Well, it was my choice. I linked my FB page to my blog. I’ve gotten some encouraging words, and some that aren’t so encouraging. I am not really surprised. It is interesting though that when I voiced my intention to convert to Catholicism, that a few seem to think I may be an expert in all things Catholic.
Not in a sarcastic tone that I am well-known for. Not with the arrogance that I can throw like a dagger.Just…no. I have not been through RCIA. I have not been through formation. I have not received any sacraments of the Church. I am willing to share though, some of what has happened to lead me to this decision in greater detail.
I was baptized at Colonial Church in May of 2003. It was the best decision I think I have ever made. Shortly after my baptism, I began to struggle in my faith. I do not blame the church or anyone else. I blame it on my resistance to formation. I did not start with a strong foundation. I lacked discipline to grow in my faith. As a result my faith shriveled. It has taken almost a decade to recover from those poor decisions. Take heed Christians, think about it before you decide to stay home and watch TV or sleep, or whatever other distraction comes up.
After nine years outside of The Faith, I was (and still can be at times) hollow. This culminated in having to make a decision to step away from everything I had known for nine years. I was active in a spiritual community very different from Christianity. I had no real friends outside this group. I had completely isolated myself from most of reality. In June of last year, I stepped out of that isolation. (Hindsight) Even though I was wandering in a wilderness in my heart, I can see looking back that God was at work within me. In August of last year, over lunch with a member of the spiritual community, I could finally hear what was really being said to be. Though superficially there was talk of love and service, I could see the shallowness of it. I was disgusted and hurt. I also felt powerless to do anything different, because I could not recall anything different then what this group had to offer. That is called indoctrination. I still went to ceremonies, but I slowly began to pull away. First by not really being present even when I was there. Then by not being present as much, physically. And finally, in March, I spoke the words I had been too scared to say.
“I quit. This is not for me. It is wrong.”
Other than a couple of rude emails and text messages, I haven’t heard much from them. A few still communicate with me regularly. I love all of them, and am most grateful that I did not lose every relationship from that period of my life.
After I quit, I considered atheism for a short amount of time. I don’t blame myself for it. I was hurt, scared, and quite pitiful. At the moment, I cannot tell you of an exact event, thought, or thing that allowed me to stop pursing the idea of being atheist. I am certain though, that it was a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Throughout this all I was circling Catholicism, somewhat like a dog who has been kicked a few times. One night towards the end of my stint of pondering atheism, I was watching EWTN. They were praying The Rosary. I didn’t have any rosary beads so I just followed along. During this prayer I had an image of Mary in my mind. It was during that prayer that I experienced a certain level of peace I had not known in quite some time. It enabled me to quit circling the Church and start reaching for it. It still took several months to get me into a Church. I was so very scared. In the months leading to my first Mass, I watched them on TV, prayed, and began to read about the Faith.
That is the how, when, why and what of who I am standing here today. I hope that clears some things up for some people questions. As I have read, prior to publishing, it has actually answered several of mine.