Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Rediscovering your faith

What does it mean to “rediscover” your faith?

I was baptized Catholic when I was a baby and was brought up with all of the Church teachings by my parents. I attended Catholic school until about 5th grade and went to bible school too.

There came a time when I “stalled”. It wasn’t that I didn’t accept the Church and the laws Christ set forth, but I didn’t do any work myself. I accepted the teachings without understanding why. I think part of it was laziness, I expected to grow in my faith without doing anything about it.

Right, like sitting on the couch with a bag of Cheetos ever got anyone to heaven.

I remember being in college and I was very, very sad. I cried on my bed feeling alone and confused about my direction. At that very moment I just “saw” myself with my head in Christ’s arms (on his lap) and Him stroking my hair, comforting me. I am not saying I had a vision, just a strong feeling.

At that moment I knew I wasn’t alone and I felt a new connection with Christ. I began to be more involved at Church, and actively pursued the truth of the Faith. Instead of getting by with the standard “I don’t know why I believe it but a nun once told me I should” I yearned to have a deeper understanding. And my life hasn’t been the same since.

I go through “dry” periods of my faith when it is hard to pay attention during the Mass or in my daily prayer. But in those times I try to remember that this is common for many people. There are also moments where I am so on fire with the faith that I feel like I could take on the world. This is also very common to others. But it is perseverance, fortitude, which gives me strength on my journey.

I also thank God for my husband and children. By knowing my vocation as a wife and mother I am completely invested in learning more about Christ’s teachings for the sake of myself, but also for them. How can I be a good mother and wife if I don’t know Christ? Also, how can I answer my child’s questions if I am not aware of the laws that Christ set forth in the Church? I have enough trouble answering my daughter when she asks me “Mommy, how can God be here and in heaven?”.

Rediscovering your faith means just that, looking at from a different point of view. For instance, I have prayed the rosary my whole life. But did I really understand that it was a meditation of Christ’s life, taken directly from scripture? I didn’t know, until last year, that every word of the Holy Mass is scriptural. I was taught the Catechism when I was a child but I am no longer a child and need to look at it through the eyes of an adult.

I desire to take what I have learned as a young girl and understand it in a different and deeper manner. It also is difficult at times. But, it is a constant journey but one that isn’t done alone.

For one, Christ is always by your side.

1 comment:

Protestant Mom said...

Thank you so much for sharing that. I like the term 'strong feeling'. I had that too, when I was 5 or so. I just so felt that God was right there with me and He was telling me that He loved me. I wonder if anyone has had that feeling/knowledge and turned away. I loved Him back. When I later learned of being born again, I knew I already was. I could not deny that I had already fully believed. (For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16)

I wish I knew the words of the rosary. I do not understand why the Church is so important and different than the church. That is our uncommon ground. I like our common ground - strong feelings :) , knowledge of God's love for us, a desire to grow in faith. (Is faith different than Faith?)