— 1 —
This week’s post: For all of us who have asked this question: Dear God, What do You want from me? May you be blessed!
— 2 —
Spotlight on Maura Byrne: Maura was our guest speaker during our County Youth Day this past weekend! Maura has a fast growing apostolate called Made In His Image. As promised during my 7QTs last week, I am reporting back and putting the spotlight on her! Here is a little bit about Maura:
“Maura has an immense yearning to inspire others to choose to see beauty in their suffering and in the ambiguity of life. It is her desire to use her story, to foster hope and healing in the lives of all she encounters. Maura is dedicated to educating women about their inherent dignity as daughters of God, created in His image and likeness and the love of God the Father.”
She is wonderfully gifted! She is compassionate! She is Catholic!
— 3 —
She Is Wonderfully Gifted: Her audience consisted of 6th, 7th and 8th grade girls. It is a long story but we had to redirect her talk from a ‘Chastity‘ talk to a ‘Modesty, Sacramental, Become a Saint’ talk at the last-minute. When she accepted our invitation to speak 4 months ago, she was told that it was a Chastity talk and to “talk about whatever you want.” The organizers realized the night before Maura was about to get on the airplane that the parents of the middle school girls had not been notified that it was a “Chastity” talk and therefore we had to ask her to revamp her presentation!
As you can imagine, it was a little stressful. But, she knocked it out of the park!!! She hit every talking point we requested and most importantly, kept their attention the whole time. This age group has about a 25 minute attention span, however, after about an hour, we had to wave Maura off the stage because the talk was going so well! She captured their attention and their hearts.
— 4 —
She is compassionate: Maura has been through a lot and is an inspiring example of a healthy survivor. I feel certain the girls in the audience knew that Maura understands their struggles. She initiated a discussion about how the media portrays us women versus how God views us. The girls quickly and easily named every falsehood and media must be’s: skinny; perfect skin, teeth, hair and make-up; ‘full’ in certain areas; dress in the latest style. Maura understands that these girls (as young as 11 years old) are under pressure to be perfect. She conveyed to them that the idea that we need to be perfect is a lie and that our worth is from our Father in heaven because we are made in His image and likeness.
She also talked to them a bit about how hurtful our words can be. We as women can sometimes have the most biting comments towards other females. She encouraged them to watch their words. Overall, Maura was able to convince them that she understands the questions these young girls are dealing with: Who am I? What is my purpose? Who are You, God? Do I matter? Am I enough?
— 5 —
She is Catholic: After college Maura worked for Varsity Catholic, which is a subdivision of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). She worked as a Catholic missionary to bring the love of the Gospel to student-athletes on college campuses. She completed a mission trip to Kolkata, India to serve with the Missionaries of Charity. She loves the Sacraments and the Rosary and Mary and Eucharistic Adoration. She believes in the healing power of Confession.
Please do yourself a favor and beg your Youth Minister to invite Maura to talk to the girls in your school or Parish! We have these young, talented, on-fire-for-the-Lord-and-His-Church, Catholic speakers who have given up the comfort, security and stability of the corporate world to be Disciples of our Lord. Sure, they cost money but you have to remember that they have car payments and need health insurance too. Those things cost money! Let’s support them. The value of their impact on the lives of our young Catholics makes them worth every penny.
Thank you, Maura! We loved having you here and it was an honor to meet you!
— 6 —
Old Testament Reading: Did you happen to notice the Old Testament reading from Monday’s Mass? It was from the Book of Daniel, Chapter 13. You know how sometimes you hear scripture and you say, “Hey, I never heard that before!”
The story is about Susanna, “a woman of great beauty” (and a God-fearing woman) and how Daniel saved her from being executed for adultery. See, these two judges (who fell into lust) were peeking at Susanna while she was bathing and tried to trick her. They said, “…give in to our desire, and lie with us and if you refuse, we will testify against you that you dismissed your maids because a young man was here with you.” Susanna refused (again, a God-fearing woman) and they testified against her.
She was about to be executed and (here comes the good part!) “God stirred up the Holy Spirit of a young boy named Daniel.” Daniel separated the two judges and asked them to describe the tree in which the alleged adultery took place. One judge said, “mastic” and the other one said, “oak.” Busted!
How many times does God try to “stir up the Holy Spirit” in us? Imagine the impact we could have in His name! Come Holy Spirit!
— 7 —
My Dream Come True: Well sort of. I don’t watch a lot of TV but……have I mentioned how much I love Marcus Grodi’s show, The Journey Home? The problem is that his weekly show and The Best of The Journey Home are only on a couple of times a week. Well, I knew that there were all these YouTube videos of the shows that I could watch but I did not want to sit at my computer to watch them. I wanted to sit on my comfy couch next to my sweet man and watch them. So, Gregg listened to my plea and of course he found a solution. I am not certain how he did it but after purchasing and installing an $80 device, we can now watch YouTube videos on our TV while sitting on our comfy couch. Gregg is awesome.
God love and bless you!
If you have enjoyed my blog, please “like” my Facebook Page, The Veil and sign up to receive my blog posts automatically by clicking the rectangular “Follow” button. Thank you!
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary! We are praying for you and your little baby, Jennifer!
Oh, this makes me so happy! I met Maura on a retreat about 4 years ago, when her ministry, Made In His Image, was just a dream, and I’ve loved seeing it become real and bear so much fruit since then! I haven’t seen her since then, although we’ve kept in touch here and there, and I am dying to hear one of her talks!
She is a very sweet and gracious girl and the Lord is blessing her ministry!
I’m so glad you told me about Maura! I will look her up and recommend her to our parish Youth coordinators. She sounds amazing from your description!! Thank you!
You are welcome! She would be great for high school girls too!