Sounds to me like there's nowhere to go but up. Because Pier also said "The higher we go, the better we shall hear the voice of Christ." 

To the heights! That means we're constantly looking up — to our Lord for counsel and guidance, to the full potential He has planned for us, to the crazy beautiful life ahead, to the sainthood we're all called to. And the best part is that we're not climbing alone. But we're always climbing. 

Just like our Koinonia small group motto: "Sometimes we climb. Sometimes we fall. But we're always hangin' in there. It's the climb." (Insert Miley Cyrus voice singing "The Climb" here.) 

It's time to start living out loud. Verso l'alto! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

God, You got this one.

Trusting is something that's really hard to do sometimes.

There are some things that are easier than others when it comes to trusting. For example, it's relatively easy for me to trust that my handy-dandy phone alarm will wake me up at 8:17 every morning, playing "High of 75" by Relient K. I trust that. But it's a little harder to trust in areas regarding Vocations, vocations, picking colleges, choosing career paths and other major life decisions. Why is that? Because we're dealing with LIFE here — the big picture. Scary...

But here's the good news: The Big Man Upstairs is really good at planning out and the big picture. I mean, that's sort what He does, creating and planning and carrying out good in the universe. That's a huge job right there. But that's why God has that job, not you or me.

He's got it planned. We just need to ask Him for peace. We just need to tell Him, "God, You got this one. Your will be done." And He'll be on it like Nutella on a bagel.

I learned from Fr. Jim Sichko that It just takes TRUST:

Try it out

It makes sense, and it's not too hard at all! We've gotta give God some of our time to talk with Him. It's the least we can do considering all He does for us. When we spend time with Him, we start to build a relationship with Him — like a real friend. We then start to understand that He wants nothing less than the best for us, and that He'll help us be the best versions of ourselves if we surrender, and give the reigns over to him. So that's all stinkin' great and all, but we finally have to try it out, and actually make it happen.

Trying it out can happen in so many different ways. It might be praying the Morning Offering when you wake up everyday to tell God he has control of your day. It might be just telling him "This one's all You, God" before you make a tough decision. There are tons of ways to trust Him.

Our lives can be so much less stressful if we just let God do what He does best. It's hard sometimes, but it's so worth it.

God's got this one.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I just got home from spending yet another fanfreakingtastic summer working at the greatest place on earth — Camp Tekakwitha.

This summer was unlike any other I've ever experienced. This summer I learned what it really means to keep the flame of faith alive. This summer I discovered how to really make my life count.

This world we live in tells us to be just like everybody else. It tells us to follow all society's fashion trends. It tells us we'll be cool if we buy a certain thing. It tells us to blend in. It tells us to be low impact human beings.

No thank you.

Christ calls us to live for something bigger. It tells us to leave our mark on this world. I know I don't want to go through life, leaving no trace that I was here. I want to live — REALLY LIVE — and change the world. I know, I know... It sounds kind of crazy. But it's what each and every one of us is called to do.

We're called to #makeitcount. We're called to be saints. We're called to live extraordinary lives. The crazy thing is that those extraordinary things don't have to be huge. We can do ORDINARY things with EXTRAORDINARY love.

When we look at our bucket lists, the first thing at the top should "TOMORROW." Day by day we can make a difference in the lives of those around us. It might be the small things: passing on a smile to the lonely kid at school, making your little brother or sister a PB&J sandwich for lunch when they're running late for school, or asking a friend to pray with you or over you.

Our world needs saints. It needs people who do the small things with big love. It needs people who want to be high impact and make a difference. It needs people who will go out of their comfort zone to make things happen. It needs people who are here to make their lives count.

So let's start right now. How about that? Let's do it.

Be high impact.
Be a saint.

Lord, we need you. Oh, we need you. Every hour we need you.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fighting for SAINTHOOD

Every single one of us is called to be a saint. 

There. I said it. Because it's true. Let's practice saying it together. Right there, sitting in front of your computer or phone, say this with me. "LORD, I WANT TO BE A SAINT." You can repeat it if you want to. Maybe even turn it into a rap or something to sing over and over. Whatever fits your style. 

I constantly have to remind myself of this. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I get caught up in the craziness of this world. Sometimes I think I'm not good enough to be a saint. And sometimes I just wonder why in the world God would even want me to be a saint. 

