Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Today's blog is written by Mr. David Stavarz, seminarian for the Diocese of Cleveland.

We, as human beings, oftentimes make things more complicated than they need to be. I would actually say that, in general, we tend to make the whole of life more complicated and busy than it needs to be. A good portion of our younger years is filled with schooling - of studying, test taking, and paper writing. After graduation, our lives are filled with schedules, meetings, and long work hours. Careers in business, marketing, politics, the medical field, engineering, and the like require refined skills and immense learning and seem very complex to those not within those particular fields. In today’s technological age, our heads are filled with news of events that happen all around the globe and to be a good citizen we can sometimes think we need to constantly know what is going on in the world. Sometimes, doesn’t it seem like life should be more simple?

When it comes to religion, Catholicism is a faith that can seem especially complicated. In Catholicism there are loads to teachings, doctrines, documents, heresies, councils, popes, saints and so on that can seem to make living the Faith a very involved and complicated reality. But does living a good Catholic life really mean knowing all the little Catholic details?

It is certainly important that we know the Faith and know the Faith as best we can. Growing in our understanding of Catholicism can truly transform our lives. But the standard of living a good Catholic life isn’t just knowing every theological detail and being able to articulate the complexity of the Faith at any time. Living the Catholic faith, in today’s world especially, is and can be much simpler than we sometimes make it.

So what is essential to living a good and simple Catholic life? What can simply ground our faith to make it not just a complicated list of things to do and know? 

What makes our faith powerful and simple is a living relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s it. When we truly realize this relationship in our lives it breathes life into our every action and becomes the reason for our existence. Relationship is what helps us to live a good Catholic life. St. Therese of Lisieux knew this good life lived in relationship as “The Little Way”. She knew that a simple faith was best lived out in love, mercy, and devotion to Jesus in small ways everyday.

One of the greatest and generally lesser known ways we can come into a closer relationship with Jesus is by strengthening our relationship with Mary, His mother. In the Scriptures we do not hear much from Mary, but what we do hear from her is profound and forms the core of what our faith life should look like - namely, trust, self-gift, and mercy. Mary is one of the single most important persons in the Church behind Jesus not because of how she made faith more complicated, but through her example of how to live a powerfully, simple faith.

Fr. Michael Gaitley is a nationally recognized Catholic priest and writer who knows very well the importance of having Mary guide us to leading a simple life devoted to Christ. Fr. Gaitley also believes that having a relationship with Mary will lead us to encounter Jesus especially as He is the source of Divine Mercy. Mercy is what living a simple, yet powerful, faith looks like.

From June 23-25th Fr. Gaitley will be leading a retreat at Walsh University on Mary and Mercy. Throughout this weekend retreat, Father will help show just what a simple and devoted relationship of faith and mercy looks like, particularly through the example and intercession of Mary and other saints such as Therese of Lisieux, Maximillian Kolbe, and John Paul II. 

Fr. Gaitley wants you to see that the time is now for you to live a simple and real faith that is full of love and mercy. Maybe it’s time to strengthen your faith by making it a little less complicated and more about a simple and living relationship with Jesus, the Divine Mercy. If you want to grow closer to Jesus and Mary in your faith life please consider this retreat. This retreat could change your life forever. It could lead you to a life of faith that is simple, powerful, and renewed. 

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