A Reason to be Glad I’m Catholic

The reason that I’m Catholic, bottom line, is God’s grace. It is by God’s grace that I am what I am. If there is anything decent, anything good, anything wholesome in my life it’s because God in His mercy and love towards me put it there. All of the rest, the things I’m prone to and not so proud of, those things are my works and my responsibility. Based on all that I’ve lots of good reasons for being glad I’m Catholic. And I want to share one of them here. What I am about to share is very personal and represents what used to be (note the past tense) a horrendous wound that festered for years. But, again by His grace and as an expression of His love and mercy towards me, He healed it. He used various things to heal it but heal it He did. Now I want to share it here for a very simple reason. Perhaps someone else who still suffers from the same kind of pain will stumble upon this post, and trust me God’s grace can make that happen, and find in my experience hope for their own. Funny how being terminally ill seems to break down barriers that would otherwise hamper sharing.

I was born into an abusive environment. Physical, verbal and emotional abuse. The abuser was my mother. I was rescued at age five. At that point I weighed about 35 pounds. I am mot a small man, I do not have a small build. At age five I should have weighed twice 35 pounds. But because my mother didn’t feed me I was under weight and poorly nourished. I give this as an example of the physical abuse. I needn’t go into further detail. The verbal abuse, and via the verbal abuse the emotional abuse, was even worse. At five I had emotional scars that would take decades to heal. And then only by God’s grace. But as I said I was rescued by kind and loving relatives who did their best to put my existence right. I will forever be thankful for all they did. If it hadn’t been for them only God knows how things would’ve turned out. During my mid to late thirties God did several things that brought profound healing to me on a multitude of levels. All works of grace stemming from His love and Divine Mercy. Short version: Things were real bad, things got way better.

Given the above, short as it is, its easy enough to see that I never really had a mother. And it is because of that, because I had no mother, that I am so glad to be Catholic now. It’s just one reason, but its a huge one. What might my life have been like had I been blessed with a mother who was kind, who was gentle, a woman who was loving and showed it in all the right ways? How different things might have been if I’d only had a mom who set a good example, one who loved and served God, a woman who put her relationship with Him first. What effect would it have had on me to see her in prayer, to be taken to church by her, to be prayed for by her, and to have her teach me Faith? How would it have felt to be played with, given chores, disciplined in wholesome ways, teased lovingly, held when I cried, encouraged when I was down, and watched over when I was to caught up in being a child to notice her presence? I could say I’ll never know but I’d be lying. I’d be lying because by being Catholic I now have all those things and more in a realm more real and substantial than the one that seems so real to the senses. You see, God not only healed the hurt, He gave me His Mother as my own.  Mary.

I shared all of that, personal as it was, to say this. Never give up hope. God’s gifts, His reality, the graces He bestows are more substantial, more lasting, more real both in the now and for eternity than all the supposed earthly reality that the philosophers, politicians, humanists and scientists put together can muster. Trust me. Better yet trust Him. There is nothing so broken that He can’t fix it.

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2 Comments

  1. Moving words.. Welcome home .. welcome home again! Welcome to the holy family! 🙂

    Our Lord is the Great Physician! And our true friend!

    ‘Often make acts of love of our Lady, the saints, and the holy angels. Make friends with them. Talk with them frequently, using words of praise and tenderness. When you have gained familiar access to the citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem above, you will grieve far less at bidding farewell to those of the mean city here below.’

    St. Francis de Sales

    ‘Brothers, we must follow such examples. For it is written: Follow the saints, because those who follow them will become saints.’

    Pope St. Clement I of Rome

    ‘If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, unless he culpably wishes to remain where he is.’

    St. Thomas Aquinas

    Inspirational Quotes from the Saints (saintsquotes.net)

    • Thank you. And it’s good to be home. 😉


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