But He does. 

Our amazing God wants all of us to be holy, just as he himself is holy. When we truly live out this holiness, when we imitate our Lord, and when we choose Him in every situation, we move closer to the sainthood we are all called to. 

God doesn't just suggest that we be saints. HE MADE US TO BE SAINTS. We are like Christ's army of saints in this world. This is spiritual warfare we're talking about here. Our Lord needs his troops to assemble and prepare. 

Mother Teresa puts it best: "The church needs fighters today. The church of God needs saints today." Not tomorrow. Not in 12 days. Not next January. Today. Because as Mark Hart once said, "Putting off holiness until tomorrow means the devil has won today." 

So Christ is commissioning us — you and me — to fight for him in his army. We've gotta step up to the front lines. But here's the real question... how in the world do we actually do that? 

-Standing up for the our faith when other students, professors, or anyone are talking falsely about the Church.

-Loving our family and those closest to us. Be present. Be patient. Radiate joy. 

-Singing at mass. Loud and proud, my friends. The Big Man can hear it upstairs. 

-Filling up our lives with Christ. Through prayer, spiritual direction, adoration, Mass, etc. 

-Loving EVERYONE. 

Christ is calling each of us to step up to the front lines. He's calling each of us to be saints. And the best way for us to do that is to be ourselves. Be unique. Be genuine. And be perfectly ourselves. 

Because the saints are just like us. Ordinary people. I was reading a book by Mother Teresa today, and the end describes her life a little bit. It said that she went to a public school. She attended catechism classes to learn more. And she had a special interest in reading about the lives of saints... I thought to myself... "That sounds just like me!" And there's a saint out there who's just like you too. Saints are just like us — Ordinary people who live extraordinary lives. 

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's time to RUN A PLAY

"It's time for us to break from the huddle and actually run a play." — Fr. Mitchel Zimmerman

You might be wondering why in the world Fr. Mitch and I were talking about football. But the truth is, we weren't talking about football at all. We were talking about this thing called EVANGELIZATION. 

On Good Friday, St. Lawrence put on the Stations of the Cross on campus. Acting out the stations from Spooner Hall all the way to the crucifixion on Wescoe Beach definitely got some attention. Some people joined our walk as we passed by, others stopped to take pictures, some asked us what in the world we were doing, and some people just stopped and stared. It was crazy awesome.

So after we did stations on campus, a few of us had an awesome talk with Fr. Mitch about how us Catholics are really good Catholics at the St. Lawrence Center and places where faith is in the air, but we do a pretty crappy job of bringing Jesus out of those St. Lawrence walls, onto campus, and ino the world. There are SO many people who are right outside of our little "Catholic bubble" and want to get in. It's our job to find those people and welcome them, guide them, and bring them in.

That's when Fr. Mitchel said that "We need to break from the huddle and actually run a play." He means that we've had our little huddle, we know what we need to do to spread Christ's love, but now it's time that we actually run that play and go out and do it.

Sister Clara said it in an amazing way too. She says that we're call to "Live on the edge" — meaning that we should always be seeking out those people who are just on the outside of that "Catholic bubble." We should always be looking to pull them in, to explain the faith to them if they have questions or misunderstandings, to invite them to hang out with us, to let them know what's going on at St. Lawrence or around our parish, to let them know that they are always welcome because Christ thirsts for their love just as much as he thirsts for ours. 

Check out this passage from Luke 10: "Jesus said to them, 'The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few, so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest. Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.'" 

You and me. He is sending us. He's trying to clue us into the fact that there's so much potential good out there inside people, but no one is there to plant that seed and make it happen. That needs to be us. That seed could be an invitation to come to St. Lawrence, a smile or nice greeting toward someone who's having a bad day, a conversation about Christ, or simply letting someone know that you're praying for them. 

Christ needs us to be those laborers going out to the harvest. And sometimes it might feel like we're the "lambs among wolves," but Christ is always there with us. He wouldn't send us out there without preparing us and watching over us. So now is our time. 

Let's go out and be laborers of the harvest.
Let's live on the edge.
Let's break from the huddle and actually run a play. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wait, He did ALL of that for US? Yep.


So as you might know, my roommate and I are the Youth Ministers for the 6th graders at St. John's parish in Lawrence, KS, and last night we did a super cool activity with our kiddos.

