April 06: Let Your Light Shine

Day 32

View Video Transcript

Jesus said, “Let your light shine.” He didn’t say, “Those of you who got a light, you should let it shine. Those of you who don’t have a light, well you just don’t have a light.” He said, “Let your light shine.” He assumed that we all have a light to shine, and an awareness to know when that light within us is really bright and really strong, and when that light is dim and weak. And what makes it dim, and what makes it strong? And how are we letting our light shine?

I think the idea of talents is a fascinating conversation, especially amongst people who are spiritual. When you ask them, “OK, what are your talents? What are you really good at?” Or “What’s the one thing that’s your thing—that you’re just really, really good at that one thing?” It’s amazing to me how often people will say, “Well I don’t really have any talents. I mean, I’m sort of good at this, and I’m OK at that.”

The truth is, we all have talents and abilities.

Sometimes we get caught up in saying, “OK, well I’m not the best cello player in the world.” Or, “I’m not the best basketball player in the world.” Or . . . those sorts of things. And I think in a culture of things that are spectacular, we can think, “Well, my talents are not spectacular.” That wasn’t the question. The question wasn’t, “What spectacular talents do you have?” Or the question wasn’t, “What talents do you have that the world is willing to pay you millions and millions of dollars to display?” The question is, “What talents do you have?”

Here is the clarifying truth when it comes to the conversation about talents: You have the perfect set of talents that you need to fulfill the mission that God has given you.

It doesn’t matter what talents you don’t have. It doesn’t matter what talents your brothers and sisters have got. It doesn’t matter what talents your parents had that you don’t have. It doesn’t matter what talents your friends have that you think are important, that you don’t have.

You have the perfect set of talents that you need to fulfill the mission that God has called you to.

It’s time to start focusing in on that. It’s time to start asking ourselves, “OK. What talent does God want me to focus on at this time in my life?” Because he wants us to let our light shine. He wants that light to be strong. He wants our lives to intrigue people. When our lives intrigue people, they get curious about how our light got so strong. And when they get curious about how our light got so strong and bright, we have an opportunity to draw them one step closer to God.

And that’s Christianity. That’s how Christianity has spread across the entire globe for two thousand years. When our lights are strong and bright we intrigue people, and they get curious. And then we have the incredible privilege, I mean the deep, deep honor, of helping them step a little closer to God.

“God wants to fill you with his grace and courage so that you can go out into the world and let your light shine.”

Matthew Kelly, Resisting Happiness

Share this quote.

Focus

You have the perfect personality and talents to fulfill the mission God is entrusting to you.

Act

Which of these traits most prevents you from letting your light shine?

  • Fear
  • Laziness
  • Procrastination
  • Selfishness
  • Addiction
  • Obsession
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Allowing your critics to drain your energy and direct your life
  • Unwillingness to move beyond your comfort zone
  • Self-doubt
  • Gossip
  • Negative relationships
  • Excuses

Pray

Jesus, I want to live my life with joy. Give me the courage to let my light shine, do good works, and give you glory.

Today’s personal reflection features Dynamic Catholic team member Emalie Huber. Emalie is our human resource coordinator, coming to us from Lewiston, Michigan. Emalie is an opera singer, eats a gluten-free diet, and loves Downton Abbey.

What’s holding you back?

Let us know in the comments!

We encourage you to comment on this reflection. All viewpoints are welcome, but we ask that you remain on-topic and respect other members of the discussion. Please remember that we are trying to help each other become the-best-version-of-ourselves. We reserve the right to make editorial decisions regarding comments, including but not limited to removal of comments. Be Bold. Be Catholic.®

  • Pearl Brown

    Unwillingness to move out of my comfort zone. If I can get pass that thre wii be nothing to hold me back and this I will pray and work on. Help me Lord

  • Doug

    I can relate to Emalie because I had been in that place a long time. I am friends with a Presbyterian minister who once said that she isn’t sure how the faith thing works (sic). Since I had already achieved my relationship with God where I have 100% faith and trust that God is always with me, I was a tad surprised when I heard her say this. Complete faith in God is difficult. It’s difficult to let go and give all to Him. But it’s so much worth it. I say many times, it means no fear, stress or worry. 5 years and still going strong.

    So, what is holding me back? I’m just not sure what to do with it. I love so much, it’s what Jesus taught me, but I’m just not sure how to spread the word. For example, I would love to get up in front of our congregation, where we have anywhere between 1,200 and 2,000 at mass, and express just how wonderful I feel and how to get there.

    I will continue to keep praying and will do whatever God chooses for me to do.

    • kj

      Good for you! It is freeing to place all of our trust in God…He’s got this. A small door opened for me and I put an unassuming foot through beginning by simply volunteering at the annual church picnic. The door then opened a little wider to become more active and involved, progressing to an active role as an extraordinary minister, I made Cursillo, then I joined the parish council and became part of the Litergical Life Committee, and on the story goes….Mind you I planed to do NONE of this, and have no explanation other than for God’s will for me. Did you ever consider becoming a permanent Deacon? Maybe that’s where your light can shine on . Good luck with your discovery :o)

      • Doug

        Thank you for your reply. I did apply to b become a deacon many years ago. I wasn’t selected. Although very disappointed I realized it was God’s way of telling me that I wasn’t spiritually ready. A few years later I intended to apply again but the application had grown from a couple of pages to a booklet. They wanted to see my high school transcripts. Weird. I was confused by that because I was trying to figure out how my high school grades figured into my spirituality. (It doesn’t.) In addition, the application wanted to know about my financial position. Again, spirituality didn’t seem to be a factor. Now, I’m past the age limit.

        • Ronda Jewell

          Doug, your testimony and love of Jesus, is reaching so many people. I also was going to say, why not become a deacon? Since becoming a deacon is not in the cards, have you been involved with RCIA? Keep posting and keep spreading the WORD. God bless you.

          • Doug

            Hi Ronda. RCIA is a great idea and I tried to become a sponsor. However, like many things, the same people have been running RCIA for many years and it really needs to be upgraded. But you did spark an idea. Perhaps I could petition RCIA and other programs to do a presentation of some kind. It’s so0 easy to talk about my faith. In fact, I was selected rot give a talk at our next CRHP event. I’m excited about that. Thank you for the kind words.

          • Ronda Jewell

            Doug, as we all know, the politics of any church sometimes is exclusionary. Groups get formed, and sometimes the same people are in charge of say RCIA. My take on that, so they already have coordinators and sponsors, how about you be the person to set up the coffee, sit and listen. What can I do etc….
            Congrats on being a speaker for CHRP. You will touch the hearts of many.
            God bless you as you continue to bless others.

          • Steven Hotho

            Doug, I wish you could come to my chuch to talk about your faith. It would be great to hear you in person and witness your enthusiasm. But even if you never make i to st. John’s, please keep talking wherever you can. You are an inspiration. (I’m Emma Lou, my husband’s name is posted as the responder)

    • Mary Evers

      Doug, my first thought when reading your post was, wow; complete trust in God is an awesome gift. I believe in Jesus but everyday I have to ask for help for my unbelief. What you’re doing with your posts here is reaching many people. Sometimes in my church, parishioners have been invited to share their faith experience during the homily and it is always inspiring. I can hear that you desire to put that light of yours on a stand and I believe that you are doing that here in this forum. Other opportunities will come. God bless.

      • Doug

        Thank you Mary. It would be a sin if I didn’t continue to share my experience. I mean, what good is what happened to me, if I kept it to myself? I wish I could break it down to where I can help others understand what happened to me. Then again, it’s a matter faith…just like we need to have in God. The words are there but it is our responsibility to accept and grow in God. That’s exactly what I did.

        • Kj

          Please note that there are two “Kj’s” in this conversation. (I am the capital K with the lower case j.)

          I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate what you share, Doug!

      • Kj

        Exactly! I second this sentiment, Doug!

    • Jolene Crum

      Doug,
      My husband and I recently made the commitment to partner with Dynamic Catholic to establish the Christ Renews His Parish (CRHP) retreat program at our parish. It is a very powerful retreat process that involves witnessing to fellow parishioners. You would really enjoy it given your desire to evangelize to your parish community. Dynamic Catholic is launching CRHP at parishes all over the nation later this month. Each participating parish needs men and women to come forward to offer their time and talent and faith in order to promote CRHP to their church leadership and eventually, fellow parishioners. I encourage you to check out the CRHP link on Dynamic Catholic’s website. Who knows?! Maybe this is how God is calling you to let your light shine at this point in your life.

      • Doug

        Hi Jolene. I went through CRHP in 2015 and am a team member for 2016 and again this year for 2017. CRHP was a life changer.

    • Joyce W.

      Doug, it seems to me that you have writing skills. Maybe there are other places as well as these comments where you can share your faith. A book might be too ambitious, but there are Catholic/Christian magazines and websites where an article for a newsletter might be welcome. Just a thought. God bless.

      • Doug

        I did have an idea this afternoon, Joyce. I have a blogging website that I haven’t done anything with. I was thinking today if I have the ability to implement a discussion page much like this one. My thought is that I would write a short piece to provoke discussion. Then we could carry on just like we do here. I could also provide an audio but a video is out of the question. 🙂

        • Marilyn

          Hi Doug: I would love to be a part of your blogging website where we can provoke discussions that would inspire, educate and enrich us in our Catholic faith. I am so
          moved by the openness of all of those who are sharing their stories on this page and
          I am learning volumes from all of you. In my seventy-four year journey on this planet
          I have personally experienced so many of the challenges I’m reading about, and I have been blessed to have tremendous support along the way. I feel now it’s time for me to support others if I can by confirming that the best way to live is “Thy Will Be Done.”

        • Steven Hotho

          What is your blogging website? Many of us would be interested. You DO have many talents.(emmalou)

  • mrcpuhead

    What’s holding me back? A line from a song by “Lit” comes to mind: “I am my own worst enemy.” Why? Lately, this one from the list of things preventing my light from shining: “Allowing your critics to drain your energy and direct your life.” Yes, caring too much can be a curse when some around you don’t share that level of caring. Good news is I’ve learned how to turn that one around into a motivator. I try to view criticism as a lesson in humility and a challenge. Following the light metaphor, the challenge is akin to having to remove black paint from the lens of a flashlight, without the aid of a scraper or solvent, or no obvious way to remove the lens cover. But I love a challenge…

    • Doug

      To this day I still enjoy hard rock…clean hard rock. My favorite band recorded 2 songs that had to be written about me. 1) “The War Inside My Head” 2) “The Enemy Inside”

      Since my epiphany,I listen to the songs and think nothing of them.

    • Ronda Jewell

      Mrcpuhead, I think the first step to not letting others bring you down, or not sharing your thoughts is to be a cheerful soul. Smiling and not responding is good for the soul..at least it works for me. Have a blessed day.

    • Marsha Mohan

      Amen🙏

  • Gail

    I struggle with fear of rejection which often keeps me in my comfort zone, self-doubt and excuses. I think simply writing down what holds me back is a start. I will think more about this today.

    • Doug

      I used to feel the exact same way up until my epiphany of 5 years ago. I now have adopted: It’s none of my business what people think of me.

      • jesspinosa

        Doug, as we get older, we earn the right to be cantankerous and opinionated and to think we are always right! Like I said, we’ve earned it and let’s enjoy it. Who cares what other people say?

    • Ronda Jewell

      Gail, once you step out of your comfort zone, the Lord will take over. God bless you on your new journey.

    • Eileen Chapman Thompson

      Me too! No idea how to change it

  • AmDg

    I sometimes think the thing that holds most of us back is buying into the lie that we have no light, no talents; like a kid told they cannot sing as a child and then they grow up convinvced they cannot. What if that kid decided to seek voice lessons instead of accepting their friends’/parents’ judgement? Maybe all that kid needed was a voice teacher to bring out their gift.

    I think most people are willing to help others to become better people, to become *more*, but they have internalized the lie that they have nothing to offer.

    • Megan

      I really feel like this is the part im struggling with…what about me would draw people to Christ? What talents do I have? What light am I supposed to be shining?

  • Beth Dunn

    I finally took a bold step out to engage my professional peers (in an online conversation) who by and large are not believers. this is way outside my comfort zone. Good! First step! It is a decision to be made over and over again. The thing that gets in my way is fear. I believe praise and resulting joy in the presence of the Lord and staying connected to him in the process of engaging others is key to overcoming the obstacle.

  • Deb

    This one really hit home with me. I am very reserved. In the “Act ” section above, I found many things that hold me back from letting my light shine. I copied the list and will put it with the prayer process so that I can reflect on it at the end of every day to see what held me back that day and try to improve. Someone posted and asked what is written in the frame behind Matthew Kelly in the videos. I didn’t check back to see if anyone else figured it out, but I think it says:
    Show up in
    every single moment
    LIke you’re meant
    to be there.
    I think that relates to today’s theme very well.

    • Kj

      Wonderful observation! Also, wonderful plan to put the list of things that hold us back with the prayer process! I’m going to do the very same thing! Thank you!

    • Cedie Lynch Bogard

      I copied and posted the “Act” on my Facebook page for others to see. Everyone of us human beings has at least a smile to give to others. It doesn’t take much to share our God-given talents.

      • Terry ❤️

        I agree. A smile goes a mile and can make someone feel worthwhile and happy too!

    • Carrie Murphy-Auguston

      Thank you for answering what is written in the frame. Sometimes my ADHD gets the best of me and I focus on the frame & lose sight of Matthew’s message. Then I rewind and force myself to let go of the distraction. Now I can quit obsessing and just receive the day’s blessing.

    • Lynne

      Oh Deb – thanks – I have been trying to figure it . Blessings

    • Marilyn

      Hi Deb: Thank you for decoding Matthew’s frame message – I also tried to figure it out. Like you, I’m so reinforced to remember things when I write them down. Thank you for giving me the idea of sharing this list with friends. One of my friends always answers, “I don’t have any gifts” and I work overtime to ensure her that she does, but she underestimates herself. I’m going to send her the list, and encourage her to find her gifts. It is so obvious from all the people who are sharing their thoughts on this venue that we are finding inspiration and comfort in the messages and although we may never meet one another, we are one in our Catholic faith and in our mission to make everyone inclusive – helping to find God’s mission for us. God bless everyone who is shining their light today.

