Tag Archives: acceptance

Pier Giorgio Frassati’s Life of Grace

By guest writer Lauren Winter.

This morning I listened to the always enlightening Bishop Barron talk about Frassati. First of all, Bishop Barron is a national treasure and I 10 out of 10 recommend the Word on Fire Show. Secondly, let’s take a minute to talk about our boy, Frassati.

Frassati’s life is an example of how grace and faith can grow in the most surprising places. Frassati wasn’t raised in a faith-filled home like so many of the Saints. His father was a prominent Italian politician and his mother a well-known painter. His father was agnostic, and his mother was *vaguely* Catholic. Frassati wasn’t given a spiritual upbringing but found one for himself instead.

Even from a young age and without any humanly prompting he was captivated by the Eucharist and the liturgy. He would disappear for hours at a time and visit the chapels for Eucharistic adoration causing his parents to frantically search for him. (Now where have I heard that story before? *cough cough* finding at the temple *Cough cough*)

Similar to his surprising devotion to the faith, he also had a devotion to the poor. He gave all his money and all his time to the poor. He was truly a man of the poor. He was both their caretaker and their advocate. His love of the poor was so brilliant that when he died of polio at the age of 24 his funeral was a HUGE event. It wasn’t his prominent parents’ friends who overwhelmed the event, but the poor. His funeral was a massively-attended event because of the massive amount of people he attended to and cared for while he was living.

When we hear about mountain-climbing Frassati’s “Verso L’alto” we are reminded of his acceptance of grace and his determination to climb closer to Christ. Frassati was a man of action. First, he accepted grace into his life and then boldly ACTED. May he be an example to us all. To the heights!!! Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us.

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Originally posted on Instagram.

Lauren Winter is a mother of three and owner of the apparel brand Brick House in the City, designing inspirational clothing for Catholic women as her contribution to the New Evangelization.

What is it you want to change?

In our world today, we believe what we’re told. We’re not skinny enough, not fair enough, not tall or muscular enough.

I’ve fallen into the trap before. I skipped many meals in my teenage years in a bid to look better.
I did get skinnier, but all I got were lustful looks from the opposite gender.

I saw this quote from St. Catherine of Siena and it was a good reminder that we should strive to love ourselves the way God would love us:

What is it you want to change?
Your hair, your face, your body? Why?
For God is in love with all those things
and He might weep when they are gone.

I do not deny that we are our bodies, for that would deny the gift that God to us.

I also am not saying that we swing to the other extreme and say that we are ONLY our bodies — for that would deny the unique soul that God has given us.

Humans are a hylomorphic (body AND soul) composition and we need to acknowledge both.

When eternity is our reference point, everything that happens here is actually very little.

May we keep that in mind and remember that the Lord loves us exactly for who we are (provided we try our best to be the best versions of ourselves!) (but even when we fail to take care of ourselves, He still loves us.)

Prayers for all those struggling with body image issues, I love you.
God loves you.

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Originally posted at Catholic Rambles.

Image: PD-US

The Useless People in our Life

I was scrolling through Facebook today and I saw the following message; “KEEP people in your life that truly love you, motivate you, encourage you, inspire you, enhance you & make you happy. If you have people who do NONE of the above, let them go.” These sort of short inspirational messages are all over the internet and I have posted up a few of them myself. However as I read this one I found myself wondering what I should do with the people in my life who didn’t love me or motivate me or encourage me or inspire me or enhance me or even make me happy. And what if these same people did not motivate or inspire anyone? What if these people were a drain on me, their families and on the whole society?

It is important to surround ourselves with people who are going to encourage and inspire us. After all we become a reflection of the company we keep. If we spend our time with those who live to get drunk and party then we will end up doing the same. If we keep the company of those who strive for higher ideals then we will begin to strive for those same ideals. It would be hard to get up every morning for an entire lifetime if there was never anyone to pat us on the back and say ‘you’re doing well, keep going’. At times we need encouraging and sometimes we encourage others. This is the story of good friendships, each person looks out for the other and when either one is struggling the other is there to pick them up.

However we might add another category of people in our life and that is those who are always a bit of a drain on us. These people are always down, always needy and they probably have no real prospects of making something noteworthy of their life. They may not be able to work, they may never marry, they may always be sick or they may just generally not ‘fit in’.

The reality is though our world is made up of a multitude of people from the strong and the successful to the unloved and those perceived to be ‘useless’. Throughout history various people and ideologies have tried to remove the useless from society and it continues to this day. It is estimated that China has approximately 35 million more males than females due to deliberate male sex selection. Have you ever wondered why you see less children with Down’s Syndrome these days? That is because 90% of them are aborted when their parents receive a prenatal diagnosis of the condition.

Admittedly it can be difficult to embrace those who will make our life harder but the mark of any of us is how we embrace the weak and those whom no one else will love. Jesus of Nazareth told his disciples in very explicit terms that to love the hungry, the sick and the lonely was to love him and to ignore the hungry, the sick and the lonely was to ignore him and thus salvation. This pursuit of such ‘useless’ people is what continues to make Mother Teresa of Calcutta an example of virtue to Christian, Hindu and Atheist.

As good as it is that we are all willing to open our wallets to the starving in Africa and the Tsunami victims in Indonesia I think the test of who we are is found much closer to us. It is in that friend from school who still calls us every week even though he has nothing to say. It is in our meddlesome aunt who lives alone with no one to talk too. It is in that person we have lunch with each month even though they probably get more out of it than we do. The truth is these are the very encounters that define us. When the rich young Pier Giorgio Frassati died in 1925, it was the poor of Turin that packed his funeral in honour of the life he had secretly given in their service.

It is good to surround ourselves with those who love, motivate and encourage us. But let us never dismiss or forget those who cannot and will not be able to offer us these things. The ‘rejects’ of society deserve as much friendship as the next person. For it is only by the undeserved grace of God that we find ourselves not in that category.