Culture differences

What should I talk about today? I guess I can talk a bit about what I’ve been thinking about. I’m currently in Haiti but originally from Canada. I grew up in the country not having much but having the essentials. And I think growing in the country was preparing me for this mission.

In Haiti many people have next to nothing and yet they are so happy. I remember growing up I always wanted more and more but my parents told me ‘the more material things you have the less happy you are’. When I was 4 I had no idea what that meant and I did not believe my parents, I just wanted more.

Now I realize how true it is. If you don’t have many things to preoccupy yourself with then you fall back on human relationships. You mean people actually talk and not just text? Yes people here talk, they have friends, they play soccer with an old Coca Cola bottle, they study together. It’s rare that you will see a Haitian alone, they are always in groups joking around and having fun.

I find people here are more touchy feely but not in an awkward way. It’s more of a I’m comfortable with you so I don’t mind holding your hand. Guys and girls hold hands even though they are not a couple. It’s just a sign of friendship.

Picture taken in MilotPhysical touch is one of my love languages so I can appreciate when they give me a tap on the back, a handshake or a hi 5. But I do have to say that I feel awkward when they want to hold my hand. It’s a culture difference. I don’t mind when women or girls do it but it’s when guys do it that I’m uncomfortable.

I always have to question the guys’ intentions. I’ve been asked a few times in marriage here already and I’ve also been asked to go over at their place for the night. Never would I want to go to a guy’s place, especially if I just met him.

I’m generalizing but I noticed that Haitians have a thing for white people. Whenever they see a white person they have to go talk to them. At first I didn’t mind that. I liked the attention but now it really bothers me. I can’t wait for the day that I go for a walk and no one asks me to join. I do like my alone time but Haitian don’t understand that. Again, it’s a difference in the culture.

-My Catholic Living

Giving all that they have

I met two brothers last week and they were really nice. One is in grade 5 and the other in grade 6. They are teaching me créole and I’m teaching them french. They told me a bit about their background. Their father was in a car accident when they were really young and he’s now mentally ill but he can’t seek any help because it’s too expensive. Their mother is too poor to take care of them so they live with their aunt who is also poor. Yesterday they couldn’t go to school because they weren’t able to pay. God thankfully provided and today they were able to go. It’s important that they go to school especially this week because the students are in exams.These kids are extremely intelligent and do very well in school. I really hope that they can eventually graduate and move on the university, find a job and get out of that misery.

Because other students know that their father is mentally ill they don’t let them play soccer with them saying ‘they don’t know how to play because their father is crazy’. It hurts them a lot when people say that and you can see the pain in their eyes.

It took me a while to realize that these kids actually have nothing but they are the happiest people I know. They always have a smile and are ready to help anyone. Today they took time out of their day to get coconuts for the sisters. They even prepared them for us.
I find that it’s more often the people who have nothing that give the most. I’m really touched by these boys. May God continue to bless them.

This is a good reminder for me that I should be more selfless and think of others needs before myself.

Fort Sans Souci
This is a picture that one of the brothers took. It’s a place where we often hang out.

Please pray for these boys.

o Death where is your sting? o death where is your victory?

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

I really like that picture. I took it a year or two ago just before I went into a spiritual direction session. I found the sunset very inspiring.

This is what I think when I see it: Psalms 23:4
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

We live in a simple world but we complicate everything. We are afraid of death but yet isn’t death the only way we get to meet God?

Yesterday I lost my great aunt, my grandpa’s sister. I didn’t know her very well but it still leaves a whole in my heart. I should be happy and rejoicing knowing she lived a good life and that she has the opportunity of meeting our lovely God. But instead I’m feeling down. Someone I love had left this earth and I can’t talk to her anymore, I can’t see her, she’s gone.  It makes it really hard on me that I can’t see my family in these hard times.

Though one thing that has helped me cope with this pain is prayer. The sisters I’m currently living with asked me to lead night prayer for the first time. At first I said no because I have always felt awkward praying out loud. But then one of the sisters asked me again to lead it and I finally accepted (even though I still didn’t want to). I was really scared at first but once I started it was smooth sailing, I forgot that the others were there and it’s like it was just me and God. I brought him my fears and pains of death and He responded very well. This was also the time I let the sisters know the pain I coping with. And after night prayer was over they didn’t ask any questions about my great aunt but they said they would pray for me family.

I don’t think I could of handled talking about her without shedding tears. I am a very sensitive person and even just writing this I shed a few tears.

Even in dark times God is there regardless if we see Him or not. Just like the sun even though we can’t see it at night it’s there.

-My Catholic Living

Blessing in disguise, maybe?

We are living in hard times. Over 30 religious communities have been attacked and robbed in Haiti in the last 3 months. They even burned down a mission house earlier this week. Haitians don’t realize how much the religious communities have helped Haiti move up in the world. Most schools are run by religious religious people, brothers, sisters, priests and deacons. And they do it for free, they don’t want to get paid.

We now have to take extra extra precautions whenever we go out. The attacks are always at night and we know that all the attackers are men.

Yesterday all the religious orders met up and walked to the Cathedral to let the world know what’s been going on. After the walk we had mass all together, lay people and religious. I have to say that it was one of the most beautiful mass I ever attended. The Cathedral was packed full of people. In pews that we regular sit 5 or 6 people we were 10. And there were many people who stood up for the whole mass because they had no place to sit. It was an awesome atmosphere. I loved seeing so many people there praying all at once. And during consecration it was quiet, I could of heard a pin drop from the other side of the cathedral. All in all, it was an event which reminded me that there is good in every situation whether or not we see it.