    • Kathiehc

      Thank you, Deb! I wondered about that!

    • Della Nestor Garrity

      Deb, Thank You, that’s great………And thanks to all of you for “The Best Lent Ever” and Hope there are many more to come Matthew ! Love to All !

  • Heartbroken

    I use to feel I was a light at my job. I was afraid at first but found serving patients with cancer as an oncology rn was actually a sacred place to be invited into. I always brought a smile a heart an ear a hand. I even enjoyed making a fool of myself to see them laugh in their pain. Now I feel my talent is to take this terminal heart disease and my life experience with the dying and teach my son , as he has been growing into a young man, in a world so misguided, what the true riches of this life are Almighty God, and all the gifts He offers us if we just step out show up. Not stuff . I never heard I dying patient pondering about stuff, instead . Did I love enough and am I loved !

    • Laura leah Yarbrough

      Nurses share our light with so many that we do not even know the power of our light. Emit your light!

    • Ronda Jewell

      Beautifully said.

    • Barbara

      My husband was recently diagnosed with cancer and I am so impressed with all of the oncology professionals that we have met. I really have felt that they were more than medical people, that they are fulfilling a mission to their patients. I guess I was really surprised at this in our often impersonal world. And now, when people ask him how he is, my husband replies that God is our primary care physician and we are using the medical profession as His sub-contractors. I can see my husband’s light shining brightly to others. It’s where God wanted us to be right now.

    • Marilyn

      Dear Heartbroken: Thank you for responding to my reply to you yesterday. God must have had you in training when you ministered to people suffering with their illnesses and mortality. We are all here on a
      temporary assignment, and it’s how we live every day that will ensure when we get to Heaven, God will say, “Hello, I know you, and I was waiting for you.”

      • Heartbroken

        Marilyn I believe God is using you to speak to me deepest places ! I have always been afraid He would say Depart I don’t know you😢But you said something else I keep I was waiting for you ! THANKS 🙏

  • jesspinosa

    About 25 years ago, my life hit rock bottom. I was lost and questioned God – why this, why that, why me? Then one day, I saw a notice in the church bulletin about Friendly Visitor Program, in which volunteers are matched with homebound seniors for weekly one-hour visits of conversation, sharing snacks, generally just being a friend to a lonely person. I didn’t know what to expect but I thought I’d try. My first senior was a toothless, cigar-smoking, very lonely man who lived in a filthy, smelly apartment with his cat Gomer. Even before I started, I was ready to give up. I needed something to lift me up, and surely, Lord, this is not IT, is it, Lord? The Lord’s answer was Yes, thus began a life-saving experience that led to the discovery that I can make a difference in someone’s life simply by being present, willing to listen, and ready to love. I have found my light, and it lasts to this day. What a gift it is when I see the joy on the faces of my seniors when I arrive in their apartment. I know I am in the right place. Through the years, my relationship with Jesus grew and grew, and my mission took on a new meaning – I am doing it for my Beloved. I am bringing happiness to my old friends, I am becoming a better-version-of-myself with each visit, I am delighting my Lord with my simple deed, and I have learned to trust Him more. He taught me not to give up easily, to trust Him completely, and to be ready to be surprised. To close, here’s a memorable experience. I used to visit a delightful, tiny Hispanic woman named Carmen whom I called “mi amor.” I would bring coffee and snack for us to share over repetitive conversation, mainly listening to her reminisce about her past. One day, she offered to make coffee for me. As she handed me the cup, she watched closely to see if I would enjoy her concoction. I almost spat it out because it tasted awful, but I didn’t. Awful tasting as it was, it was also the most lovingly made cup of coffee I have ever had. If I had said no at the beginning, I would have deprived myself of this wonderful time with mi amor.

    • Doug

      Beautiful!!

    • Teresa Glenn

      So beautiful

    • Ronda Jewell

      Jesspinosa, a wonderful testimony. I expect the first time Mother Teresa went to the dump in India, she asked the same question. I applaud you for doing the right thing. God bless you my friend in Christ.

    • Kj

      Yes, what a wonderful gift you have!

    • Susan

      Thank you for sharing a wonderful way to share ourselves in a way that make God smile!

    • Dale R Evans

      Your story is inspiring.

    • Robin Glasscock

      Jesspinosa you are a good man. You are letting your light shine! God bless you!

    • Lea Novak

      That’s beautiful! God bless you!

    • Margie Suarez

      Thank you for sharing. You are truly fulfilling your mission.

    • Cheryl Beseler

      Wonderful example of how God puts us in places where we can shine …IF we trust, believe and listen for the opportunity. That first notice that caught your attention was an opportunity from God and you opened yourself up to the opportunity. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    • Jean

      You just lit up the room in my home with your story. Thank you for the reminder that focusing on someone else is what turns the light on. God Bless You!

    • Rita Gahr

      Keep up the good work. God bless you.

    • Marilyn Russell

      Thank you for this beautiful story. It indeed inspires me to reach out more to the people who live in my 62 and above low income senior housing apartment building. God continue to bless you.

    • Leslie M

      What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story!

    • Terry ❤️

      Thanks greatly jesspinoza for sharing your life, your story. You touched my heart as I too have been praying for the lonely and widows, widowers as I am a recent widow and have lonely moments and days. But, through the grace of God, we/I carry on knowing that God is near to the broken hearted and lonely. I find myself searching for those who seem lost and lonely to share hope and bring a ray of hope, happiness, joy. Opportunities are out there…we just need to rely on the Holy Spirit to take away our fears, insecurities to be able to bring God’s love to those we see and meet everyday!

      • Bernadette Maynard

        Wonderful stories. Made me realize what I have to do now. Thanks for BEST LENT EVER.

        • Patti

          Hi there sister! You have always been one who reaches out to help others! Especially the lonely!
          God Bless You for your good deeds!
          You light brightens up many lives! 💗

        • Donna Adams

          I agree. Best Lent ever.

    • Linda Murray

      This really touched my heart. I am taking care of my 87 year old mother in law right now. She is a VERY difficult person and has made my life very stressful over the years. I have been praying, asking God what he wants from me at this time in my life since we have recently become empty nesters. After going to adoration the other day, it hit me. THIS is it. This is what he is asking of me. Not what I would have chosen and not the person I would have chosen to help. But that is mercy. I hope to delight him with my deeds as well but I have a lot to work to do. My deeds are kind but I need to be more loving in my heart.

      • MarthaGrace13

        God bless you, Linda, for the work you are doing. There is sacredness in this stage of life as in others. May God’s light shine on you as you go about your day, and may His light shine through you as you do for your mother in law and those around you.

      • Alison Granny Duke

        Wow! isn’t it amazing how God allows us to see the answers. What we need to do is Ask the questions and wait.

      • Cindy Leslie

        God bless you Linda. I’m taking care of my 80 year old mother and this is what God wants me to do as well as help some friends of mine in the faith. This was part of God’s plan for me for now. I’m sure God has more work for me to do.

      • NatePlayz YT

        Linda, bless you for doing this for your in laws…that’s not easy, esp if they have caused you much stress. I’m there, I know the same situation! It’s SO easy to be hard hearted; I pray for you and pray for your strength and willingness. May God help us both! Amen.

      • CaliforniaMom

        I’ve had a similar situation in life and asked my guardian angel to get help from her guardian angel. The angels helped; it’s not a perfect scenario, but our Guardian angels definitely improved the relationship. And God has not only blessed our marriage and children but taught me a lot about unconditional love and service.

      • Kathy

        Linda, I used to be a hospice nurse. You might like to read about the dying process so that you can help your mother-in-law. Crossing the Threshold of Eternity by Robert L Wise is a good book to start with. You can get it at the Dynamic Catholic Institute. Your mother-in-law might not be dying now but I think that learning about dying will help you to be prepared. We used to pray with our dying daily and remind them to go to Jesus. There’s a lot of spiritual work that you can do with her. This book will lead you to many other good books. Just look on the internet. Good luck and God bless.

    • Magalis Muniz

      What a great story. Thank you for sharing

    • Sonja Martinez

      Beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing!

    • Ma

      Such a beautiful story of how God has blessed you and your willingness to receive his grace. You also just lit up my home and my heart ❤️ I will follow your example!

    • Sally Fong

      Your story makes me weep for joy – thank you and may God bless you abundantly!!

    • Patty Lou

      I have always had the gift of gab. You obviously also have the gift of listening which I am trying hard to develop. I sometimes struggle not to add my two cents when I know it is not something the person I’m talking to would really be interested in.I do think that visiting with the elderly or home bound is a calling for me. At this stage in my life I try yo visit my Mother-in-law as often as possible. I have to say, in other areas of my life there are only about four items on that list that don’t sometimes prevent me from letting my light shine.

    • Melanie

      What a wonderful story! You also lit up my home…thank you for sharing!!

    • Marie Patterfritz Reinhart

      What a true enlightening story. Thank you for sharing.

    • Michele M C

      BEAUTIFUL! I love your story. It is so important to let those we are serving, serve us – even it means drinking a lousy cup of coffee!! I can feel your joy =)

    • Nancy R

      I cried tears if joy for your journey. Thank you for sharing!

    • Gary Wiseman

      I loved the story of the bad coffee.
      When I was in college, one summer I got a job working an evening shift. My church had started a visitation program and I was paired up with an 80 year old lady to go visit our members in their homes. Needles to say, we only visited other seniors who were home during my non working hours.
      Your story brought up fond memories of that summer. And that summer ignited a lifetime of service for me. I’m now one of those seniors!

    • deb elliott

      You expressed your inspirational story beautifully! I’d say one of your other gifts is that of written communication. Consider this, okay? God bless you!

    • Karen in FL

      As you can see from all the responses, jesspinosa, your story touched many of us!

      After losing my mother suddenly over 30 years ago, I decided to ask around for an elderly woman to visit. I was assigned a lovely 80+ year old woman who had lost her husband and only son, but had much to share with the world. I looked forward to seeing her every Sunday and even brought her to my home for dinner. My sweet friend was a big factor in bringing me back to the Catholic faith. I attended Mass with her in the chapel in her senior living home, and even today, some songs remind me of her. When she passed away, it was as though a family member had died.

      For 20 years now, I’ve handled our parish’s Meals on Wheels quarterly schedule. I wish our volunteers could broaden their role and visit with each person they take lunch to. Perhaps I can encourage them by sharing your story.

      • Ann

        How beautiful. All of these inspirational comments show how vital it is to communicate with each other! Even the distasteful coffee is a communication of sharing, and how very special that must have been for this lovely old woman. We never know how the smallest of gestures may touch someone’s heart or soul or even save their life. A smile doesn’t cost a penny! Happy Easter everyone. What an inspired ministry and also the BEST LENT EVER!!

      • Lynn Nguyen

        Karen, thank you for sharing! God bless you

    • Michelle Guzzetta Pescatrice

      What an inspirational story! You are truly sent by GOD to these lonely people. Thank you for giving of yourself and our Lord.

    • Nancy Anselmo Grundhoefer

      What a beautiful testimony…thank you for sharing!

    • Kathleen Spector

      God bless you and your work!

    • Laura Sherman

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. It reminds me of the Stephen Ministry we have in our parish.
      I decided to use the Stephen Ministry service after my mother-in-law passed away and my husband was going through a difficult time. The person they sent to me helped me in so many ways, and I was able to find hope and peace. It is something I would like to consider doing myself, as it truly is a way to share our light with this world.

    • Anne Parry

      Wow you have quite story!! Yes it is very rewarding to help other people. I used to visit the sick in the hospital and pry with them and give them holy communion if they wanted it. It was a very rewarding experience. I felt I was able to bring sunshine to their lives and connect them with God. Then I got sick and my immune system is low right now so I am unable to do that service. I miss it. So now I am going to sign up to bring an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting into the women’s jail. Cannot wait to do that service.

      • Diane Grohn

        Anne, AA is a great idea. I always think men are the alcoholics, but even in my family we have a female alcoholic. This addiction is so difficult and so common. that and not attaining ideal weight are so hard to achieve.You will be appreciated for you thoughtfulness and help many to become the best version of themselves. Happy Lent!

    • Teresa

      Just wanted to thank you for your awesome comment! Loved every word. God bless.

    • Suzanne McBride-Pezzullo

      Jesspinosa, What a wonderful way to share your talents and light with others. And look what you received in return for your kindness! We don’t do it for that reason, but God certainly rewards us with His grace when we do. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It will help others who may have hit rock bottom to understand that we need to get outside ourselves and help others to rise up to the top of the heap. God blesss you always!

    • Marie

      This is a beautiful story. Thanks so much for sharing it!

    • Kathy

      I’ve been a nurse for 25 years, having no doubt I was meant for this job. There are many experiences good & bad but sometimes when I am comforting someone suffering, they say something that hits at the heart of something troubling me at that moment. I believe we were brought together for each other. Never ceases to amaze and humble me how our Lord works.

    • Tom

      Thank you kindly!

    • Jake

      A beautiful example of-it is in giving that we receive.
      Thanks for sharing.

    • Molly

      Thank you, so much for this story. I am feeling just like that at this moment in my life. I would love guidance from anyone that can help a 53 year old lady that wants to find her calling : )

  • Peter

    I like the perspective that we have all the talent and skill we need to fulfill God’ mission for us. One of the hardest things to do is to let go and get our of God’s way sometimes. Invariably when I do, things are always better. My prayer and wish is that we all be satisfied and comfortable with ourselves and let God guide us today and tomorrow..

  • Clara Turci Depko

    I don’t think I hold back my light. Sometimes it is not the words we speak but the actions we do, the deeds we do for others. When I am giving to someone in need and they are thanking me I tell them I am only the messenger. Our light can shine every time we smile at someone or hold a door for someone. It is the peace we have when things are not going well in our lives. It is the faith we live. It’s not what we say but what we do. Did you share the quote above today and let your light shine with others? Have you sent the Best Lent Ever to any of your friends or family? Let your light shine today.

