About Michelle

For the last year I have embarked on motherhood and love every minute of it! My husband and I have been married for over two years and we both graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville. I have a degree in Nursing and worked in a Cardiac ICU for two years before I had my daughter. Currently, I am staying at home with her and it can be much more exciting than an ICU! Between being a full time Mommy and wife, I enjoy cooking a delicious meal, being outdoors, and reading an enlightening philosophy book. "laborare est orare " (work is prayer)


"The Visitation" by Roger Van Der Wyden

Roger Van Der Wyden

"From a theological point of view, Easter is the center of the Church year; but Christmas is the most profoundly human feast of faith, because it allows us to feel most deeply the humanity of God. The crib has a unique power to show us what it means to say that God wished to be "Immanuel"-- a "God with us", a God whom we may address in intimate language, because he encounters us as a child.  This makes Christmas a feast that invites us in a special way to meditation, to an internal act of looking at the Word (cf Lk 1:29; 2:19; 2:51). " -Pope Benedict XVI

During this first week of Advent, let us notice the children around us and remember that is how Christ came to us. As Pope Benedict XVI said this allowed us "to feel most deeply the humanity of God."  We are waiting for the birth of our savior. Just as a pregnant woman waits for her child to be born, there are many things to do to prepare for that child's arrival. In the same way lets use this short liturgical season to prepare for Christ. Whether that consists in committing to daily meditation in scripture, going to confession before Christmas Mass, daily sacrificial offerings, or daily Mass.

May we be ready to hold the Christ child on Christmas day because it is "in the Child Jesus, that we see most clearly the defenselessness of God's love".

Mysterium Corporis

"Natural beauty speaks eloquently about the Beauty of the Creator that it modestly reflects. They are God's footprints." ~Saint Bonaventure Every morning when my daughter wakes up, she loves to get dressed and attempts to pick out her outfit and put on Mommy's shoes (she's only 14 months old 🙂 ). She loves when I tell her, "You look pretty, Therese!" Even though she is so young,  she recognizes something "mysterious" or special about being a female. A few weeks ago I wrote about the basic foundation of becoming a woman of God to combat our distorted culture; primarily looking to Mother Mary as the perfect example of womanhood, prayer, and confession. There is so much more we could go into but this week I'm going to focus on how the very nature of the female body points to the very mystery of Christ himself.  Authentic beauty is somewhat distorted in our culture today. Well what does it mean to be "beautiful", to reflect the Beauty of the Creator?  Our very feminine bodies point to a deep reality so intricately tied with the redemption of Christ. First, the woman's intimate organs are not visible. They are "hidden" within her. This is clearly different from a man, who is outwardly visible. God made it so because something that is hidden refers to something mysterious, something that should be protected. For example, a study was done on a college campus of the differing ways men and women carry their school books. All the woman would hold their books in front of their chest and all the men would carry their books at their side. Already, nature reveals this desire of a woman to "protect" and "nurture" something hidden within.  A woman's body symbolizes a garden that should be protected, and the for the keys to belong to God. It is God's property in a special sense that is to be kept untouched until He allows "the bride-to-be to give the keys to her husband-to-be".   How beautiful it is when on the night of the bride's wedding she can say to her husband, I have kept this garden unsullied for you; and now that God has received our pledge to become one I entrust my keys to this garden.  Your body is a great mystery. God intended it to be this way. This mysterious character of the feminine genius is a reflection of the greatest event that has taken place in history. The Incarnation~ God becoming man. Jesus was hidden for nine months in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Our savior of the world, was kept a secret for almost a year, and only the most humble of souls knew. Even St. Joseph was not informed for sometime. This has profound meaning. God's mysteries are secret and hidden. The female body has the capability in partaking in the life giving and redemptive properties that our very own Mother Mary partook in, she brought our Salvation into the world through her "hidden" womb. How I hope we can all see the beauty of our bodies in a new light, even through the pains our monthly cycle can bring. Rather than see our fertility as a "disease" (as culture tells us), lets embrace our bodies as a great gift from God the Father. Your body points to the Incarnation! This week I challenge you, every time you look in the mirror and start to question your "beauty", remember the incredible "hidden" gift your body holds. Remember that God created the female body exactly the way it is because we have the ability to partake in his Salvation, by bringing new life into the world through suffering. You are mysterious and beautiful. Lets be the guardians of purity and teach others by example.  

