It was just over 2 years ago, that I created my blog here, Just Shine On. Naturally, it was time to update my About Page, so I just did that. My life has changed in some big ways! One of those big changes has been moving to college. I applied and was accepted to six Catholic colleges, and submitted the below essay, to each of them. I recently found this essay on my computer, and thought sharing it with you all, might be a great post. The essay prompt was: “Describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content. What do you do or experience there, and why is it meaningful to you?”
I hope you enjoy reading it. Read the rest of this entry »
Last month I celebrated my 18th birthday. But turning the big one-eight wasn’t the only thing that made this past birthday so special. It was also the fact that my birthday landed on a Sunday this year. I spent a good amount of time thinking about this one night last month, as I held one of our hens and watched fireflies glow in the dusk, on a perfect early July night.
Celebrating my birthday on a Sunday might not seem like much. But for me, it means the world. You see, Read the rest of this entry »
A couple weekends ago, I went on my last high school retreat with my youth group. My youth minister and the CORE members did an awesome job running it, but I think one of my favorite parts (besides Adoration, which is always a great experience,) was the witness talk that was given. Our witness speaker happened to be a seminarian, which I thought was awesome! If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, or if you know me personally, then you probably know I have a lot of admiration and respect for priests, and the vocation to religious life in general. So you can imagine how excited I was about this witness talk! The seminarian gave a really great testimony about his call to the priesthood, and the different things that happened throughout his life, that he now realized was God trying to speak to him.
The discussion guided by my CORE member, again led me to the conclusion that I often come to when I think about what the priesthood means to me: Read the rest of this entry »
I wanted to get into a very tough subject, and talk a little bit about today’s music and drugs.
In recent years, I have done a lot of exploring in terms of different music genres. Lately, I have listened to ‘One Direction’ radio on iTunes radio, just because one day I decided, “Hey, I’m going to give them a try.” I was never into them when they first became big, and I’m still not a ‘Directioner’, by a long shot. Despite this, I found that they are indeed talented vocalists and I could appreciate their efforts.
But iTunes radio also plays songs from a variety of other artists in the same genre as One Direction. The more I listened to this music, the more I noticed some disturbing Read the rest of this entry »
Being brave is an honorable character trait.
But I think we tend to forget that often times ‘bravery’ is also very closely intertwined with another honorable character trait: honesty.
I’ve been reflecting on this for a few months now, but it recently became very clear to me. In this light, before you can truly be brave…you have to be honest. For example, how many times have we had to tell someone, (like our parents!) the truth about something we really didn’t want to, because we knew it would get us in trouble? Probably more than we can count.
But as Christians, we are not only called to be honest with each other…we are called to be honest Read the rest of this entry »
The Pro-Life movement is so important.
But as I’ve kept up to date with the latest news about the March For Life via social media, I’ve become increasingly frustrated by the society that we live in. So many of my friends have participated in the march down in D.C., and I am so proud of all of them! But what frustrates me is how mainstream media can’t seem to provide coverage of anything more important than the proper PSI for a football. Seriously…there’s been next to no coverage of the March for Life in D.C. or any of the other Pro-Life protests going on across the country right now. Apparently numbers less than 12.5-13.5 are more infuriating than the numbers I found just by conducting a simple Google search.
So, in honor of the 42nd ‘anniversary’ of the Roe vs. Wade decision, let me share Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not just about the tree, tinsel, presents, possibility of snow, a break from school, or the cookies and eggnog. All Christians know that.
But Christmas isn’t all about Baby Jesus either.
Now, before you personally arrange for my excommunication, let me explain!
My family has always celebrated Christmas with the main focus around the story of Jesus’ birth.We keep an advent calendar, set up our own Nativity set, make a birthday cake for Him on Christmas Eve, etc. But here’s the thing: we need to celebrate with the bigger picture in mind!!! Read the rest of this entry »
When reading through Scripture, I’ve always been captivated by the many names, titles, and references to Jesus.
‘The Way, the Truth, and the Life’
‘The Alpha and the Omega’
‘Ancient of Days’
‘Author of Salvation’
‘Beginning and the End’
‘First and Last’
‘Tree of Life’
‘Lord of All’
‘Light of the World’
The list goes on and on. There are literally hundreds Read the rest of this entry »
Before I share this paper, I want to acknowledge that all Christians are called to serve others. Since I am a Catholic, I wrote it in a Catholic viewpoint, but serving others is applicable to all Christian denominations.
Most people call it ‘volunteering’. I like to call it ‘serving others’.
Being a Catholic, serving others is deeply rooted in my faith, and something my parents always taught me. I’ve spent countless hours in the past couple years just volunteering my time for absolutely no other reason than to live out my faith and Read the rest of this entry »
“You know how to pray.”
Recently, I was given this humbling compliment from someone I admire a lot. It sounds pretty straight forward, but I wondered how they meant it, and I reflected upon it sporadically throughout the day. I have no way of knowing exactly what this person did mean, or where they were coming from when it was said. But while it was a positive comment, it sure got me thinking about what I felt I needed to do to improve the way I prayed. I’ll be honest; I should definitely work on not getting distracted during bedtime prayers, or while praying after receiving the Eucharist, and I really should spend more time with my Bible. But while I mentally chastised myself, I experienced an ‘A-HA!’ moment of my own.