    • Patricia

      Clara, my thoughts also thank you for sharing

  • 13footballmom

    Self doubt, comparing myself to others and letting critics direct my path dim my light each day. It is a constant battle but I will continue to fight through prayer.

    • Kelly Baldridge

      My daughter is a beautiful, loving person, but has no self-confidence. At reconciliation just this past week, a priest told her to stop comparing herself to others…he said that was just comparing herself to other sinners and what good did that do?!! It puts that in a new perspective, doesn’t it? God bless you.

      • Lea Novak

        Wow! That does indeed shine a light on the matter!

  • Nancy D.

    God has given us the perfect talents to fulfill His mission. I love that expression. After reviewing the ACT list, yikes…at some point all but one applied to me. Through this Best Lent Ever journey, I am trying to break through these barriers. It is very difficult, but with small steps I will succeed. I want to fulfill my duties here on Earth; I don’t want to continuously disappointment God.

  • Identifying our God given talents and focusing on them so they become our strengths to serve and shine for Christ, is wonderful life work. Having the humility to let
    others and Christ shine through our weaknesses and accepting to be served through others talents is also a beautiful dynamic of life. I used to shut down help from others thinking it made me look weak. I have found that being more receptive has given me the gifts of humility and mutuality in relationships. Serving my talents and being served by others talents let’s Christ shine in truly loving encounters. Not everyone is capable of reciprocity but Christ always fills the gap!

  • Mick Peterson

    Fear of failure; fear of rejection; fear of condescending people’s judgments; fear of who knows what….these are all areas that in the past kept me from shining my light in the proper direction. I pray that God continues to provide me with batteries.

    • SanctusSanctus

      Makes me think of those solar batteries! Ha, ha, ha! Outdoors, powered by the SON or sun?! Have a great day!

  • Eduardo Hoover

    Sure one may have a good talent but beware there will be those that criticize one for displaying such talent because it is not fully honed and possibly can’t be feasibly honed. One must be sure of themselves before leaping else failure might be inevitable. One must determine if the risk outweighs the need and the direness of the situation. The miraculous can happen but most great things are accomplished by much specified practice and once on the stage it is not the place to practice. You could be devoured alive and that is what terrifies me.

    • Susan

      We are doing a Bible study on Acts right now and your comments made me think of how the Apostles must have felt going out to evangelize the world. What if they had said wait, we need more practice? They were beaten and rejected but they kept speaking. If you wait for your talent to be perfect you may never use it, let God be the only judge you listen to. Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You!

      • Eduardo Hoover

        The disciples in a way did practice as Jesus spent 40 days with them between the Resurrection and Ascension opening their minds to the Scrpitures and then they waited 9 days for the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
        Righteous Judgement is something to be taken with much trepidation with the only solace of participating in the sentencing which brings about true justice and the understanding of the wideness of God’s Mercy. The experience will indeed bring forth an abundance of tear which hope to have Jesus wipe them away as He says, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
        Thank you Susan for the encouragement. I will strive for the confidence to at very least give it a try. God bless.

    • SanctusSanctus

      So yesterday I was reading about a 14th century priest, Fr. Vincent Ferrer. His writing is in yesterday’s Second Reading of the Divine Office. I was impressed with how so many conversions were attributed to this priest’s simplicity. It lines up with the Bible verse: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’…. Fr. Vincent wrote:

      “But in your desire to be of use to the souls of your neighbours, you must first of all have
      recourse to God with your whole heart, and simply make this request of Him. Ask Him
      in His goodness to pour into you that love in which is the sum of all virtues, through
      which you may be able to achieve what you desire.” (Fr. Vincent Ferrer/1350-1419)

      • Eduardo Hoover

        Thank you for this enlightenment of St Vincent Ferrer. It gives me some optimism but I’m such a pessimist right now all I see there is guaranty when I do this I will in fact receive my desire and “I can do all things…” I can’t if I don’t feel like doing them and lack the confidence to perform them. But you have pointed out a tool I can use to climb from this pit in which I’m residing. It’s quite comfortable but my spirit’s appetite is awakening and I need get from here before I bring everyone around me down with me. St Vincent Ferrer pray for us.

  • Linda Carmelle

    Yes,Almost all the things on the list apply to me in different circumstances. I’ve hinted at this over the past few weeks,but today I can say it. For me I feel like I’m the only one of my kind when I’m at work. It can be overwhelming to be the only Christian or Catholic at your place of employment. Some people proclaim they are believers,but its difficult to tell when the Light of Christ is dim or not present. When you always try to be the change you wish to see ,but others give up to easily and are afraid it can effect me too,its contagious. I make the choice to always live a I believe and this week I even heard directly from a co-worker how much that is appreciated and valued. It lifts my spirits! I know God doesn’t really leave me alone,and allows me to get the feed back I need to go on ,just when I’m ready to give up. …..Talents though,I’d say being able to communicate and speak to God’s children in a way they will comprehend(at any level) is my talent and most recently developed,being able to think before I speak. I pray “As long as the words should come from above” and then I wait for the moment to be ripe for the words to be used.
    Sometimes I can,with Gods help ,bring that moment to light sooner than later. Other times,it takes a very long time to come back around ,but I trust its the timing that God wants.
    Have a blessed day and spend you time sharing your talents well.

  • Maggie Singletary

    “You have the perfect set of talents that you need to fulfill the mission that God has called you to.” WOW! Isn’t that liberating? That really lit a fire under me this morning,

  • Rebecca

    What holds me back is that I compare meself to others. If someone does something just a little bit better than me, I put myself down. I also find that I have a fear of failing. There are many things that I have kept myself from doing because I was too afraid to fail. I have been asking God to give me the courage to do my best and not care if I fail.

  • Michael Baur

    The one trait that is holding me back is laziness. There are times when I do not do someing because i think it to hard. There are times were just procrastinate.

  • Mary B.

    This may be one of my favorite videos! Knowing that I am equipped with talents to intrigue people and help them get a little closer to God. I often find myself doing this throughout my day, giving people gentle reminders to trust God and keep the faith strong because he has a plan for each one of us! I feel very blessed to have discovered my talent!

  • Linda H

    I find everyone of the things listed is preventing me from letting my light shine. Two of them stand out the most though–fear (of rejection) and the criticism from others that drains my energy. I hesitate to put myself out there because what if I fail? What if I make a fool of myself? What if I do something wrong and someone calls me out on it? When I was a kid I had a nun for a first grade teacher. She scared me to death! While I don’t remember a specific incident I was terrified of Art class. She evidently got upset with how I did it or maybe it was just how she would get upset if we made a mistake in other classes, but I was so scared that she would yell at me if I didn’t do the project right. As I went through school I was terrified of PE and other sports. At home I played basketball and baseball with my siblings a lot but it was just for fun. No one got upset if I made a mistake. When I entered school and played such games the kids would yell at me and chew me out if I caused us to lose a point or made some kind of mistake. I hate sports to this day!!
    I have never been able to think “okay I made a mistake. I’m gonna learn from it and move on.” Instead I beat myself up over it for years.
    In a nutshell I am scared that people won’t like me and when someone does criticize me (even when it’s completely unfounded) it drains all the positiveness right out of me. I LOVE to do kindness acts. One year I made a homemade angel food cake for a neighbor for a birthday.(I know that’s a kind they really like) . While they appreciated it, they almost made me feel like it was a strange and stupid thing to do. I haven’t baked them anything since. It’s things like that, that pose the question for me “if the people around me don’t think my talents are worthy then does it do any good to share my talents? Am I really shining my light?”

    • Ronda Jewell

      Linda H, the answer is yes. Your light shines in the Lords eyes. He wants you to keep trying. When you do something, such as bake a cake, think of it as doing the Lords work with a smile. We can not control what others think or do, but we can control how we react. Always with a smile, even when you do not want to smile, always with a pray, even when we are down and do not want to pray. Focus on how you feel doing something nice for someone, not on how they will react.
      Remember Jesus was rejected and beaten and spit on and much worse. He did that for us. I pray today that you will have a smile in your heart no matter who hurts you. God bless you my friend in Christ.

    • Donna

      Linda – you sound like a wonderful person and I can relate to much of what you posted. I had a similar experience some years ago when I took a small Christmas gift to our neighbor. She had an odd response, but later I decided it was just embarrassment on her part, (because she didn’t have a gift for me.) I keep reminding myself that we cannot control other people’s actions or reactions, and therefore there is no point in dwelling on them. I will pray for you to overcome your fears, as I try to overcome my own.

    • jesspinosa

      Linda, do everything for Jesus. Remind yourself again and again. Never mind what other people say, they will always have something to say anyway. We are always surrounded by Pharisees in disguise, and if we pay attention to them, we will not get anywhere. Next time you make an angel cake, send it to me. My sweet tooth and I will love you and thank you forever. ☺ I bet those people who criticized you don’t know the difference between an oven and a fax machine.

      • Sam Adams

        Beautifully said. I love the smile in your picture – it comes out in your words!

      • Linda H

        Thank you for you kind words and insight. I would love to send you an Angel food cake! 🙂

    • Tricia Wickers

      It’s your intention that counts. You did a kind gesture. For all you know she just started a diet. So many reasons I can think of why she responded poorly and none of them reflect on you. You made Jesus smile.

    • Patricia

      Linda, Consider a saying of Thomas Edison (pretty sure it was Edison) Fail your way to success. Edison’s mother was told Edison couldn’t be taught…for almost 40 years I’ve worked for my husband in his manufacturing business. Always trying to make his product better, stronger and delivery more efficient, he worked so very hard. Yet, You wouldn’t believe how much taunt, insult and ridicule I heard over the years, quite often from individuals who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay their bills. Perhaps it was MK who observed that he’d never seen a statue erected for a critic (or was it couch potato?). Having worked in several leadership positions, be assured, if you’re doing something there will be criticism. Blessings on you and your kindness, keep spreading love.
      Illegitimi non carborundum.

    • Lea Novak

      Your story about the angel food cake resonated with me. When we first moved into our house, the development was just being built, and as we were some of the first to move in on our street, I decided to welcome new families as they moved in with cookies. Imagine my dismay when people reacted as if I was just looking for an excuse to be nosy and see their house! It was several years before anyone else moved in, and I had to really debate with myself about bringing cookies, but ultimately decided to do so (mostly because the family had young children, so I knew they’d like the cookies, regardless of what their parents thought!).

      Just remember, when you’re doing something out of kindness and for Jesus, it doesn’t really matter what others think. Jesus loves you for it!

      • CSL

        I know what you mean about people who suspect ulterior motives and project that onto innocent acts of friendliness – it can be disconcerting. I’ve come to the conclusion that those who are chronically skeptical and critical are revealing their own character and need for grace – they no longer have the power to define me or my motives.

      • Linda H

        Isn’t sad in this world that people have become so skeptical of kindness? They figure one has an ulterior motive. I’m glad you continued to deliver cookies. I bet the children enjoyed them!

    • RD

      Sharing a talent is never wasted. If your efforts don’t bring out the response you were hoping for, try just accepting the response you get. Misunderstanding and miscommunications are part of human beings relating to each other. When an interaction does not go as planned, step back and do your best to see any positive at all.

      For example, you said that the person who received your angel food cake seemed to appreciate it, but you didn’t get the sense that they understood why you would go to so much trouble for them. Just accept their appreciation and talk to God about the rest.

      You write that you are “scared that people won’t like you.” Maybe God just wants you to realize how much He likes you, before he allows you that experience from one of His creatures. Realize that being liked (and more accurately loved to death) by God is more important, more fulfilling and will bring more joy, than being liked by a person you pick out from your circle of experience.

      God is picking you out, to show you how much He loves you. Will you respond to him with the enthusiasm you hoped to get from the angel-food-cake-recipient? Maybe, give it a try, and see where it takes you. You are liked–you are loved. You are precious. God cares for you very deeply. Allow yourself to believe all of these things. Amen.

      • Linda H

        Thank you for your insight. It really put things into a better perspective. Kindness and giving isn’t about the response it’s about the giving. I need to remember that. I know I’ve often heard you have to love yourself before others will love you. That could very well be the biggest problem, I don’t like the “me” I project sometimes. I find myself wishing I was funnier or more witty or more composed. It’s not that I want to be someone else, in my mind the ‘real’ me is much more fun.

        • RD

          Both what you perceive as the “real you” and the “you that you can project” is perfectly loveable in the eyes of God. He loves your heart–at its purest moments AND when it is wounded or broken in any way. God is not waiting to scoop you up in His arms on the day you do or say something just right. He is waiting there to scoop you up the second you run toward him. Don’t hesitate to run. He loves you exactly as you are this very minute.

    • CSL

      My heart goes out to you Linda! Sometimes the words and attitudes of insensitive, cruel critics can have more power over me than the words of God and those are very stressful, punishing relationships! I am learning to surrender those feelings of being hated and to receive God’s lovingkindness. I am learning to be at peace with small beginnings and to be at peace with those who do not understand or hold dear kind gestures (homemade angel food cake is no small feat – you are an angel!). Even though God has an antagonist that rejects, hates and persecutes Him, His character remains the same – the cynics cannot succeed in corrupting that. You do not have to conform to others’ unrealistic demands or standards in order to be loved and valued. Remember how Jesus corrected Martha’s criticism of Mary-He will stand up for you too when you express your faith in acts of love.

      • Linda H

        Thank you for you kind words! This definitely gives me something to think about.

    • SanctusSanctus

      You seem perfect for this job; what you wrote reminds me of 1Cor 4:9-14. You fit in with those other apostle and disciples! Thankfully you made the “Angel Food Cake” instead of a “Devils Food Chocolate Cake”!! Ha, ha, ha!! Wishing you a blessed day and hopefully you bake more for that neighbor with holy results!

      • Linda H

        Lol! I never thought about what kind of reaction a Devils food cake would have brought! Thank you for your kind words.

