Travis, everyone’s favorite director of development, is here with some epic tips on how to improve your workouts and your prayer!

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{photo from Jared Zimmerer}

This one is for the Catholic meat heads of the world. If done right there should be few places holier than the weight room, where weights clanking together sound as sweet as church bells, chalk fills the room like incense in Mass, and men and women approach the iron like it’s the answer to their prayers. Well… it’s not the answer to your prayers but it can help aid your prayer and help you to grow in virtue. Below are a few tips to help you add virtue to you gym sessions:

1) “Pray before, after, and during your lifts” – Jared Zimmerer
A workout is the perfect place to figure out the intricacies of your soul. It is interesting that in order to grow our muscles we have to tear them down first. It is the same with our souls, if you invite Christ and His Blessed Mother to the gym with you they will reveal to you things you never knew about yourself. Trust me on this.
“Let us work. Let us work a lot and work well, without forgetting that prayer is our best weapon. That is why I will never tire of repeating that we have to be contemplative souls in the middle of the world, who try to convert their work into prayer” – St. Josemaria Escriva.

2) Train until failure.

Your time in the gym is a time to remember your mortality. Not only will you build more muscle, but in choosing to do those extra reps that are so difficult and painful, you will be able to make difficult choices outside of the gym. When the temptation to be lazy at work arises, or to give in to that moment of weakness in front of your laptop, you will know what it’s like to push yourself to your limits and you will be able to overcome. It is also important lesson in perseverance, if a person is stuck benching 225 lbs. for 8 reps, does he stop trying to get the 9th rep. No, that person continues to work and fail at 8 reps until he can do 9. In a similar way, when we fall into sin, especially into mortal sin, you get to confession and get back to work! When you fall again, you do the same thing. Discouragement IS the devil so when you fail the only thing you should be thinking about is your next set. Get back on the bench and try again!
“We expect that God, in his omnipotence, will defeat injustice, evil, sin and suffering with a triumphant divine victory. Instead, God shows us a humble victory that in human terms seems to be a failure.”- Pope Francis

3) Absolutely never say no to spotting a fellow lifter- especially if they are new to the gym!

Especially when someone is new to the gym, they could be extra vulnerable. Nothing drives me crazier than when someone is too into themselves to take five seconds out of their workout to help spot and motivate someone else in the gym. When someone is new to the gym, one bad experience can sour them forever. This reminds me of another place where people get soured because they were not welcomed in the proper way…oh yeah CHURCH. The bottom line is, when someone needs help and you’re in a position to offer help (in this case you always are), you offer help. Period. “Iron is sharpened by Iron; one person sharpens another”- Psalm 27:17.
As Catholics, our bodies are temples of the most wonderful gift on earth, the Eucharist. So when we are pursuing our fitness goals, we should keep this in mind and make sure the process is virtuous. We wouldn’t want to build a parish for our own glory we would want it to represent the beauty inside. So the same goes for your body, when you are sculpting and building your temple make sure it is for the right reasons! Also, for the love of God enjoy your workouts!

Why do Catholics do that? will quickly answer a common question asked to Catholics and provide a few links for further reading. We hope this will help you learn the faith and share it with those around you! 


Why do Catholics Do That?

 

Why Do Catholics Worship Mary?

 

Short answer: we don’t. Catholics venerate Mary and ask for her intercession.

Okay woah big words. Venerate? Intercession?

To venerate is to honor. We respect Mary because as a 13 year old girl she said yes to God and bore Jesus, the son of God, in her womb, for 9 months.

Alright that makes sense… what about intercession?

We ask Mary to intercede for us, or pray for us to Christ. It is the exact same way that we ask our friends to pray for us. The only difference is that Mary is in heaven already. So it’s sort of like she can walk up to Jesus and ask Him our petition directly. Pretty cool stuff.

This is just the tip of the iceberg in regards to Mary and Intercession. For more information check out what the Catechism has to say on them!

On Mary: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p123a9p6.htm

On prayer and intercession: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p4s1c1a3.htm

Mary, Mother of the Church, Pray for us!!

