Switching Blogs, Y’all

I decided to switch my blogging to Tumblr because it is a whole lot easier to blog there. My new URL is le-swing-cajun.tumblr.com

See you guys on the flip side!

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Oh yeah! I confirmed!

Did I forget to mention it? I did. Well, here are some pictures to celebrate. On Sunday, April 28th I was confirmed in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church. So, I’m officially cool.

Sponsor and me

I love this picture. It’s the priest who confirmed me, along with me, my sponsor, and my spiritual director. Yes, he is trying to slap me. Yes, it is my new header.

Now, here is my confirmation saint: Ste. Jehanne-Marie d’Arc!

Might post more about the day later. I have more free time than I did during the school year. Also, sorry for that last post and its terrible quality. I was typing quickly so as to get it out of my head.

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Of Monsters and Prayer

Bluegrass echos in the background mixing with the clanging of keys from my laptop keyboard. Facebook notifications ping from my phone. Noise. Sound. Fillers.

One quote that I am always reminded of when I speak to friends about prayer is a gem from St. Augustine (who usually isn’t one of my favorite saints):

God speaks solely in the silence.

Ah, the fault of my current state of prayer. I constantly avoid the silence. It is covered over with anything: Bluegrass, Twitter, PINTEREST (such a love-hate relationship with this site/app), even written prayers, and spiritual reading (both great things if used to embrace, not avoid silence).

I’ve been running away. Don’t I do that a lot? I’m restless. I constantly seek my next respite. How could I forget that only in God can I find lasting peace? I have experienced it before.

I entered into the silence, I let him love me, and he gave me rest.

Silence isn’t easy. It’s not supposed to be. We must face parts of ourselves and of our past that aren’t so pretty. Memories come. Thoughts come. Do we stop there? Or do we battle it out so that this is not where our prayer ends?

Prayer is a battle, at least for me. I go weeks without praying sometimes, and it shows. I more readily give into the temptations that come before me. I am a real b****. No lie.

But when I do pray I rise above the expectations that I have for myself. that temptations that seemed before to be such monsters become nothing but shadows. I become a joy to others and a light in this world of darkness.

“Are we not perhaps all afraid in some way? If we let Christ enter fully into our lives, if we open ourselves totally to him, are we not afraid that He might take something away from us? Are we not perhaps afraid to give up something significant, something unique, something that makes life so beautiful? Do we not then risk ending up diminished and deprived of our freedom? . . . No! If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life. Amen.” (Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI)

He does not take. We give. Christ does not intrude. He allows us to enter. Christ is not forceful. Christ does not make us do things. He acknowledges our freedom. He gave us our freedom.

Therefore do not be afraid to pray. Prayer is not the monster.

My restlessness is sometimes a burden. It leads me to do crazy things. But that same restlessness led — and still leads me — to my Creator.

Stay restless.

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The Hell With It!

My friend over at Oxyparadoxy is hosting a boss giveaway. Check it out and share, share, share!

http://oxyparadoxy.blogspot.com/2013/04/blog-sale-and-giveaway-is-live.html?showComment=1366054412012#c2646615760619549028

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Plans and Priorities

This summer is proving to be the best summer ever, and it hasn’t even started yet.

Hopefully, I’ll be staffing a summer camp up in New Jersey (a state I have never, and had never planned to go to) for five weeks. Boys and girls ages four to thirteen staying during the day to play games and learn why we love God.

But it gets better.

This summer camp is run by the Daughters of Mary, Help of Christians (more commonly know as the Salesians or “those sisters with over two thousand yo-yo’s!!”), a religious community whose sole purpose is to lead youth to Jesus through Mary. I’ll be living, praying, and working with these beautiful sisters. How awesome is that?!

As I prepare for this summer, I have found myself focusing more on what is to come more than what has already come. Don’t get me wrong! Preparing for the future is a good and necessary thing, but when you forget things that you need to tend to in this moment.. well, there usually won’t be a future if you do that.

I’ve said this a thousand times. We are creatures of habit. I had pushed myself into this habit long ago, and I have only noticed the gravity of it in the past few months. Now it is time to break this habit, and break open the present. (See what I did there?) I can’t live in a time that hasn’t even happened yet. I must live in the moment, the now, the here.

God didn’t put me here just so I could focus on the future. No! He put me here because he wants me here. If God has deigned to place me here, why am I fighting it? I must — we must — embrace anything he gives us. This includes pain, suffering, waiting, and gifts.

So I am going to have an AMAZING summer, but first I must have an amazing now.

Placing you all in the tender compassion of the Two Hearts,

Your Perky Pilgrim

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Where Am I?

I lay stomach down in a sleeping bag at a retreat center in my town as I type away on my iPhone 5. I hear the air conditioner rumbling, bunk mates snoring, and plumping rattling. The retreatants will arrive tomorrow. At this time I should be asleep, but thoughts race through my head. It is almost as if I stand in the middle of a highway while cars whizz by.

My prayer is the same that it has been for months: “Reveal yourself to me.”

I’ve lost contact. I’ve forgotten to touch base. I never call.

My prayer life is dry. Is it because I am in the midst of a spiritual desert? Or is it because I don’t put enough into it?

Is there some magic prayer that will fix all my problems and patch up my relationship with my Creator?

No.

I am dry.

I am empty.

I am restless.

I am here…

But he is here with me.

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“I Just Want a Father!!”

As we waited on the second day of the conclave for the smoke to rise, we felt a growing impatience. How much longer must we wait? Why is it taking this long? 

I just want a father.

This was the cry of the Universal Church today. We longed for a father.

This was seen in the massive crowds in St. Peter’s Square, in the coffee shops where people sat in anticipation, in the classrooms where students and teachers huddled around a small laptop with eyes fixed on a simple chimney. (and a seagull or three)

This was seen on social media, in the trending on Twitter, in the statuses on Facebook, and in the pictures on Instagram.

Everyone was waiting to meet Dad.

Then, the smoke began to billow out! At first, we were sure we had met disappointment. The rising smoke appeared to be black. But cheers began erupting from within the arms of the Vatican as the smoke triggered the long-awaited cries: HABEMUS PAPAM!! VIVA IL PAPA!!

But still more waiting followed. Our Holy Father was not ready to meet us yet. Neither were we. We would never be ready for the surprise that awaited us.

The lights flickered on behind the balcony.

The cheers erupted.

“Here he comes!!”

The cardinal announced, “HABEMUS PAPAM!”

A humble man walked onto the balcony. A man that no one expected.

We were used to powerhouses, like Benedict XVI and John Paul II. But from the conclave emerged him.

I think he (the pope) can be summed up in one word: humility.

He presented himself without the normal garb that we see, not because it is bad, but because it is SO good. He was reminding us that he is the “servant of the servants of God.”

He is the model we need after the past two ‘superstar popes':
simple, humble, confident
Now let us all rejoice!
VIVA, VIVA IL PAPA! HABEMUS PAPAM FRANCISCUM!
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Everybody Loves Babies!

I will be live tweeting using the handle @theperkypilgrim and instagramming using the handle @insta_catholic. All will be live! Pray for the unborn and pray for the pilgrims. I can’t wait to do these interviews!!!

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The Holy Father’s Intentions for the Month of January

The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.

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The Perky Pilgrim in the News

Here you go, loyal followers and fellow pilgrims! http://catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=48785

Follow me @insta_catholic

Categories: Reflections and Ramblings | 1 Comment

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