Amanda in Alabama
Tell us your name, age, and your state- in- life!
Hello, beautiful sisters in Christ! My name is Amanda Reaves, I’m 21 years old, and I am a recent college graduate from Auburn University (War Eagle y’all!) with a degree in Nursing.
Are you a cradle Catholic, convert, or revert?
I am a cradle Catholic! My parents are incredible role models of steadfast love and unfailing faith. It has been through their witness that I, from a very young age, recognized that having a relationship with God is the single most important thing in our lives. When I was little, I was that bossy child you would see in Mass shushing their siblings and pinching them to pay attention (lol at my prideful childhood self). Even if I didn’t quite understand the full extent of the Mass, I knew something important was happening. Praise the Lamb for my parents teaching my siblings and me about the beauty of our Catholic faith!
What’s been the biggest game changer in your Catholic faith?
College has definitely enabled me to grow so much deeper in my faith. I learned more about meditation and contemplative prayer, but above all else, I learned how to share my faith with other Christians, fallen away Catholics, and nonbelievers. My college experience has also really taught how to truly listen to others and meet them at whichever stage in life they are experiencing.
Name a saint you identify with and share why.
Oh gosh it is so hard to choose just one, but I would have to say my patron saint, Teresa of Avila. Her relationship with the Father is very romantic as she refers to Him as her “Beloved” or “Lover.” Praying with titles have enabled me to grow so much in relationship with the Lord. He is the One who will fill us up completely, He is the One who knows what we want without having to say it, and He is the One who loves us through all imperfections: He is the truest Lover of our hearts.
When have you felt most valued as a woman in the Church?
When I first read Pope St. John Paull II’s “Letter to Women” I had never heard of the feminine genius. Through this letter I was able to love and appreciate all types of women with various roles in the world. After learning more about the feminine genius, I had a greater understanding of the beauty of womanhood, and I developed a craving to learn more about true feminism and understanding our bodies. To be a Catholic woman is to be pro- woman!
What’s your favorite way to pray?
I love to sit with our Father in silence or have a normal conversation, just like best friends would. Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in a “prayer routine,” and we forget what it’s all about. St. Teresa of Avila puts it perfectly when she says, “Prayer is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us.” Sometimes, the way that God wishes to speak into our hearts is through this silent conversation.
Favorite liturgical holiday?
Definitely Ash Wednesday! I absolutely love the season of Lent because it is such a wonderful opportunity to still our hearts by offering sacrifices to share them with the Lord. The theme of “watch and pray” during Lent is such a beautiful approach in understanding the sacrificial love of the Father, by sending His only Son, and of Jesus, giving up His life for His friends.
What do you do for fun?
I love to practice calligraphy (shout out to Be a Heart Design), and I love to go on runs with friends!
Three words that describe you – go!
Honest, loving, loyal