    • Peg

      I thought I had to know EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING or I would be considered dumb or stupid! So often in my younger days I would nod and act like I knew what others were talking about even when I did not. Then, when I turned 30 I realized it was okay not to know it all! And truthfully, who does know it all??? and why is that so important anyway! Now, the older I get I realize how little I really know!
      We need to do acts of kindness and follow the good deeds that come to mind and do those things to please our Lord and not worry about others and how they may take our kind acts. If you do something good for another and their response is negative leave that on them and take the good feeling from your action that you made God smile!

  • Judy Tobin

    Never give up on a dim light, it may be the only light someone see’s.

    • Kj

      Well said!!

    • Euge

      This is beautiful!

  • Janet Marusiak

    I never thought of me having talents but when I became a born-again Christian I found my talents. I think my enthusiasm to share the message of the Gospel is my talent. I love telling others about that day I finally knelt down after reading the book of John, and Jesus told Nicodemis you must be born again of the spirit. I was reborn that moment in the spirit too and felt a weight come off me and I cried so much. I was all alone and prayed to Jesus to come into my life and help me as I could not do it and I promised I would give Him permission with my life. I finally stopped trying to fix my life as I could not. I was at a low point in life and sick and was not sure if I died if I would go to heaven or hell. Someone prior to that planted the seed. A man named Sandy came to my door evangelizing and asked me that question. He said if I believed and received Him into my heart I will be in heaven with him and he asked me if I had a Bible. The next day I found that Bible and started to read JOHN my favorite book next to the rest of the Gospels and Genesis and ACts. I also loved Paul’s letters and if he could change and become a saint then there was hope for me. I said Yes to any thing good after that, bible studies, retreats etc. and have not looked back. Even in bad times, I feel the Holy Spirit in me and I know I am going to heaven some day, I may have to do some time in purgatory, I am sure of that but I know I will be in heaven some day.

  • Alice Ann Hengesbach

    I am fearless! I love my life. I live it. I reached this point by taking a very close look at fear and dealing with it. I make changes all the time. Most of all I live a “welcoming” life: I’ll talk to anyone including children. I help people without being asked. I am a presence.

    • Doug

      I’m right there with you. It’s one of many gifts that God has bestowed on me.

    • SanctusSanctus

      I am overwhelmed with this humility!

    • Karen Kotzbach McCreary

      Alice Ann, if I didn’t know better I’d think I had written these words myself . It’s no wonder I liked your aunt so much . You really are very much like her. My husband and kids used to get annoyed with me but I’m glad I annoyed them . Fear shouldn’t even have to be a word .Only in heaven will we experience this. ( I hope!) *_* K

      • Alice Ann Hengesbach

        How good to hear from you! You have a wonderful, positive energy … it is in being our best selves (God and we are the ones who know “what” this is) are we the light that shines for others. Have a great weekend.

  • Patricia

    Thank you Matthew and Emalie for the reminders to let our lights shine. Years ago while working with Confirmation Sacramental preparation, it saddened me when the students could discuss endlessly their own weaknesses, yet when asked to expound on their gifts and their talents, the teens came up with sports’ achievements then the quiet was deafening. Let’s affirm everyone we can at every opportunity including ourselves, our loved ones and even the prickly people in our lives.
    The list under Act is a great reference for examination of conscience. Love and prayers for all.

  • Mary Salmond

    Fear is paralyzing. It is present in me in one area of my life. It is holding me back so much that it’s an obsession I need to overcome to think straighter! It keeps me from trusting in God’s intervention and mercy. Today’s video was timely for me; reminding me to look at other obsessions and to let go of the one that is paralyzing me to be the best version of myself. Thank you!

  • Daniela D.

    Lack of Self-confidence. I have always struggled with my idea of myself and what others see, and what I believe God wants for me. I wish I could love me more.

  • Sandra

    Wow what a question. What’s holding me back? All of the above.

  • Maria

    Procrastination, especially when it results from anxiety about the amount of hard work I have to do. It keeps me from impressing myself with what I CAN do by convincing me that I need to do all these other things to make me feel better before even starting on the work set before me. I know I’m capable of better than that.

  • Doug

    Addendum to an earlier post. (I wish I would have thought of below verse earlier so I could have included it.)

    When I would speak of God’s plan/intentions Christians would disagree so that they could continue in beliefs instead of understanding and accepting God’s plan (i.e pro choice). Then I would hesitate and be more careful who I would approach. Heck, I didn’t want people to think ill of me. I’ve changed…per this verse.

    Am I now currying favor with human beings or God? Or am I seeking to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.

    Galatians 1:10

  • Joe Russell

    I learned to not let my fear of my own self doubt control my future but to understand God’s capabilities. Through him all things are possible.

  • Sarena

    Fear has always held me back. When I was a little girl, I always felt like I was invisible. I was/am very good at spelling. One day in the 4th Grade my teacher held a Spelling Bee and the two winners would go on to participate in the school Bee. It came down to two of us and I missed one word. Second place felt amazing. The day of the Bee, I was just paralyzed worth fear, I couldn’t do it. I strutted home and missed it. The next assembly, all the participants received an award. I regretted it because it wad a chance given to me to shine. Later, in middle school I didn’t hesitate to let the fact that English was my best subject and other students came to me for help sometimes. We were given a tongue twister challenge, and I got “Peter Piper”. I practiced and when the day came I did not stay home and when it was my turn, I said it fast, fluent and my class was in awe. Today, I find that I continue to struggle with being on the spot although I am sure I can do something well. I become unsure of myself and frightened that I will just be a fool. Last month, my fiancé and I were asked at last minute if we would help bring the offering to our Priest. We said yes, but I was so nervous; when do I go up, do I bow, I hadn’t paid much attention to this before, I kept thinking maybe we should leave early…but as I sat in church calming my fear I said to myself, this is God’s house, no one is judging you if you get something wrong God won’t be upset, you can do this, a favor was asked of you here and so do this. I repeated this and when the time came, my fiance went with me, I did not bow but when I took my seat I apologized to the Lord, if I made an error. I faced my fear with God’s help that day. I can fave then all with Him everyday, if I place my fear in His hands and go forward.

  • Jacob

    What is holding me back? I got a couple of things is holding me back. Fear…Whiich I understand the video because I got fear of being rejecting on everything. I got Fear of being left out of the loop. I know no one is perfect. I am a quiet guy. I don’t talk much. I pray to God every night and just pray that it will get better. He will let me know, when It will be great.

  • Annette

    I pray for courage, conviction and confidence to overcome fear, hesitation and to have faith in and to do what God wills me to do. It’s my mantra for becoming a better version of myself. Thank you all for the brilliant light manifest in this Best Lent Ever program.

    • Karen

      Amen Annette!

  • Jeff K

    My biggest fear is that I am not using the talents God gave me to the fullest of my ability. What holds me back is comparing myself to others. Things like financial burdens and debt make me feel like an under achiever sometimes, but today’s message reminds me that is society’s measuring stick, not God’s. Today I will focus on how I can bring light to those around me.

  • Donald Marquez

    For a brief period earlier this year, I had become extremely thin-skinned. Every piece of criticism, particularly in my faith circle, filled me with doubt, to the point where I was questioning my place in the parish. I recently received a harsh email from a friend and esteemed member of our parish and community–completely unwarranted by the way, or so I thought. But rather than withdraw into my shell, and rather than fight his fire with fire (either of these are my usual response), I prayed on it. I answered the email and let that person know that his words were hurtful, but even though they were hurtful, they also forced me to look within myself. Was there truth to his words? Later that evening, another friend while sitting before the Blessed Sacrament, another friend handed me a book marked to a certain page. I read it. It was Jesus talking to me. He said that he had many detractors, for many reasons. And the response to those detractors was always the same: love. Choose love! When I saw the friend that sent me the email a few days later, it was awkward at first. Then he asked me, “Are we still on talking terms? Are we still brothers?” I said of course we were. There will always be critics–including myself most of all!–but the response to them is all ours. Withdraw? Fire with fire? Or choose love.

    • Carlos

      Wow Donald. Although associated with a completely different situation in my life, I received the same message from Jesus. Love. Choose Love. When I choose love, God’s love, everything seems to come into the light, especially our sin and the sin of others. Love is the lamp that fuels the light that shines in all of us. When we hold on to the love that Jesus showed us, God opens our hearts and makes it possible for us to forgive others and overcome our burdens and all the things that hold us back!

      • Donald Marquez

        Amen, Carlos! Thank you for sharing!

  • Terri Michelli

    Well this makes me really look at my self and realize I am my own worst enemy . I do not step out and say or do things I want to or should because I worry about what people think about me . Took me a long time to figure that out but thru pray and a relationship with Christ , I am better , but I still struggle with letting people see the real me. I am a hairdresser and my clients always tell me that I have a ministry going on here. i don’t see what they see ,but I love what I do and I know that’s my God given talent . Need to keep working on my self because I have 3 beautiful girls that I want to teach how to be a light also.

  • Mel Babin

    Our human nature can hold us back. The normal ordinary things in our lives. God is in control as she said.
    Letting ourselves be healed through confession and helping others can let our light shine to the fullest.

  • Eileen Chapman Thompson

    Looking at this list. Almost everything holds me back. Being the 4 of 5 kids I was the quiet one, the non problem child. Ended up making me the wall flower. As a catholic family we are a rambunctious group full of laughter and wit. I never felt that I could be like my brothers and sisters. Outgoing, witty, funny, hold my end of a conversation, wasn’t coordinated to do sports the odd man out. that I don’t fit in. This has been my struggle for so many years. As the dynamics of my family changes this never seems to change. I have to be the change. Because I was protected and unnoticed I have to find my talents and gifts. I have to believe in myself. As I grow older I find that I am athletic, I still freak with communication and how others view me and my responses. I constantly feel judge and not worthy. Something I am working on

    • Carlos

      Eileen, I have seen this struggle in my own family. My wife is the 3rd of 4 children and my daughter is the 3rd of 4 children. They both feel overshadowed by their larger than life siblings, who tend to take over conversations and have a need to be the center of attention. Both my wife and daughter feel marginalized. Although neither of them have a desire to be the center of attention, they still desire more than anything to still feel that they are part of the family, in their own special way. They want to be heard, to feel loved, and to be accepted for who they are. Because they are not like the others, they too feel judged and that they are the odd man out. This has hurt both of them and has held them back in their relationships. Does this insecurity come from unfairly comparing themselves to others or from feeling that they should also be loud, funny and rambunctious too? Family dynamics can be extremely tough because the stakes are so high.

    • Joyce W.

      As an only child I never had this reason for my shy beginnings, but I do still have to remind myself that not everyone is meant to be a “party animal”. Some are gifted with being able to work a room and chat to everyone, others, (and I fit in here), are meant to look out for the lone ones at a function and engage them in conversation so that they don’t feel left out. It works well on the whole, but of course remembering to say a prayer before any intimidating event really helps. Then afterwards you need to go home and recharge your batteries, while the extroverts come home energized!

  • Magalis Muniz

    What holds me back is fear. Fear keeps me from being the best version of myself because I feel that I’m not good enough. I let my insecurities get in the way of letting my light shine. I don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t know where to start. Jesus, I want to live my life with joy. Give me the courage to let my light shine, do good works, and give you glory.

    • Joanne

      This is just how I feel too…

      • Magalis Muniz

        It’s terrible! I let my self doubt over power me.

    • NancyB

      Start with prayer. When I read your words, “I don’t know where to start” I related to them immediately. And right after that, ‘ Prayer’ popped into my mind. I am praying now for you Magalis and myself so that we both see God’s plan for us soon.

      • Magalis Muniz

        Thank you! I will do the same for you

  • Susie Caughey

    I am blessed to say that none of the above is holding me back. I just need to put my house on the market and get rid of that one headache whereby I feel all I do is work to pay the mortgage and the bills. Then I will free up my finances and time to utilize my God-given talents. I love to read, write and share stories. I am Irish with the gift of the gab … but no gossip or no judging. I want to initiate a Parental faith-filled Support Ministry wherever I end up next. We had one funeral in our church yesterday of a 20 year old and have another this week of a 21 year old. My daughter was a close friend of the young man buried yesterday. There are so many suffering parents. Many of us send our children to therapy and then go ourselves for assistance in dealing with them. Now, I am a firm believer in thee Greatest Counselor of all, Our Lord and Our God. I’ve been praying to do this for years and I know I will in God’s perfect timing.

  • Joanne

    I too can check a number of the traits in the above acts. I don’t know what my special talent is..but I’m glad Deb said she was going to write the list down and review it every day..I’m going to do the same thing. And I’m glad she saw what the frames behind Matthew said. I’ll write that down too so that I can read those words everyday

  • Joy

    Fear has really challenged me and I have been working intently to overcome this feeling. I am learning to ask myself why am I at times not comfortable with who I am? I think the enemy does use fear to try to stop us in our tracks. It is a strong test of faith to learn to put Jesus in front of fear. So many times I have felt His presence with me. He carries me and teaches me that He always will. As I continue to embrace He has me, fear will cease to be present.

  • Annie

    I was a pretty self centered person living my catholic life on the margin. Then my husband of almost 60 yrs. developed cancer and did after a few years. I couldn’t stand the thought of just doing nothing. So I started volunteering first at church and then the food pantry, nursing home and catholic used clothing etc, I must say I am happy with my life meeting new people and helping people, I guess I’m finally letting my life shine.

    • Joe

      Good for you Annie. I’m at the same point you were and have just started to reach out beyond my self centered tendencies to help others. What is moving me further is the joy and gratitude you get from those you help.

  • Heather

    I have a private medical practice and often assist patients dealing with anxiety and low self esteem. I feel blessed every day to be able to help others. I love my work and feel I am shining the light God has blessed me with. That being said, I was recently approached by a woman who told me that some of the exercises and complimentary health practices I was recommending to patients had no scientific basis and were therefor superstition. Regardless of the fact that I do have medical basis and scientific studies to back my recommendations, her words startled me and I find myself now holding back in my work with others, cautious and worried that my medical advice could somehow lead someone to the “near occasion to sin”. My light is now very, very dim. This is especially troubling to me as I have raised my children with my light shining bright and my daughter is in college studying to become a partner in my practice when she graduates and finishes her postgraduate training. She feels called, as I do, to help others in need. Mother Theresa has long been her role model. Our home and my practice are Christ centered and my family and I live our faith daily. Now, however, I am feeling self doubt and questioning my God given talent to heal with compassion and love, because I am afraid of causing others to sin. Even if there was no medical basis for my recommendations, how do I distinguish between superstition and what I was trained to understand as being placebo effect?

