ANNOUNCEMENT

Just a little announcement to all my readers. Last year has been crazy but this year will be better! With that being said, I have been neglecting posts and I really feel bad about it. I will start posting regularly with 4 posts a week. You guys have been great and your support is awesome! I am spreading God’s message and hopefully touching some lives along the way

In Christ,

Tyler Marie

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Advent

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We are in the second week of Advent! This time and Lent are two of my most favorite times of the year because of the significance that each event has in both our faith and our life. Advent is a special time of year because it is the anticipation of Jesus being born into our world. Our Advent is only 4 weeks long, can you imagine how long the other advent was? It was many, many years! They were always promised a new covenant, they were promised a savior. People waited for a really long time until one day a savior was born in a manger.

I find it quite funny that many people who don’t believe in Christianity but celebrate advent without even really knowing it. Usually people decorate right after Thanksgiving, which is around the same time that Advent starts, they celebrate with parties, carols and presents to others. Then on Christmas day they have a huge celebration and without even knowing it they have participated in Advent. That is where our duty as Catholics comes in to help remind them of the reason that there is even a Christmas season.

Jesus is the reason for the season and the fact that we have to keep putting up reminders is truly sad. If the world just accepted the truth then we wouldn’t have to put bumper stickers on our cars or wear pins that proclaim the truth – but we have free will. This is precisely why we have to stick up for our faith and for the beauty that Christmas truly holds. Since the fall of man this is why the faith is so important to stand by. Because people do have free will and often times get romanced by the temptations of the world.

advent-candlesThe world was in complete darkness before Jesus came, there was no hope. Then Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, was born in a manger. Not in a castle or in a mansion. He was born in a barn with hay and animals, certainly not a fitting place for a King – especially the King of Heaven, the Savior. But He did it to teach us that He is coming to save us from the world, not coming to live in the world. He was born in dust to show us that this life, that the circumstances of this world should not determine our faith.

During this advent season we have to look into ourselves by looking into Christ. Do we give Him the respect He deserves? Do we live our lives like He teaches us to? This is four weeks of preparation to make sure that we are on the right path. To make sure that our lives line up with that of what Jesus calls us to be.

Don’t get swept up in commercialism and empty Christmas greetings. Celebrate the season with Jesus in everything you do. I don’t mean skip the Christmas parties and don’t sing Christmas carols. Do it! That is what makes this season so special but know the why. When you go to the cookie exchange talk about Jesus, how excited you are about celebrating the truth of  Christmas. Say Merry Christmas to the store clerk. Use these festive, fun times as a way to evangelize and preach about the coming of our Savior and how much that truly has changed everything.

Dear Jesus,

Please give me the courage to defend your name,

Especially during this season that celebrates Your birth.

You were born in a manger,

Let me use this to humble myself.

I pray that others will learn to keep you in Christmas,

To give you the glory that you deserve.

Amen

Fear Not

 

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Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”* The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”

In this very short verse from the Bible we learn two very important points: Jesus is God and we must not fear.

e6fc352b430ba2a9dd99831135706f0bFirst, we see the disciples very afraid, the winds were bad and it appeared as if they were going to perish into the terrifying waters. They were afraid and wanted to escape, the felt great fear. Jesus was sleeping because He was unafraid, He trusted God. Then He gets up and calms the winds and the waters, an act only God can do. This is really the first time that the disciples witnessed the great extent of the power of Jesus Christ. It really is a two-fold learning tool because we see what great power Jesus physically has over the world but it also shows us how much spiritual power He has over us, when we allow Him to.

We all have turbulent times in our life where nothing seems to go right. A storm, if you will, of uncertain waves of persecution and loss. The waters in our life become unsteady threatening to topple us out of our boat at any moment, consuming every inch of our life. However, if we call upon Jesus and truly believe in Him with our whole hearts, then He will calm the storm within our hearts and life. If He calms a raging storm for the disciples, then would He not do the same for us?

Then He says to His disciples, “why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?”. They were in the presence of Jesus Christ, yet they still held such a crippling amount of fear because they thought they were going to die. In our lives fear causes weakness because we put our trust in the wrong person – ourselves. Fear can be summed up in four words F-orget E-verything A-nd R-un. Forget, what are we forgetting? Jesus.

When we are plagued with a fear so troubling that it affects our abilities to think coherently then we are saying that we aren’t strong enough. Whatever we are afraid of holds a power so strong over us that we lose a little piece of our self. Jesus asked His disciples why they were so afraid, did they not have faith in Him yet. They could have perished in the waters, they could have been swept away and lost their lives however they were afraid of the possibility of dying. I’m not saying go out and be an adrenaline junky and sky dive or go hug a bear. I am saying that when faced with an outright scary situation we shouldn’t fear the outcome. When it is our time to go home God will call us and we have to be prepared. We have to understand that we live our lives every day as if the lord is returning.

Next time you are plagued by a crippling fear, imagine yourself on the boat with the disciples and Jesus. Imagine Jesus saying to you, have you no faith? Then work on confronting the fear that is holding you back. It is a process and it may not happen overnight but keep working at it. Prayer is your number one tool for getting over fears – use it! But make sure that you keep your faith while you face your fears and remember that Jesus is ALWAYS with you, even when you feel all along and fearful. Call on Him! That is what He wants and find your peace in His love.

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Dear Jesus,

Help me to fight my fears,

That keep me from you.

Help me to place my trust in you,

Instead of in myself.

The glory of each day I live is for you,

I would be nothing without your love helping me through.

Amen

Letter to My Parents

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Dear Mom and Dad,

The seasons change, leaves fall away, the sun sets and rises but one thing remains the same – your love. A love that I was surrounded in when growing up and that I still continue to feel. Many children are neglected, either their parents just don’t feed them or are too poor to afford food. You sacrificed your food for your children’s, opting to go hungry instead of letting your little ones have an empty stomach. Many children are not shown love and are made to feel worthless. You let us kids know that if we worked hard enough, then we can and will accomplish our dreams. Dad worked hard in the military, sacrificing so much to ensure that his children had a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food in their tummy. Mom worked hard taking care of the children, showering them with love, cooking, cleaning and playing with them. Many kids are beaten for the mere fact of breathing wrong and just existing, other kids are left to their own devices with no direction. You instilled a discipline of respecting adults, being responsible and respecting ourselves. You gave us chores that we learned to complete and were rewarded for. One time we had a ticketing system where you went out and bought a bunch of cool toys. We all worked hard to earn tickets, then had an auction on the goodies that we wanted. We learned that by dedicating ourselves to a task, completing it thoroughly and working hard will lead to success. I respect you two for what you have done for me and how you have helped me, even if most of the time I didn’t deserve it.

Love Forever,

Tyler Marie

Since the fall of Eden people have always have their weaknesses, their struggles. None of us are free from that. That is why Jesus came, to help us work through these weaknesses and to find salvation. This world is one that we must carry our cross, walk with Jesus and follow the path He has for us. We are so often overcome by the temptations of the devil that we lose our way. That was me. I was tempted by wanting so badly to be a part of the world, which is what I did. My parents had brought me to God and helped me to develop a faith within the Catholic Church. When I reached a certain point in my life I rebelled against the idea of the Church and what faith was; so much so that I was wicked to my parents. I did everything to keep my heart in the world that I didn’t realize how much damage I was really doing. So much so that twice in my life I really had to face reality and it wasn’t until the second time that I truly took what Jesus was giving me. I changed my life so much because I knew that was what had to be done, when in doing so I found true happiness. So much tragedy has struck in my life since my transformation that I can’t help but to see that the path I have chosen is the one that Christ has wanted for me. It is through these tragic events that I see Jesus smiling at me because I know that He holds me, that through these sufferings something beautiful is being made.

