Square 1.

Our walk with the Lord and our relationship with Him is literally a lifelong journey. He continues to work on us, with us, challenge us, every-single-day of our lives. A process that some at first glance, appear to handle flawlessly. But in reality, it can be a painstakingly difficult process with lots of growing pains.

So here I am, at Square 1.

Square 1 for me is where and how I am to worship and serve the Lord. Something that others know with certainty and have no doubts about. For me, it is very difficult and riddled with doubts and fears. In 2016, about this same time of year, I began to feel the pull back to Catholicism. 2016 wasn’t the first time since I have been away that this has happened. No, since the late 1990’s to now, this has happened more than I can count.

It always starts the same way, which I didn’t realize until last night. It starts with me feeling a strong pull to the physical Church.

Here is one of the churches in my cluster. When I drive past it several times a day, I can’t help but peer through the doors from my car and in my heart feel so physically drawn, it is quite frankly, overwhelming. It’s not like I grew up in this church. The physical church I grew up in is of no comparison.

Contrast this time from previous ones, I am so much more determined to stop this cycle, with the help of the Lord, of course.

Some questions I am going to settle…

What did the Christians in the first several centuries believe?

Is the Real Presence real?

Authority, is it important?

As a Protestant, why do we trust the Bible from the 1600’s but nothing before?

I am excited to embark on this journey with maturity and a determined spirit to settle this once and for all.

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Overjoyed

“For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor, a lifetime. Weeping may spend the night, but there is joy in the morning.”‭‭Psalms‬ ‭30:5‬ ‭HCSB‬‬

http://bible.com/72/psa.30.5.hcsb
I am overjoyed, the Lord is so good to me! That’s all…that’s everything!

Day 2

“Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious,
and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind.”
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard — upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

The struggle is real.

Yes Lord, the struggle is indeed real.  I just have to keep on.  A couple points today.

1.  Last night I was feeling really down on my decision to return to Catholicism.  I was regretting it.  I was feeling sorrowful for it.  I was thinking once again, I bought the enemies lies.  I woke up and was like “I am not going to Mass”…I searched up the time for my in laws church service.  I debated going to my baptist church.  Then I debated not going anywhere at all.

I sat and checked my email and the Mass readings where there and then I said, I must go to Mass.  I went solo, left the little kids home….I will get back to this after point 2.

2.  I then scrolled through my news feed and saw an anti-Catholic page gripping about the canonization of Saint [Mother] Teresa of Calcutta.  The comments on the page were exclaiming that Mother Teresa was lost and never knew Jesus because for years she talked about the darkness and doubts that filled her soul.

In the darkness . . . Lord, my God, who am I that you should forsake me? The child of your love — and now become as the most hated one. The one — you have thrown away as unwanted — unloved. I call, I cling, I want, and there is no one to answer . . . Where I try to raise my thoughts to heaven, there is such convicting emptiness that those very thoughts return like sharp knives and hurt my very soul. Love — the word — it brings nothing. I am told God lives in me — and yet the reality of darkness and coldness and emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul.

Um….hello….this is me!  I have been seeking The Lord for the past 20 years.  I have been “saved” and yet still was not free.  You know how Jesus says knock and the door will be opened, ask and Ye shall find.  I have done those things.  To the naysayer who says I was never truly saved.  I have seen God work in my life and know He has guided and answered many of my prayers.  He has walked with me through dark times.  But in this specific area, my relationship with Him, he is quiet.  There is a distance, there always has been. 

3.  So I went to Mass.  I am comfortable there.  I enjoy the peace that the sanctuary brings.  Quiet.  Prayers.  I am not good at praying freestyle, so I do use the prayers written in my prayer book.  They are no less prayer than singing hymns written by someone else is worship.  I prayed and participated in the Mass like it was my job.  Every word I uttered I meant deep down.  My mind wandered a little, I got distracted some, but I kept pulling myself back.  Holy communion comes and I receive the Holy Eucharist.  I am praying the prayers in my prayer book and suddenly I just stop.  Tears fill my eyes and warmth washes over me.  He is there.

Saint Teresa and I are going to become friends.  As Father had said to me, this struggle I have he cannot answer.  I have to answer it myself.  With Gods help of course.  Thankfully Saint Teresa has gone through this and will be able to help me.  

I am counting on these words.

“If I ever become a Saint–I will surely be one of ‘darkness.’ I will continually be absent from Heaven–to light the light of those in darkness on earth,” Mother Teresa

The Veil.

If you recall my post several weeks ago where I talked about coming full circle and the struggle I had with Catholicism and how the struggle was circular.  Like a merry-go-round, I was constantly spinning between Catholicism and Protestantism (specifically, Baptist).  In the past week, God brought back to mind something that He had been preparing me for….The Veil.

It all makes sense now that satan would attack me while I was growing in the Lord.  He is so cunning, that his attack had me believing I was dishonoring the Lord, when in fact, I was walking where He wanted me to.  He does that with all of us.

I had purchased my first Mantilla, I hadn’t the courage to wear it yet, but I carried it with me to Mass.  And then at some point I stopped going and threw the Mantilla away.  Fast forward to present day, I was reminded that God had called me to this, and now I am waiting for pay day to purchase a Veil.  He has literally picked me up where I left off.  I may not have all the answers, but I am steadily learning, praying, and leaning on Him…and I know that there is no where else God would have me be today.