We went through the stations of the cross, from Jesus's point of view — all the torture, all the sorrow, all the emotions, all the details. After every station we had them write down on a sticky note how Jesus must have felt, or what was going through his head. Their understanding of it was so much deeper than I ever thought it would be. Some of their answers to what was going through Jesus's mind absolutely blew me away: "Why me, Father?" ... "I want to give up, but I must press on." ... "I'm trying to make others feel good, Lord, but I can't." ... "I'm done trying." ... "Embarrassed." ... "What did I do to deserve this?"... "Abandoned."

Then we read them the Easter Gospel of the women returning to the tomb to find that Jesus was not there because he had risen from the dead. They wrote down how they would have felt if they were one of the women. Again, their answers were excellent: "God, how can this be?" ... "Joy and happiness." ... "In awe of the sight." ... "Confused but joyful."

When we looked at the two poster boards, one was flooded with sticky notes — everything Jesus went through for us — and the other had just a few — our joy and happiness.

This is just a simple representation of how much Christ endured, so that we wouldn't have to. He took on the burden of the cross — all of our sins — and he went through embarrassment, betrayal, torture, ridicule, sheer pain, and the ultimate sacrifice, death. He did all of that so that we wouldn't have to. Yes, every once in a while we have to go through some of these things, and take part in the suffering of Christ, but we never have to go through the agony of what Jesus went through for us.

That is love.

So this Holy Week, go through the stations and really dive into the beauty of what Christ did for YOU. He was thinking of you when he picked up that cross. He was thinking of you when he had the strength to get up from his falls. He was thinking of you as the centurions pounded nails through his palms. And he was thinking of you as he bowed his head and died on that wooden cross.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Will you accept this rose?

I guess I should start this by admitting something: I do watch the Bachelor. Every week. And I get pretty into it. My roommates and I yell at the TV when we think Sean sent the wrong girl home. That's how we roll. You can judge me, you can agree with you, you can laugh at me — whatever you'd like. But this is how it is. Okay, now that I've established that, I can move on. 

I love The Bachelor. It's entertaining to watch. It's cool to see all the interesting, extravagant destinations they visit. I always get a good laugh watching the girl drama in the house. It's interesting to see how different all of their relationships with Sean are. Watching Tierra do anything she could to get Sean's attention was pretty hilarious for a while. And I definitely won't complain about the fact that God blessed Sean with a very attractive body either. :)

I don't think there's anything wrong with watching the Bachelor, but I think the most important thing about watching it is this: recognizing that the show is fake fake fake fake fake. It's fun to watch, but I definitely don't believe this show is what REAL LOVE is all about. We all have a desire to love and be loved — it's human. But this show is not how we should learn to really love. 

Real love doesn't mean going on ridiculous extravagant dates in Thailand or somewhere else across the planet. Real love doesn't mean kissing every five seconds (especially on camera... weird). Real love doesn't mean seriously pursuing like seven women at the same time. Real love doesn't mean talking all about how much you're "in love" in front of the camera to millions of people watching on TV... That's Hollywood love.

Real love is about loving someone as Christ loves us. Real love is about doing the little everyday things with love. Real love is about sacrificing for one another. Real love is about committing to ONE person's heart, and being their best friend FOREVER. 

At St. Lawrence classes last week, John-Mark was talking about what we have to do to change our culture that confuses sex for love. What he said is that men have to learn to WIN, CHERISH, and COMMIT to a woman's heart. That's something that sets real love apart from "Bachelor love." Sean might be "crazy about" four different girls (considering he uses that line about 29 times every week), but has he actually won, cherished, or seriously committed to any ONE of these women?

But there is one guy who will win, cherish, and commit to every single one of our hearts. JESUS. You knew that one was comin' didn't you? But it's true. He's the Man. 

In the Sacred Liturgies class at St. Lawrence, Fr. Steve said something I will NEVER forget. He said "The readings at mass are more than just a letter from St. Paul to the Philippians or whoever... They're a letter from JESUS to YOU." Mind blown. So at the end of the second reading last Sunday, it said "You, brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown..." That wasn't just St. Paul talking to those Philippians. It was Jesus talking to you and me. Telling us He loves us. Telling us that He longs for us. That we are His joy. That means a lot.