    • Joanne

      Heather..if you have a Christ centered practice and are treating people with love and compassion…there is no superstition involved

    • Susie Caughey

      Hi Heather, Personally, I am not into New Age spirituality but have family members, relatives and friends that are and, if that works for them, that is perfectly fine with me. I don’t know what exercises you suggested but God knows your innermost heart and intentions so that is all that matters. Just pray about it. However, so often in my own life, in trying to do good, I encounter spiritual warfare (even from those in my church ministries). You own your peace so try not to allow anyone to steal it from you. May The Holy Spirit enfold in you, give you assurance and free you from the lies that the devil wants you to believe to make you feel any doubt and unworthiness in what you do. Amen (It was a doctor that sent me that yesterday!)

    • TerriB

      Ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight, to put something in your path today to help you discern your exercises are for therapy. People are well meaning and some are mean spirited. The difference is important to discern. I think you will feel it in your heart what is beneficial and what is worthless. Don’t be afraid. That person might have been intimidated by what those exercises were digging up and couldn’t handle the effect. Praying with you for wisdom. 🙏

  • Ruth

    Matthew begins by talking about talents and how difficult it is for people to recognize talents in themselves and ends by asking us not to describe our talents, but what holds us back! I think it is very easy for people to look at themselves and say what is wrong (I know that is easy for me to do), but it’s not so easy to do the other things.

    My talents are these:
    -good listener
    -critical reader/puzzle solver
    -memorization
    -stubbornness (a talent if used for good)
    -kindness
    -household crafts
    -staying calm

    What holds me back the most from sharing these talents with others is fear but, I am working on it as humbly and graciously as I can.

    • Carlos

      Good point Ruth. As with the habits, we need to replace the bad with the good. The same follows for what is holding us back and our talents. By identifying and taking the things that are holding us back, we can replace the bad by acknowledging and using the good, unique, God-given talents to fulfill God’s plan for our lives. Thanks for turning this on it head and from seeing it in a different light.

  • JayAW

    One of my older brothers died six years ago. He was an alcoholic and pretty much drank himself to death. He had such incredible musical talent, but he wasted it by allowing the booze to take over his life. God gave him the gift of being able to sit down at a piano and play so wonderfully that it would bring people to tears. Its amazing how we sometimes see so much talent in others and then be disappointed with them when they don’t use the talent that God gave to them. I try to look at myself and ask God to show me how to use the talents that he gave to me. I’ve discovered new talents over the years that I never knew I had, and I look for opportunities to share those talents with others.

  • Bill S

    3-1/2 years ago, my wife suffered a serious stroke which left her unable to be left alone for long periods and be independent. I retired from my full-time job to become her caregiver and hoped that she would progress to the point where our life would get back to “normal” or as close to what I remember as normal. That hasn’t happened. I realize that God gave me the talents to be her care taker and I think I am doing a good job. My cooking skills have really gotten good, she says I make a pretty mean meatloaf, which is her favorite. But what’s holding me back is wanting to be back in that life where everything was fine and dandy, where she could drive a car and go food shopping or go clothes shopping for herself. But it’s not going to happen as her neurologist has told us that if her feeling hasn’t come back in her arm and leg by now, it’s just not going to happen. Sometimes I feel stuck or trapped and then feel badly that I have these selfish thoughts thinking about myself and wanting a better life. This wasn’t how I envisioned my retirement. I continue to pray that I can accept the hand dealt to us and understand that God gave me these talents to be the best caregiver I can be. Thank you all for being such blessings during this Lenten journey.

    • NancyB

      Bill, what a wonderful husband your wife has! Though I don’t live in your situation, my husband and I are both retired and I know a health situation can happen at any moment. I just pray that I can be a selfless person as you are. God bless you both!

      • Bill S

        If that time ever comes, and I hope it does not, you will do the right things because that is how you were raised. My mom set a good example, taking care of her mom when she developed Alzheimer’s Disease. I have also been blessed to have several other men in my parish take care of wives who became very sick. What great examples they set for me. God Bless and thanks for your encouragement Nancy.

    • jerseyangel

      What a blessing you are to your wife. Back in the early days of my marriage and my 4 children were small, I would sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the duties and responsibilities, especially since I live so far from my extended family. I joined Mother’s Group at my church and have formed life long friendships. Through them I learned I could only be a good caregiver of my children and husband if I take care of myself as well. Whenever you can, find ways to get help. Luckily with technology, we can now shop on line, or have groceries delivered. Have someone else take care of your wife once a week and you go do what you enjoy. I learned to compare a nurturer with a pitcher of water. The pitcher needs to be constantly refilled to give to others. God bless you in your journey.

      • Bill S

        Thank you. I have been fortunate to have a group of ladies from our parish that come to visit, allowing me to get a round of golf in or take a long bike ride (my 2 favorite pastimes). I love your analogy of refilling the pitcher of water and will try to remember that visual.

    • Wallace

      This is your new norm and its a challenge to accept it. 6 months after I retired my wife was diagnosedd with terminal cancer. All of our retirement plans were dashed. For the first 6 months of her chemo, I was reminded of all the times over the past years when illness symptoms came up and I begged , cajoled, pleaded and argued with her to go to the doctor as my gal continued to refuse to go. Then I surrendered that this was where God wanted me to be. He gave me a wonderful job with a retirement and health care program so that I could care for my best friend. I surrendered and He developed a prayer program of thanksgiving for me. Peace settled in as each day I gave him thanks for the blessing of my best friend and soul mate. Yes there were often times when I felt alone – but not on my own, but the thankfulness overwhelmed the loneliness. I still had my best friend each and every day and was able to kiss her every day and for two year felt blessed to be there for my gal. I had accepted my new norm and God’s will. He was in control and his gift to me was peace as I accepted it. May God bless you with peace in your new norm as you serve Him and your best friend. He has more gifts in store for you – I promise.

      • Bill S

        Thank you Wallace!!

    • Joyce W.

      Bill, and Wallace, you have reminded me how important I believe it is when we meet someone who is a caregiver, not only to ask after the patient’s health, but also to ask how that caregiver is doing. When one spouse’s health is seriously compromised, the life of both is changed and challenging, and the hopes and dreams of both are set aside. God bless you as you live this difficult reality with His help.

      • Bill S

        Thank you Joyce. I know how important it is to remain healthy, not so much for myself, but to be able to provide the care she needs. Challenging – yes. But I’ve been working the plan and tweaking where I need to make it work out. It will, I am sure, with God’s help.

  • Alice

    For some reason I can’t get the videos to play. So I read Matthew Kelly’s transcript but will have to check back for Emalie. What’s holding me back? It’s always been fear. Fear of failure. Fear of others not accepting me for who I really “am” the true me. Sometimes I feel I have so many gifts that people won’t like me if I use them all. Not bragging here. I have felt myself pull back at times but other times I have marched on and done something that I was afraid to do. As far as my light, Dynamic Catholic is helping me let it shine. I have been pondering what God wants me to do in this stage of my life. I retired at 55 and want to use this second phase of my life in a more aware sense of my purpose. I find myself opening up like a flower at times and throughing doubt and fear out the window. Now it’s about figuring it out and I am getting closer. My prayer group is helping as well as Dynamic Catholic. I fear when this is over and am planning how to keep it alive in my life. God Bless.

    • NancyB

      I too fear for this Lenten community to be over. Is there an ongoing Christian discussion blog on Dynamic Catholic website?

  • Marti

    For a long time I didn’t know what my talents were. What I have learned is that my talents are my strengths . I took a strength/ leadership test for work so we could know ourselves and others better to create a more helpful workplace. I then learned my strengths were strategic , positivity and empathy . When I changed that one word – talents to strengths-it was so much easier for me to realize what my talents were and to focus those talents to help others and create a better version of myself and thank God for what he has given me.

    • Joy

      A great reminder Marti that our strengths are skills to be applied throughout our lives.

  • Angie O’Mara

    I was brought up in a very loving and Happy family. I was taught not to boast, not to be proud, but to be respectful of others and their life situations. I think what holds me back, is not to compare myself to others, it’s how I was raised. However, when the chance arrives, I do let my light shine, when I am asked about my love of God and how it makes me happy. My light shines for others to see, and I hope by doing so they see the joy and happiness of Jesus.

  • Colleen Kerr

    When wanting to ‘let our light shine’ to share the Gospel of God’s love & mercy I believe it essential to remember that evangelization calls each one of us to be open to being evangelized ourselves. Often a willingness to listen, using less words and quiet example shines brightly.

  • boulders124

    What a wonderful way to fulfillment with the Lord

  • John L. Kemmis

    I was doing ok with today’s message until I read the list of traits in the ACT section of the Focus-Act-Pray block. I experience /live each of these traits every day. And every time I have read this list this morning I feel overwhelmed. It is so inclusive and complete. But I realized just now, that I only need to discern one trait that is holding me back for I cannot improve myself by multi-tasking. So that trait that is holding me back is self-doubt.

    I am full of self-doubt (and anxiety), especially after taking up soft pastel painting recently. I know very little about art, nothing about painting or sketching save for the couple of one-day classes I have taken since. I am so self conscious about this, nearly all those traits come in and play with me. Argh!

    But I took up soft pastels reluctantly under the impression that God wanted me to do this. I don’t know what for or what his mission for me is in this regard. I am caught-up struggling to learn to paint with the sticks. A couple of ways I have found to overcome my self-doubt are: find a quiet place and pray about the situation. And next, sketch or paint a quick 5 minute study of a Cross or candle. These two actions seem to push resistance aside and allow me to move forward. Once I get past the self-doubt, I have much fun and joy painting and sketching. Once I fail at painting, it becomes art. So I am accumulating lots of art in my office at home.

    Through pastel painting, I am learning to appreciate the world that God has created and given to us. I wonder what He has planned next?

    • Trish Byers Larcomb

      John, you ARE an artist! Simply by virtue of being a child of God, you are an artist. We were created by the most divine Creator of all! How wonderful that you are experiencing such joy in your painting! I also found, years ago, that when I focused on creating pieces that reflected my faith and love for God, my fear and self-doubt faded away. Thank you for reminding me of this because I have been in a slump lately. Time for me to get back to the basics and let my light shine!

  • Margie Suarez

    Feeling that I am ill prepared for anything. I have this fear of making a mistake and being ridiculed, so I would rather be perfect at something before presenting. Then there’s that feeling that it’s not good enough.

    • John L. Kemmis

      I always feel unprepared too. But God is in control and I am not. So no worries! He gets the job done regardless.

  • Patti

    Fear and selfishness are what holds me back. Selfishness that I won’t get what I want, my needs met. And fear that I won’t be accepted as I am. Jesus of course wants all good things for me even if they are hard at the time- he ultimately wants what’s best for me and fear… well… with all I’ve read this past week an underlying theme of do not fear keeps coming up. Hmmm I think He’s telling me something 🙂

  • Dorothy Huebner

    Thank you for sharing your story jesspinosa. It is beautiful. I am a retired dietetic technician who worked in nursing homes. I found that the residents were lonely and loved to share their life stories with me. They were so grateful for any little thing I need for them.

  • Lea Novak

    All but three of the things on that list hold me back! And while I generally tend to have too high an opinion of myself, I do struggle with trying to identify talents that God wants me to put to use. For example, I make jewelry and sell it…but is that really something God wants me to spend my time on? I paint (oil paintings), and others have told me I have a God-given talent for that, but to do it, I have to spend multiple days in a row holed up in my studio leaving my poor husband to himself all day and through the evening. Is that really what God wants me to do? Shouldn’t my husband be more important to me than painting something that I personally don’t think is nearly as good as my friends seem to think?

    • John L. Kemmis

      Ha! I just started soft pastel painting with no artistic talent but I seem to have the same thoughts. Today I wrote the following to put on my sketch board. I thought it might help me.

      Your next work will be a failure, and become art.
      So today, let’s pray, then paint or sketch toward that and enjoy the journey.

      • Lea Novak

        My artwork always starts out as a complete failure…or at least, it seems that way to me. But I think that’s just a reminder to me to ask God for help. And then it goes better.

  • Betty’s Blessing

    I think we all struggle with situations and faith at different points in our lives. We have to step back and “Let God” lead us. Each situation is a chance to grow. I know when you feel alone, you want to give up, but that is when God is carrying us. “Footprints in the Sand”. This Lent, I have tried to grow and let things go that is out of my control. When you do, it actually brings you peace. The extra stress is lifted off your shoulder.
    I am still learning and growing. I know I am do the best I can in every situation I have been given. I am not perfect, but I can strive to be.
    A great man once told me “A Saint is a sinner, who kept on trying.”

    • NancyB

      Love your quote!

  • Rita Gahr

    Right now I find I have been lazy, procrastinating, and doubting myself. I think a long winter of unemployment has done this to me. I find on days when I get out of the house and am around people I am more joyful and giving to others. I will try to push myself more and I am going to get a n ok took today and keep a journal this may give me the push I need.

  • Laura LaDue

    What holds me back is that nagging voice in my head that says I’m not good enough. It is so difficult to have faith that God loves me just the way I am. If I listen to that voice I get caught in the busyness of life. I have to slow myself down and realize I am good enough for God.

  • Rosa Chacon

    Thank you for sharing! That gives me inspiration 😊

  • Sue

    Thank you for the list. It’s like an examination of conscience. I wrote in my journal the ones I felt were holding me back. I need to pray about these, asking for the courage to overcome my faults.

  • Lino Viola

    I find that procrastination is my biggest resistance. I start out most often with good intentions as I did at the start of this Lenten season but I constantly have to overcome the resistance to overthinking something otherwise it will undermine my intended mission. Years ago I was invited to accompany a couple involved in prison ministry. I said yes to their invitation even though I thought that I was not qualified. It was one of the best things I did as it got me out of my comfort zone. If I had procrastinated I would had never realized what God wanted to show me. I now look at each request as a call from God and realize that if he is calling he will qualify me for the task.

