Lindsey in Indiana
Full name: Lindsey Barrett
State-in-life and Occupation: I am a newly-wed wife who primarily works as a piano teacher and choir director.
Location: South Bend, IN
Educational background: I studied music at the University of Notre Dame and graduated in May 2017.
How does your Catholic faith affect the way you live your day-to-day life?
As Teresa of Calcutta said, my faith has taught me to “do small things with great love.” Although I would love to do something big for the Church and for the world, I realize that might not happen in my lifetime and that almost certainly will not happen by the end of the week. I can still serve God on a daily basis, though, so I try my best to love people. Letting someone merge in front of me or washing the dishes without complaining might not end world hunger, but it helps me keep my reality in perspective, with God and his love always at the center.
Tell us about a moment in your life when your Catholic faith transformed your understanding of yourself, your purpose and others.
Because I live with chronic pain, a friend suggested that I read Peter Kreeft’s Making Sense Out of Suffering a few years ago. It was not until the seventh chapter that I was moved. “What then is suffering to the Christian? It is Christ’s invitation to us to follow him.” Peter Kreeft goes on to talk about how Christ enters into our suffering with us, a suffering that is redemptive because of the resurrection. I cried.
What lesson did you learn from that moment?
For the first time I felt truly connected to the passion of Christ. Yes, I had always known that he died for our sins, but I always seemed to focus on that – our sins, not our suffering. Part of me felt a little dumb for not having realized that earlier, but the other part of me was so relieved. Christ did not want me to suffer, but he was there with me anyway, helping me use my suffering to get to Heaven (whether I realized it or not).
How do you grow in your Catholic faith?
Recently I have been growing most in my Catholic faith through reading about the lives of Saints. I am currently reading Thérèse of Lisieux’s The Story of a Soul, which is amazing. The lives of the saints are both humbling and encouraging and I am so grateful for their witness to holiness.
What do you do for fun?
I love to be outside every chance I get. Whether it is going for walks with friends or reading in the sun, just being in the fresh air makes me so happy. When it is either too cold or too gloomy to be outside, I like to play piano, listen to podcasts, and spend time catching up with friends on the phone. I am also teaching myself to play violin, which, according to both my husband and I, is not coming to me as easily as we both would like.
Three words that describe you — go!
Compassionate, loyal, strong.
Fill in the blank:
My morning routine consists of: I typically work in the afternoon and evenings, so morning is my time to relax. After saying a prayer of thanksgiving, I always start my day with a cup (or two) of coffee and the Today Show. I then exercise, make myself a late breakfast, and then either play piano, violin, or read. Then I am usually off to work!
I’m currently obsessed with: College football. On Saturdays I spend all day checking scores on my phone, and I think I pulled a muscle in my neck or throat (if that is possible) a few weeks ago while screaming during a Notre Dame game...
I feel most inspired when: I see people crying happy tears. God gave us tears for when we are both sad and joyful, and I feel as though happy tears are not cried often enough. When I see happy tears I am reminded of how overwhelming goodness can be, which is just another sign of how good God can be. From military homecomings to golden buzzers on America’s Got Talent, life is beautiful.
My favorite part about my life right now is: This is so cliché, but my favorite part about my life right now is being married! I love that my husband is the last person I see when I fall asleep and the first person I see when I wake up. Thanks to my husband, Kevin, I feel as though I am laughing more than ever, but also becoming a stronger and more compassionate person.
The advice I would give to the millennial Catholic woman is: Be proud and strong! The world needs Catholic women now more than ever – our zeal, love, and witness.