Jordan in Missouri
Full name: Jordan Danielle Clare Gunn
Occupation: Senior at Ave Maria University in Florida - majoring in Theology
Location: From St. Louis, Missouri
Educational background: I received an Associates Degree in Catholic Theology from the Institute of the Holy Doctors and will be graduating in May from Ave Maria University with my Bachelors in Theology.
How does your Catholic faith affect the way you live your day-to-day life?
The Catholic faith is the very strength by which I live each day of my life. Right now, I am living with some pretty significant health challenges and the faith has enabled me to, not just endure the sufferings that come with them, but to also find great purpose in them. The faith is teaching me to recognize my littleness and my dependence on our Beautiful, Strong God. Each day I place myself in His hands and ask Him to carry me through that day. I am learning to surrender each moment to God’s love and He is showing me just how amazingly faithful He is when when entrust Him with everything.
Tell us about a moment in your life when your Catholic faith transformed your understanding of yourself, your purpose and others.
When I was fourteen years old, I sat on the floor watching my grandma talking to my mom about her recent diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. She was wiping away tears while saying that if God wanted this for her, then she knew He would bring good from it. I witnessed her walk into the Sacrament of Confession soon afterwards and knew she was going in to tell the priest that she knew she needed forgiveness but could not even remember what her failings had been. She gave God everything! As a young teenager, I could not fully understand what it was that brought my grandma this sense of trust and comfort in the face of her diagnosis but it struck me deeply and made me desire to understand her profound trust in God. Throughout her journey with this disease, our Lord has used her to draw my heart to His. Her witness has shown me the true beauty that comes from trusting God with everything, even the hardest, scariest of crosses.
What lesson did you learn from that moment?
From the witness of my Grandma’s trust in God and witnessing her suffering with this disease, she has shown me to love the Lord first and foremost in my life. She has shown me that He is SO good and faithful and can be trusted beyond what we could possibly imagine. She has shown me that the biggest suffering can bring about the most beautiful results and more love than we could imagine. She has shown me that giving of yourself in order to help another person is the surest way to find fulfillment and joy in this world. God has used her journey with Alzheimer’s to impact my own life, and the lives of so many others, far more than I could ever have imagined. No matter what challenges I will face in this life, I now know I just have to give them to God and trust Him to use my sufferings for His plan and for His greater glory!
How do you grow in your Catholic faith?
This year, I have started consistently attending Daily Mass and trying to make daily visits to Eucharistic Adoration, even if it only for 5 minutes, which has proved to be so fruitful in my faith life. Recently I felt called to a devotion to the Wounds of Christ. One day I was reading through the Anima Christi prayer and the line “Within Thy Wounds Hide Me” grasped ahold of me. I have started to pray daily for our Lord to hide me within His wounds and keep me close to His heart. I know that I am tempted to try and rely on myself so I tell Our Lord in prayer to hold me close and that if I try to crawl away, He needs to grasp me tighter and not put me down.
What do you do for fun?
One of my most favorite things to do is go grocery shopping! I am always looking for an excuse to run to the store and find new healthy foods and treats to try. I also love cooking and when I am home from school I spend almost all of my time in the kitchen testing out new recipes.
Three words that describe you — go!
Traditional, Practical, Contemplative
Fill in the blank:
My morning routine consists of: Waking up early, drinking a protein shake, and either going to class, going on a walk, or working on homework.
I’m currently obsessed with: Visiting coffee shops to work on homework, drinking Americanos, and listening to “You Say” by Lauren Daigle.
I feel most inspired when: I am leaving my 8:00pm Holy Hour on Saturday nights. It is truly the most peaceful hour of my entire week and I always leave feeling like God has placed so many things into perspective. The stars are usually out and shining so brightly and I walk back to my room with an incredible happiness.
My favorite part about my life right now is: Living on a beautiful, sunny, Catholic campus and being able to walk to Daily Mass and Adoration.
The advice I would give to the millennial Catholic woman is: Just Trust God! He is right here waiting for us to open our hearts up to His great love. His faithfulness is beyond what we could ever even imagine and He will truly fill the desire we feel in our hearts to love and be loved. No matter what you are facing, He has a plan that is more beautiful than you could ever picture and He will carry you through.