It started with a visit to Nissan. I was only there because it had looked like I had won a brand new 2016 Nissan Altima as claimed by their “instant win game” which landed in my mailbox. It was really a lure to get me to try and buy their older, preowned vehicles. I found I had gotten at least something out of this instant win game: a lottery ticket with a prize worth two bucks. Continue reading
Reflections from a Haiti Mission Trip
This past March I had an opportunity to leave my work and school projects to go to Haiti for a week long service trip, with a small group of people mainly from the Baltimore area. I took the opportunity, even though I knew it would be difficult managing my work before and after the trip. I gave it to God, as something told me it would be blessed and life-giving.
Unlike past Haiti service trips (I have gone twice before), this time around I felt like I was able to be truly present (not thinking of work or people back in the U.S.). I was given the grace to remain in the present, which enabled me to connect with people and pray in a much more tangible way. I walked into this experience with the prayer: “Lord, I am here, make of this what you want it to be.” What the Lord showed me blew me away.
Driving to the ChristLife retreat I felt a mixture of nervousness and excitement. The parts of me that were nervous were operating under an old system based on fears from past retreats. The parts of me that were excited were the voices of truth longing for and believing I could have new and better retreat experiences. Even though I was nervous I really wanted to attend the retreat. I am so grateful I did because the weekend became a huge blessing.
Two weeks ago I participated in an event called “Encounter the Light.” The purpose of “Encounter the Light” was to provide the opportunity for people to have an encounter with the Lord by coming to spend time with him through quiet time, reflection, and prayer. This opportunity was made available because Holy Cross Church in Federal Hill opened their doors on a Saturday night from 9pm – midnight. I heard about this event through ChristLife, the young adult group I am a member of. The idea sounded neat to me and since I like new experiences and the faith I wanted to see what this “Encountering the Light” was all about. Continue reading
I was born and raised Catholic in an all-Catholic family. We went to church every week and knew to always strive to do what is right. There was a very serious problem though: I only understood things about God at a very basic level. Notably, I did not understand why God was so important and didn’t have a deep enough understanding about the importance of Jesus’ victory on the cross. I also believe I just wasn’t well-taught in Sunday School nor in my family how Jesus wants a relationship with each and every one of us; a father to child relationship. I also didn’t know that I needed to respond to that relationship. Beyond that, during all my school years (including college), my understanding of love was limited as well as immature.
Accepted into UMBC, I figured college had to be my time to shine; my time to find someone I would marry and my time to become successful. That was on my mind more than God was. I was also getting added stress from family to find someone. After all, my brother and sister went to college and during their time in college, they both found their significant others. Now, it was my turn. As I reflect on my college days however, I came to realize that in grade school and in college, with respect to things like dating, I had been progressing all that time on a thin line between lust and sensuality. I understood pornography and premarital sex were wrong in the Church, and I didn’t engage in either or these practices, but I still struggled with things like impure thoughts as well as what marriage really was.
There’s this homeless guy who hangs out near Weis market near my work. I’ve seen him a bunch of times. Most of the time, he has this beautiful, dirty labrador with him. The first time I saw him with the dog, I thought, I really wish I had cash, or at least dog food, to give this man and this poor dog. Continue reading
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.” (Proverbs 19:21, RSVCE)
About two years ago I was starting what I thought would be my final semester at the University of Florida, where I would then graduate and enter the professional workforce. I knew what I wanted to do and where I wanted to work. I had my future figured out and was determined to pursue it.
However, despite my plans, God had other plans. Around mid-March 2013, during spring break, I felt that something was out of the ordinary. The feeling was physical. It was on my neck. It was a slightly enlarged bump. It was a Continue reading