Where is God?

Helicopters are roving above my youth ministry office mid-afternoon on Holy Thursday. Our parish secretary makes an announcement through the intercom that our pastoral coordinator is putting us on lock down until further notice. There is an active shooter near us. "Again?," I say quietly as I notice myself becoming more tense. It was only three months ago that this very same thing happened. I was here in this office during the San Bernardino shootings in December when helicopter after helicopter hovered above us searching, waiting, and watching for the wedded terrorists who were now in Redlands. I tried to keep myself preoccupied with work, but I just couldn't do it. Again? I had just lost a

Published with LifeTeen: God, why the Long Wait?!

Why does God seem to take forever in answering our prayers? We pray and we pray and we pray and we pray, but it's like He doesn't even hear us! Must be nice up in those clouds without a care in the world! Is God playing golf up there? Am I going to have to wait until He finishes a hole?! Gracious! Ah yes, the question of all questions. We've all been here before, haven't we? Somewhere along the line, someone has told us that God hears our prayers and that if we have faith, He will answer them. Why then, does it take so long? No, God is not playing golf with His buddies, Archangel Michael and Gabriel (though it would be a fun game to watch!), and He certainly has not forgotten you. He knows e

Prayers for those who can't Keep Still!

We are circled around the altar at home as my parents, sister, grandparents, uncle, and me recite, "Our Father who art in Heaven....", then ten, "Hail Mary full of grace...", and finally, "Glory be to the Father..." at the end of each decade. As we progress through the rosary, my grandmother picks up the pace, my dad begins nodding off, my sister and I continue to silently bicker beneath our breaths, and everyone else slowly transforms into robots as they mechanically repeat each word of these traditional prayers. We prayed the rosary every night when I was a child, and every night I complained and struggled through it. I often thought, "Is this what prayer is? I hate sitting here saying the

Six reasons why Gratitude is the Best Attitude

1) You will radiate with beauty Ditch the make-up and expensive cologne, ladies and gentlemen, because guess what? You don't need it! Have you ever met someone who was so joyful that they radiated with beauty? I have- my grandmother is one of them! She was born and raised in a third world country, and she suffered greatly trying to hide from the Japanese during World War II. Even today, she suffers as she becomes more dependent on others and grieves the loss of so many of her loved ones due to old age and sickness. Her beauty, however, has never faded. Why? Because despite everything she has gone through, her gratitude in every blessing she has (and I mean everything!) continues to shine

Pray without ceasing? How does That work?! 1 Thessalonians 5:17

"Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). The exhortation to "pray without ceasing" has always been a daunting one for me. Whenever I hear it at mass, I find myself pondering, "Does God really want us to be on our knees in prayer at every moment of the day? What about when I'm hungry and need to eat?! What if I'm at school and needing to pay attention to my professor? What if I'm at work? Am I not allowed to sleep?! Good gracious! What an impractical command!" Have you ever thought similarly? When our idea of prayer is repeating a bunch of words in a mind numbing sort of way, "prayi

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