My parents are a big part of why I am where I am now. They have helped me and all their children through their falls because that is the type of people they are. Not all their children appreciate the sacrifices and support they have made but Jesus knows the truth. We can create wicked scenarios that are completely false but in the end, God knows. You can smear someone’s name as much as you want in false lies but it won’t last forever. The light will always overcome the dark and the lies will always be made known.

Dear Jesus,

Help us to appreciate the love a parent has for us.

When they try to guide us, help us to listen to them,

Not to fight against the wisdom they offer.

Bring  peace and comfort,

When children are wicked to their parents,

Please wrap your arms around the parents to comfort them.

Help give parents the strength to stand tall against the attacks of Satan.

Amen

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False Comfort

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Living for Jesus means making sacrifices and living in a state of the unknown.  This world is a brutal one, particularly for the followers of God and those who proclaim Jesus message. Sure, we can live in the comfort of our lives and go to church on Sunday and holy days of obligation – stopping there. But is that really living for Christ? We can’t hold back in our beliefs and we have to live by them if we want to be followers of Christ.

When I say that we live in the state of the unknown when we are followers of Jesus Christ, it is the unknown of how the world will react to us – usually with aggression. People who don’t have Jesus or who have him in the wrong way will more than likely react in a negative way when you proclaim the word. This doesn’t mean standing on the street corner holding a sign but rather trying to connect with people and teach them about the true way of Jesus.

People will oppose you, so be ready! My ultimate goal is to open up a retreat center and while I have a ton of support someone told me the other day that it would be a waste of my life, that I should do something more stable. I wasn’t surprised that someone would say this because looking at things from a worldly perspective it isn’t necessarily stable and I am taking a huge leap. However, I am not alone and I do not live for this world.

That is something that we so often forget sometimes is that we do not live for this world. So while a stable 9 to 5 job is good for some people and Jesus may call you to do that, He calls others to do something different. We should be out there preaching the good news of our God and our faith. Instead sometimes we keep it to ourselves because it is taboo to share your religion with others or it is okay to do it just on Sundays.

The apostles were from all different walks of life, fisherman, tax collectors, etc. who had comfortable jobs in their time. When Jesus called them they left that to follow Him and once He died, they spread His message to those who did not have it – even at the cost of death they did it. What this shows me is that we have to step outside of our comfort zone to truly follow Jesus, we have to risk all kinds of things to follow Him. They are not done in vain because our life here on earth is small compared to that of eternity in Heaven. If we live only for this world and find comfort in this world, it will eventually die and we will be cut off from eternity.

Dear Jesus,

Please help me to follow you,

The road is not easy but through you it is possible.

Give me the strength to stand and preach your word,

To bring the souls you love back to you.

Give me courage and strength to take the path that you have for me,

To open my heart to your will.

Amen

Merry Christmas…?

Is it Christmas already? Did I miss a whole season? Oh wait, that’s right it’s just commercialism at its worse. Don’t fall into the trap!

It seems to start sooner and sooner, before Easter is even over it’s time to pick your Christmas tree with the perfect garland. Okay, I might be exaggerating just a bit but you get the point. Christmas decorations are being put out sooner and sooner it seems, which diminishes how people see the importance of the holiday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m into the cheesy Hallmark movies and the glittery decorations but I understand what the purpose of the holiday is along with why it is important. I also don’t look at Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving.

It isn’t just Santa coming down the chimney with a sack full of toys, in fact that doesn’t have anything to do with the season at all. Although it has been brought into the fold and has taken an alarming center stage of what people perceive the season to  be, it really has no place. Saint Nicholas is a real saint who accomplished so much more then what is being perceived in the now jolly Santa Clause. His parents died when he was a young boy but left him with a huge inheritance and an even greater Catholic faith. He took the money from the inheritance and helped the sick, poor and dying. To take a Saint who truly lived what Christ teaches and dedicated his life to the service of the poor, and turn him into a commercialized version that can appeal to atheists is something that just doesn’t sit well with me. Now, I love the jolly old Saint Nick and I grew up in a winter wonderland. When I was a child my parents would go all out with the Christmas decorations. We would have all these cool different scenes set up and it was truly special; but I still knew what the season was and why it was important.

