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.
By Mary Kate Anthony
I’m going to be completely honest with you all: these past few months have been hard. Starting a ministry from scratch, turning these crazy big kingdom dreams of ours into concrete realities, and launching something like this has not been an easy task. It has been difficult because we have never done anything like this before and we really do not feel equipped for this because we are no different from you. We are normal, every day Catholic women trying to navigate the choppy waters of young adult life in a culture that defies everything we were created for and rejects the very essence of our feminine hearts. We listen to fears and lies and struggle with comparison, doubts, and anxiety. We have good days and we have bad days. We spend too much time mindlessly scrolling and too little time with our Lord. We are busy and overwhelmed and we in no way deserve to be behind something like this. We have no special knowledge to share and we most definitely have no spiritual or intellectual superiority to claim.
And yet…the Lord has called us here. Each one of us on the team has felt a tug on our heart and heard a quiet invitation from the Lord to step out of our comfort zone into this unknown mission field. One yes at a time, the Lord has used us to create this ministry and answer His call to bring his restoration to His beloved daughters. And it is humbling and terrifying to be a part of this.
Humbling because we know that all we have to offer you is ourselves. Terrifying because we know how little and broken we are. All we have to offer are our stories and hearts with their rough edges, messy chapters, and unknown endings.
And yet…that is enough. Because time and time again God has proven that He delights in using His broken people to heal His broken people.
David was an adulterer.
Peter a coward.
Mary Magdalene a prostitute.
Saul a murderer.
The list goes on.
The fact is, God’s healing is a COMMUNAL process. God uses other people to be the vessel of His healing love to us, not because they are better than us, but because we were made in the image and likeness of a triune God.
At the core of the mission behind this ministry is our desire to be vessels of God’s healing love to each other and to each of you, our dear sisters in Christ. We promise to call out your identity, remind you that you are loved, seen, and known. We will claim the truth of your goodness when it is the last thing you see in yourself. We will champion you, encourage you, and fight with and for you.
Because the truth is, we are not alone in this battle. You are not too far gone. There is ALWAYS hope to be found. You are worthy of love.
We dove headfirst into this ministry in January but there were some bumps we needed to smooth out before we could move forward again. And so we took a few weeks off from creating new content because we needed to re-orient ourselves, as a team, and as individuals and we needed to rest. We needed to step back and sit in silence and allow the Lord to enter into our hearts and minds so that He could guide us in the next steps of this ministry.
As we prepare for the start of Lent later this week, I don’t believe it is an accident that our mini “relaunch” coincides with the start of this beautiful liturgical season because Lent is the liturgical season of healing and renewal. Lent is the time for us to re-order our lives on the Gospel, the time where we enter into Christ’s suffering so that we can rise again with him on Easter Sunday. (As a side note: I highly suggest reading this short article if you are unfamiliar with the Lenten season in general, or just unsure how it is connected to healing: “How Does Lent Lead to Healing?”)
So what is going to be happening around here? For starters, we added two new incredible women to our writing team (head to our about page to read their bios!) Starting this week, you can expect new content on the Arise, Beloved blog every M/W/F. Monday’s articles will have a particular focus on the health and healing of our mind. Wednesday’s focus will be on the goodness and sanctity of our body and Friday will focus on the growth and nourishment of our soul.
Starting TOMORROW, a new episode of the Arise, Beloved Podcast will air every other Tuesday. We can’t wait to share the stories of some truly incredible women!
To conclude this, we thought it would be a beautiful idea to share our top recommendations of books that nourish our soul and challenge the mind, specifically for this season of Lent. If you are looking for something to add this Lent, I highly suggest picking a book or two from this list and setting aside some time to unplug and dive into the wisdom and spiritual insights of the following authors.
Arise, Beloved Lenten Books
Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Father Jacques Philippe
Life of the Beloved by Henri Nouwen
The Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen
No Man is an Island by Thomas Merton
Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
Arise from Darkness by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel
Undone by Carrie Schuchts Daunt
Unbound by Neal Lozano
The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis
Love and Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla
Heart of the world by Hans Urs Von Balthasar
The Cries of Jesus from the Cross: An Anthology by Fulton Sheen
Death on a Friday Afternoon: Meditations on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross by Richard John Neuhaus
Please know that we are praying for each of you and please continue to pray for us.