Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Showcase: Interview with Mariella Hunt

There's a lot of wonderful things I could say about Mariella. When she e-mailed me about doing a guest post, I asked her a tough question. I wanted to know if she would be willing to let me interview her about her faith. Mariella is a Catholic, and a dear friend. She believes upon the name of Jesus and immerses herself in the same Gospel and the same New Testament that you and I do, making her our faith sister, without question. She is an incredible young lady of the faith. Please welcome her with open arms. Thanks so much for answering my questions, Mariella! It's such a pleasure to have you! 

So tell us a little bit about your Catholic faith.

The Catholic faith is summed up in the Apostles’ Creed, which states the very basic tenets of our faith. According to the Catechism, “Creeds are brief formulas of faith that make it possible for all believers to make a common profession.” (YOUCAT, page 28). I would like to point out that most Christian denominations agree with the words of our own Creed, making dialogue easier and just showing that we’re not that different in what we believe; rather, the friction comes in how we believe it.
For example, Protestants frown on our use of the Rosary to honor Mary, calling it vain repetition. Also, our use of statuary tends to ruffle feathers because they don’t know why we do it. I think most of these conflicts could be cleared up by sitting down and discussing with patience and love. Note: Love must be present on both ends of the conversation, for otherwise we are speaking words, nothing more. As St. Paul said, “If I speak in human and angelic tongues, but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.” 1Cor 13:1).

Can you describe to us a little bit about how the Catholic faith differs from the Protestant faith?

I believe the greatest and most pivotal difference is that we Catholics believe Christ is physically present in the Eucharist. During Mass we are doing as He said at the Last Supper: Eat, for this is My body; drink, for this is My blood.
We believe the consecrated Host is Jesus physically present. During the consecration at Mass, the bread is no longer bread; the wine is no longer wine. It is Jesus Christ our Savior. When we go to Mass, we are joining in the Lord’s supper.

How does your faith affect your everyday life?

My faith is my life. Everything I do and every frustration, all my joy and sorrow, I offer to the Lord in constant prayer. We are told to pray without ceasing, and that prayer can be the silence while I’m doing the dishes. Every day becomes another chance to serve the Lord and listen for His voice, for He is everywhere at all times.

Recognizing that there are both false Catholics and false Protestants, how would you respond to a Protestant believer who doesn’t acknowledge you as a sister and part of the faith?

How can one body divided stand? I have known many Protestants who told me I was not a Christian and openly acted out their opinion. It saddens me when this happens, because we all worship the same God. He died for all of us. Theological differences do not change that, so who are they to judge me and say I’m not a Christian?
Especially because most of these Protestants never stopped to ask a Catholic what we believe; they make assumptions based on what they hear from non-Catholics. I would pray for them and ask that they approach a practicing, faithful Catholic with questions.
I bet you would find a lot of misconceptions cleared up if you’d take the time to ask a person who knows what they’re saying, and is faithful to the Church.

We see a lot of misguided youth in the Protestant faith. Do you ever run across misguided people who claim to be of your faith, but don’t live it out, giving Catholicism a bad name?

All the time.
Misguided Catholics are part of the reason Protestants become confused about our beliefs. The problem is greatly in weak religious education.
I think we need to focus on improving religious education for youth and older people. You’re never too old to learn about Jesus, and a lot of people won’t “go back to school,” so they don’t ever really learn.
These Catholics either fall away, or spread misconceptions. We should pray and urge them to look at the faith with new eyes.
I would love it if they’d stop to see the beautiful religion for which many suffered martyrdom, and which outlived every major empire—the one Christ founded Himself.

Does your faith influence your writing? If so, in what ways?

