“To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly and she is giving. You and I have the gift of femininity… the more womanly we are, the more manly men will be and the more God is glorified. Be women, be only women, be real women in obedience to God.” –Elisabeth Elliot
The Apostles are hiding away in the Upper Room shuddering in fear behind closed doors. I can just imagine them all sitting around each other, silently clutching their knees to their chest while praying to God and recalling Jesus’ final moments with them before enduring His passion. I can imagine the disciples listening to the voices of people on the street and extending themselves to hear if they’re talking about Jesus. They were questioning. They were confused. They were already starting to go back to their former way of life. Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John are proclaiming His resurrection; but I can also imagine just as vividly that they didn’t know where to begin.
Then, Jesus appeared. He reminded them that He has never left them. The Gospel says that He stood in their midst and spoke words of reassurance and grace, “Peace be with You.” He showed them the wounds in His hands and side.
The Apostles rejoiced at the sight of our risen Lord who fulfilled God’s promise to us. Then said, “the Father has sent me, and I also send you.” He reminded them that their divine mission on this earth is to go out to serve all of creation in the name of Jesus Christ- and He reminds us all of the exact same thing. Jesus breathed on them, similar to how God breathed on all of creation when creating it. This time, Jesus was creating something new, too. The Apostles received the Holy Spirit in order to serve Him and be His witnesses to the ends of the Earth- but you might be asking yourself, “How does this relate to me? I don’t encounter Christ in the flesh. I don’t touch His wounds. I don’t know Him like that.”
Yes. You. Do.
On the Annunciation I consecrated myself to Mary by reading 33 Days to Morning Glory written by Father Michael E. Gaitley, MIC. The Annunciation is important to me for a few reasons- it was a perfect day. After consecration I’ve been so uplifted, noticing my blessings, and recognizing Jesus’ presence more through my growing relationship with Our Lady. I would recommend 33 Days to Morning Glory to anyone! It’s simple, extremely enriching, and Father Michael does a great job at arresting both the heart and the mind in prayer and knowledge. Here’s what I wrote on Instagram about my consecration day:
The Annunciation of The Blessed Virgin Mary. My consecration day. What a GLORIOUS “new morning”! Today the whole world celebrates Mary’s “Yes!” In accepting to follow the will of God and be the Mother of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. I’m happy to say that I’m joyfully choosing to continue to say “Yes!” each and every day through this consecration. I, Kaitlyn, a repentant sinner, renew and ratify the vows of my Baptism and proclaim the great things that God is doing in my life!
This chain celebrates my consecration to our Lady by learning to rely on Mary’s powerful intercession, experience her tender care, let myself be led by her, having recourse to her in all things, and trusting in her completely because Jesus entrusted her to us in His final moments on the cross (Jn 19:27). I am moved by an desire to live in the closest union with God that I possibly can, and I pray that by consecrating myself to Jesus through Mary I may be united “upward” to the Father with Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Spirit.
But most of all, I desire to imitate the kind of compassion and thirst for love in all souls that Blessed Mother Teresa most gloriously taught us in her own consecration- imitating her in asking Mary to lend me her heart as I unite myself to the perfect will of Christ. There was no one else closer Jesus to on this Earth than Mary. Therefore, I pray that I may stay close to her always, and in doing so, Him. Magnificat! 💙😇
“The greatest trick that the devil ever pulled was convincing women that they looked better in their makeup.”
I’ve never had perfectly clear skin, therefore, I’ve done everything I can to strive for that perfection. Washing my face. Going to the dermatologist. Getting prescription after prescription. Benzoyl peroxide. Clean and clear. Proactiv. You name it, I’ve probably considered using it. I started using makeup in the 7th grade and it’s become a crutch ever since for pesky pimples which only ends up contributing more to the problem.
Before this year’s Lent (it’s actually Easter today, Alleluia!) I had my daily morning routine. Wake up. Put on my clothes. Do my hair, makeup, and I’m out the door to breakfast. Seems like the average morning, right? Well, to many women, yes. This is what we do every morning before getting ready for the day. But it takes SO long.
Then one day I got out of the shower and started looking at my skin. I had a few new pimples even after I was well into my new Proactiv kit and thought to myself, “I’m 19 years old and I’m seriously still self conscious about my skin? Well of course I am… acne was supposed to end AFTER puberty, right?” Is Saint Rose playing a trick on me? (Saint Rose was a humble woman who chose to rub her face with pepper until it was red so that people would stop pursuing her. She had already given her heart to Jesus and had no desire to be admired in that way.)
I’m not Saint Rose, but I think what she was getting at was important. She knew she was beautiful, and didn’t want to live her life in vain, so naturally she found the root of her vanity and avoided all sinful distractions. In a similar way, I knew I had to find the root of my vanity, too. Who cares if I had a few zits? And after many frustrated phone calls with my mom complaining about how nothing ever works for me- I started thinking about my makeup. What if I didn’t wear it anymore?