Monday, March 3, 2014

Living the Authentic Life

Happy Lundi Gras!!  Today is Fat Monday.  I spent to today making my first King Cake.  I am gluten free so I wanted to try making a gluten free one I saw online.  Came out so ugly!  But hey if it tastes good who cares!

Let's move back to our discussion on Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly.  I, again, cannot express how you should get a copy of this book and not just read this.  He has so much insight onto how to be the best Catholic we can be.  And that is what this part is all about, living the "Authentic Life"  Living this life is living a holy life.  We as Catholics hear a lot of "We are all called to be saints."  Well Kelly feels that could be intimidating for some.  So he instead states that we are called to become the best version of ourselves.  What that looks like for me looks different for you. But we all should be authentic.  Be real.  Everyday we should strive to be a holy self.  Our daily tasks should reflect holiness.  There are daily tasks we love to do and there are ones we hate!  For me as a teacher I hate to grade!  Lesson planning and teaching is such a joy but grading is so boring to me!  But I must do it.  Through this I give glory to God.  Jesus died on a cross for our sins, I can grade some papers while listening to music or a podcast! 

Another great point Kelly points out is that our society lacks discipline.  To quote Kelly:

The philosophy of Christ is based on discipline, and it is discipline that our modern culture abhors and has rejected with all its strength. 

We lack discipline.  From the obesity rate to the use of contraception it is obvious that we don't like to be told no.  But how can we get anywhere in life without discipline?  The college student who graduates with high honors didn't get there from nightly partying!  Nor does the child learn how to behave in a specific situation without the discipline of the parents.  Now as an adult, married living on my own I must learn to discipline myself.  From learning to use NFP to just knowing I need to clean that toilet there are things I must do.  And again I may not always like it but giving it to God and doing it in prayer grace will flow. 

Kelly ends this part of his book giving us examples of some amazing saints such as St. Francis of Assisi and amazing people like Mother Teresa. Read about the saints.  You will see these people lived hard lives.  They are amazingly diverse group of people.  Not all the saints were rich and educated nor poor and illiterate.  Some lived very hard lives and we should look to them for strength.  Choose patron saints for different times in your life.  My husband's family has St. Nick as a patron saint of the family.  This year my husband and I chose St. Elizabeth of Hungry to be our saint for 2014.  Next year we will chose a new one.  We celebrate feast days for the saints.  We read about the daily saint at our prayer time at night to learn about new saints.  Chose a patron saint for Lent this year.  Pray to him or her when your Lenten sacrifice becomes hard.  Read about them or their writings as your spiritual reading.  How can reading, learning and praying for their intersession make you a better version of yourself?

Tomorrow is Mardi Gras and then Wednesday is Ash Wednesday.  How will you use this Lent to become a better version of yourself?  How will you work to live a more authentic life?  Consider the fasting, prayer and alms giving you do this year.  Don't do it just to do it.  Do it to become the best Catholic, the best follower of Christ and the best you that you can be!

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