Friday, May 7, 2010

Embraced by the Spirit

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 

No comments: