Tag: Trust

Embracing Singlehood

Sitting alone in a corner, I relaxed into the ambience of a cozy coffee shop. I sipped my coffee, pulled out my Bible, and waited for a friend to join me for breakfast. The room was filled with tables of new couples and old friends. Time passed slowly as I emptied and refilled my cup but my friend never arrived. As I paused to enjoy the jazz overhead I smiled to myself about the irony of this situation. A few months ago I began to ponder the unique witness of the Christian single person, and this moment was testing my hypothesis.


The single person, through their visible solitude, witnesses to the fact that every person is called to intimate communion with the Trinity.

What is more, it is the single person’s desire for communion that witnesses to man’s longing for communion with God. The single life, whether temporary or chosen for life, gives an invaluable witness for all Christians.

God  made us for communion when created us: “It is not good for man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). However, if we are made for communion with God, then it is clear that any form of communion we experience on earth will not completely fulfill us. Our relationships with loved ones are only a foretaste of the perfect communion we will have in Heaven.

Note well that “solitudeis quite different than “loneliness or simply “being alone.” Being alone is a very isolating experience in which there is a lack of relation with anyone. Yet when one is in solitude, one has a connection with others or God but is by oneself.

Saint John Paul II, in his general audiences that comprise A Theology of the Body, examines the second creation account in Genesis and suggests that God created Adam and delayed the creation of Eve to promote Adam’s self-discovery, namely, his desire for communion and his true relationship with creation and God. John Paul II calls this experience “original solitude.”

“Without that deep meaning of man’s original solitude,

one cannot understand…the situation of man…

[Man is] set into a unique, exclusive, and unrepeatable relationship with God himself” (6:2).

Saint John Paul II

The single person’s state is a reminder and sampling of original solitude. The single person’s solitude–not loneliness–makes his or her longing for communion visible and even appealing.


If the single person lives in a state of loneliness, they witness to nothing but emptiness. If they live in solitude, they witness to the longing every person should have for communion with God and it is a witness which stirs others.

The single person is made ready for the heavenly nuptials by living in a state of longing for communion. He or she reminds the world that from the moment we were baptized we entered into a covenantal relationship with God and we must build this relationship now and long for its complete fulfillment with God in Heaven. In the state of marriage, a spouse is God’s gift as a means to prepare one for the definitive communion with the Trinity.

In the consecrated state of the religious or priestly life, one  has a slight taste of the Trinitarian communion on earth through his or her consecration or ordination. The solitude of the single person enhances the beauty of communion in the married and consecrated life. The choice of the single person to avoid intimate relations with another outside of marriage witnesses to the dignity of each human person.  It “keeps alive in the Church a consciousness of the mystery of marriage and defends it from any reduction and impoverishment” (Familiaris Consortio, no.16).

Also, because the single person is unconsecrated, the spiritual communion of the consecrated person is all the more “a particularly profound expression of the Church as the Bride” (Vita Consecrata, no.19) and a sign of dedication.

The single person’s solitude is a reminder for each of us. At some point we all pass through the single state before choosing marriage or consecration, or even after the death of a spouse. It is meant to be a time of self-discovery, preparation, and purification as it was for Adam.


This time of solitude gives us the opportunity to discover how the Trinity is truly our complete fulfillment. 

This time helps us to purify our motivations and to embrace with understanding the fullness of the commitment we make in choosing our vocation. Thus the single person’s solitude brings to mind this fruitful time in our life.

All of this passed quickly through my mind as I sat in the café and smiled at God’s humor. I could have sat there annoyed, embarrassed, or sulking because my friend did not show up. I could have been standoffish, pretending I did not want company. But in reality I desired companionship, and that desire sprang from my deeper longing for eternal communion with God.

Was I a witness to anybody there that morning? I honestly doubt anyone noticed me or gave a value to my solitude; maybe the experience was just for me. It is unfortunate that few notice the significance of the single state for it is a gift. The next time you talk with someone living the single state, allow their present vocation to stir your own longing for communion with God.