So the next time Sean is passing out those red roses at the Rose Ceremony and you can feel your emotional chastity levels tanking because you wish your life was like that... Don't worry. We don't want those roses anyway. Jesus' garden of roses that He has for us is full of REAL love. He's our Man. :) 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Open my eyes, Lord.

It's no secret: I have some serious vision problems. 

Through my eyes, anything that's more than 5 feet away from my face is blurry. It's a bit of a problem. So I wear contacts. But right now, I'm working on getting a new pair of glasses. They're kind of important.

When I don't have my glasses on or contacts in, I'm totally out of it. Putting on a pair of glasses gives a me a new perspective. It makes everything more clear. It gets me in the zone.

But do you know my favorite zone to be in? The spiritual zone. I flippin' love this zone. I wish we were in the spiritual zone all the time. And the best news is... WE CAN BE. 

Fr. Curtis gave a homily yesterday that was all about that — those spiritual zones or "spiritual peaks." He was saying how in the gospel, we saw Jesus's transfiguration... from the ordinary to the extraordinary. And that's exactly how our lives can be too. If we put ourselves in a Christ-filled atmosphere (setting aside time for prayer, attending a retreat, going to daily mass, going to a great Catholic camp, etc), God can transform the ordinary in our lives into the extraordinary, where we can experience "spiritual peaks." 

Getting in these spiritual zones or peaks is all about our preparation, and God's grace. We have to meet Him half way by putting ourselves in a place to receive the grace, mercy and love God has for us. It's just like putting on a pair of glasses. Once you put them on, you can see so much more. 

It makes me think of that praise and worship song: "Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see Your face. Open my eyes, Lord. Help me to see." 

Unfortunately, my glasses aren't really going to help me see Christ. We have to open our HEARTS to see our Lord, and experience all of the extraordinary things He has in store for us.

Open our eyes, Lord. Help us to see Your face.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

MASS and KU Basketball

As KU students, Jayhawk basketball is a good portion of what we live for this time of year. The tradition, the suspense, the excitement... We're all in.

One of the craziest traditions we have at KU is camping at Allen Fieldhouse for basketball games. Every day leading up to basketball games, we all get in our camping groups, sign up for time slots on big Google Calendar spreadsheets, and devote hours and hours everyday to camping out in Allen Fieldhouse just so we can get in and get a good seat. We'd do just about anything to get into the building.

When game-day finally arrives,  everyone is ready to go. We're all decked out in our KU gear — sporting our basketball jerseys, reppin' our crimson and blue necklaces, many girls have a sunflower in their hair, and dozens of "punny"basketball signs are lifted enthusiastically into the air, trying to catch the camera's attention. Everyone is fully engaged.

Of course, our favorite parts of the games are when Ben McLemore slams in a crazy dunk or when Jeff Withey pulls out a huge block. The crowd goes CRAZY with emotion. Jumping up in excitement, stomping our feet, sitting down and standing back up to distract the other team's free throw shooter, and eventually waving the wheat. Everything we do has a purpose, and we do it all with insane enthusiasm.

Kansas basketball games are a huge deal here. We love 'em, we get prepared for 'em, and we thrive in the CRAZY atmosphere of Allen Fieldhouse.

But there's an event that's even more FANTASTIC, more exciting, more meaningful, and more important than KU basketball games... The holy sacrifice of the Mass.

What if we prepared for mass and were as enthusiastic about mass as we are for Kansas basketball games? Let's take a look at this...

If we all truly understood just how beautiful, precious, and amazing the Mass is, we would be camping out in front of the church days in advance, just to get inside to be with our Lord. We would be dressed in our nicest clothes to show our love and respect for our Savior who's waiting inside for us. We would actually mean everything that we say and do during the Mass. And we would be SO prepared, mentally and spiritually, by the time we got in there to be with and receive Jesus.

Wouldn't that be crazy awesome??? I'm gonna answer my own question: Yeah, it would.

We might not go at it quite like that, but there are definitely a few ways that we can focus on changing our approach about Mass. Here are a few things we can all work on so we can get the most out of the Mass:

1. Check out the readings BEFORE going to Mass.
If we know what's going to be read, we'll be more like to pay attention, instead of dozing off.

2. Do some kind of studying about the Gospel before Mass
Mark Hart's "Beyond Words" videos on are super helpful in better understanding the Gospel reading and learning how exactly it relates to our lives today.

3. Bring your joys, intentions, and sacrifices to the altar at Mass with you
There's that part of the Mass when the priest says, "Pray, my brothers and sisters, that OUR sacrifice may be acceptable to God, the almighty Father." OUR sacrifice. Not just the priest's. All of our sacrifices. Christ wants us to bring all our joys, all our sorrows, all our everyyyything up to the altar, and turn it over to Him.

4. Dress to impress (Jesus).
I know that I'm terrible at this, and really need to work on it... Jesus is a King, in fact, He's THE King. And we should definitely try to look our best for our King. Classy and modest (because modesty is hottesty).

5. Understand and actually mean what we say and do.
There is SO much awesomeness packed into the mass, and there are so many things we say and do. All of these things have meaning — even every time we stand up, sit down, kneel, or anything... It's all for a reason. We can all work on being enthusiastic about everything we say and do, and actually meaning the prayers we say and the songs we sing.

Hopefully, if we all put some of these things into practice, we can turn our parishes and campus centers into places full of teenagers who are FIRED UP about going to mass and getting involved. And if you really wanted to camp out all week for a spot at mass, you'd be my hero.

(Wouldya look at that, it even rhymes... sort of.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Short quotes... BIG IDEAS.

During the month of January, I've been keeping a list of some fantastic quotes I've come across. Some are hilarious, some are super deep, but they're all inspiring and can teach us a lot. So here's the list I've compiled. Enjoy them, share them, live them. :)

"The splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the lily do not rob the little violet of its scent nor the daisy of its simple charm. If every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness."
— Therese of Lisieux

"Want to see a miracle? Plant a world of love heartdeep in a person's life. Nurture it with a smile and a prayer, and watch what happens." — Max Lucado

"Don't love people the way that Hallmark says to love people; love them linebacker style, in a full contact way." — Bob Goff, Love Does

"We are reminded that love does things. It writes letters and gets on a plane. It orders pizza and jumps in a lake. It hugs and prays and cries and sings." — Bob Goff, Love Does

"Feel your heart being moved and do something about it." — Fr. Scott at Mass at SJA

"Saints are not freaks or exceptions. They are the standard operating model for human beings." —Dr. Peter Kreeft

"Transforming people one at a time is at the heart of God's plan for the world." —Matthew Kelly, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic

"Every family needs a cornerstone of prayer to pray for the family, now and in the future... In each generation, each family needs at least one of these men and women of faithful prayer to guide and protect it." —Matthew Kelly, The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic

"To love another person is to see the face of God." —Les Miserables

"God loves us too much to compromise on our happiness." —Leah Darrow

"Let my life be the proof, the proof of your love. How you lived, how you died. Love and sacrifice." — for KING & COUNTRY

"The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness." —Pope Benedict XVI

Friday, January 25, 2013


If you're reading this right now, chances are that you're wishing you were in D.C. at the March for Life right now. I know that's what I'm doing. I keep seeing everyone's tweets, Facebook posts, and photos on Instagram of the beautiful masses, the huge crowds of pro-lifers, and inspiring quotes. It definitely makes me wish that I was there.

But. There's always a but... You and I — the people sitting at home, at school, at work, or anywhere — play a HUGE part in the March for Life, too.

Nothing great is ever achieved without prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. And that is our job — to just COVER those wonderful people at the March with our prayers. Especially today, they need our prayers more than ever. But along with the March for Lifers, there are quite a few other people we need to pray for:

-For women who are considering having an abortion, that they can see the beauty in the precious life they hold within them.

-For those babies, that they will have the chance to live extraordinary lives.

-For our country's leaders, that they might have a conversion of heart, leading them to respect and protect all forms of life.

They need our prayers in this fight for life. And we have to remember that conversion of hearts happens on a personal level. Our country can't change right at once. It will take us reaching out to individuals, showing them that we care about them, showing them that every life is worth fighting for. And prayer is the first way that we can do that.

I'd like to leave you with this wonderful quote from Jared Cheek:
"I think God chooses a few people to support the rest, and it is a mystery to me how the whole prayer things works, all I know is that it does. I would be NOWHERE if people hadn't prayed for me."

Somehow, the whole prayer thing works. And that's why everything works. Because nothing great is ever achieved without prayer.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Unborn, PRAY FOR US. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Pushing on a Pull Door

The Christian band of two Australian brothers, for KING & COUNTRY, sings this amazing song called "Pushing on a Pull Door." If you haven't heard it, you're missing out big time. So check it out on youtube real quick. This song recently changed my life in a big way.

The refrain to this song goes like this:

"Upside down, then you see it all.
Everything's the wrong way around, but clearer than before.
When you're upside down, then you see it all.
That you spend all your time pushing on a pull door."

Those words could not be any more accurate. Everything we do in this life, whether we realize it or not, we do to make us happy. How many times do we try to change our lives, to make us happier, and totally go about it in wrong way... We look for love in places and people that won't satisfy our ultimate thirst for God's love. We try to better our prayer lives with methods of prayer that might work for others but don't work for us. We try to PUSH our way through, when what we should do is PULL.

Sometimes it takes us doing the wrong thing to find out what the right move is. It's like those times when you don't realize that it's a pull door so you push it. Then you have that awkward moment when you look left and look right, and hope that nobody saw you struggle with the door... Guess what? Christ knows when we try to push the pull door. But He's the one whispering to us, "Pssssst, try the other way..." He's on our side. Thank goodness.

God uses different ways to point out to us that we need to try it a different way. Sometimes He tells us through other people. Sometimes it's through something we read. Sometimes it's in a song. And that's why the song "Pushing on a Pull Door"means so much to me. Hearing for KING & COUNTRY sing that song live hit me hard. There's a line in the song that says, "Don't you hear me coming? I'm your wake up call." That right there, hearing them sing those words, was my wake up call. It made me realize that I've been trying to strengthen my relationship with Christ is the wrong ways. And that for KING & COUNTRY concert was the first step in starting to pull this door open instead of push it.

Maybe that song will do the same for you. Maybe reading this is your wake up call. Maybe you've already heard your wake up call. Wherever you're at, just remember, sometimes that door that we've always tried to push might actually need to be pulled open instead.

Push or pull, Christ is whispering which way to open that next door in your life.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Oh, how I love LifeTeen. I'm gonna be completely honest here — I have a slight obsession with the blogs on I check back at least once a day to read the newest ones. But it's alright. Reading those blogs helps me try to be the best-version-of-myself everyday.

So while I was doing my daily website check the other day, I scrolled down the page to find a glorious blog post about LifeTeen's new theme for 2013: FEARLESS. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've heard the word a gazillion times. It's thrown around a lot, and I'm pretty sure it's even the name of one of T-Swift's albums. But for some reason when I read that blog post, it struck a different chord in me. It got me excited. It got me fired up. I felt like I could go take on a pack of vicious Ligers, okay maybe not.

But I felt a new strength. There are so many quotes and phrases out there about being fearless, and they were all running through my mind. A few of my favorites:

"Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence." -JP2

Sometimes the world seems like a crazy place with absolutely no hope for humanity. But Blessed John Paul II, who lived on this earth while we were here and was a total champ, is telling us that "all is very, very well." Not just well, or very well, but very VERY well. I believe him. Fear is not necessary. All is very, very well.

“Do not be afraid. Do not be satisfied with mediocrity.” -JP2

I love this so much. Honestly, it's pretty easy to be mediocre. It's not difficult to let life happen to us, to get just-okay grades, to have surface level relationships with people, and to go through the motions. But it takes some guts and some serious faith to actually MAKE LIFE HAPPEN, to go deeper, to take some chances, to make some new friends, to love like crazy, and to really be the best-version-of-ourselves. It takes a FEARLESS attitude to make that happen. And yet again, this is what we're called to.

"Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" —Mark 6:50

This is perfect. Even the disciples had some issues being fearless. They saw Jesus Christ himself walking on the water, and they were scared. They so terrified because they thought He was a ghost. When are times that we can see Christ so near to us, but we are afraid? Is He asking something of us? Are we saying yes to Him? Whatever it might be, take courage. Jesus is telling YOU: "Do not be afraid." It's time to be fearless. Because after Jesus said this to his disciples, He got in the boat with them and the wind died. Jesus is with you, too. He'll never abandon you. But we've gotta trust him.

2013 is a new start. Time to start being FEARLESS.