Tuesday, April 07, 2009

How did I ever end up Catholic?!? Pt 1

I was asked recently about my journey of faith from the Baptist church to the Catholic. I have thought how to do this explanation without making it very long…and it could be because the journey itself was a long one, sometimes step by baby step other times running in leaps and bounds, times of pain and sorrow and confusion and times of jubilation and joy!

To begin: I was born into a family with a Catholic mother and agnostic father. However because my father married a Catholic he promised to allow his children to be brought up in the Catholic faith. Consequently when only a few weeks old I was baptized.

The year of my 5th birthday I started school at the local Catholic school and the day after my 7th birthday made my First Holy Communion. All smooth sailing so far? Not exactly. Dad bless his heart never made any bones about his dislike for the Catholic church and mum kept her faith very personal (i.e to herself) The Church itself was undergoing some pretty big upheavals around this time too (Vatican II) and so any formation I had in the faith until I turned 14 was minimal or I slept through it(!!)…nothing stays in my memory except my father’s logic which made more sense to me than anything of faith (After all he could quote passages of scripture that seemed to support no God!!) I went to the public school from 8 on. One highlight in public school was a “Bible in School”s teacher who read us a beautiful children’s version of Pilgrim’s Journey…(ah so faith was about a journey; the die was cast)

At 14 I turned my back on my mother’s faith and on all people of faith. I remember shouting in our school oval that if there was a God why didn’t he come and strike me down for my disbelief in crying out against Him.

….But at the same time whenever I went to stay with some good women of faith(my aunts) there would come into my heart a wistfulness…”if only it could be true”

And so began another period of the journey-“the atheistic period”. At times I would be incredibly angry and at others deeply depressed. As St Augustine said: “Man is filled with a God-sized whole that only God can fill” It wasn’t terribly bad and yet nothing terribly good happened either. Life was frustrating and unfulfilling.

When I was 23 I left home to take up my first teaching position as a “New Entrants” teacher in a rural city. God provided situations and two people in particular that made me receptive to Him again.


Natalie said...

Ah! wonderful. I am very interested to read more.x

Anonymous said...

Isn't it wonderful how God never lets you go, especially when you know Him as a child?

I'll be looking forward to part 2 and subsequent parts, too.

Aliadelaide said...

Thank you for the comments Natalie and "Homeschool4Christ" please understand if I don't respond other than publishing comments for the next little while as we have my mother over staying,from New Zealand for 2 weeks and I want to spend as much time with this 82 yo as possible!