  • NancyB

    I am so in need of a community where I can share my Catholic faith openly and freely. I need to find a group in my parish where I can share my faith as well as my time, treasures and talents. We don’t have an active woman’s group or bible studies except during Lent and Advent. I need more. I feel afraid to offer a suggestion to start a group in my parish as I see myself as an idea person, and not an implementation person. But If I don’t do something, who will? Is God calling me? Matthew’s comments give me food for thought in that my talents are my own and do not need to be stellar by the worlds standards. Our parish priest will be returning from a sabbatical by Easter and I will go to see him to see where I can utilize my God-given talent. Pray for me please to Do and not to Pass.

    • TerriB

      The presence of a women’s group is so important. I’ve attended one in my parish for years. I’m happy to give you a format that we’ve used in the past and one we are using currently as it’s run by a member. Feel free to message me if you want and I’ll add my contact information. Praying for you today!

      • NancyB

        Yes, I would love to see your group format. Thank you so much for sharing and the words of encouragement.

      • NancyB

        Hi Terri, I am an inexperienced blogger so keep getting messages that something is not going through. I signed directly into Disqus instead of through DC. My contact info is nabrown29 and I use gmail. I look forward to hearing from you.

        • TerriB

          Sent you a email, Nancy!! 🙌

    • Carlos

      Nancy, I feel a similar thing, but with regards to a men’s group and bible study. At this point, I would be excited to participate in anything that brings forth positive fellowship, especially faith based. I also see some things that I do to hold me back. Most of the groups and events of our parish are focused on our retired members, who can do activities during the work day, including daily mass. I have volunteered for a number of service events, but I would like to be able to have more opportunities to talk and share my faith with others. I also can’t convince myself that our local Knights of Columbus would be a good solution for me, as I am still fairly young. The RCIA program is a great outlet too. Maybe I need to push past my resistance to find a way to start something in the evenings that the men in our parish can participate in.

      • TerriB

        Carlos, one of the deacons at our parish runs a monthly group for men in our parish. Start asking around to see if there would be interest and do it with zeal. Maybe you can find someone to help walk you through this. We always need people willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. What a blessed ministry for your parish!

    • Carl

      I really love this Forum! You put forth your “idea” and in less than 5 minutes TerriB offered to share a plan on how to “implement” it!

      I am willing to bet that you are not the only person in your parish who is looking for more. We just completed a 3-day Lenten Mission in our parish last night and there were a lot of people there who were all, as the facilitator said, “Looking for more.”

      Take a look at the hymn “Be Not Afraid” (I go before you ALWAYS) if you feel you need a little something extra when meeting with your pastor.

      God Bless.

      • NancyB

        Thanks

  • CathieHeenan

    I guess you can say that fear of not saying the right thing to someone. When I talk to my family and friends I tell them straight how things are, but I guess I could choose different words to not hurt their feelings as much. I always try my best, but sometimes that just doesn’t seem to be good enough.

  • Clare54

    WOW! This is exactly the place Lent has taken me! I have begun praying for the *Joy* I don’t experience. Fear holds me back as well. I know exactly what God wants me to do with my life and I know exactly why I am being resistant of His direction.
    The question now is “how do I move forward and take the next step”?

    • TerriB

      Oh, how exciting and scary at the same time. For those of us, praying for discernment, it sounds amazing that you know what God wants you to do. I would say you wait for Him to nudge you a bit. And do it scared!! Don’t let resistance win this tug of war! Praying for courage for you on your mission!

      • Clare54

        Thank you so much Terri B!!! I will keep you in my prayers as well. God Bless.

  • Mario Cannariato

    Thank you Jesspinosa I have been blessed with the same mission of lonely elderly of my parish St. Thomas the Apostle in NYC. My first was a parishioner Loraine that I cared for 14 years. She relied and trusted in me as I was the only person she had. I was put in her life to let her know Jesus loved her throiugh the light she saw and felt through me. I was there for Lorraine through her transformation back to heaven witnessing Gods glory. I’m with a man now Frank that looks forward each week to seeing me. When I leave Frank each week as with Lorraine I make the sign of the cross and ask for strength to continue this blessed mission Jesus has given me.

  • Karen Kitchel

    I love the song “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” Getting that song stuck In your mind the first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day.

    • SanctusSanctus

      I read in the “Resistance” book that this is a song our host, Matthew sings with his son!
      Oh my! It’s one of those ditty’s I won’t be able to get out of my head, if you know what I mean! Have a great day to all the Sunshines!

  • TerriB

    In some ways, I feel like my own “woman” life is on hold as I mother my children. My large family is a challenge as everything is constantly changing. Once we get in a rhythm, and I feel like I can catch a breath, one of the kids hits a rough area of growth and we all have to lean to balance rhe dynamic again. For the last 14 years, I’ve been pregnant and nursing. My last baby is still under 1 and I’m feeling the need to close the chapter of adding to our family. I’m excited to see my kids grow and mature in their faith but I feel very dizzy imagining what my next steps are. My husband and I were in discernment about my returning to work to help with catholic high school tuition. God delayed my return with a fussy baby who just wanted mama. We knew we’d figure it out and He came through with financial grants and scholarships for my son for the fall. He is so good. For now, His answer has been to plant a few seeds in my heart, let Him weed out and wait on His timing. In this waiting time, I feel like I’m charged with keeping my light lit instead of dimming it for my children’s lights to fan the flame.

  • Lilia

    I fear chronic illness will eventually not allow me to continue to be of service to anyone in need that crosses my path. I retired eight years ago due to illness, I felt devastated and felt there was no future. In time I came to conclusion that, God had changed my journey for a reason. To live in gratitude and service; the joy and sence of purpose have been a true blessing. My mother was diagnosed with dementia and I was able to be there for her until her condition worsened last year. I reach out and offer my help in any way possible when I see a need. Driving my friend with cancer weekly to chemo treatments, help fill out paperwork for another friend she is illiterate doesn’t read or write. When my nephew was involved in motorcycle accident in a medical induce coma for a month for brain trauma. I was able to be there for him and his mom. I Went through rehab with him and help jump through many hoops with insurance companies. By the grace of God he recovered and is fully functional. The last two years my husband and son were hospitalized with bipolar disorder. My husband was on disability for ten months, he returned to work a year ago, hi struggles continue on a daily basis. My son was on outpatient treatment after seven months he decided to self medicate with marijuana, he’s back on outpatient treatment. God has allowed me to be here for them, I’ve become their care giver. My relationship with God is closer and stronger then it’s ever been. I’m thankful for every day and everyone I’m able to touch in a positive way. If anyone ask how to repay me, I always ask them to pray for me and my family. I am truly blessed!

  • Rosie

    As Emalie, fear does hold me back and also being anxious about everything instead of trusting. I do not worry about what others think of me, but worry about presenting and being able to answer questions and make presentations that offer appropriate catechesis and evangelization. I would be devastated if someone turned away or didn’t come back to the Church because I said something in the wrong way. I have tried to continue to catechize myself and receive good support from my pastor and the diocese, but anxiety is a part of my life almost on a daily basis. I would love to be able to stand in front of a group and know that what I am sharing is going to offer someone what they need to come back for them to share the Good News with their family and friends as well. What gifts we are given as Matthew said are not meant to be put under a bushel basket but shared. I would like my light to be a little brighter and will trust that God has that gift or another ready for me as I continue to bring others to his Kingdom here on earth.

  • Jackie

    What’s holding me back? Maybe hurt? I used to help people more-with whatever they needed. Then, when my step-mom suffered a traumatic brain injury while we were all on a family vacation, I jumped in with both feet to help my dad. I was at the accident scene. I witnessed the emergency response. The CPR, my dad’s reaction. My brother was not at the scene, and late chose to continue on the vacation instead of going to the hospital. Anyone who has been there knows this is an all-encompassing thing. Everything from making life and death decisions at the beginning, to health insurance issues, to transferring my step-mom from facility to facility, to taking care of their house and yard. Literally everything that needed to get done, I was a part of. My two brothers remained at a distance and didn’t really get involved until I told them a year in that I couldn’t do it alone anymore. At that time, my dad asked me to help him find another long term care facility. But, I just couldn’t do it. I was exhausted-emotionally and physically. It didn’t help that my dad has OCD and back then, he was not being treated for it. It was a challenging time. I was drained. At the time, my brothers told me that my inability to continue helping was the most selfish thing they ever heard. My dad told me that he never asked for my help before, and the one time he does ask, I say no. He did not appreciate anything I had done for him prior-he just focused on this one time when I could literally do no more. The thing is, we were a really close family before this happened. My brothers were some of my best friends. Now, I am no longer close with my brothers or my dad. I harbor anger and resentment in my heart, which I am trying to work on. I am working on forgiveness. My step-mom passed away last June. Last October, I began to really focus in on my spiritual life and relationship with God. But it is a struggle to help people again. Throughout my life, I had never really done it for the “thanks” or appreciation. But because my family was so outwardly unappreciative, it kind of makes me not want to help people. The only solution to this that I have found so far, is that when presented with an opportunity to help, I just need to say yes. If I stop to think about it, I will go the other way, I think because I don’t want to feel hurt again. So, I am trying to just say yes. Even if it’s something as small as offering an arm to someone who needs help getting out of their car at church.

    • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

      Jackie I have similar anger and hurt feelings from my family and even my priest. Maybe betrayal? But remember what Jesus said about Laz

      • Mary Lynn

        Jackie and Kathleen – I understand anger and hurt feelings. I took this to confession too. Father reminded me that these people are not defined by their bad behavior. They, like us, are made in the image and likeness of God. This gives all of us our dignity. For this reason I have been freed from anger, resentment, and hurt over past action that I had no control over. My only control, with the help of God, is look at God in these people. He may be greatly disguised, but He is there. May God grant you peace.

        • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

          😀It is hard for me to see God in them when the My pain was from the the devil! Maybe I can say a kind word to them or smile at them or pray for them and imagine that I am slaying the devil. They in turn may see God in me and we can start over! I don’t know. I will ask the Priest today! Thank you for your kind words and prayers!

        • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

          Mary Lynn I was having a hard time seeing any goodness or God-like “Light” in the people who hurt me. But the Priest in confession reminded of the Peter’s Betrayal to Jesus. So now, when I see these individuals I will not see their faces but see Jesus’ face of foregiveness to Peter. Now I will engage with those individuals with forgiveness and love that Jesus gave to Peter.
          “As we forgive those, who trespass against us.” Thanks! God bless!

      • Jackie

        Thank you. I will.

    • SanctusSanctus

      It appears you honored your parents… God bless you and protect your heart. Please pray for me and I’m praying for you also!

      • Jackie

        Thanks. I will.

    • Lisa

      God will shower you with thanks in heaven. I hope knowing that is enough for now. I have a friend who did everything for his father and then for his step-mother. His family didn’t help either. Maybe knowing there are others out there helps a little also.
      Recently I made jello for my mom. Dad said, good job on the jello. I replied thank you, it’s nice to hear good job once in a while, even if it’s only jello. His answer surprised me. “I like to hear good job once in a while too.” So, one way you could help a lot is by giving to others what you were refused: Appreciation.

      • Jackie

        That is a good idea. I need to start looking around to find the good in people and express my appreciation more.

    • Pat

      Wow Jackie, it is good that you released this and got it out. How painful that no one in your family chooses to deal with your needs. Maybe they will come around or maybe never, but God will help you to forgive them anyway. Lifting you up in prayer and asking Our Lord to refresh you and supply all of your needs.

      • Jackie

        I am trying. I have been praying for help with forgiveness, but I am not there yet. Although, I can feel my heart softening at times. I met with a local priest a month or so ago and he told me it sounded like I forgave too soon. That is why I have this anger come up seemingly out of nowhere. He recommended book and after reading it, I can see he was right. So I have taken a step back, and with God’s help, will hopefully begin to forgive. I realize now that forgiveness does not necessarily mean that our relationships go “back to normal.” But it does mean that they can be healed.

  • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

    I am drawn to Matthew’s talk today on going out and doing what you do best! I take care of veterans! That is what I do the best! I am not the smartest but I do know the smartest physicians to answer any of my medical concerns. I am not the most insightful but I align myself with successful psychologists. What makes me the best is that I truly care. I care for the ones who have protected my freedom! What joy! What a privilege I have! What an awesome responsibility! Once I felt I wasn’t the best. I knew about WW2 vets, and Vietnam vets, but I knew little about Persian Gulf vets. So, I prayed. I took a leap in faith and worked at an army base to care for soldiers coming back from war. What an awesome experience.
    What is my best? Taking care of our Veterans! That is my focus.

  • Betty

    Thanks for sharing. I find that helping others helps me forget my own pain, worries or complaints. What a wonderful grace God showers on us when we extend a loving hand to others.

  • Peggy

    I think I have a few traits that hinder me from letting my light shine. There is no time like the present to put these traits behind me so I can be the best version of myself.

  • Karen Stronk

    I had to laugh when I saw all the topics listed under act. I could put a check on at least 80% of that list!! It is quite daunting. I have found that prayer helps me overcome lots of that, but it is a constant struggle…so, I pray ALOT!!

  • Sue

    The main thing that is holding me back from doing what I “Know” I am being called to do — is the rejection from my family & mostly my husband. How’s that for an excuse! I am so hungry to learn more about the Bible– That sounds odd to me — because I was raised in such a knowledgeable household. My Dad was a minister, my Mother, taught Sunday School classes, lead youth groups, started a choir in Dad’s first Church of ministry, which of course I was expected to be a part of — which I was. I resented it –only after I became the “rebellious” teenager. Up until that time, I looked forward to every activity. My friends were all the kids I knew from church. BUT– when i got to my teen years , my friendships changed & I wanted to be part of the “IN” crowd. So I abandoned my church friends & began my rebellion. I tried to take my girls to church, but not on a regular basis. So now I am paying the price.