Melissa Prazak is passionate about the New Evangelization and has a M.A. in Philosophy from the Center of Thomistic Studies at the Basilian University of St. Thomas. She has a special love for St. John Paul, kolaches, and blues dancing. And, since community aids us in persevering in hope, Melissa uses her Texan roots to foster Catholic community through good-old fashioned southern hospitality.


Learning to Pray From a 2 Year Old

It’s funny how the Lord speaks to us when we least expect it…

A few weeks ago, I was sitting on the couch at a family party chatting with my older cousin, Pete.  As we were sitting, Pete’s 2 year old son, “baby Peter” as we call him, came strolling into the room.  He had that “it’s been a long day, I need mommy or daddy” look written all over his face.  His little arms were filled to the brim – a tennis ball in one hand, his “sippy cup” in the other, and his sister’s princess doll clenched between his arms and his chest. Pete caught sight of him in all this distress and called him over to sit with us. Baby Peter, relieved to see his father close by, quickly trotted our way. 

Once he made it to us he instantly unloaded everything he was holding onto his dad’s lap.  The tennis ball, the “sippy cup”, the doll – out of his arms they went.  Pete took these things and set them aside nicely, allowing his son to then climb into his lap, rest his head on his chest, and simply let go of all the stress that comes with being a two-year-old at a family party.  Then the two of them just kind of sat there for a while.  Pete softly asked him a few questions about his day, what him and his cousins had been playing, and lastly, what was bothering him. 

After some back-and-forth conversation and  assurance from daddy that things would be okay, baby Peter was renewed. The anecdote prescribed by his father this time around was a refill of juice in his sippy cup and a change into his spiderman pajamas. Following this, baby Peter ran off, ready to face the rest of the day.

I was so struck by this simple interaction between my cousin and his child, and figured out why soon after. 


How I desire to interact with my heavenly Father

I realized that this father-son interaction was how I desire to interact with my heavenly Father, and more specifically, how I desire to pray to Him.

Follow me with this for a minute… let’s unpack baby Peter’s actions.

First, he decidedly sought out his dad.  He did not let any of the distractions around him, from the toys laying all over the floor to the plenteous desserts on the kitchen table, to prevent him from turning to his father.  


Are we this determined to seek out our Heavenly Father?

 Connecting with the Lord in prayer is one of the most important things we can do, yet, we allow so many lesser things to prevent us from it.  We must be determined and committed to making prayer a priority in our daily life.

Next, baby Peter handed over to his dad everything that he was holding onto.  He handed these things over trusting that his father would keep them safe, yes, but more importantly because holding onto these things would have prevented him from being with and talking to his father the way he desired to. 

When we approach God in prayer, do we hand everything over to Him?  Or do we hold onto things so that we don’t have to fully open up to God?  Our families, jobs, education, finances, joys and sorrows, triumphs and failures. Not only does our Father know how to handle these things better than we do, but clenching them prevents us from going deeper into relationship with Him.

After he let go of everything he was holding, baby Peter simply sat and conversed with his father.  He was still, calm and content just being with his dad.  And, if I had to guess, his father’s presence was infinitely more important than anything they talked about.  It’s the same with our heavenly Father.


The goal of prayer is union with our Lord, to rest in His presence and be assured of His love.

Rattling off a few ‘Hail Mary’s’ and telling God what we need is not the whole story. We must encounter the person of Christ, and that requires seeking Him in the silence, being with Him, and speaking to Him from the depths of our hearts.

Lastly, baby Peter accepted the answers his father had for him, which in this case happened to be more juice and a change into his pajamas. He then joyfully went out to face the world once again.  God knows what we need much more than we do. No prayer goes unheard. We need to trust that God is refilling our “sippy cups,” even when it doesn’t seem like it. And then, we must respond by going back into the world, joyfully and peacefully witnessing to the good news we have in Jesus Christ.

St. Teresa of Avila said,

“Give me a person who makes

15 minutes of prayer every day,

and I’ll give you a saint.”


I think we can do this, don’t you? The world needs Saints, and Saints are made from prayer.


Let’s pray, let’s be Saints.

