It's not an April Fool's joke. On April 1st, 1985, just 24 days before my 21st birthday, I was conditionally baptized into the Catholic Church........and made my First Confession and received my First Holy Communion on the same day.
BEST. DAY. EVER.
I know I mention this on this day each passing year.......but it is without question the Greatest Gift that I have ever received. I thank God for this gift at every single mass that I attend. Every single mass.
I wish that I had time to tell my conversion story here today.....it's rather simple.......but time restraints are in effect. (Let me see if it is in my computer files.....hmmm, must have been on the last computer.......I will check the external hard drive later.....)
I did find a copy of it in my wedding scrapbook...though it might not be readable...
Let's just say: God picked me. He brought me here. I made no decision.....He just opened the doors and I walked through each one......no kicking and screaming.....just walked into my home. And here I have been for 31 years. Deo gratias.
For Lent, I have been reading Rediscover Catholicism: A Spiritual Guide to Living With Passion & Purpose by Matthew Kelly. We picked it up at Saint Mary's in the Mountains Catholic Church in Virginia City, Nevada, where we were married the same year. I will keep reading through the Easter season until I am finished.
Today, I came across a few passages that were good to meditate on this anniversary date.....
On page 129:
"The best thing that you can do for yourself is to become the-best-version-of yourself. The best thing that you can do for your spouse, your children, your friends, your Church, your nation, and God is to become the-best-version-of yourself.
"Catholicism is not a lifeless set of rules and regulations; it is a lifestyle. Catholicism is a dynamic way of life designed by God to help you explore your incredible potential."
When I converted to Catholicism, my paternal grandfather asked why I would convert to such a "strict religion". I told him that for the first time in my life (all 21 years of it!), I felt the most freedom that I had ever had. For the first time in my life, I knew what the boundaries were, where I was safe, and in the state of grace, and where it was dangerous. Incredible freedom. And still 31 years later, I say the same.
And on page 128:
"As we reflect on our brief and precious lives, let us also remember that they are but a transition to a long and blissful eternity. Teresa of Avila encourages us. 'Remember that you have only one soul; that you have only one death to die; that you have only one life, which is short and has to be lived by you alone; and there is only one glory, which is eternal. If you do this, there will be a great many things about which you care nothing.' "
Lastly on page 134:
"My favorite passage from the Catechism of the Catholic Church appears as the first line of the first chapter, and it reads, 'The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness her never stops searching for.' "
I have been so incredibly blessed.
And that is all.
Happy Anniversary to me and God!
Easter Blessings to you,