First things first, I apologise for being terrible at blogging recently. BUT my thesis was due this week so naturally that was my focus. Now that it is done (yay!) I can get back to blogging. I have a few posts in my drafts but they are ones that require actual thought and planning as opposed to my usual ramblings.
Secondly, the conclave starts on Tuesday (tomorrow!). So get praying! If you haven’t already, also adopt a cardinal. You sign up and are randomly assigned a cardinal that you then pray for. And then if your cardinal is elected you can feel awesome (just kidding…sort of). Also, what happens if you can’t be glued to your television all day, or you live somewhere in a super different time zone to Rome and are asleep and miss the announcement! Being English, I don’t quite have the latter problem but there is a site called Pope Alarm that will email you, or if you are in the US text you, when the white smoke appears so you can be watching for “Habemus Papam!” I think this is a genius idea for those of you who are far away from Rome. I, however, will spend all my waking hours watching EWTN because Rome is only like an hour ahead. And of course don’t forget to pray for the conclave and our new pope!
And now the actual post.
So recently I was on old forum-type website I used to be very active on but only really log in now to keep my account alive. It was a big part of my life for a long time and it’s one of those things that I’d feel sad if I just let it die. It’s not a Christian site, but there are various groups and I was part of mostly Catholic or Christian groups. This was when I was a teenager and was starting to get more into the faith and was in RCIA and everything. I kept it very separate from my real life and in a way I developed two separate identities: the person I was in my real life, and the person I was online. I remember these girls who talked about nothing but Jesus and their church camp or whatever and were all these cookie-cutter copies of each other. There was this attitude that in order to be a “good Christian” you had to fit this ideal where there was no sense of personality and individuality. So for a long time I maintained this identity as a “Good Christian Girl” online, but in my real life I was a different person. For a long time I thought in order to be a “good Catholic” you somehow had to suppress yourself.
A while ago I saw someone (non-Catholic at the time now reconciled to the Church, praise God) say that they had a great admiration for St. Therese and if we were all like her then they’d be a Catholic. This comment made me think back to that idea that there is some mould that we must all fit into in order to be a “good Catholic”. Of course St. Therese was a great and holy woman, but she was also an individual. We try to emulate the saints in their holiness, not in their personality. It took me a long time to realise that I could be a Catholic and still be myself. I don’t need to talk about Christ every single second for Him to be the centre of my life. God made us as individuals and it’s okay to embrace that.