It's been just over a month since I came into the Church, and I couldn't be happier with where I am at the moment. I've heard of "convert zeal", and I'm sure that's a part of reason I feel so happy, but I think it's evolving into something much deeper than that. There's just something about knowing you're exactly where God wants you to be - I definitely feel that at my parish. I've made so many great friendships through my involvement with the Catholic Church. The one I value most of all, however, is my friendship with Jesus Christ.
I believe where I've fallen short in my previous encounters with Christianity was a huge gap between myself and Christ. And it certainly wasn't by His doing. See, I had always viewed Jesus as a deity, and it was hard to come to grips with the notion that He could possibly have any interest in me at a personal level. I justified that with the fact that my prayers often went unanswered - or so I thought, because I didn't get what I wanted.
But the Church has taught me that prayer is more than just telling the Lord what I want, and and expecting it. It's a conversation with God. It's not so much telling Him what I want, or even what I need, but more so how I feel. And the key part - which I was not doing until recently - is listening to Him. I have discovered, beyond the shadow of a doubt that if you listen, God will speak to your heart. Now, you might not necessarily get the answer you want, but believe me when I tell you that He does hear us.
I used to refuse to believe anything without proof. However, I've also learned that "proof" isn't always something that can be seen or heard. The first time I took Communion, I was overwhelmed by the True Presence of Christ. It nearly knocked me to my knees, and it was all I could do to get back to my pew, kneel, and thank Him for sharing his body and blood with us. I was a little disappointed that I haven't felt like that - at least not to that degree - each time I've taken communion since. But I did have a very similar experience this past Tuesday at Adoration.
I was deep in prayer, and at a point where I was in total silence, and my mind went totally blank. That's such a rare occurrence for me - it's hard to get my brain to shut down and shut up. But it did, and in that instant, I felt a warm embrace around me. All worries and and cares I had were gone for that brief moment, and I felt nothing but pure, unbridled joy. It only lasted a few seconds, but it had a profound effect on me - I was moved to tears. I realized that was Christ's love physically acting on me through the Holy Spirit. And that's not just my theory, or an idea. I know that's what it was. I can't explain how I know - I just do.
May God bless you all