I have been reflecting this Lent about my faith journey. I am really amazed about the way these past 7 years have unfolded. From a "C and E" Catholic (Christmas and Easter), I have become an "every Sunday I am at Mass and more" Catholic. Actually, those that know me would say I am a little overly excited about my faith. It continues to grow by leaps and bounds. I can't say that I am ready for Sainthood, but, I humbly will strive for it. Anyone that hangs around with me enough knows that I still sin. But, boy when I do, I know it! The Holy Spirit convicts me regularly, and that is a good thing. Due to being aware of my sins, I have a new found freedom in my life. I know when I am about to make a bad choice or decision. I can stop damage from happening, through Him that strengthens me. There is a lot less collateral damage now. I have been stripped of the chains that binded me. My life is happier and peaceful. The opposite of what my years were previous to this new found love in Jesus Christ and His Church. Yes, I know it sounds crazy. Trust me, I can see where most people I know, are coming from. I would be on the sidelines too, making the crazy sign by twirling my finger beside my head. You really have to experience this to know it. But, I tell you, walking in my shoes is awesome!
Wow...that sounded awfully proud, didn't it? But, after the beat up shoes I was wearing before, I have to say, these new ones are GREAT! The old shoes I wore gave me sore callouses and bruising. As I have pondered the way I viewed life before, and how I felt, did things, treated others and myself, I discovered much. I found that I was a selfish, angry, sad and hurting person. God had a lot of work to do and He STILL does! But, it was the asking, that gave me the key to get out of the prison I was in. I received the new key to the Kingdom of God. Let me tell you, that it sure it prettier here! I don't understand why people don't get it. But, then again, I was one of those beautiful people, so I have to step back and recall that this all does sound strange and bizarre. I guess any foreign land can be unfamiliar and therefore intimidating. I found that you have to ask God for the directions. Let Him know He can be in the drivers seat. Give Him control. Something that is not easy for us to do as humans. But, he can do the supernatural. He can take you to a world you have not yet experienced. It then becomes our choice whether we stay of leave. I like to stay parked at the palace gates. He loves me even when I screw up. He knows when I am sorry for what I have done wrong. He always welcomes me back if the car goes in reverse. I try my best to keep it in park with His help. Would you take His invitation to be a part of something bigger than you? What have you got to lose!?
As Mark Hart the "Bible Geek" said in this attached video- "Unleash the strength inside of you." As you let the Holy Spirit work in you, things start to happen. The Sacrament of Confirmation provides and equips you with the power of the Holy Spirit to have the virtue of fortitude/strength. The fortitude to be a strong Christian. We can be lukewarm or we can be on fire for God. I asked Him to give me the further strength I need to be a Christian. I know He is right there beside me, carrying the load when the ridicule starts. He keeps me focused and firmly planted in my faith even when others misunderstand me. He continues to provide for me in so many wonderful ways. I am happy being a Christian. I am happy being Roman Catholic. If you haven't already, I hope you might someday discover, the greatest gift there is to receive. It even comes with an instruction manual *grin* and His Church and Sacraments. He just thinks of everything, doesn't He!?