  • Shyne4god

    Omg what a beautiful inspiring story Jesspinosa ! Thank You for Sharing ! I am a hairstylist for 38 years and would say the last 5 years have been my best ! I have been drawned to spiritual clients like me ! And not only do I make them look better but it’s kinda like being a spiritual counselor and I Love it ! I Love Bling ! And to me it’s a reflection of my Love for God ! On my car plates it reads Shyne4god and driving around I always try and keep money to hand out to the less fortunate so when they see me driving off I can give them the Hope that they are Loved by God !

  • Challenger Lax

    Thank you Jesspinosa for sharing your inspiring story! I want to copy and paste it to everyone I know!

  • Nancy R

    Self doubt is holding me back. I often feel I’m not worthy, people look down on me or don’t value my opinion. As long as I’m true to myself and God I am worthy.

  • Andrea Leos

    Fear has been holding me back for so long. It got the best of me 10 years ago. I was exhausted and felt so drained. Until I realized there had to be a better way. I just wanted to be happy. You know what? There was a better way. Jesus was the way and the truth. I know and believe in my heart that god has a bigger plan and purpose for my life. Just like the girl in the video, I fought my way to be where I am at today and I will keep on fighting because god has big dreams and plans for me. I will not allow someone to take that away from me. I have worked to hard to get to where I am at. This is just the beginning. I allowed my light to dim in the past because I didn’t know any better. I know better now. I have been studying what fear does to me. It is a liar. It has done nothing but hold me back, make me look like a fool, keep me from my dreams. This time in my life I believe god wants me to conquer fear. To face them with courage, boldness and faith and I can do that, because I know now that god is by my side and will not leave me nor forsake me. I am learning to trust myself and most importantly to trust god! I am so thankful for all of my past pains, hurts and struggles because it taught me that I am strong, I never give up, and made me the person I am today. God wanted to show me that I am stronger than I know. Glory goes to god! 🙏🏻

    • Kay

      Very inspiring…thank you for your testimony.

  • Zoe

    Oh, MAN! I really needed this today. TODAY is MY FIRST DAY BACK IN COLLEGE….I’m returning to College and I’m 54. The LAST time I attended Rogue Community College (Medford, Oregon), was 14 years ago. I achieved a 4.0 (so far, my ONLY 4.0 EVER), and I was offered a $900 GRANT to continue. MY HUSBAND put the kabosh on that, by threatening to DIVORCE me, if I accepted this grant. HE KNEW that I would not be able to support myself and our 8 year old Daughter, on my own. He won. Now, he’s 75, we’re “living” on his Social Security (and FOOD STAMPS), and NOW he sees the WISDOM of my obtaining a good CAREER. TODAY is the 1st day of the rest of my life! No more excuses! I’m CATHOLIC and I’m BOLD! Thanks for all this support and AWESOME PEARLS, Matthew!

    • Paul

      You go girl! I left college after one year when my financial aid was cut back. I thought I would work to earn enough to pay for schooling , but never went back. 36 years later, I wish I had found a way to balance raising a family and work and school.
      Good luck to you on your Leap of Faith!

      • Zoe

        Oh, PAUL! THANK YOU SO MUCH! I think things like this are a combination of GOD’S TIMING, and SOCIO~POLITICAL timing. Trump is in Office now. Maybe that’s why this opportunity has presented itself! My Husband is 75, and in declining health. I’m 54. Maybe God has decided that this is something I finally might deserve? I don’t know. (shrug).

        I’m going back just for a CAREER. If you somehow managed to obtain a career without College ~ you did GREAT! WHATEVER you did, somehow, you managed to PROVIDE FOR YOUR FAMILY. THAT is VERY commendable! We live in an age where THE MACHINE is so out of control, we are all becoming ENSLAVED. A lot of men can’t take the heat, so they BAIL. They bail on their Wives and their kids, only to ultimately find another woman eventually and, before they know it, they’ve got MORE KIDS. YOU did it SMART, without College! I haven’t been able to do that. I’m not wild about being back at school ~ I was never a good student ~ but I DESPERATELY need this occupational training program.

  • Paul

    I am guilty of allowing many of the items listed on the activities section of holding me back. I feel like I put my heart and soul into my career for so long that I never really developed a passion or true talent. I have found joy in a recent program I got involved in called Road to Recovery. I am a volunteer driver for cancer patients to their treatments. I have met many nice people while doing this. I continue to pray to God that I may find my true passion and that it aligns with His master plan.

  • DanaMari

    Fear – which would equate (in my mind) to a lack of trust that God is GOD and I’m not and as long as I step out in faith/trust – all He’s asking is for me to take the first step and then He’ll be there for me. He’s not going to pull me out of my seat – Jesus, told Peter to walk to Him on the water – I have to step out of my “boat of unbelief” and walk toward Jesus trusting that He’ll take my hand as soon as I do!

  • Carolina

    As I listened to the videos I was stymied – I was looking for some big project to take on at my Church and was balking at that – reading jesspinosa’s wonderful message it came to me: There is a person close to our family who needs my help and my prayers. That is where my light can shine.

  • KellyT

    This message is very strong with me today. I am a veterinarian that has been in practice for 6 years and I am in my early 30’s. I feel I was called to work in a field where I can help people and animals at the same time. I struggle everyday to let my light shine as in doing what needs to be done for my patients. I fell the fear of being sued or taken to the license board or even of failure has created so much anxiety in me which then leads to self-doubt. I forget that God is there with me during the good and bad times of my job. I need to remember he will be there even if the aforementioned things might happen to me. I just feel I am not truly letting God speak through me in my work. I feel this message has touched me today to remind me that he is there and he has called me to help others with my talents he has blessed me with. Thank you for reading my story. Any prayers that I can say when anxiety hits or when my self-doubt gets the best of me would be much appreciated.

    • SanctusSanctus

      12th Century St. Francis of Assisi is considered the “patron saint” of animals…
      He loved animals (gosh who doesn’t?).

  • SanctusSanctus

    I know I’ve each of the negative traits that interfere with joy, service and letting light shine.
    Please dear Lord, You know my prayers are to do Your will and to not get in Your Way with my way…. Please help me to discern Your will for me, give me courage and the kick to get me there!
    May it begin with me to stop being an armchair psychiatrist within this website. Amen.

  • Ana Maria Fernandez

    Jesspinosa, thanks for a beautiful experience, I ask to God after my 25 years coordinating catechetical program, I want to retire, I need to know what God have for me, because I don’t want to be home doing nothing, and he answers me, “visiting the ones can’t come to my house” I doing already, but her request going more then that, now o am the coordinators visiting the sick and lonely, with 18 volunter, I feel we are the light for those brothers and sisters, we bring hope and love. This is my vocation now I feel peaceful and joyful.

  • Emma Spaulding

    When I want to do something new and exciting, most of the time something holds me back and it causes me to second cause myself. Those things are fear, not wanting to step out of my comfort zone, and wondering what others will think of me. I was the teacher’s pet in elementary school, got grade grades, never got in trouble, and rarely too risks in life. People knew me as that person and when I tried to step out of that “zone” I got looked at weird and questioned a lot. I know I should not care what others think, but I do it too often. I need to just focus on myself and see how my light will shine on a certain day and impact a person’s life. I am more of a risk taker now and joke around more, but I never really show people my Christian (Catholic) side because I do not want them to judge me. My friends now are helping to step out of my comfort zone and talk about God more and I think it is working. I will continue to do new things and go with the flow instead of second guessing myself and eventually backing out.

  • MaryAnne Casaul

    I can honestly say what holds me back from letting my light shine is self doubt and comparison to other people. Even when I receive a compliment I don’t receive it well because I am always comparing myself and thinking less of who I am compared to someone else. I’ve struggled with this all my life. Many times in the past I just gave up on something because someone else came along and did it better. Even if I did have something to contribute I would just let my self doubt take over and then fail. Like Emalie, I am trying with God’s help to be stronger in this area and accept my limitations and believe in myself that I am worthy of the compliment and I really am helping someone. I guess I am facing my resistance.

  • Laurie Kellen

    This is message is amazing, I shared it with each of my high school classes today. I feel it resonated with them and made them think. Thank you so very much for sharing your gifts Mr. Kelly!

  • Lisa

    Maybe the reason I work so hard to figure out what to do is that list above. A priest once said the cross is whatever you have to do to meet a goal. For example it takes years of homework to get a degree or become a (…)
    I admire people who are willing exercise every morning – I just want to magically be toned. What do you admire?

  • Tony Pantera

    I sometimes worry about others opinion of me or compare myself to others. Over the years I have minimized this
    trait of mine, but it is still there. Today on Facebook when a friend asked everyone what they are doing for Easter, I almost didn’t replay lest I be judge by some. I recognized what I was doing and immediately posted that I was part of our church’s Triduum Celebration.

  • Susan Wallace Hall

    One of my favorite inspirational sayings is “Bloom Where You Are Planted”. My husband does prison ministry and he came home a while back saying that he was having difficulty convincing the offenders (that’s what they call them now; not prisoners or inmates or convicts) that they are right where they should be and they should reach out to other offenders and be the light in their lives! I shared my Bloom saying with him and now he uses it in prison all the time. In fact, when he is walking between prison buildings, he’s even had offenders holler out to him across the prison yard, “Hey! Bloom Where You’re Planted.”

    • Blaise Burkhard

      I love this inspirational saying as well! We’re all offenders at various degrees, but growth is always possible. Sometimes we find ourselves planted in a place where we need extra nurturing. Sharing this saying with offenders via prison ministry is a wonderful way to let your (both of you) light shine!

  • Marilyn

    A long time ago, when my children were little, I was volunteering at their school. A woman came up to me and said, “I can see the light of God in your eyes.” It made me feel that I was on the right track. Since then, life happened. I went back to school to become a teacher, my children grew up and moved out although I am still very close to both of them, and after 15 years I retired from teaching because the stress the county puts on teachers was just too much. I ended up in the hospital on countless occasions and refused to have a heart attack because my job was taking up all of my time. Now I sing in the choir, am a Eucharistic Minister, and have started my own business. But still I ask, “Is this what God has planned for me?” I’ve slowed down, am no longer worried, and take much more time to talk to God and find Him in everyday ordinary things like the birds chirping in the morning. Yet I need that woman to come back to tell me she can see the light of God in my eyes. I was an amazing teacher and made a difference. I think what is holding me back is that I don’t feel I’m positively affecting people’s lives anymore.

  • Julie

    I’m at a point in my spiritual life where I am really struggling. I am a wife, mother of 4 young children and a teacher, which are all wonderful blessings. But, With all of those other priorities, my faith and relationship with God has taken a backseat and now I’m suffering as a result. Doubt and fear has crept in. My faith used to be so strong and I felt that I knew my talents and really tried to focus what God was calling me to. I desire a deep relationship with God again and want to recenter myself in Him.

  • Joanne

    I constantly struggle with worry. It can be quite debilitating and I know that God won’t be able to reach me if I stay in this mode. I have this mantra that “I only have to today” to keep me balanced.

  • Colleen Montini

    I like that the last bullet in the ‘Act’ section above is “Excuses”. That pretty much covers the rest of them! 😉

  • Peter

    Wow! When I looked at that list Matthew gave us of things holding us back, I was thinking EVERY ONE applies to me!! Perhaps I am being too self critical? I hope so.

  • LJ

    Two things: 1) poor self image 2) Catholics
    Faith is not purely intellectual and community is not looking to share life, really. Jesus didn’t need support because He was God, how can support become a response from the people?
    Remember, you cannot make another believe, nor change anyone. ” Will there be any”… upon His return was my ? in the 1980’s and now.

  • Kathy

    Fortunately for me this year is one of the greatest as we welcomed my second grandson in September. That was a game changer in my life and will continue to be. I take care of him during the day while my son and daughter in law work. When my first grandson was born I took care of him during the day and then I worked night shift so I managed to take care of Isaac but it started to be very difficult working basically 24 hours each day b ut I know it was God’s wish for me to do it. It began with just talking to him daily about Jesus and how he was so protected because Jesus was always watching him from heaven. At about 4 months old I found out I had a very, very serious heart condition. All I could think of was that I wasn’t going to be able to care for him but in the end it was the biggest blessing I had ever received from God. He is now 4 and we have a awesome relationship and we talk about Jesus and all the great things he is able to give to us just for the asking. He now spends every Friday night with me and it’s the greatest sleep over and during that time I can continue to talk with him about Jesus and how imported he is and always will be in his life. I still have the heart condition but it has improved enough that I am able to watch Jordan everyday which puts me in the position to make sure that both my grandchildren know Jesus Christ and that the things he does for us is will be everything to both of them as they grow older. Obviously, the teaching I give is on the level of their age but the more they can understand the better their life will become. My son and daughter in law aren’t Catholic but they attend services every week and Isaac at 4 can be in the children’s program and he learns so much and listening to the different things he learns each week is so exciting and fills me with joy. I work with Jordan each day with songs about Jesus and read books to him and I know he doesn’t understand at his age of 6 months but it lays the foundation for his future. What I realize now is that I was given this illness that left me not being able to work. After a few months of having and getting use to having such a life changing illness he gave to me so I have all of this time to be such a huge part of their life. The last 4 years of my life God gave me the most important job of my life to help these little children learn about and grow up spirit filled and that I fufill the mission he chose for me.

  • Bethany

    I think there are two different kinds of gifts– spiritual gifts and what we call talents. During the raising of my children, I couldn’t focus on my talents in a professional capacity like I did in my twenties, but I could definitely use my spiritual gifts to be a better mom. Now that they are all in college, I can focus on using my talents (illustration & design) again, as well as my spiritual gifts! I am trying to figure out how they can be combined and used for God’s work. Sometimes I feel like I missed out on some things during the last 20 years but then I remember that God has seasons for things and He provides opportunities… I just have to watch for them. And I absolutely love my life now that I feel like I’m able to use my talents every day… I feel I’m being who God created me to be.

