Catholicism is a faith full of challenges and hardship, not one of ease as others mistake it to be, but it can also prove to be a truly rewarding and edifying experience.

Mount St. Joseph News

Many people think Catholicism is Bible study every morning at 6, church every Sunday, talking to and serving the homeless whenever we see someone on the street, and living life without a care in the world. Unfortunately, that is only the highlight reel of the faith. What Catholicism really looks like is doing Bible study when you can, church on Sundays and occasionally on weekdays, serving the homeless when we have time, and struggling through life with God by our side.

A common misconception is that when you have God by your side then you don’t have obstacles. The truth is that we struggle a lot because of our faith. Society rejects us because they don’t understand our beliefs, our family may reject us because we have different beliefs than they do, and our friends may reject us because we started acting differently since entering the faith. Sometimes it can feel like God isn’t there, that he walked away and left us to fend for ourselves. Sometimes it may seem like ever since we entered the faith, everything has been going wrong and we are losing everything and everyone in our lives.

The good news is…maybe that was meant to happen. Jesus sees and hears things that you might not have and then removes them from your life. Only then can you realize how harmful those things are to you. Jesus has to remove the fog from your vision and renew your mind. Only then can you become the person God created you to be and accept the blessings God is trying to give you such as a supportive community and words of praise.

What am I talking about? Let me share my story.

I’m a cradle Catholic (someone who was born and raised Catholic). Like anyone else I was forced to go to church every Sunday unless I was sick and I was forced to go through Bible school and confirmation classes. I didn’t like going to church at all because it was boring, so I preoccupied myself by cooking pretend food with my imagination and trying to put my fingers in the exact position of the raised hand of the person in front of me while the congregation prayed the “Our Father.”  At bedtime, prayer was a race between my siblings and me to see who could remind the others to pray first and get done with their prayers the fastest. During bible school I enjoyed the company of kids my age, crafts, and free candy. When confirmation classes started in ninth grade, I liked listening to the lessons and watching the videos of Matthew Kelly. My teacher’s passion for Catholicism also caught my interest.

Then my confirmation class went on a mandatory retreat to unplug and grow closer to God. I think that was the first time I ever experienced adoration and intimacy with Jesus. That weekend in 2019 was some of the best days of my life because I got to bond with the other girls, play gaga ball in the buddy ball pit, watch inspirational videos, grow closer to Jesus, and receive a letter from a girl I altar-served with that would change my life. In the letter, she told me that she was excited for my confirmation and that she would love to get to know me more even though we had only altar-served together a couple times. I wanted to thank her for her kind note so I looked her up on an app that my youth group was using to chat on, thanked her for her note, and asked her if she wrote the note because she was told to or because she wanted to. When she told me her note was out of her own free will, I poured out my gratitude telling her about my struggles as a kid who has moved around the U.S. and how grateful I was that someone cared to reach out to me. She made me feel welcome.

Ever since that day, I’ve grown so much in my faith and so many of my actions have been based on what God wants for my life, including coming to MSJ. I’ve learned to be kinder to people and show my gratitude. Currently, I’m learning how to let God take control of my life because I know that his plans are much better than mine. However, it’s a difficult thing to do. I still struggle in the faith just like anyone else. There are times when I’ve been in pain or been so worried that I questioned if Jesus exists. Once when I was a young teenager, I was walking around the house contemplating the existence of God, and for a reason I don’t remember, I decided he didn’t exist. Thankfully that belief didn’t last long. Now, whenever I question God’s existence, I’m comforted by the fact that in a letter from Mother Teresa, she also shared that she wondered if Jesus was real. She said in an interview that everyone questions if God is real; it is part of the faith journey.

A common question from unbelievers is “If God is real, then why is there so much hatred and violence?” The emotions behind that question are appropriate and it is a difficult one to answer. The simplest answer I can give is that humanity has made the world this way. The Bible says that all good things come from God. God does not create the bad things in the world, but he does allow them to happen sometimes. As humans, sometimes we can’t wrap our heads around the fact that everything happens for a reason. For example, if you lose a friend, that experience will either teach you that you are a better person without them or that you needed to grow as a person before they could be your friend again. Another example is losing someone you were close with. You can choose to turn that moment of sorrow into a lifetime of sulking, or you can use it as something to fuel your determination to fulfill your dreams. This is how motivational speakers get started. We shouldn’t blame God for what goes wrong in our lives or the lives of others, nor should we blame ourselves. There are many things that happen in life that we cannot explain.

We will always struggle because it’s part of being human, but we can have hope in the fact that God is always by our side and rooting for us. He forgives us of our sins even though we don’t deserve his mercy. God does not promise to take away our suffering; he promises to give us peace and strength on the good and bad days. All we have to do is accept his gifts and let him love us. That’s all he has ever wanted from us.

I love this passage from 1 Peter 1:3-9: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded by faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Although you have not seen his you love his; even though you do not see his now yet believe in his, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

Youth all over the world are looking for answers to their never-ending questions, but in all the wrong places. Look to Jesus and you’ll find what you need. Jesus isn’t a myth and Catholicism isn’t a cult. We are a community of people who have found or are searching for our worth in Jesus, and it’s changing us into completely different people. Often, it’s only the outcome of our journeys that are posted on social media. We find that the journey is well worth the reward.


If you or anyone you know would like to talk more about Catholicism or Christianity, please feel free to email me at I would be more than happy to talk and walk with you on your faith journey. I keep everything confidential and I always pray for you.

If you have never known God before, I encourage you to take the first step because his eternal love will change your life forever in the best way you could imagine. He provides you with everything you need, including your every breath. He loves you no matter what you have said or done and no matter how far you try to run away from him. I hope you have a blessed day realizing that you are loved more than you know!