Jesus was born in a manger because there was no room for the Holy Family in the inn. Jesus is not allowed to be celebrated during Christmas because there is no room for Him in homes. Think about it, we can’t say Merry Christmas (I say it anyways) and we can’t put Nativities out to celebrate His birth. The majority of Christmas decorations involve Santa Clause, little elves and goofy reindeer. And so much money goes into commercialism and Jesus was born into poverty. There’s all these opposites that are seen from what Christmas was, to what it has become.

Keep this in mind as you walk through the store and see Christmas decorations galore. To look or not to look, that is the question. Or is it? Should it even be a question? Don’t look! I made a promise to Jesus that I wouldn’t look at Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving. Is it hard? Yes! I LOVE Christmas, I love the feeling that the blessed season has on people because it brings about a feeling of peace and unity. It is quite beautiful because whether people want to believe it or not, it is Jesus that causes this feeling because it is the season of His birth.

Dear Jesus,

Help me to speak out against the injustice being brought against you,

People have tried to diminish the importance of your birth.

Give me the strength to stand up against those who hurt you,

And those who don’t have you in those life.

Give me the courage to spread the importance of your message,

To stand up against the hate that is evident in today’s society.

Amen

Fear Not

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A new band called We Are Messengers inspired this blog post. I was listening to their album when some of the lyrics really stuck out to me – I see that love is a man hanging on a tree, With his heart poured out for me, Love is a king watching over me, And when I look up, He’s all I see, So when I walk through the valley I will not be afraid.

If you just stop and soak up what the words mean then it is truly invigorating. Jesus, fully God and Fully man died for us by hanging on a tree. Think about it, how truly painful it must have been to be nailed to a tree and beaten just minutes prior. To be spit upon and taunted relentlessly only to meet your end through being nailed to a tree and slowly bleeding out, waiting until you suffocate for the pain to go away.

He knew everything that was going to happen and exactly how painful it was going to be. In this life we go through trials and hard times but our faith should help us get through. Jesus Himself tells us that times in this world will not be easy because we are not living for this world but for the next. If life were easy in this world then what will be gained for the next? We use our sufferings to save souls for the Glory of God. Through our suffering, if we keep our faith, then we will be made stronger.

Today’s society has a problem with instant gratification and expecting immediate results. This is why many are disheartened when the prayers they want answered, are not answered in the way they want. God knows what is best for us but we have to trust that God knows what is best for us. God always answers our prayers but it is up to us to listen and to see what the answer is.

We so often forget that not only did Jesus die for us but that He suffered for our sins to be forgiven – which is exactly what is conveyed in the song. This isn’t an automatic path to redemption as many of the Protestants think. Instead, it is a journey and a continuous process of acknowledging the wrongs that are committed and seeking forgiveness. Acknowledgement is a huge part of the Catholic faith and being a follower of Jesus. It is through acknowledging what we have done wrong that we can truly find forgiveness and redemption. The sacrifice that Jesus made was not a free pass for getting away with whatever you want but rather it was a new chance to find forgiveness.

We walk through a valley every day when we are followers of Christ. Today’s world is a dangerous one that needs the word of God even more now. We can’t and shouldn’t be afraid to spread His message, to spread His Glory. Even if we are harassed and treated poorly we shouldn’t be afraid because God is always with us.

Dear God,

You gave your Son so that we could spend eternity with you,

Help me to appreciate the sacrifice,

To live my life for the glory of You.

Give me the strength to spread Your message through the land,

To help others understand Your Word.

Amen