June 14, 2019

Serra Club Vocations Essay

With the help of family, student uses faith, prayer as guides in life’s journey

By Sophia Vincent (Special to The Criterion)

Sophia VincentOne of the most encouraging verses from the Bible says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mk 12:30).

This verse motivates me to be as faithful and Christlike as I can be. It has encouraged me to strengthen my faith and develop a better relationship with God. I have become a better Catholic through my journey of faith thanks to the people who have helped me and encouraged me to be the best Catholic I can be every day.

Many of my classmates are very different from me and have contrasting hobbies. But it inspires me to know that God has something planned for me.

Unlike the rest of my classmates, I have zero social media accounts, and I keep to myself. I am a 13-year-old eighth-grader at St. Malachy School in Brownsburg. Reading is my favorite pastime, and I am interested in classical history, since I began reading about the Greeks and their civilizations. I strive to be the best I can be, and my interests make me unique.

My faith is of great importance to my family and is prevalent in my daily life. I pray daily to Mary and ask for her intercession, as well as praise God for all the marvelous blessings he has bestowed upon me. I work hard to not take these for granted.

I constantly strive to be grateful for simple things like having a safe place in which to be educated, because many people aren’t given that. I remind myself that I am being blessed just by waking up each morning, and strive to make a small difference every day.

If I get lonely throughout my day, I usually talk to God as if he is a friend, because he is the best friend to have. From time to time, if I am struggling to fall asleep or am overwhelmed by the looming amount of schoolwork I have to do, I pray the rosary. That usually helps to put my mind at ease and fall asleep.

My family and I try to attend Mass whenever we can, but unfortunately we cannot be there every Sunday, so we spend the night in prayer and reflection. I try to pray as much as I can, and I encourage my family members to do the same.

There are many people in my community and family who have helped me form my faith into what it is today, and I hope that they will continue to help me deepen and strengthen my faith every day.

One person who has assisted me in my journey is my grandmother. She teaches a religion class to adults with disabilities. I often help with her class and have seen how patient she is with her students. She teaches them to pray the rosary and to be a good Christian.

Another person who has helped me is my dad. He has physical restrictions and is not always able to attend Mass. He taught me prayers that I can say when I feel anxious or stressed. My dad also explained to me that, no matter how hard situations are, God is always there.

During our class retreat, I learned that I can do anything when I pray and God is always present. These are just some of the ways I have been guided in my journey and helped to become more faithful.

Recently, I have come far in my journey. Many have helped me follow God better, as well as to love to read the Scriptures. I hope in the future that my faith will continue to grow. An inspirational Bible verse says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8).

(Sophia and her parents, Tom and Ann Vincent, are members of St. Malachy Parish in Brownsburg. She completed the eighth grade at St. Malachy School in Brownsburg this spring, and is the eighth-grade division winner in the Indianapolis Serra Club’s 2019 John D. Kelley Vocations Essay Contest.)

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