Culture & Religion
July Sat 17, 2010
In the late 1980’s I had a life to die for: a successful career and a bright future. Only one thing was missing: I wanted to be married and have a family. I was so sure children were to be part of my life that I believed it could happen even late in my life, in spite of biologic absolutes.
In this seemingly perfect life, a spiritual component was totally absent. Though baptized Catholic at the age of ten, I rarely attended church. A love of Mary, whom I’d heard about as a child in Catholic school, was my only devotion. She was a Mother and I could relate to a Mother’s love. Whenever I had a pressing need, I turned to her. Then, once my concerns faded, it was back to carefree fun. And if you wonder what I mean by that, pull out a list of the 10 commandments; I repeatedly offended most.
At one point in my life, I passed a Catholic church on my commute to work. I hardly noticed it until something within me began to bid me to come inside. My interpretation of this inner movement was guilt, so for a long time I just kept driving. But the pestering didn’t stop until at last I begrudgingly pulled my car into the parking lot. Sitting in that empty Church that day was the beginning of my relationship with God. There I first felt Him say, “believe” into my heart. The journey that ensued led me to confession, Mass, and on pilgrimage to Medjugorje as a youth group leader.
I went to enjoy the time working with children, and to tour Europe, but instead during the trip I was filled with a deep and wonderful love for Jesus. My heart was transformed.
It was June of 1991. I was a new creature. My old life, interests, and needs no longer existed, and I didn’t miss them. Where before, Jesus had been a stranger to me, suddenly I was engulfed in the most amazing love I have ever known. All I can surmise is that Mary, Our Beloved Mother, quietly stepped aside and presented her Son to me. He became in that moment, and still remains, the love of my life. I fell in love with Him, and began to treasure his sacrificial gift on the Cross, and to adore him Eucharistically.
In Medjugorje I left behind the whole suitcase of clothes, shoes, and jewelry I had brought to adorn myself on what I thought would be a fun vacation in Europe. God gave me a new desire for simplicity and otherworldly riches.
As my conversion continued, and my relationship with Him deepened, I placed my desire for a family at Jesus’ feet. If marriage was not to be, then I asked Him to open the door to something else.
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