My faith does affect my writing. There is a lot of Catholic literature and I try to read it; the Catholic way of life shapes how I see things in my plots, and how my characters behave.
I used to struggle with finding a balance between writing and prayer time, until I realized they don’t have to be separated. Catholicism appears in my stories almost by accident, because it’s part of me. My characters follow morality reflecting a Christian lifestyle.
My writing can become a prayer, especially when I’m writing in my journal.
I wrote a blog post about Catholicism and how it affects my writing, which can be found here. Allow me to quote it:
If you’re a real Christian, you’re living out your faith in the fullest possible way. If you’re a Christian, if it is what you are, then it’s going to come out in your writing. If you have a conscience and common sense, if you know what makes a good story and you know the teachings of Jesus, if you never spend a day without sitting with Him for just a little while—your story is going to reflect this, accidentally.”

So I’m a bit interested. Mind if I ask what you believe about the saints?

The Saints are our brothers and sisters who lived holy lives and are now in heaven, watching over us and interceding for our needs.
They’re a fantastic example of how diverse and unique we as Christians can be. There are nuns and martyrs, teachers, bishops, old men and little girls, artists—you name it, there’s probably a saint out there who did it, or is somehow related to it.
Sometimes we make them patron saints of a certain subject. For example, St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music and musicians, because she heard heavenly music in her heart when she was married. To learn more about her, click here.
It isn’t required to ask saints for intercession, but I’ve got to say—it works. They become your best friends and watch over you during your earthly life.
We do not worship them, but venerate—although I think of it more as, “St. Cecilia is my big sister so I’m going to ask her for help making progress on the piano.” Since she is in heaven, she can go before God and ask Him to help me make progress in practicing. (Usually I’m too lazy to sit down and practice, but that’s the idea.)

Is there anything else you believe God has put on your heart to share with us this evening?

I want to encourage Christians of all denominations to abandon our differences and speak up for what is right. We’re living in a time where religions are censored and belief set aside as unimportant. Many voices joined together can be heard and change the world.
If all the Christians protested against abortion or defended marriage together, that would be a sound difficult to ignore.
A problem in Christianity of all denominations is that many people are too afraid to speak up, or just don’t care enough to actually do it. It’s time for us to come out of our homes and get onto the streets. As siblings, we can make ourselves heard. As siblings, we could spread the Gospel and tell so many hurting people that Jesus loves them with a love greater than we could ever imagine.
We could spread word that there is forgiveness, and when a loved one dies, it isn’t good-bye. We could help people to build their treasure in heaven by telling them that heaven exists. We could help people handle pain by telling them how much our Savior endured because He loved us while we were still sinners. We could all aspire to sainthood and be heard. Together, we could prepare the world for Him to return.
Please don’t be afraid to speak up. Jesus needs your voice now more than ever. Are you worried about losing your job? God will provide. Are you worried your family might shun you? You have a spiritual family in the Body of Christ. Plus, with prayer, you could talk to your family so they can grow to love Jesus as well.
Even if all you can do is share the Truth on Facebook, do it. We need to let the world know that religion and prayer still matters. We need to remind them that we’ve outlived every major empire for a reason. That reason was all the saints and martyrs who died for their faith rather than worship false idols or deny that Jesus was Lord.
Today we need bravery such as that, because we are the Children of Light—sons and daughters of the King Who designed the universe with His own hand, and still takes the time to hear us when we pray.
He loves us so much when we have done nothing to deserve it. He has given us art and love, a beautiful earth to take care of, family that love us—and most of all, He gave us His Son to ensure that when our lives end, we can join Him in Heaven.
Now He needs us to be His voice, and spread a message of hope.
"Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." Ephesians 5:14
Awake, O sleeper…the world is bleak…and souls will need your light. Christ died for you, so will you not fight for Him? Will you not use the talents He gave you to tell others He loves them? Many have closed up to His voice, and you need to be Christ to them. Jesus needs you, so go out and be a Child of Light.

God Bless you.

Mariella Hunt is 20 years old and lives in the Treasure Valley. She writes fiction and reflections on the Catholic faith. In 2014, she is self-publishing an anthology of short stories and a Young Adult novel, Dissonance.

A practicing Catholic, she is actively involved in the New Evangelization. She’s an associate editor for Catholic websites Ignitum Today and Catholic Lane, and is a book reviewer for Catholic Fiction. Recently she has also started a vlog for the New Catholic Generation video movement.