Please if you have a minute or two pray for these men, that they have a change of heart. And that God may penetrate their hearts to show them that they are loved.

-my catholic living

Mass, in a different language

I really love mass! I try to go everyday and I find that if I can’t make it to mass (or if I sleep in) my day is not the same. I really like starting my day with mass because it’s such a pick me up especially when life is really busy. I’m a currently a missionary which means that I travel a lot.

I speak both french and english. I know that it bothers some people that I can switch from one language to another in a snap of the fingers. I never understood how that could frustrate people, to me it’s such a beautiful thing. I love hearing people speak in different languages. But lately I’ve been getting a glimps of how they feel.

Last week I moved to a different community, this community only speaks a french dialect. So I can understand a few words here and there but sometimes I don’t understand at all what they are saying. I’ve been learning this language but it’s still a hard thing to do when I’m so busy. Mass is always in this dialect which is a bit frustrating because I lose focus when the priest is preaching his homily. But I also know that I’m getting special graces from attending mass in this language. I focus more on the readings and try to understand them better. It’s also a good reminder that I shouldn’t just learn the prayers by heart but actually mean the prayers when I say them.

I’m sorry if I ever disrespected anyone by switching language I didn’t mean to disrespect you it’s just my way of expressing myself.  We have to meet in the middle. It’s just hard because it’s like I have my french speaking group of friends and my english speaking group of friends and they can by no means mix. I would love for them to all hang out together but when we start speaking french the anglophone will feel left out. It’s not that we don’t want you to understand it’s just that’s our way of expressing ourselves. It’s the language we feel most comfortable in.

Oh :/ I wasn’t expecting to rant but I guess I did a bit. Have a great Sunday and to all women out there have a great day! Today is international women’s day! Be the true woman you were called to be.

-mycatholicliving

Year of consecrated life

Here I am discerning my vocation. One day I feel called to religious life and the next day I feel called to married life. This is a big decision and I wouldn’t want to make the wrong choice. I know that God gave us free will which means that deep down it’s my choice but I also know that he had made me to follow a certain road. This week I’m leaning more toward marriage… but that’s not going anywhere soon because I told myself that I’m not courting until I get back home. Like I mentioned before, I’m on a mission trip. And next week I will probably be leaning more towards religious life.

These days I find people get into relationships way too quick… and WAYYY too early. I worked with kids around the ages of 6-7 and they were already talking about their so called boyfriends and their dates. I was always told that the purpose of dating is not only to get to know the other person but it’s because you think it could lead to marriage. But that’s not what most young adults in our society thinks. Many see dating as a social status, you’re ”cool” if you’re dating someone.

I’m not going to lie, I went out with a young man for 9 months and I couldn’t see a future with him but I was also scared of breaking up with him because I knew it hurt him. I kept thinking maybe it’s going to work out… For a month or so I knew I our relationship wasn’t going to lead anywhere but I kept avoiding telling him anything.

When I finally told him, he told me he felt the same way. It was such a relief for both of us and we are still good friends.

I’m new to this blogging idea, if you have any topics to suggest or questions I would greatly appreciate them. I’m hoping to do this on a weekly or monthly basis (depending whether I have Internet or not at the mission houses)

God is Love

Hello everybody!

I’m a young catholic and I’m here to tell the world what’s going on in my brain. As Catholic we are told to believe certain things but are explained why. My goal for this blog is to find out the truths behind Catholicism.

For my first blog I figured I would explore the theme of ‘God is Love’. We so often hear this but what does it really mean? All my life I’ve been told, God is Love so love God and I used to even give talks about this but I would say the typical things like: we are made in His image, we are a thought of God, blah blah blah… But if you don’t understand the word Love you can’t understand the statement God is Love.

Love is word that our society is misinterpreting. Often people associate love with infatuation. I am guilty of associating both of them too. But lately I’ve been thinking a lot about love, true love. What is love? Is it just an emotion? Is it a feeling? Is it something that is given? Can it be taken away? My simple answer is love is a gift from God. But then again going back on the first statement God is Love  it’s like saying God is a gift from God. Which is true! But what does that mean? Lets take a look at Jesus’ life. In His Passion and Resurrection. When Jesus was on the cross He could of said ‘Hey Dad I don’t want to do this’ but no He stayed there so that He could give us the opportunity to be saved from the fires of Hell. Heaven isn’t something guaranteed we still have to work to get there but at least now it’s an option.

You know what made Jesus stay on the cross? I’m sure Jesus didn’t want to stay there since He even said ‘Father why have You forsaken Me?’ Jesus felt betrayed by His Father but He knew He had to go through this pain and suffering for us humans. It was Jesus’ Love for us that held him there. Imagine if you were the only person on earth, Jesus would of still suffered the same excruciating pain to save you. Something that helped me understand was this: When Jesus was on the cross, suffering, He thought of you, He knew you and He died for you. Think about this: Every time we attend mass it’s like we’re living the Passion right? Well it’s exactly like we were at Calvary when He was being crucified. Just a crazy thought that I had.

So all in all, God is Love because He freely gave Himself up for us. Which in my opinion is True Love.

-mycatholicliving