The beginning of the journey

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I keep having this nagging idea that I want to start blogging at the most random times – in the shower, driving to work, in the middle of the night when I can’t fall back to sleep, etc. Somehow, I have my best thoughts when I can’t write any of them down. In my mind, I am this fabulous writer with so many stories to tell, and yet somehow as soon as I have five minutes with my computer, I can’t think of a single thing to say.

The problem is that I have a lot that I want to say – my brain runs nonstop all of the time and when it comes to issues of faith, I don’t have a lot of people that I can talk to, in spite of living in an overwhelmingly Catholic part of the country. I’m hoping that if I can get some of these thoughts and ideas out of my head, they will make more sense to me and maybe occasionally reach someone else.

I was born and raised Catholic in a family of four (I’m the oldest). We all went to 13 years of Catholic school, went to Mass every week, participated in ministries at church, etc. It never crossed my mind to be anything BUT Catholic – I was never drawn to any other religion or doubted my belief in God, but then I somehow ended up spending most of my adult life feeling very apathetic about the Catholic church. I would go to Mass occasionally, mostly when I was with my family and couldn’t avoid it without them finding out that I wasn’t going. I convinced myself that surely God wouldn’t keep me out of Heaven just because I didn’t go to Mass, because I was a “good person” (it seems absurd now to even type those words out). From the outside, I think most people assumed I was a “good Catholic”.

On the inside, though, I began to struggle more and more with what God wanted for me and from me. I had started teaching at a Catholic school, and the strain of trying to project the false front of being a devout Catholic on the outside when I really wasn’t feeling it inside was overwhelming at times. It took a fairly severe depression that I hid from my family and friends to finally make me turn to God for help.

I have thought for several months that this sudden spiritual journey came out of nowhere, but I have realized recently that it had to have come from God, and it came when I needed Him in my life the most. I started saying the rosary, and then surprised my dad by showing up at 6:00 AM Mass one morning (to say that I was not a morning person would be the understatement of the year). The more I let God be a part of my life, the better my life seemed to get. Daily mass eventually got me to confession, which changed my life (and deserves its own entry).

As far as I feel like I have come in three months, I know this is just the beginning of the road for me. Thomas Merton has always been one of my favorites, and this prayer has given me comfort, even in the times when I didn’t realize that I needed it.

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end, nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you, and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore, I will trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

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