Humble Acceptance

“The world in which we now live is a world whose outlook is so distorted that we absolutize what is relative (money-making, power, success) and relativise what is absolute (truth, moral values, and God).” –Alice Von Hildebrand (emphasis mine)

How is a young woman today supposed to know how to go out in the world and truly become a woman of God? Re-read the above quote and let it sink in. First, what is relativism? You may already know this, but simply put, it is the concept that your personal beliefs are all dependent on external conditions. Basically, there is no truth beyond what I make or what I claim. For example, a “good” catholic may believe against abortion but finds out they are pregnant with a child who has birth defects and justifies by saying this is my situation and this child will not have a good life so I will end their life. As terrible as this may sound, many people have bought into the belief that there are no absolute truths or everything is situational to each individual. Unfortunately we encounter this culture day in and day out, as we watch TV, as we go to school, in our families. Lets move on to define absolute. Absolute, according to Webester’s dictionary is defined as: free from imperfection; complete; perfect. God is absolute, perfection itself. Your femininity is a unique participation in the very perfection of God Himself. So as Alice Von Hidlebrand expressed, our world has become distorted. Our culture tells us money, superficial beauty, success and power are absolutes. And morals, values, and God are relative to each individual. Over the course of the next few months, I am going to reveal how to become a woman of God in order to combat the distortions of our culture. The foundation to becoming a woman of God is a life rooted in prayer. Oh, how many times I have heard this and you probably have too. And yet, there is always an opportunity to dig deeper and find ways to be in conversation with Christ more than we do. How do holy women pray? God has given us an extremely unique gift as female. Did you know that studies have actually proven that women contain more folds and cross-connections in their brains compared to men, hence the reason why we can have an emotional connection to any and every situation. Things become personal to us because God made us to be that way for very specific reasons. I will go into more detail about this later. So back to how holy women pray; the first woman to look to is Mary, recalling what Emily talked about Mother Mary last Saturday. Mary is with out sin. She is the absolute example of femininity. She embraced her mission as woman to serve others.  She said yes to hold the Christ Child in her womb, raise him tenderly, and watch her only son be tortured to death and die in front of her. As Christ says, “I have not come to be served but to serve.” Gregory VII introduced the most glorious title of the Holy Father who called him servus servorum Dei (the servant of the servants of God). Mother Mary embraced and fully lived out this trait of womanhood.  Naturally, our femininity points to serve others. This in fact is seen as a great weakness in our culture.  Humility is a virtue that finds little favor in our secular world today. Second, we must become humble. A life rooted in prayer begins with a committed habit to frequent confession. Further, a commitment to nightly examining our day and work on our vices or struggles can build true humility. Through recognizing our own faults, a life of prayer has room to blossom within our souls.  When I was first coming back to the faith, I really struggled with going to confession. Many times I just told God I was sorry. But the more I grew in my faith I realized that by doing so I was making myself the judge of my own contrition. The Church has given us confession so we don't have to be the judge but God will. And to receive the words from another " Your sins are forgiven, go in peace" gives you a deep sense of  renewal and freedom. This enables you to have room to pray, hear God, and ultimately choose to love. Prayer alone can drive our true feminine nature to naturally spring forth a servant attitude towards others. As I reflect on my own daily shortcomings, it is difficult for me many times to even feel worthy to talk to God because how could he love someone like me. But I realize by thinking that way, it is quite selfish, since he created me in the first place; God desires so much for us to converse and share all our inner struggles and thoughts with him. Women especially have the capability to do this easily and it’s rooted in science, as noted above. God wants all of us, especially our daily thoughts and emotions. The surest way to God is the “humble acceptance of one’s helplessness: “Come to my aid, O Lord, hasten to help me””. –Alice Von Hildebrand