You can visit Mariella on her website

The Bible says to be at peace with all brethren, so long as it depends on you. Brethren are those who believe in the same salvation--in the same Jesus. Though Mariella and I believe different theological tweaks, we are sisters. Though this interview, she and I have become great friends, encouraging each other in Jesus. We've learned many things from each other. I do recognize that there could be some people here who disagree with Mariella's doctrine, and that's okay. However, I ask you to be respectful. Comments that do not treat Mariella as a sister will be promptly deleted. That said, I know she put a great deal of thought and time into this interview. Comments full of love, encouragement and an "amen" or two would be much appreciated, I believe, so leave her some good ones! Thanks again, Mariella! You're a dear.   



  1. This actually reminds me a little bit of me and my best friend. I'm Lutheran and she's Catholic (which I think is ironic), but that doesn't lessen our faiths or our friendship any less. I love how we're always able to talk about God with each other even though there are some significant differences in what we believe, and I've never regretted developing my relationship with her.

    So with that being said I enjoyed this interview a lot, because it reminded me of some of the things I myself believe about God and the things my best friend believes. I think Mariella did an excellent job discussing her faith, but I think in writing this you both addressed a belief Protestants and Catholics share: our job is to love first. And I think that's pretty cool.

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview! I had a lot of fun answering the questions. Dialogue is so important in friendship and just to keep the Body of Christ healthy. We can't let little difference tear us apart--it takes love on both sides.

  2. Hi Mariella! :) It is so nice to meet you. Thank you for sharing your beliefs with us.

    1. Thank you so much for listening! It was an honor to talk about my faith. It made me very happy that Stephanie wanted me to discuss it and she was so friendly. Other people are militant and you can tell off the bat that they're going to start debates and talk down on you. This was the opposite of that, and I am blessed to have gotten the opportunity!

  3. Mariella, thanks so much for your interview! I really enjoyed reading this. I was raised Catholic and I agree that a lot of times Christians of different denominations put their differences between them. I hate when people say Catholics aren't Christians--we all worship the same God, believe in His Word, and share the same basis of faith. All denominations worship the Lord in slightly different ways and Catholics should be treated no differently.

    I don't think denominations should separate Christians. Like stated above, our job as Christians is to love each other. Through Jesus, we are all brethren and that should be all that counts :)

    1. When I was 14 years old, I came across a website that was so anti-Catholic that it rattled my faith and I was miserable for at least a year after that. I'd chosen to be baptized only recently and here was a website throwing Bible verses at me and saying I was going to hell. It took a lot of reading up to be confident again, and now I can defend my faith, but that's just an example of things that I come across...and I believe they shouldn't exist. Why destroy a person's faith when we both worship the same Jesus? Why leave them hopeless and broken? That's where we have to come in and lovingly talk about the differences. It was an honor to talk about my faith for you. :)

    2. I didn't know you were raised Catholic, Jillian. That's super cool!

  4. Very excellent interview. "It is time for us to come out of her homes and get onto the streets." Amen. Mariella has her feet on the ground and knows where she is going.

  5. This is a beautiful post! I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (we're also known as Mormons), and I've been told before that I'm not a Christian because some of my beliefs differ slightly in specifics from the beliefs of other Christians. I believe in Jesus Christ. I know that He suffered and died for my sins, and that only through Him can I be saved. He is my Savior, and I always strive to let my words and deeds demonstrate my faith in Him and my reliance on Him. He is my greatest example. Isn't that the essence of Christianity? As fellow Christians, we need to look past our differences and respect one another as followers of Christ. Mariella, thank you for being willing to share your beliefs, and thank you, Stephanie, for having such an accepting and Christ-like attitude. You two are a wonderful example of how Christians should treat one another.

    1. Hello, Emma!

      Thanks for the comment! I just met two sweet Mormon girls the other day, actually. I'm glad you're encouraged.