For those of you who did not know me before I joined the community, I was a shipwreck. Think of anything messed up, obviously nothing illegal, and I dabbled in it at some point of time or the other. At this point of time, I was making a major decision, whether this community was worth my time.
I began in CFCI Singles two and a half years ago, an unconvinced Christian. I would personally call myself a nine-to-five Christian. I went for weekly mass, like I was told to. I would say the rosary with my family every evening. Confessions twice a year, in a good year, Easter and Christmas, otherwise, I would probably skip it. I didn’t think it was a major priority since I did not kill anyone nor was I in a relationship with someone else’s wife. I used the occasional swear word, at least 200 times a day, like normal people from the movies do. I had a Bible which kept the pages of my Shakespeare plays from flying every time I forgot the fan on and left the room.
I joined the movement with the mindset that nothing would change and I would leave half way through. I ended up staying an entire year and I was right, nothing changed. Finally, deciding to leave twice in the extent of one year, only staying back thanks to divine intervention, I changed.
It was NOT gradual, it did not happen over weeks or months, it was immediate and in one day. It hit me like a train. My whole life turned upside down. I saw that I did a lot of things that were right, and a lot that was wrong, but on closer inspection, I noticed that almost everything I did was wrong. I did not know that 90% of what I said was evil and wrong. I was unaware about the real meaning of the Eucharist, what really happens at mass and how awesome attending it is. After a session about mass at a conference however, I started attending it regularly, and for those of you who don’t know, there is no turning back after that.
With the regular mass, came the calmness, even if it was for an hour or half an hour a day. It was ‘me‘, the ADHD guy, diagnosed by myself and Google, actually being calm, and that was something no one ever saw coming. My father had been waiting twenty-two years to see that. During mass I tuned the world out completely. I refused to carry my phone since I didn’t even want the buzz disturbing me, although I would never pick it up in church. I managed to make some time after mass to say the rosary, a personal one, and various aspects of my life started falling in place. My damaged relationships with friends sorted themselves out, I learned what humility actually means when I had to walk up to someone who had wronged me on so many levels and say, hey, do you want to be friends again, and never bring up what happened. Literally, letting things go and not remembering what they were about.
Apparently, using bad language with all the best intentions is still wrong and so is swearing under your breath, so I had to start somewhere. I started with the verbal ones, and then went to the voices in my head and finally altogether. We are all human, there are times we slip, we fall, and we get dragged down under; there are instances where I might still cuss, but over all, it is a lot better than it used to be.
I recently went for a retreat when the priest asked us what we do when we get up, and I said go for mass, he stopped and said, on a weekday, and I said I know. My friend said, what you do, not others, and I repeated the sentence, and he said, when did you become so holy?
I am very happy about how far I have come, but I am not even close to the half way mark. It is a struggle and we all fall, I can personally tell you, getting up is actually the toughest and not as easy as people make it seem. I was unwell and couldn’t attend mass for about a week, but the challenge was after that week to get my lazy behind to church. I could think of a hundred reasons why I should not and that I hadn’t completely recovered, but the point was, I had to get back.
To begin is for everyone, to persevere is for saints.
I pray that God may give each one of us the grace to pursue Him with all that we are.