Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted, a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4) and a time to clean house!
It is so refreshing to finally open up the windows again, to let in the warmth and fresh smelling earth, to hear the bird sing and watch the bunnies pop back out. There is something so comforting and exhilarating about a new season in a new year. The feeling of shedding off the old and welcoming the new. The feeling of looking back but also looking forward.
The changing of seasons were always fascinating to me as a kid. The way that the trees just knew when to bloom and change and the grass just knew when to grow. It was all a marvel to me that barely made any sense but I was always in awe of it. Now as I am older, the changing of seasons is almost nothing new yet the changing of seasons in my own personal life is definitely something new and unique. I’ve started to recognize that the Lord allows similar seasons in our life so we can also grow and bloom. The transitions between seasons are also something worth mentioning because they can also be a time of shedding and surrendering. As God says in scripture, there is a time for everything, every matter under heaven and that’s the beauty of it. Every matter, including the matters of our personal seasons and transitions are seen and known and take place in the time that God has allotted them. Just as the trees know when to bloom and when the grass knows when to grow because God has created them, so does God guide and direct the seasons of the souls that He has created. Yet there is an important and notable different between us and grass and trees.
God has graced each of us with the profound and paramount gift of Free Will, a gift from Him that can commonly be forgotten. I love the way the Catechism explains it, “God created man a rational being, conferring on him the dignity of a person who can initiate and control his own actions. God willed that man should be ‘left in the hand of his own counsel,’ so that he might of his own accord seek his Creator and freely attain his full and blessed perfection by cleaving to him” (1730). The Catechism places it within the context of freedom which is supremely significant because without Free Will, we wouldn’t be able to make a single choice on our own, and therefore we wouldn’t have freedom. Our God would not be a God of love if He did not grant us the gift of Free Will which is why we are called to see it as a gift. It is a gift of love from Love himself.
It is also by this Free Will that we are called to choose to grow. God cannot force us to grow, only call us to grow, and it is ultimately our choice to grow. He can call us into a new season, but we ultimately have to choose to embrace that new season. Free Will opens the door for us to seek the best version of ourselves and to reach our full virtuous potential. This Free Will also calls us to self-reflection. Sometimes we let our Free Will bring and allow things into our life that are ultimately not for our better good or are a part of God’s call for our lives. I believe its important to take a good and hard look and where we are in our life and where we are trying to go in order to call out vices and viruses we have let in our by our Free Will and strive to guide our Free Will towards new virtues. This is what I mean when I say, “Spring Cleaning”. This spring is a perfect opportunity to throw off the old and welcome the new. To clean your interior house and welcome new virtuous blooms in your heart. So I invite you to take some time in quite and really reflect on who you are and who you want to be in God’s eyes as well as reflect on the good and maybe not so good things you have let into your life. Maybe make a new resolution for this spring, start small but let it be something you are happy and excited to do. I encourage you to let this spring be reviving for you, let it be memorable season for you in your life, and let it lead you closer to your full and blessed perfection.