  • I needed to hear this precise message today. I have a lot of things holding me back, but one thing in particular is hopelessness: I look at everything I’m doing and wonder what the point is. Who cares? Why does this thing matter? What makes me think my efforts today are going to get me anywhere tomorrow?

    I really struggle with these questions. I think I have an answer, between this video and a few other things I saw today…but the questions and doubts still nag!

  • Judy

    What’s holding you back?
    From becoming the best version of myself…
    Laziness to get up early to attend daily Mass.
    Laziness to go out and spend time in Adoration
    This is offset by the amount of time I spend with God in my prayer chair, Scripture writing, journaling, reading devotionals, and completing Bible study homework.
    Perhaps I could attend first Friday Adoration at my church tomorrow.

  • John Lively

    Love the message today (well, actually love the message every day, but today’s was very nice). Thank you so much for sharing your talents with the rest of us.

  • Trevor Pelkey

    Fear is holding me back. I fear sometimes, what people will say or do in response to what I say or do. I hold back on what I think is right to say and am not the best version of myself. I have been shy for a lot of my life, but am breaking out of my shell more and more. I know that with God by my side, there is nothing to be afraid of,and that I will make it through this successfully!

  • Scott Deas

    The world today is hungry not only for bread but hungry for love; hungry to be wanted, to be loved. – Mother Teresa

  • Jan

    All during Lent and even before I have felt the call to make some quilts but didn’t think this was really a calling from God. But today’s message about our talents makes me think that the people receiving the quilts would be happy and that would brighten their day. Sewing is one of my talents and after hearing someone speak about how much of a blessing it would be to receive a quilt, I am going to begin making one. I am also going to copy the list of resistances so that I will try not to let them stop me from blessing someone with a quilt. The Best Lent Ever has been a blessing to me and I enjoy reading all the comments. Happy Easter to all of you!

  • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

    Well, I did it… I went to confession! Wow what a huge smile on my face! Over 20 years since my last confession!
    What about the hurt and pain and betrayal I felt! Gone! The priest reminded me that Jesus was betrayed. So when I interact now with the ones who have hurt and betrayed me, I will be kind and loving. It is my gift to God. “Jesus I offer up my best self by forgiving and let going the hurt and the betrayal of others” Amen!
    Ps Thank you God for placing this priest in my life when I needed guidance so badly!

    • TerriB

      Yay! ! So happy for you. 💖

      • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

        Thank you Terri! God bless you! K

    • Jennifer Martin

      That’s wonderful! My husband is a fallen away Catholic who has been contemplating returning to the church. He recently told me that he has not been to confession since his very first confession at the age of 7, which was 47 years ago! I just mentioned your return to confession and he said “Good for her!”

      • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

        Thank you Jennifer! And thank your husband for me!
        You know I had this great need to confess. I knew I didn’t want to go to a priest that knew me. I prayed and asked friends, but no luck! I took a chance I went to a priest that was the chaplain at the university. (Man! Did I think that was a mistake! And What does he know? He is my son’s age) But I trusted that going to confession was what God wanted for me. And IT WAS! SMILE
        Wow ……Let’s say Amen Sista! It felt like a hugh 10 story building was removed off of me!

  • Angela Williams

    Not that being Catholic-Christian isn’t real – but sometimes it seems like reality is a barrier. I am a history and a trivia buff – and I really like French history and culture. And although they have had their civil wars – they have also struggled and flourished with lifestyles, ceremonies, celebrations, laws and protocols deeply entrenched in the Catholic faith. Italian history and culture is deeply entrenched in Catholicism as well. It is reported that France is 75.54% Catholic (out of approx. 59,000 people), Italy is 96.55% Catholic (out of approx. 59,000 people) and the US trails at 22.63% (out of approx. 286,000 people). Catholics are as unified as we can be here – but we are not the majority. This is an Anglo-Saxon Protestant (ASP) country – and at various times in US history, and still today – being ASP is the popular Christian culture; while the French, Irish, Polish, and Italian Catholics were discriminated against for being immigrants here – and evangelizing and converting US minorities. The US was a British colony entrenched in Protestantism. There isn’t a lot of US historical compassion and respect for Catholicism. Sometimes it feels as if we are foreigners in our own country. So, the secular world, and US laws (just think of what the ACA is doing to religious freedoms) can play a significant role in being held back.

  • Connie Dolezel Bolander

    In 2005, I was given the opportunity to retire early (with benefits) so I decided to devote my life to helping needy people in the community. The first 6 years were working the office for a free pharmacy in the poorest section of a nearby city. The next 6 years were helping in the office at the Soup Kitchen and Homeless shelter in my own hometown. These years were a blessing because I met wonderful people who taught me how to give of myself without seeking monetary reward – they gave me more than I gave to them. This past autumn, I moved to a smaller community alone where I didn’t know anyone. With God-given gifts of loving people, lots of smiles, and a need to return to the Catholic community, I joined the local parish and began volunteering for the parish. The most wonderful people have come into my life and I get ideas and offers to receive love and share my gifts with everyone. I’m that lady who makes eye contact with you and gives you that great big smile and my hope is that it cheers your day.

  • I am. As much as I fear failure, I sometimes think I fear success more.

  • Jennifer Haeussler Brewer

    Self Doubt is what holds me back

  • Grace

    What’s holding me back is being burned by people who I thought were my friends and not being able to trust again. Therefore I withdraw and keep to myself.

    • Kathleen Cranford Kelley

      I know exactly what you’re talking about: betrayal and broken trust. In confession today the priest reminded me of the betrayal of Peter to Jesus.
      Don’t withdraw Grace. Live life
      And offer your kindness and forgiveness to God! That is what I want to start doing and I pray you will also want to! K

  • Arthur Brown

    As I have grown older I no now that God a mission for me and to do His will and not mine. I need to remember to turn over everything to Him so he will show me the right thing to do. I have to remember that God is in charge of the world and he wants me to do a certain thing to help accomplish His desires for this world. I have be tested and shown through faith with my wife as she has been very sick that one of many of my duties is to love and care for my wife and that is what I have always believed. I have been learning that God has a path for my future and all I have to do is follow His lead and direction.
    God bless each and everyone one of you in your daily spiritual journey with God , Christ and the Holy Spirit.

  • Amy Reinhardt

    What’s holding me back? The irrational sense of lacking a purpose. I’ve been job hunting for several months now. I’m a new graduate who has hardly any real world experience. I’m ready to jump into a new job and show them all the talents I have to offer, but I feel more and more defeated every time I receive a rejection email. It’s hard not to let something as insignificant as being employed get in the way of something as important as a relationship with Christ. But here I am… waiting. Waiting for God to open a door for me. It’s truly difficult for me to walk blindly and trust that He has me covered. I know He will always take care of me. It’s just frustrating that I’ve allowed this job hunt hold me back in my faith life.

    • Kay Okoli

      I have been there…trust God with your job hunt. He knows that you need a job to help you build a career and to provide for your basic necessities. He will open the right door for you…hand the hunt over to him and he will use it to build your faith in him. With God, the victory is your!

    • Patricia

      Amy, Try not to get discouraged. For every $10,000. of income figure at least one month to find employment. While seeking that good job, consider attending Daily Mass. It will begin each day on a really positive point and give you the opportunity yo bring your concerns to Jesus. Keep an open heart and mind. I shall pray for you in your search. Blessings.

  • Jane

    This is one of my favorite messages, just love it! We all DO have our very own talents and when they all work together it’s an amazing thing!

  • Marie

    These videos are so on mark for me. One talent I have is sewing. I have been sewing since I was 10 with my mom. Then, I decided to major in Retailing so I took it in college which involved sewing classes. Over the years I have sewed Halloween costumes, dresses for my girls and lots of mending. This week, I decided to help out with the play at my daughter’s high school. She’s in it, so I jumped at the chance to be close to her. Before I knew it, I had girls all around me! It was such a gift, even though I have struggles with my machine from time to time, it’s been a real lesson in humility and perseverance. I just hope I do a good job and get it all done in time.

  • Nett Lacsamana

    I am recently trying to ‘learn how to take care of myself’ this past few years. I say this because, over the years I have served God by taking care of my family (disabled Dad, my working Mom back from her retirement, and my growing child), and volunteering most of time for the church and community through teaching Folk Dances and emcee shows and lead events. All the 14 listed traits above that prevent me from doing what I love to do most before ( which my love for dance and to teach it to kids, senior citizens and who ever wants to learn Filipino Folk Dance), applies to me. I backed out since after my very hectic FULL year of doing this volunteering each and every month back in 2014. I feel like I finally got drained out, and had enough by the time that year ended. I literally turned my back by learning how to say ‘no’ finally to folks still asking for me to teach again, and help out. I am not a rich person, so for me, my contribution of my time, talent, and skills- are what I can offer, since I don’t have much treasure to give. The feeling was very good when each show ends, and audiences applaud and the performers thank me! Even with ALL the Physical, Financial, emotional and all other CHALLENGES I had to face through it all, I was able to persevere and perform! When the curtains opened we were all smiles, and then packed up when the curtains closed. By 2015 to 2016 I set out on a journey to find myself, spending time with myself, and also learning how to love myself. It is also ironic enough that all this is happening when I am also experiencing being an empty nester! Now that my child is in college, I have time to focus on me-myself-and I! I was even more brave to ‘retire’ from teaching dance ( it is not my full time job, its’ just my hobby, and my passion- I don’t drink, go clubbing or smoke or gamble! It’s my outlet to let loose, and spend time with the community and let it be my form of exercise!), is that my former students who have now grown up and in college themselves, have used what I taught them and started teaching their own groups. So I felt like my work is done! There are other groups out there now that can do what I used to do, so its their time to shine, and so I decided I can let go, and enjoy life! My Life!

  • Mark Darrow

    I’m 55 and just recently retired, actually walked away from corporate lifestyle. I intend to become more engaged with volunteer work but I don’t yet know what. I regularly pray to God in hopes his Will will become known to me. I’m sure it will become known in due time, but for now it’s not clear. So I keep praying.

  • Latifa

    I have never thought much of myself. I always put myself down. I go to Mass I’m involved in the church, but I’m not being the best I can be. I am scared to fail then I will be hard on myself. The one thing I do know about myself I love to see others happy. I will go out of my way yo help someone. So now I know what my talent is, but I’m my worse enemy because I question myself. I pray to Jesus that He will help me overcome being hard on myself so that I can be the best version of myself.

  • Cathy Campion

    Allowing your critics to drain your energy and direct your life. This is the one that is holding me back. My daughter has a mental illness, suffering from delusions and what has caused these delusions is uncertain. I have tried to reach out to her by telling her there is a problem instead of just letting her go along with these thoughts as others do. I get calls from my other children telling me that I should not do this. That that is breaking the rules of engagement with someone who is delusional. Well, from my experience I have not found anyone that has shown that that works. So I have been praying and reading the Gospels and I keep hearing God say bring things into the light. That to me, is being loving truthful and honest. I feel strongly about this and yet I get more from others saying don’t do that, you aren’t helping. But yet, I feel so strongly that God is calling me in this direction but I pull back because of others.

  • Toni Duffy

    I hear everyone who ever put me down. Telling me I can never be good for anything. When I was bullied. I would hear turn the other cheek at church. And I did. So my bullies only hit me harder. I was a school kid. And their words still hurt me. I am 40+. And I hear their words all this time later. I had to face this alone. No one was going to help me. So I have been bidding most of my life.

    • GG

      I hear your pain in your words. I am so very sorry what you had to endure in school. I will pray for you that some how you can let go and give the pain to Jesus.

  • Lynn Nguyen

    We are naturally inclined to conform to others and their behavior. For example, when you step into an elevator, most people look unhappy, are not smiling, and just want to get to their floor and move in. Most of the people I come across conform to this behavior (including myself), rather than smiling, making conversation and just being friendly. We don’t want to be the weird person in the elevator who makes small talk with strangers because we’re afraid of what others might think (at least for me).

    But God said “Do not conform to this world. But rather be transformed by the renewal of your mind. That you may discern what is, the will of God, what is good pleasing, and perfect.

    Romans 12:2

  • Rae Mims

    I think what holds me back is fear, insecurity, and self doubt. A fear of failure, a fear of being ridiculed, a fear of making a mistake, a fear of being rejected. When I was pushed/encouraged to be a Eucharistic Minister to the homebound I instantly dug in my heels. That was the one thing that I did NOT want to do. I did not feel I was holy enough or good enough for that. But, it has been a very rewarding experience and it everyone is so grateful when my fellow ministers and myself come.

  • Nicole M.

    There were actually a few traits listed above that I could relate to when thinking about what holds me back. Procrastination, selfishness, comparing myself to others, self-doubt, and gossip. If I could eliminate these traits from my life I feel like I could really let my light shine and become a better version of myself. I also find myself holding back from sharing my love for God with others. I should never be nervous to talk to others about my faith. It is a big part of my life and I should share it with others.

  • Gene Honigford

    addiction holds me back

  • Kathy Coleman Dwyer

    The hardest for me is the replay of painful memories that crop back up to sabotage God’s mission. I try to quickly recite a Hail Mary to the en m

  • Linda Carmelle

    Since my last post I would have to say although I have been guilty of all of the traits at one time or another lately allowing crirics to drain my energy is one of my biggest problems. I am a person who speaks the truth ,even when its unpopular. Yes, generally God’s children at all levels do understand what I am trying to say and I can have success and influence most of the time teaching while talking,but its in those times that I’m unsuccessful that it eats away at me ,as the people twist what I’ve said distorting it into an unrecognizable form that gets to me most. I can’t turn the other cheek or allow them to ruin my reputation or that of the co workers caring for their children. I feel the need to defend us,and yet,those people who are negative,obsessive, and selfish are the ones who get away with not just draining my energy ,but also utter false witness against me and my coworkers just to be hurtful and get their own way. I will always be the person to stand up a defend others and myself,but when it comes to those souls who are true pagens,is there really a way to be successful in it without wasting time and breath and energy?Why do those people always get what they want?Why is that level of selfishness permitted? and how do I not allow it to get the best of me in the end?and not be distracted by having to defend myself or others against such rotten evil slanderous actions?

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