 

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I cannot remember a time when I did not have faith. That is, I cannot remember a moment when I believed God did not exist. And I really don’t know if this is common or not, only that it is my experience. Blessed John Henry Newman—my Confirmation saint—says somewhere that he believes God exists like he believes that he—Newman—exists. I like this. Growing up in a Southern Baptist church in Oklahoma, I was very much in the buckle of the Bible Belt, and conversations about issues in family, school, politics always had the backdrop of Christianity, even if it was an outright rejection of this faith. What this upbringing taught me is the presence of God, of the reality of God and our duty towards Him. At the very least, the question of God’s reality was forced upon my imagination at a very young age and by people who believed in one and acted like it. What remained to be seen—and still has—is what God is like, how God has shown Himself to us, or has God shown Himself to us?

I had in a particular sense a conversion experience like many—at a youth camp before my eighth grade, after which I was baptized (albeit for the third time, but that’s another story…). That mark never left me, and my friends and leaders in my Baptist churches, and a Presbyterian church later on, showed me Christ in their teaching and actions.

I am currently a PhD student studying religion and literature, but I went to college so I could be a foreign missionary. The people I’d known to be most fully consecrated to God’s will were these people, and my church emphasized the need to evangelize the world. And this is true, for all desires are for the heart of Christ. But I had a different kind of conversion in undergrad, this time to literature. It was sort of like St. Augustine’s “tolle lege”, but I started grabbing for Tolstoy, Flannery O’Connor, Shakespeare, and C.S. Lewis. I found that consecrating my time to art and the written word was a way not only of answering—if ever in part—questions about who I am, but also a way of loving God with my mind. Beyond this, I have found it another kind of witness, of God as he has shown Himself to people across time, space, cultures, beliefs.

Much of this exploration, through books, church, and conversation lead me to begin praying the Divine Hours with some professors of mine at Oklahoma Baptist University. This, for reasons I cannot explain, lead me across the street to St. Gregory’s Catholic University, where they had an active abbey along with the university. These brothers—monks, we still call them—were the first Catholics I knew outside of those I read of, and I had never known anyone so committed to Christ in every way—in money, time, and marriage to the sacraments. This relationship grew into a time of exploring the Church, almost exclusively in books and Protestant worship, that lead to my confirmation in the Catholic Church in Easter of 2012.

My life in the Church has been in most every way wonderful, though also with its difficulties. These difficulties come with responsibility of knowing Christ more fully, and therefore knowing the reality of rejecting Christ; and so often we do this—I do this—but a more unimaginable glory is found in His forgiveness when we seek it. I have found a lot of ways of describing what it’s like to be in the Church, and right now I like to think of it as a house with many rooms of all shapes and décor. Better yet a house within city, with many more and beautiful houses. Better yet, we find out, that it is only a person, and the person is Christ, somehow in every part of all this and in all of us. Baylor has been an excellent place to continue discovering this, and my friends are impossibly good examples in fulfilling the faith. Anyways, I’m out of space here, but feel free to come talk anytime. Grace and peace!

I don’t know about you, but the transition period between summer and fall is always tricky – especially with flighty Waco weather. One day it’s warm, one day it’s cool. One of my favorite ways to dress for this “in-between” season is skirts! They’re so fun and add instant casual style to an outfit. Best of all, you can either add tights if it’s cooler outside or opt for bare legs if it happens to be one of those warm, sunny, humid days that we’re all familiar with in Waco.
Whether it’s a chic pencil skirt, a shorter fun skirt, a comfortable maxi skirt, or a swingy midi one, a skirt is always a classic piece to have in your wardrobe. Plus, they look adorable with cardigans + boots. What’s your favorite style skirt?
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Blessings!

Grace

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To start off, my name is Chris Tasler. I am a first-year missionary here at Baylor, hailing from the northern lands of Iowa. I pursued my undergraduate degree at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. There I received my diploma in Mechanical Engineering.