“Prayer is the breath of faith:

in a relationship of trust, in a relationship of love,

dialogue cannot be lacking, and prayer is a dialogue of the soul with God.”

Pope Francis


Tom Pagano is a graduate from Franciscan University of Steubenville (2011), with a double major in Finance and Theology.  He is currently working as the Northeast Regional Director for the Augustine Institute, an organization committed to helping Catholics understand, live and share their faith by creating engaging programs, resources and digital platforms. Tom has committed his career to working with faith-based nonprofit organizations in the areas of development and mission. Tom is most excited about the newest adventure that God has called him to; being a husband to Megan and father to their first child, baby Zelie.

How a Near Deadly Car Crash Lead me Closer to God

At 16-years-old, I woke up in a hospital bed with no idea how I got there.

More than a week prior, I was t-boned (broadsided) on my driver’s side by a vehicle going between 60-70 mph—I spent several days in a coma, and had no recollection of the following few days either. Everyone kept telling me it was a miracle I was alive, and that I should be grateful.

As a teenage athlete with head trauma and a broken spine—amongst other injuries—it was hard for me to find gratitude for the sudden situation. Being broken did not make sense, and I was not at peace with being weak.

Growing up, my life revolved around the pursuit of strength. I played multiple sports every season, and was involved in many academic organizations. I built up quite a collection of awards from various activities. I always thought I had to prove my worth through my achievements. I was never good enough for the standards set by myself—regardless of what plaques and trophies were scattered throughout my bedroom. In order to avoid the emotional distress this prompted, I busied myself in becoming “better”—in becoming stronger.


The car crash stripped me of the strength I had built, and it left me feeling hopeless.

As I saw it, if I could not achieve anything, then I had no worth. I could not even achieve the simple task of rolling over onto my side! I would spend hours each night trying, grasping the ends of the mattress to try to pull myself, but my body would not budge.

I desperately wanted to run, to kick, to do the splits—but I was stuck. A couple months following the crash, I regained the ability to walk, and there was no longer any bleeding on my brain, but my injuries left me with chronic pain in my head, neck, back, hips, and left shin.


Every day was hard—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—and I felt alone.

It was never even a concept to turn to God for comfort and strength, but that changed my freshman year of college. I must admit that I was quite resistant, but I met some amazing people that year who made a huge impact. Through their lives and invitation, they inspired me to start praying—to start giving God a place in my life.

It was a rocky start, but I began to schedule in prayer and daily Mass. I also started focusing on what I was grateful for, recording it in a journal each night. Even though I was still in pain, particularly in my back, I started to experience peace and joy. Learning that God had a purpose for my life that could never be stopped by anything that happened to me, my despair turned to hope. In Him, I had everything I needed. In my weakness, His strength was made known (2 Corinthians 12: 9).


As my relationship with the Lord grew, He continued to purify my desires and lead me to where He was calling me to serve Him.

Six years following the crash, it was made clear that the pain in my back was prohibiting me from fully following the plan He had for me—so I asked for healing.

I prayed and looked into different neurosurgeons and pain clinics, but after two months, I was miraculously healed through receiving Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist. Since then, I have rejoined a soccer team and backpacked across Spain. More importantly, I have shared the love and power of God with the people I have encountered. It does not matter what I am capable of, but what He can do through me.


God is all we need.

He truly is our strength. I spent a lot of my life depending on my stubbornness for strength, but I had no control over its limits. With God, I am capable of anything (Philippians 4: 13). With Him, YOU are capable of anything. Where does He call you to serve? How does He desire to delight in you? Do you trust that He has a plan, and that you will be satisfied—even fascinated? Will you trust Him to be your strength? I pray that you do. He has prepared a place for you, and you cannot get there on your own.

“May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from His glorious power,

and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience,

while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you

to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”

(Colossians 1: 11-12)


Mikayla Ruth Koble  is a self-employed artist, writer, and speaker. Originally from North Dakota, she has adventured around the country and now lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  In all that she does, she desires to communicate the Beauty, Truth, and Goodness of God. To see more or get in touch with Mikayla, please check out mikaylaruthcatherine.com!