I was exposed to the harsh realities of this world many times during my childhood. I saw crime. I experienced relatives fighting with each other. I saw and felt how alcohol could easily destroy a person or a family.
The influences of the world and those around me led me to fall into a lifestyle of lying and cheating soon after our family relocated to a much smaller city in the midwest. I couldn’t seem to break free from lying to my parents. If I had the opportunity to lie to them, I usually took that road. It was very hard to break free from something like that.
My life began to change direction thanks to Jesus working through my my mom’s sister and her husband. I remember them often having discussions, sometimes heated, about Christianity. My aunt and uncle were Catholic. They were encouraging my mom to seriously consider the Catholic faith. I was in fourth grade. My mom was still searching for the right “church” to belong to. Thanks be to God, my mom started to really take to what my aunt and uncle were telling her. I am so thankful for them for being brave and bold enough to risk losing the love of their family member in order to bring the Good News of Jesus and his Church to my mom.
One thing quickly led into another. Before long, my brothers and I were soon taking private instruction lessons in the Catholic Faith. We were baptized after our period of learning, and I finally had the Grace of God within me. I was certainly a child of God. My sins, although childlike, were washed away with my baptism through the shedding of the blood of Jesus. I remember feeling that my lifestyle of lying and cheating were now washed away from my way of life and way of thinking. Thank you also needs to be given out to my guardian angel.
As often happens, my faith slipped towards the end of my high school years and into college. Staying out late, going to parties, and having a circle of friends that weren’t interested in my soul, slowly led me further away for Jesus and his Church.
Fast forward twenty years. I was lucky if I was going to Mass once every 4-6 weeks. I certainly was not showing that Christ was my king. I am sure that my fall from grace all started when I did not go to confession during my confirmation in tenth grade. I know that the seal of the Holy Spirit did not fully take effect, because of my stubborn attitude towards thinking I was in control.
In steps my mom in her loving and always caring manner. I know she had been praying for me for many years. It was around the year 2000 when my mom mentioned to me that she had found a Catholic radio station in our northern California city. She suggested a few times that I should listen to Immaculate Heart Radio on my commute to and from work.
I finally tuned in and soon went to confession for the first time since before my confirmation.. What a tremendous blessing that was. To confess my sins to Jesus, through Father Walsch, have my sins of the last twenty years washed away, and to finally receive the seal and grace that I missed at my confirmation was life altering.
I was truly transformed. Since that Saturday which was the feast of Corpus Christi, (Body and Blood of Christ) I now yearn to go to Mass each week or more often. The great gift of being able to physically and spiritually receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is really mind blowing. The Mass itself is such a gift that has been handed down by the Apostles and the early Church fathers. I truly desire to have Christ be my KING.