​The reason I’m a FOCUS missionary can probably be traced back to a particular evening my sophomore year of college. It was a quote I remember reading which said, “Few people are willing to step up to be a leader. That’s why it’s so valuable.” I prayed to God that night that He’d make me into a leader. Something shot into my heart to desire this. I had always shied away from positions of leadership, of responsibility, of people looking to me for guidance because I was afraid to fail. For some reason now though, I wanted it. Even though I was still as useless as a limp fish out of water, I trusted God would build me up into who I needed and desired to be.

​So I began taking on projects in the engineering club and accepting the roles such as being the president of the club. Tears of frustration would come now and again. But with every month that passed I could look back and see how God had held me up. So I knew He was with me now and We’d get through this next month alright. And what’s more crazy is that I knew He had been there with me, listening to my prayer that night and said, “I’ll do it.” Towards the end of the my fifth year at college I began going around the Kansas area helping to host retreats for students in middle school and high school, giving talks. It was an incredible experience and loved it! But of course it was nerve-wracking too.

​This and much more I’ve taken with me into FOCUS. It’s another step in answering my prayer years ago. But what’s amazing is that I get the opportunity to bring other men along with me. I get to build them up and train them into being leaders themselves so they can, in turn, lead many others to Jesus Christ. That’s what Jesus was doing the whole time in the Gospels! He was training the Apostles to be leaders for His Church once He was gone and no longer physically present.

​May God’s grace rest upon you!

This recording was made on Oct. 12, 2014 on the 28th Sunday of Ordinary Time, by Fr. Daniel Liu, St. Peter’s chaplain/director.  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.

 

To download click here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Hello, friends! October is in full swing, which means cooler weather, Halloween, Homecoming, and the first real taste of fall.
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As it’s not quite cold enough for coats and scarves in the heart of Texas, one great way to transition into the cooler temperatures is to layer thin clothing!
 Black is always a chic choice, whether for Mass or class (see what I did there?), so thin leggings and a tunic/dress says “I’m ready for fall” with all the classiness + style of Audrey Hepburn. And when in doubt, wear black.
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 Of course, you also can’t go wrong with a pop of color, especially cobalt blue!
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Happy fall, friends!​

This recording was made on Oct. 5, 2014 on the 27th Sunday of Ordinary Time, by Fr. Daniel Liu, St. Peter’s chaplain/director.  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.

 

To download click here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

This recording was made on Sept. 28, on the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time, by Fr. Daniel Liu, St. Peter’s chaplain/director.  Please visit http://www.baylorcatholic.org for more information.

 

To download click here.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Super sweet Grace Dalton is ray of sunshine around St. Peter’s as well as a fashion icon. We are so excited that she is starting a weekly segment here on the Baylor Catholic blog sharing her faith and fashion! Take it away Grace! 


 

Hello, friends! I’m Grace and I’m a Junior Journalism New Media major at Baylor University. In addition to my love for St. Peter’s, writing, and photography, I love fashion + style.
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Here are some of my tips on putting together a simple, comfortable, but stylish outfit for school weekdays. I think all of us girls can agree on how comfortable leggings are…especially on days when you’re tired and don’t want to dress up. They’re a great resource to have in your wardrobe.
However, as we all know, there’s definitely a fine line between wearing an outfit that is cute, but modest enough that we’re dressing our body  – not flaunting it. Modest is so important, not only for our sake as women of God, but also for our brothers in Christ. When we dress in a way that dramatically calls attention to only our physical attributes, we do not only them a disrespect, but also ourselves. Now, this is not a shaming post or a “better-than-thou-” sermon, but rather some notes from my heart about the incredible and highly important topic of modesty.
So! On to today’s outfit – leggings are extremely versatile. You can add them to an outfit that might be a bit too short, layer them in the winter to keep warm, or even wear underneath a tunic or long shirt without sacrificing either style or modesty. I’m a bohemian at heart, so I love layering flowy pieces like this empire waisted shirt, long drapey cardigan, and leggings.
Other ideas can include: leggings under a long shirt with a cute belt, cropped leggings with a short-sleeved drapey cardigan, or leggings under a swingy tunic on a breezy day. Hope you enjoyed these tips. Have a marvelous Monday!
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