I’m a cradle Catholic; I’ve been a Catholic since my infant baptism. My mom also was baptized and raised Catholic, mexican Catholic to be more specific. (And that tells you a lot!) She passed me and my siblings a genuine passion for the Faith that only a mexican Catholic can. She also showed us how to have an intimate relationship with Jesus, especially through a devotion and friendship with his beautiful mother, La Virgen. My dad was also baptized & raised Catholic but his story is a bit more complicated growing up in post-war Germany with Austrian parents who’d escaped to England. Whether they became Catholic only to escape is something I’ll probably never know for sure. Either way, religion was not a popular discussion topic for them after everything they’d suffered and seen. Still, my dad gave me a desire to have more with my faith than what he was able to have, I do not take my religious freedom for granted. He’s also taught me the importance of commitment, even when you’re not sure what to believe anymore.
With this background, I have loved Jesus and his bride, the Church, since a very young age. I can’t remember a time I didn’t know Jesus or love Him. I can’t say the same for the Church, we’ve gone through some rough times; yet, through it all, Her doors have always remained open.
The Church, is a beautiful endless reservoir of Christ’s love, peace, and mercy.
The Church’s beauty is deep and mysterious while also…real and alluring.
My Catholic Faith has guided me and molded me, ignited my soul and sowed purpose into my life. The Church is much more than some religious “institution” run by a bunch of “old guys in weird robes” (though, I can see how those and the hats would look funny to those who didn’t grow up with it). I don’t believe what I do because the Church tells me to; I have found Who I believe within the Catholic Church.
Though my Catholic faith has always been a part of me, there have been times I’ve gone through some serious thinking about the Church and God and all that. Whenever I falter, I strip my faith down until I get to the basics, starting with God.
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
When my family and I moved across the country before my senior year of high school, everything changed and I had to reassess everything I believed or thought I believed and make it my own. All the warm and fuzzy feelings I’d had disappeared in this new place where my faith was not attached to who I hung out with or what I did in the same way it had been before moving where I was a “church person” and super involved in all that entailed. I had to look for God in different places. I felt very alone…almost abandoned by God during that time.
I remember one evening I sat on the dirt mound on the empty lot by our new house and watched the sun set behind the trees. It gave me comfort to see the same sun rise and set here in my new home as it had in the land of my childhood. Night after night, I’d crane my neck and stare into the deep sky, looking, searching for answers…for Truth. I felt nothing.
I spent most of that year like this. Finally, after watching enough sunrises and sunsets, staring into the night sky long enough, and walking with my agonized thoughts through the ancient woods near my new home, I arrived at this conclusion: the universe is too ingenius to be random, therefore, God exists.
I couldn’t explain it further than that, I couldn’t feel it, I simply…knew it.
Once I got there, I was able to continue the journey of my faith. To this day, actually most every night as I wait for sleep to bring me peace, or when the doubts crouch over my soul, I reaffirm this: He exists, and everything I know, everything that was and is and will be, is because of Him. He made this world, He made me…He loves me. And I love Him.